Magnifique Provence! Aix-en-Provence to Moustier-Ste-Marie.

In 2011 my sister and I spent the summer in France that included 5 glorious days in the South. We split out time between the Côte d’Azur and Provence with 3 nights in Nice with 2 in Aix en Provence (Read: Indulge in the quiet side of the Côte d”Azur).

We rented a car in Nice from Budget, which turned out to be the most harrowing car rental procedure ever thanks to the lady they had manning the desk that day. Rude and a tad scary with her pencil outlined eyebrows, she was by far the most unprofessional person we had encountered on our trip. She asked us to see her at noon, then made us wait for 2 hours while she had lunch only to ask us to return the next day to pick the car up! Needless to say, our day was wasted waiting and we had to swap itineraries  around.

Anyway, we woke up bright and early the next morning and drove to Aix en Provence, which we used as a base for the next 2 days to drive to the Gorges du Verdon and Avignon.

Continue reading

Cosplay, gadgets & geeks. Akihabara and Maid Cafés. Tokyo.

I was obsessed with lomography on a trip to Tokyo with friends 2 years ago, and decided to indulge this fixation by visiting the city’s electronic mecca, Akihabara, in search of the Diana.

We got out at the Akihabara Station from the clearly marked Akihabara Electric Town exit on a cold, rainy evening to bright flashy lights that blinded us instantly. We made our way to one of the multi-storey malls selling electronic ware floor on floor, jam-packed with people and machines alike. My friends bought a Fuji Polaroid camera that they would end up using in the States a few days later. I, on the other hand felt far too claustrophobic and rushed to kick-start the loom camera analysis.

Continue reading

Indulge in the quiet side of the Côte d’Azur. Plage d’Èze.

The tiny village of Eze on the Côte d’Azur boasts of a quiet sliver of a pebble beach, with clear, bright blue waters.

Eze, between Nice and Monaco is far from the glitzy beaches of the French Riviera like Saint-Tropez, Antibes and Cannes and is a great place to spend the afternoon. It extends from the Mediterranean Sea, Èze-sur-Mer, to the hilltop with a medieval village, Èze-Village.

Continue reading

Rose red city, half as old as time. Petra. A photo-journey.

Ah Petra, gobsmackingly magnificent, architecturally alluring, haunting and pink! Described by UNESCO as ‘one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage‘, as it features in their Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Additionally, the ancient Nabataean city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

Continue reading

Superman is dead. What a Balinese man taught us about music and irony.

Made (pronounced Mad-a | a as in apricot) was our designated driver-cum-guide on my trip to Bali with friends for my birthday last month. As per Balinese culture, the firstborn is colloquially called Wayan or Gede or Putu, second Made or Kadek, third Nyoman or Komang , and fourth Ketut.

Continue reading

48 hour wine trail. Sonoma Valley. A photo-journey.

On holiday in Northern California this February, a friend and I decided to drive up to Sonoma Valley one afternoon with the intention of perhaps spending a day or 2 in the area. We drove from Fremont straight to Ram’s Gate Winery on Arnold Drive Sonoma (got there just in time for the last tasting service) and onwards to the quaint MacAurther’s Place for the night.

Continue reading

In search of the perfect pho. 36 hours in Saigon. Vietnam.

Pho, pronounced as ‘fuh’ or ‘fur’ is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup bowl, consisting of broth, meat, rice noodles and herbs, usually basil, fresh cut chilli and lime. We’ve had the most delectable pho in Singapore and were salvating at the thought of finding the best bowl over our weekend trip to Saigon 2 weeks ago. Continue reading

De-coding the Bento. Tokyo. Japan.

Almost everyone has heard of or been to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, made famous by the cult indie movie Lost in Translation.

Kozue, the Japanese restaurant on the 41st floor has a delightful view (including Mount Fuji on a clear day) and menu, which is where we decided to eat on our 2nd day in Tokyo. We chose the lunch bento box, Waka, and there on started the most amazing journey!

Continue reading

Chope a seat on the Singapore food train!

“If we don’t get to the hawker centre by 12, can you chope some seats for us?”

Chope, derived from chop, is slang for reserving a seat, often witnessed at a hawker centre where Singaporeans leave an object to reserve the spot, usually a packet of tissues.

Food seems to be synonymous with Singapore; a tiny island that has fast become a melting pot of tastes and ideas. Right from local offerings like chicken rice or the simple satay to spicy Peranakan food to molecular gastronomical food labs, Singapore can pretty much boast of having it all and doing it well; you certainly are spoiled for choice.

Here is what and how I ate my way through Singapore!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

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