An Impromptu Trip to Semarang

This past two months have been really hectic for me. A week after coming back from Chiang Mai, I had to go to Kuala Lumpur for my bi-monthly infusion. I did not look forward to my KL trip and I felt like I didn’t rest enough after Chiang Mai so when my sister told she would be coming home right after my KL trip, it gave me a boost of enthusiasm.

My sister comes home to Jogja only once in a while. This time she decided to fly to and from Semarang since the ticket was cheaper by far. I had a great time showing her some new culinary spots in Jogja.

Since she was flying back from Semarang, my mum and I (and my mum’s friend as our guide in Semarang :D) decided to take her there. I thought it would be nice visiting Semarang and continue our culinary adventure there. I had some places in mind and we planned to go from Jogja early so we could stuff ourselves silly before she headed back to Singapore.Read More »

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My First Impressions of Chiang Mai

The last time I traveled somewhere new was in 2014. I went to Bangkok and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I remember it all so clearly. I hated the city, the pollution and all the noise. I also remember that I would’ve tolerated Bangkok a lot more if I wasn’t in so much pain. My body felt strange, it ached everywhere, it just didn’t feel right.

By the end of the year, I knew what was wrong.

Fast forward to present time, I am still in treatment but it is not as hard as the years before. I go to the hospital every two months for an antibody infusion. Since this infusion does not have heavy side effects, I am able to lead a somewhat “normal life”.

One day my sister suggested a holiday for the whole family to relax and unwind, after all there was no doubt we needed it. When I asked her where, she wasn’t sure so we searched for options. I didn’t want to go too far as I didn’t want to overtire myself with long distance flight. After much searching, I suggested Chiang Mai in Thailand. I read that the city is relaxed (unlike Bangkok) and there are lots of cafes and restaurants. We all agreed.Read More »

Discovering The Truth About Dracula Castle

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 31 October 2016.

The day I decided to visit Bran Castle was all grey and cold with a chance of snow. Great. I took a peek at the sky and for a second I wanted to snooze for five more minutes. If only I was just visiting another castle. But no, I was going to Bran Castle, THE Dracula Castle. Any fans of Stoker would be stoked (pun intended) to see this place, and I too was excited about it. Besides, the gloomy weather gave some sort of dramatic effect.

My friends and I walked from our hostel to the said bus station that was supposed to take us to Stadionul Municipal. We had some trouble finding the right bus, but after asking a local with our very limited Romanian, we finally managed to find the bus. After getting inside the bus, we didn’t exactly know where to get off. Here was inside the bus, three very foreign looking tourists trying to find the right bus stop. We were lucky that the locals on the bus happily helped us.

The bus station was sad. It looked abandoned. I wondered if it would look more “cheerful” during the warmer months. No one was really there, and I was getting anxious that we were in the wrong place. A few people came, but I was still unsure. Maybe this was just the wrong time to see the castle, there didn’t seem to be many tourists like us, wait…is that wrong or perfect timing? I couldn’t decide. More people would justify that this was in fact the correct place to get to Bran, but more people would mean a crowded castle. As my mind was arguing with itself, a bus came. At the front of the bus was a sign “BRAN”. Oh yeah. Dracula Castle here I come.Read More »

A Glorious Morning at Sukorame Rice Field

It was the morning of my dad’s birthday. We set off at 6AM to go to Sukorame Rice Field (Sawah Sukorame). This rice field had been on my radar for quite a while and after much searching, I found the place to be doable for my physic. So off we went.

There are many things I love about rice fields. The colour, miles and miles of fresh green. The calm, meditative atmosphere. The sound of birds chirping like no one’s business. The silent wind that makes the scarecrows dance. This is the many reasons why I will never get tired of them, even when I see it every day.Read More »

Foodie Talk: A Quick Foodie Guide to Singapore

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 15 March 2017.

I’ve gone back and forth to Singapore quite a lot these past few years. That means, I’ve acquired some favourite places to eat. Of course to eat because this girl likes her food when travelling otherwise I get super hangry and no one wants to see that side of me.

Oh and I also know that Singapore is super expensive (who doesn’t notice right?!) so I don’t usually eat at expensive places UNLESS someone treats me (like my sister, haha!). Anyway, the places here are pretty affordable and you should totally give it a try on your next visit to Singapore!

Little India

If you are by any chance in Little India, don’t forget to visit my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE restaurant here. It’s called Jaggi’s and they specialised in Northern Indian cuisine. I got totally obsessed with this place because their butter chicken and garlic naan are to die for. They recently moved to a new area not far from their old place and it’s much bigger and brighter. They display the food and you can just choose what you want to eat. I always go for their butter chicken (did I tell you it’s amazing?!), aloo gobi (this potato and cauliflower dish that is crazy good), tandoori chicken and garlic naan. I love the fact that you can choose some dishes to share with your friends, although, I never share my butter chicken because they are just too good.Read More »

A (Polish) Wedding to Remember

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 14 March 2013.

Back in September, I went to Poland for the first time. I also went to a Polish wedding party, for the first time too. I have written about it before, but as I read my previous post about it, I feel like I didn’t do the great event any justice. I didn’t write enough about its atmosphere, its bursting energy, my mixed emotions – I feel like I just have to re-write the experience in a more personal and deeper meaning. I also think that the event in itself deserves one full post concentrating on that happy moment.

So here I am, rewriting my experience because it was not only a trip, it was a cultural gathering, celebrating the love of two people in a country where I didn’t speak the language and barely know the culture – and somehow I was invited to be a part of it all. Words just cannot describe how happy I was to be a part of that wedding celebration. 50 years from now when I’m grey and old and sitting in a rocking chair, I would like to open my blog and re-read this story because it has given me the chance to explore a culture in a way only a few people could experience. I would like to reminisce about how extremely happy everyone was at the party and the couple gleaming with love. I would like to remember all that and smile about it.

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Stories Behind Porto’s Buildings

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 13 June 2016.

If only buildings could talk in Porto, it would tell you stories of romance, sadness and inspirations. It was easy being charmed by the beauty of Porto, perhaps it was love at first sight for me but there was more than just meets the eyes.

As I walked through Porto, I could see buildings that have stood for generations, witnessing many tales and events. I was impressed that the old buildings were still well maintained and used until now, something I still wish to happen in my own country.

Walking through Porto with a local also extended my knowledge of this underrated Portuguese city. There are stories behind the old walls of each building, each story being passed on from generation to generation. It was interesting to listen to each story, making them more than just a building.Read More »