Over the years, I’ve amassed piles of receipts and a mess of useless travel stuff that I refuse to throw away.And the pile that you see here, forms just a small fraction of last year’s vacation “collection”.
W hotels have always stood out from the usual luxe hotel chains. There is just something so edgy and irreverent about the brand that makes it so appealing. If we were to liken the entire hotel sector to a high school – the Ritzs, the St Regis and the Cappellas would be the rich kids of the school, the ones who enjoy luxury and opulence in abundance, the uber privileged, as you would call them.
To be honest, if you had mentioned the city of Perth, in Australia, to me a couple of weeks ago, and asked me to tell you something about it, I would have come up blank. Perth, to me, was nothing more than a sleepy city where tons of Singaporean kids were sent to further their studies and like any other Australian city where all activity ceased after 5pm when the stores closed. But my recent trip there to cover their pride and joy, Perth Fashion Festival 2012, has completely changed my opinion.
Yes, we have our perks as magazine writers and editors. We travel almost every month to hip cities like Seoul and New York and the glam dames Paris and Shanghai. But it’s Kenya I still reminisce about (sorry, Saks and Eiffel Tower) – three months after I went to the East African country for The Body Shop’s Community Fair Trade Media Trip.
They always say that the ultimate vacation is one on the Cote D'Azur (or the French Riviera aka South of France). While I didn't exactly live it up millionaire style in three cities that the Mediterranean bordered - Nice, Cannes and Marseille, I had quite the experience, taking in all the sights, dining on freshly-caught seafood and wandering through winding alleys and cobblestoned paths.
If you are the type of person who expects their travel to consist of as little interaction with strangers as possible, to be seamlessly efficient, coldly polite and as generic and non-invasive as feasible – considering the cramped quarters you're enduring – then the inaugural flight of Asia's newest low-cost airline Scoot would have been a total surprise.
The special "Scoot" logo (above left) and checking in for the inaugural Scoot flight to Sydney. All images taken on an iPhone using Instagram
What’s a holiday without some shopping and sightseeing, right? That’s why I’m continuing my other story on the newly revamped Club Med Phuket with what you can do outside of the resort, to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
Club Med Phuket
In my last blog, I mentioned I was taking my open water diving certification so I could dive “coral encrusted shipwrecks”. Well, I’ve gone for my dive trip and returned, and I can safely say that the dream is shot. The short three-day, two-night dive trip showed me that I’m ultimately not meant to dive and probably never will be. But that’s another story for another day.
Two weeks ago, I went on an impromptu trip. I was chomping on scrumptious dishes and sipping well-mixed fruit juices.During our lazier moments, we lounged by the poolside. No, I was not at some beach resort. I was in Cambodia with one of my closest friends and we had a fantastic time.We trawled the amazing Angkor Wat, rummaged through night markets and went on river cruises along Tonle Sap Lake and the Phnom Penh riverfront. In Phnom Penh, we walked around aimlessly … For a grand total of 15 minutes. We found out the hard way why everyone else were on bikes and tuk-tuks.
After months of anticipation, I’ve finally conquered the steep climb to the largest temple in the world, Angkor Wat. But not without some drama, of course.
It all started on Friday night, 30 hours before my crazy-early morning flight — that’s what you get when you book budget plane tickets at a promotional rate; my friend and I booked the tickets to Siem Reap, Cambodia, six months ago for just $100 per person. Long story short: it was Vanessa’s birthday party, and I woke up the next day with a massive hangover.