REDISCOVERING BALI

The legendary island promises a mystical adventure of self-awakening, but the reality greeting travellers is usually more crowded beaches and overpriced restaurants. So can we ever find the Bali that once was? The answer, is yes. The busy throngs at Kuta is still largely contained there, with some spillage to Seminyak. Canggu is fast becoming…

CHIANG MAI IS HOME TO THE WORLD’S DREAMIEST LIGHT-UP

Even though the environmental repercussions are being debated, and solutions to the impact being investigated, there’s no denying the spectacle that the Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai accords. Thousands of paper lanterns float into the sky, an illuminated glowing cloud, and with the more widely-known Loy Krathong following the festival days, seeing candles drifting…

HERE BE DRAGONS AND BEACHES

It’s an unlikely combination. Flores means flowers and yet there are dragons crawling about the beaches of this peninsula island in Indonesia. There’s adventure to be found – and yes, you can go dragon spotting – but Flores Island is probably best know for it’s colourful landscape. From pink beaches to multi-hued craters, the remote…

A NIGHT AT JEWEL CHANGI – EXPERIENCING YOTELAIR

Staycations aren’t something I do very often given that a trip is so much more worth the moolah. But when YotelAir opened up a micro-hotel in the new Jewel Changi, that caught my attention. I figured this was more than just a staycation, but also an overnight experience at our latest mall-park hybrid destination that…

FIRST FACETS AT JEWEL CHANGI

280 shops. 10 floors. 1 shining crown jewel. Linking Terminals one to three at Changi Airport, the world watches as the glittering Jewel Changi officially opens to the public today. It’s a lush multi-use complex – equal parts urban retail and park, with snaking trails to explore, and shopping finds to discover. Of the lot,…

BATAM, INDONESIA – A DOSE OF JAVA

Batam is an island often picked for its laid-back pace, and a spot to enjoy the power of Singaporean currency translated into massages, seafood and those buttery kueh lapis. It’s not exactly known for a lot of culture, but that can occasionally change. With more than 100 million in Indonesia coming from the Javanese ethnic…

SINGAPORE – EATING LIKE THE LOCALS

Nothing represents the diversity of Singapore like her food. The only thing louder, above the clanging woks and bubbling broth pots, are the numerous recommendations. Katong Laksa, Chili Crab, and Hainanese Chicken Rice – we are sure you’ve heard of them. But for the explorer insistent on authenticity, we let you in on what the…

BATAM, INDONESIA – HASHTAG BATAM

And so a certain famous contracter used to proclaim, “and some say Batam!” This line is a reflection of the kinship Singapore has with our Indonesian neighbouring island. For example, did you know that a good majority of our pigs are imported from Batam? Or that they are an important supplier of electricity and sand…

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….