Month: November 2010

Christmas Has Come Early.

I’ve never felt so festive so early. Walking around Singapore in the evenings makes me wonder if it’s Christmas eve. All the sparkling (and not-so-sparkling) Christmas trees are up. All of Orchard is lit up in purple lights. Christmas songs are playing at Starbucks where I am now, and everywhere else. Christmas-special gifts, food, drinks, promotions, sales are all in full swing.   But that’s not quiet the reason I’m feeling festive. A few days back, I participated in AirAsia airlines’Β Paris: The Postcards Love Challenge to celebrate their inaugural flights to Paris,Β and guess what? I won 2 flight tickets to Paris! Oh yeah πŸ™‚ Bonjour Paris, merci beaucoup AirAsia!

Ben Lac, Mai Chau, North West Vietnam, Vietnam, mountains, mist

The Untouched Gems of Northwest Vietnam.

For many travelers, Vietnam is the cities of Ho Chi Minh & Hanoi, and the tours that take you around the area. While some of these are pretty and tourist-friendly, most of these are fabricated versions of Vietnam’s real beauty and people. We managed to ditch most of these must-tick boxes in our Vietnam itinerary to explore the less-treaded North Western highlands of the country. Mai Chau No Lonely Planet overview can prepare you for the gorgeous, mist-covered mountains that greet you as you enter the village of Ben Lac, nor for the hospitality of its White Thai folks. There are organized tours from Hanoi that take you there, but if you want to experience the untouched, go on your own. We took a local bus from Hanoi to Mai Chau via Hoa Binh, with locals who spoke no English beyond “Where are you from?” but who were friendly enough to call their friends in Ben Lac and arrange a village homestay for us! We stayed with a couple in a traditional stilt house, and …

Once Upon an Island

Sometimes I think we can measure our lives by the places we’ve seen. There’s so much beauty in the world, so many undiscovered gems, and yet so many of us will spend our days in a small little box, unable to escape the vicious work-money cycle. Without getting too philosophical, I want to introduce you to a heaven-on-earth-like beauty in Indonesia, called Nikoi Island. I created the video below, entirely based on my imagination and these Flickr pictures, for a competition in which I won a free trip to this dreamy island. My gut says Nikoi will be all this and so much more. I’ll write about my personal experience at Nikoi Island after I visit it in DecemberΒ  Till then, you can readΒ reviews by other people on Nikoi!