asia · travel

Prowlin’ and Chowin’ in Chiang Mai

Zabb-e-lee cooking class

It was a strange feeling — heading to Thailand and knowing that I didn’t come here to saunter at the beach, nor to hit the flea market. Instead, I was making a beeline for something far away from the waves and the skyline — onto the mountainous state of Chiang Mai.

If Bangkok is the kingdom’s Fashionista, and Phuket, its Party Animal, the Chiang Mai would be the Flower Child. With a laid-back cool, it bids you to take things slow. Ever so gently, you find that you’ve turned from the bucket-bearing all-night-reveler, to that morning person who gets up to bike along the rice fields. Continue reading “Prowlin’ and Chowin’ in Chiang Mai”

asia · singapore · travel · video

Singapore After Dark

For me, Singapore is at its prettiest during the night. All the neons are bright, and the light shows are plenty.

As much as I love hopping on a plane and zipping off somewhere, I also love days when I just stroll around Singapore itself. Somehow, I almost always stumble upon something interesting, like a free concert, a flea market, or a bunch of ingenious buskers.

Hopefully, this vid will make people think of the city-state as not just another layover spot (although our airport is indeed king!), but as the bustling Lion City where surprises await to pounce on the curious wanderer.

Song: Sun Models by Odesza ft. Madelyn Grant

asia · philippines · travel · video

The Perfect Summer in Coron

Some countries have provinces. We have pockets of paradise.

It’s been a long time since I’ve last explored the island gems of the Philippines, that when I first laid eyes on Coron, I was simply stunned. Stunned speechless, even. Coron was gorgeous beyond words! I’ve felt like I’ve searched far and wide around the globe to come upon something grandiose, and yet one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever seen was right at home. Continue reading “The Perfect Summer in Coron”

asia · travel

Pinch me, I’m in Maldives!

Giddy much?

We went home with faces a little browner, hearts a little bigger, and memories wealthier. It seems so unfair to take so much and give back so little to a destination that has made you really happy, but Maldives is simply generous like that. Its giving is effortless, even, as natural as a pristine paradise can be.

Spotted: baby black-tip shark swimming on the shallow reef.
Spotted: baby black-tip shark swimming on the shallow reef.

Okay, so maybe the lavish water villas and mind-blowing infinity pools are a tad over-the-top. But the real opulence lies under the water. Underneath, it’s a busy city that doesn’t care about full-board amenities, service charges and the like. Big fish, little fish, predator, prey — everyone’s bustling to and fro, engrossed with their day to day, oblivious of the man-made spas above them. Here, life is simple — work, eat, exercise, build a house, try not to get eaten. Most of all, have fun. Well, it certainly looks like they’re having hoards of fun, the way their fins are wagging. Continue reading “Pinch me, I’m in Maldives!”

asia · travel · video

Moonstruck in Koh Phangan

When in doubt, go with crazy.

To be fair, common sense has been mostly responsible for keeping me alive, but going with crazy has enabled me to feel alive. Glaring difference. I’ve been a bit wary about venturing into the infamous full moon parties in Koh Phangan, but I knew I could never get over the regret of not even taking a peek. So off we go to brave the Full Moon Party (a short boat ride away from Koh Samui) and instead of walking right into riots and drug-busts as I’ve feared, my friend and I had the time of our lives in one (literally) flaming beach party that’s going to be hard to beat. But we’ll keep on trying anyway. 🙂

asia · travel · video

Springtime in Kansai: The Vid

As my very witty friend aptly put it, “How can it be 9 pm? I swear it was just April 2 nights ago!”

Almost three quarters of the year is done, and the -ber months are on their way. Pretty soon, we’ll be wrapped again in Christmas carol melodies and the mad rush of bargain gift shopping. But before we snuggle up in our warmer clothes, here’s a little reminder of when the sun first peeked out from its sleep, kickstarting one of our more joyous and colorful seasons.


If you want to read more about my cherry-blossom-laden adventure in the lovely region of Kansai, Japan, then just come clicking over here.

asia · travel

Spring is Here!

Because it's better late than never, especially for pretty pretty things.
Because it’s better late than never, especially for pretty pretty things.

Until now, I’ve been totally ignorant of the fact that the start of spring is one of the most fantastic times to go see the world. Cities and towns emerging from winter are out to celebrate in style, breaking out the best wine, treats, and cutlery. Everyone’s just full of glee to see a patch of green take over the white. Warmth is out to take over; everything’s fine with the world again. Continue reading “Spring is Here!”

asia · philippines · travel · video

Bewitched by Siquijor: The Vid

Don’t you love it when stars finally align your way? 2013 has been really good to me so far; I’ve garnered a lot of good experiences and memories that I’m sure will last — and we’re barely halfway through the year!

Here’s a vid of one of my favorite escapes so far — Siquijor is simply one of those places that just makes me grow fonder about growing up in a blessed archipelago. Enjoy!


If you’re interested to read the what-how-where’s of our Siquijor adventure, you can check out the all-about-Siquijor post here.

Song: One day / Reckoning Song (Wankelmut Remix) by Asaf Avidan

asia · travel

Taiwan Day 2: An Ode to Kindred Spirits

Love is all we need.

Nothing beats good, lasting friendships, especially when things don’t go as planned…

The day's grand itinerary was supposed to be kicked off by a visit to the Yangmingshan National Park, where we expected to be deluged by pretty pink cherry blossoms. The mountain, however, had other plans and instead we said hello to strong winds and frosty rain. We didn't stand a chance in our laughable winter attire. We ended up riding the loop shuttle around the mountain, wherein we found out that Yangmingshan drivers can possibly drive blindfolded, as ours calmly put the pedal to the medal in zero visibility on the mountain's winding roads.
The day’s grand itinerary was supposed to be kicked off by a visit to the Yangmingshan National Park, where we expected to be deluged by pretty pink cherry blossoms. The mountain, however, had other plans and instead, we said hello to strong winds and the chilly rain. We didn’t stand a chance in our laughable winter attire. Here we are in our best I’m-trying-not-to-look-like-an-icicle smiles, in the lone sakura spot that we managed to find. We ended up riding the loop shuttle bus around the mountain, wherein we found out that driving blindfolded is probably one of the many talents of the drivers in Yangmingshan, as ours calmly put the pedal to the medal in zero visibility on the mountain’s winding roads.
Continue reading “Taiwan Day 2: An Ode to Kindred Spirits”

asia · travel

Taipei Day 1: A Time to Be Bright, and a Time to Get Steamy

Fun Taiwan!

I impulse-booked my ticket to Taipei based on street food alone; I’ve heard the chow was phenomenal. That being said, I didn’t have much of a plan when I landed in Taipei, aside from the Lantern festivities in Pingxi on the coming Sunday. Happily, Taipei was a fun place to play it by ear.

My adventure started on an early Friday morning. Our plane touched down on the break of dawn, and with the Taipei transport being very easy to figure out, I arrived way ahead of everyone in the hostel, including the receptionist. It was a good thing that the Bangka district was precisely where you’d want to be if you’re killing time in the morn. I strolled through the alleys behind our hostel, where the wet market was slowly coming to life. Colorful meat balls and vegetables decked the tables to tempt you to brew a hotpot. Butchers went about carving out whole carcasses of pork, while live chickens clucked away, perhaps in mourning for their fallen comrades, undressed and hawked on display. Continue reading “Taipei Day 1: A Time to Be Bright, and a Time to Get Steamy”