• Braised pork belly
    Food,  Recipes

    Melt in Your Mouth Braised Pork Belly

    My Dad is a great chef and never follows a recipe.  So, in putting together these recipes, it’s my best attempt to extract the details from his brain and document them.  #DadsCooking It’s no secret that Chinese people eat a lot of pork and we are no different.  Growing up though, I wasn’t (and still am not) a big meat eater.  I prefer my veggies, I’m a self-confessed carbaholic, and have a big sweet-tooth.  Days go by where I haven’t had any meat at all, and I’m not even consciously aware of it.  My Grandma and Dad would make these dishes of soft, tender, braised pork chunks, and I’d be very…

  • Santa Marta waterfront
    Colombia,  Travels

    Santa Marta | Gateway to adventures in Northeast Colombia

    I took the bus from Cartagena to Santa Marta, planning to use it as a base to discover what the North East corner of Colombia had in store. The town of Santa Marta itself is tiny, with a few hostels and restaurants catering to passing tourists.  Hot & sunbaked, I wandered around with my camera, capturing a few sleepy moments of the golden hour.                                     From Santa Marta, there are a number of interesting places on the backpacking trail including: Tayrona National Park, Minka, Palomino, Ciudad Perdita, and Aracataca (only of interest to…

  • Ajiaco
    Colombia,  Food,  Travels

    Las comidas de Colombia | Food of Colombia

    For me, one of the best parts of travel is to taste the different foods of another culture.  Colombia has not disappointed so far, and though I am not a fan of ALL the food here, I love observing and trying. Colombia is not the land of healthy green juices and salads (at least not yet, but it’s coming fast I’m sure).  Tis the land of fried empanadas, platanos, french fries, fried chicken, fried dough balls, and more.  If you like greasy fried food, you’ll be in heaven. Some classic Colombian food… Empanadas – corn flour “dumplings” filled with beans, cheese, and meat.  Relatively easy to make!  We made these…

  • Sunset views by Santa Marta airport
    Colombia,  Travels

    Aeropuerto El Dorado | El Dorado Airport

    Bogota’s El Dorado airport has been a pleasant surprise.  Big, modern, with decent amenities, I am impressed.  I even had a chance to chill at the El Dorado lounge, thanks to my Priority Pass access and was blown away.  Nicer than many Airline VIP lounges, I got a chance to snack, eat, drink, and use the WIFI at this expansive and opulently decorated lounge.  Inside the lounge, there are plenty of seating areas, reclining chairs perfect for sleeping, showers, a beauty salon (no joke!), and a full on bar. Within the international wing of the airport, there is an Avianca Lounge, an Avianca and Star Alliance Diamond lounge, and a…

  • Cartagena
    Colombia,  Travels

    Cartagena de Indias: amor a primera vista | love at first sight

    I fell in love as soon as my taxi conducir drove through the narrow, balcony-shaded laneways of Cartagena’s old walled town.  Charming, beautiful, cute, photogenic, insta-worthy?  Si Si Si!  Like a slightly bigger and busier version of Galle, a cleaner and shinier version of Zanzibar, this old Caribbean city is a photographer’s dream and oozing with beauty and charm. Back in the 1500s, Cartagena was an important port for the Spanish Empire for exporting riches from South America back to Europe.  Like Zanzibar, it was also a trading post for slaves from Africa.  Today, Cartagena is a popular vacation destination for Colombians and international visitors alike.  The streets in the…

  • Sydney Harbour
    Sydney,  Travels

    Sydney walks

    One of the most beautiful cities in the world, thanks to it’s vast and splendid harbour, Sydney has so many gorgeous walks for visitors to enjoy.  While living in Sydney, I never owned a car so unfortunately didn’t explore some of the more harder to get to walks; I did manage to get to most of the ones relatively close to the CBD.  Sharing my favourites with you now. *** The showstopper – the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.  No visit to Sydney is complete without doing this walk.  I try to do this every time I visit and it never gets old.  On a good day, you might even…

  • Food,  Sydney

    Where to eat & drink in Sydney

    Sydney is a foodie’s paradise, full of great restaurants, cafes, and bars.  I sampled quite a few of them in my years living there.  Even on recent work trips back, I was lucky to check out a few new places and revisit some oldies but goodies.  This list is by no means a list of the latest and hottest, but it’s a list of some of my favourites. Where to get a good drink: Palmer & Co – slightly hidden, behind Mr. Wong’s and the Establishment Hotel on George Street, Palmer and Co. is a prohibition style bar with yummy but expensive cocktails.  Some nights, there’s a live band, the…

  • Sydney Opera House
    Sydney,  Travels

    What to do in Sydney

      I had the good fortune to live in Sydney from 2010 – 2014 and made sure I made the most of my time there.  If there was a night noodle market, an outdoor movie, or a new restaurant, you betcha I tried it out.  In the last few years, I’ve had to travel to Sydney every couple months or so for work, so I was still able to visit my favourite haunts frequently.  This is a list that covers some of the popular tourist spots and the neighbourhoods in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.  I had to save the F&B recommendations for another post as this was already becoming…

  • Colombia Immersion school
    Colombia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Colombia Immersion Language School

      According to my Spanish profesora, 5 years ago, there were no Spanish language schools in Medellin. Perhaps 5 years is a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is that in very recent times, there’s been an explosion of casual Spanish schools being offered in Medellin, which speaks to the growth of tourism in the city/country, and the popularity of learning Spanish. I chose Colombia Immersion for my language classes in Medellin after a recommendation from a fellow traveller I met in Jaco. With two locations (the original in Envigado and the newer one in Laureles), small classes, and the option to choose between full immersion or several different…

  • Medellin cactus house street photo
    Colombia,  Travels

    Las Paisas | The Paisas

      The people of the province of Antioquia (where Medellin is) are known as Paisas.  Two weeks into my stay here and I have come to experience first hand their warmth and friendliness, time and time again. It started from the day I arrived, super early in the morning.  Ill prepared and thinking my two weeks of Spanish courses in Costa Rica would get me through, I landed at the airport and left the building without bothering to look for a SIM provider.  I had the address to my Airbnb and figured the cab driver would be able to find it.  Not the case. Instead, I got dropped close to…