• Asia,  Bali,  Food,  Travels

    Bali Part 1: Ubud

       Quiet, except for the singing cicadas.  Thick air, the smell of incense heavy and slow in the steaming heat.  Green leafy trays of floral offerings along the pathways.  Orange marigolds, strung around the necks of Ganesha or placed on stone steps.  This is waking up in Ubud. I love this “island of the gods” that is Bali and Ubud is the spiritual heart, located in the middle of the island, amidst the lush green rice fields, far from the pulsing beats of the bars at Seminyak.  This is my third trip here and I can confidently offer some suggestions for you, if you’re planning a trip. Wander the charming…

  • Daily lunch on the Bangka
    Asia,  Travels

    Tao Philippines Adventure

    Maja and I were both leaving Singapore for good in a couple months and both wanted to get a couple more adventures in as a last hurrah.  We tossed some ideas around and agreed to do the Tao Philippines Palawan adventure boat.  Several friends had told me over the years how amazing this experience is. Tao Philippines is an adventure travel operator; their signature trip is week long island-hopping adventure from El Nido to Coron (or vice versa) on a souped-up bangka boat.  My friend PL loved the trip so much that when her boat sailed into the last stop in Coron, she promptly got right back on to do…

  • Our group in Pondicherry
    Asia,  Travels

    Long weekend in Pondicherry

    Easter long weekend, a sense of adventure, and a hankering for some good dahl — what more reason do you need to book a trip to India? I must admit, I’d always been apprehensive about going to India. It’s a huge, diverse, intense country, a place that can initially seem daunting to even think about planning a trip for. But more than anything else, I always had a fear of catching food poisoning in India. Horror stories abound amongst travellers about being horrifically ill in India. After my personal experience with food poisoning in Myanmar, I was very very wary of this risk. But my old flatmate Lisa adores India…

  • Ubud rice paddies
    Asia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    When you want to go “extra” on photos

    I recently had the chance to go a bit “extra” and do a photoshoot in the middle of the rice fields in Ubud.  Wearing a bright coral evening gown. Wait what? Why? Because why not?! Here’s the back story.  I was going to be in Jakarta to see a client for work on a Friday, I was feeling a bit down, so I thought a short solo weekend away in Ubud would be a good way to recharge.  I’d been to Ubud two years ago and loved it, and had wanted to go back to check it out again for a while.  Having followed her Instagram stories, I knew my…

  • Cooking classes
    Asia,  Food,  Travels

    Cooking classes abroad

    I LOVE taking cooking classes whilst I’m travelling abroad.  To-date, I’ve tried cooking classes in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bali, and Vietnam.  So much fun, and if you’re a foodie like me, it’s fascinating to see how some of your favourite exotic foods are made.  Next time you’re on vacation, try one out. For inspiration, here are some info and links to the ones that I’ve done in the past. Vietnam: I did the Hoi An Eco Cooking class (in you guessed it, Hoi An).  It’s a super cute family run course and the bonus is you get to ride a little round bamboo boat to the facility where the…

  • Great Wall
    Asia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Hiking up the original Great Wall of China

      My first visit to the Great Wall was when I was a wee little five year old lass.  My mom, grandma, and I were in Beijing to get our visas/passports to move to Canada.  Evidently, you had to personally go to Beijing to get these things, back then.  My memories of that trip are extremely fuzzy, but I do remember desperately wanting to climb “to the top” of the Great Wall.  Whatever that meant.  And I remember being disappointed, when my mom, wearing incredibly impractical shoes, refused to go with me. Fast forward to 2015 and I was in Beijing again, with my Dad and Mom, for medical reasons…

  • Asia,  Travels

    Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat inevitably comes up on many lists of must-sees in Southeast Asia, so I knew it was going to be one of the top destinations I prioritised from Singapore.  Five months after moving to Singapore, I convinced a friend from Sydney to go with me.  Siem Reap itself is fairly contained, a busy stop on the backpackers circuit with lots of cafes and restaurants to explore.   The ruins of the ancient temples are in an archaeological park right by the city, and is the main tourist draw, of course.  You’ll need to get a multi-day pass to explore it.  There are many ways to explore the park, with van…