IRAN – WHERE I STAYED

The sanctions may have been lifted, but businesses in Iran still struggle when trying to establish themselves online. Unlike the rest of the world, credit card reservations don’t apply in Iran and transactions go old-school, made through emails and confirmed through trust. You’ll quickly find that booking lodgings become a problem. Agoda and Booking.com no longer…

ESFAHAN, IRAN – TINY POOL, BIG ASPIRATIONS (HOTEL REVIEW)

What led up to my booking at Howzak House is a tale unto itself. Having had no luck getting a budget accommodation in Esfahan for my trip, I was in a cafe trawling through the net when a friend who had just returned from Iran popped in. After exchanging greetings, I asked her for tips…

YAZD, IRAN – CURIOUS NAME BUT PURR-FECT STAY (HOTEL REVIEW)

You wouldn’t guess but behind one of Yazd’s old city mud walls is a very modern Jungle Hotel. I’m not sure what the owner was thinking of when naming the place, but when it came to the set-up, he’s got it down pat. A relatively new option, Mr Ghiyamat has fitted Jungle’s rooms with modern…

SHIRAZ, IRAN – FINDING YOUR HEART AT TAHA (HOTEL REVIEW)

Five minutes beyond the popular institution Niayesh, is this little gem of a business. When I went on a hunch to pick this over Niayesh, I was never prepared for how right it would be. Taha House is a traditional Iranian house recalibrated to give Shiraz visitors both private and dorm room options. The century-old…

Perfecting Those Snaps On The Road

Travelling is awesome. It takes us away from our daily routine to explore the world we live in and gain new perspective. Taking photos during our travels have taken on in a big way with digital and advanced mobile technology, but with it comes the problem of over-taking. We’ve all suffered through your friend’s fifty…

Fansipan, Vietnam – Trekking Up The Roof of Indochina

The early morning mist parted to dry grass terrain and crispy trees. It was 5am in the morning and conditions were perfect for a climb up Mount Fansipan. The forest was peaceful. Bird call was intermittent. The 18 degree Celsius air was refreshing. Not that I noticed. My heart was pounding. My breath, rapid. Most…

Hanoi, Vietnam – Wanderment

Punctuated by warning beeps from the ceaseless motorbikes, Hanoi is like a child’s sticker book – albeit a fairly organised one – where random shops get pasted tightly in seemingly endless alleys. Unlike its sibling city of Ho Chi Minh, where the steer towards development has been clearly imprinted, Hanoi seems to thrive in its organic…

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Contain Your Excitement (Hotel Review)

It’s a novel enough concept – having designer rooms carved out from containers to accommodate the quirky traveler. The Container Hotel in Kuala Lumpur pitches “sustainable architecture”. Freight containers and concrete pipes are compartmentalised into living quarters for the weary traveler. A small weary traveler preferably. An unexpectedly early bus arrival (4.30am) led me to…

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Coming From Bello (Hotel Review)

Boutique hotels have a lot of competition. Just like artisanal and handcrafted,  boutique belongs to the family of overused words that occasionally breaks their promise. Bello & Bella Boutique Hotel is situated in the residential segment of Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. Amidst a colourful mix of businesses, the establishment manages to keep said promise as a curated stay in this…

Sapa, Vietnam – Gone Sapa Trekking (Video)

When one finds enough time to sit and coordinate between social medias, one can finally release a video on his channel. The day before, Mount Fansipan had me. As I struggled to the summit, I was firmly facing downwards quite a bit of the time, focusing on planting one foot in front of the other….

Reykjavik, Iceland – Grotta Lotta Walking

Day 8 – October 27, 2011 A chilly but less cloudy day dawned in Reykjavik. And I geared up for my potentially long walk to Grotta lighthouse. The walk was estimated by the tourist info lady to be 45 minutes, but I took an hour and a half eventually. Good thing I started fairly early,…

Reykjavik, Iceland – Just In Town

Day 7 – October 26, 2011 It’s a free day for me, as my companion headed for a half-day Golden Circle tour. I opted out as I wanted to explore the town a little more at a leisurely pace. After processing some tax refunds at the nearby Tourist Office (location +2), I was now free to explore the town. I decided to…