Rustic Green. Winging it with Airbnb in Ubud. 50/50.

For a trip to Bali (Read: Cloud drama! Black sand beach. Amed. Bali.) last week with my girlfriends, we decided to change things up a bit from the usual luxury resort living. We trolled the internet for independent villas in Ubud, focusing on the ones that were away from the main areas, in and around the paddy fields. We chanced upon a 3 bedroom gorgeous ‘designer’ villa on Airbnb, in close proximity to a functional hotel called Indigo Tree. The setting was rustic, beautiful, so green and fresh that we nearly did a little jig the first morning.

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Paradise! Home to the Manta Ray & Mola Mola. Nusa Lembongan & Penida. A photo journey.

I just got back late last night from another exhilarating trip to Bali. 3 days in Ubud (Read: Rustic Green. Winging it with Airbnb in Ubud. 50/50) with a day spent on a group of 3 islands south-east of Nusa Dua, Bali that form part of the Lesser Sunda Islands – Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and tiny Nusa Ceningan sandwiched in between. Nusa Lembongan is a 30 minute speed boat ride from Sanur, Bali and is well worth the visit for its untouched beaches, gorgeous rugged landscape and clear blue waters.

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Ah Coachella!

So, 2 weekends of Coachella pandemonium has finally come to an end and I thought this might be the best time to blog about my experience, albeit from 2012, of the music festival.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual two-weekend, three-day music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, usually in April.

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I would say, host. On Airbnb.

I  moved to Singapore from Dubai in 2010 with a list the length of my arm of exactly what I wanted of my new living space. It should be in the city (funny, since Singapore is tiny tiny tiny!), walking distance from the central business district (CBD), have 2 bedrooms (2 baths would be a bonus), be close to an MRT station that doesn’t warrant a 20 minute walk, have modern bathrooms (read swanky) and decent condominium facilities like a pool/gym/bar-b-que area/etc. Sadly, this added up to a sum total of E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E!

With the soaring rent rates and living standards in Singapore, I decided to put my apartment’s second bedroom up on Airbnb to defray the hefty rent I was forking out every month.  Continue reading

On the King’s Highway to find my pot of gold. Jordan.

A friend and I landed in Amman at the fag-end of May in 2009, bursting with excitement and a jam-packed itinerary with very little time to accomplish (4 days!). Travellers predominantly come to Jordan for Petra and/or the Dead Sea, using the modern desert highway to get to Petra from Amman. It’s faster, cuts right through the desert and doesn’t waste any time. We used the King’s Highway instead, starting at Amman, crossing Madaba, Mount Nebo, the Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib, Castle of Kerak and Lot’s Cave, relishing location specific stories and fables along the way. It’s longer, winding, and oh so much of fun as it skirts along the Dead Sea and dallies around the Jordanian countryside.  Continue reading

Postcard perfect Capri. A photo journey.

Gorgeous Capri while on holiday with the family in Italy over the summer of 2009 (Ref: Beyond Picasso. Venice Art Biennale 2013). A few of our favourite things..

Views from Monte Solaro; not to forget the hair-raising, constantly squeaking, single chair lift ride to the top!

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Beyond Picasso. Venice Art Biennale 2013.

Art, is the creative act of exposing the tender inner flesh of the unknown hidden behind expressionless reality, presenting itself at the threshold between reality and imagination

I enjoy art; in all its fluid forms and thought challenging seductive glory. I may not, however, understand all of it or pretend to. So, spending an entire week in Venice with the sole purpose of attending the Venice Art Biennale with my sister, to an amateur art enthusiast like me, was a mix of daunting and exciting.  Continue reading

Weekend in Bali. A photo journey.

Bali with my mother over Easter in 2013. 3 days of sun, art, spectacular landscapes and monkeys!

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Damascus. Syria.

My friends and I decided to travel to Syria over Easter in 2010. The old walled city of Damascus had been on the top of my travel list, along with Jerusalem since moving to Dubai. The city is lovely and quaint, bursting with history, great people and a very busy night life. I am very fortunate the trip panned out the way it did, when it did, since the civil unrest has made travel even harder now, if not impossible.

Damascus, founded in the 3rd millennium BC is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is believed to have been populated as early as 8,000 to 10,000 BC according to excavations at Tell Ramad on the outskirts of the city. Continue reading

Koh Lanta. Thailand.

Koh Lanta, the perfect holiday spot over the 2012 Chinese New Year holiday; secluded, relatively quiet with gorgeous long white sand beaches.

The island is easy to get to, with the airports of Krabi, Phuket and Trang in close proximity. Krabi and Trang have direct road and boat connections to Koh Lanta and are the best options if your plans do not include Phuket and/or Bangkok. We flew to Krabi from Singapore on Tiger Airways and then organised a car service from the villa we were staying at to pick us up from the airport.  Continue reading

Snickers. The cat no one wanted.

 

Snickers | A whole host of crazy | Always engaging, always fun.

|First Sight: Whether a person, a pet, an object, or a place, write about something or someone you connected with from the very first second.|

She came to me as a foster pet, December of 2008, through Feline Friends Dubai, an organisation that takes in and re-homes stray cats. The volunteer she was temporarily staying with was traveling out of Dubai over Christmas.

She was discovered on the streets of Dubai, a small straggly kitten, with no tail, a broken leg and an attitude so fierce you could only but wonder what cruelty she endured as an abandoned baby before being rescued. No one wanted her at the adoption drives; tiny with huge green eyes peering from her travel box, attracting all the attention at first and subsequently hissing everyone away.  Continue reading

Borobudur. Indonesia.

I had been waiting for a chance to visit Borobudur ever since I moved to Singapore in 2010, and finally put together a crazy 5 day trip to Central Indonesia with a friend in the early summer of 2011.

Borobudur, located in Java, Indonesia, is the single largest Buddhist structure in the world, with over 500 Buddha statues adorning it. The monument lies in a fertile volcanic plain called the Kedu Plain, between the twin volcanoes of Mount Merbabu and Mount Merapi to the east and Mount Sumbing and Mount Sundoro to the west. Although, there are no written records on the inception of Borobudur, it is believed to have been complete around 825 AD after taking over 75 years to build.  Continue reading