Prambanan. Indonesia’s spectacular Hindu temple complex.

Candi Prambanan, also known as Loro Jonggrang/Rara Jonggrang, is a 9th century Hindu temple complex dedicated to the Trimurti near Yogyakarta, the cultural capital of Java, Indonesia. Trimurti, a Sanskrit word meaning three forms, conveys the concept of creation, maintenance and destruction personified by the Hindu trinity of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer.

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Serpentine. Rocks. Art.

I had not heard of Fischli or Weiss, but, on my sister’s insistence I decided to go see what the fuss was all about while on holiday in London last  month.

Congruous named, Rock on Top of Another Rock  is the first public sculpture by the Swiss artist duo Fischli/Weiss. The art installation sits outside the entrance of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park [for those of you going to see Marina Abramović’s 512 Hours this summer, the sculpture will be to your left].

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#StreetArt. London.

Quirky, thought provoking and colourful street art between Shoreditch High Street and Brick Lane.

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Chartreuse & Fondue in the Capital of the Alps. Grenoble. France.

I remember looking out of the window of my sister’s bedroom in Grenoble, wondering if the scene outside had gone through a vintage wash before presenting itself to me. I saw snow lined mountains, faded yellow homes and an old banged up Volkswagen mini-van. Ordinarily beautiful, but for someone flying in from a tropical busy city like Singapore, it felt cold and desolate.

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The Idyllic 10th Century Temple of Banteay Srei. Cambodia.

Banteay Srei or Banteay Srey is a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva at the foot of the Phnom Dei hill in Siem Reap. Consecrated in 967 AD, it is popularly known as the Citadel of the Women or Citadel of Beauty today, presumably due to the temple’s tiny dimensions and elaborate wall carvings.

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Magnifique Provence! St Rémy de Provence & Avignon.

After our first day in Provence, driving to the idyllic village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie through the Gorges du Verdon from Aix [read here]; we decided to go west on the second day to the City of Popes, Avignon

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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