It’s not hard to see the appeal of visiting a country as exciting as India. It’s a land full of history, sights, sounds, smells, culture. It is a fascinating corner of the globe, a place that every traveler needs to visit at least once in their lifetime. But while there’s much to love about a trip to India, there’s an old truism that you’ll need to be aware of: people from Western countries frequently get ill there, which can put a (temporary) dampener on your adventuring! However, while it’s impossible to guarantee that you’ll be in tip-top condition throughout the duration of your trip, there are things you can do to make getting ill less likely. We take a look at eleven useful tips of Staying healthy visiting Indian below:

Insurance Coverage

Sometimes, it’s not whether you get ill or not that matters – it’s how fast you respond to it. Even a small disease can become problematic if it’s allowed to develop into something more sinister. Let’s not forget that there are hospitals in India. If you have a problem, then you’ll be able to get treatment. But for some people, the costs involved with treatment can be a barrier. As such, the smart approach is to take the problem out of the equation altogether. If you have travel insurance, then you’ll be able to receive treatment safe in the knowledge that the final cost isn’t coming out of your bank account. In some places insurance can feel like an unnecessary expense – not so in India.

Get Your Vaccinations

If you’re going to India for the first time, make sure you’re getting all the essential vaccinations! You’ll need to think ahead a little bit so that you have time to book yourself in for an appointment (no last minute trips!) to get all the vaccinations that you need. And what do they include? You’ll want to get hepatitis A, typhoid, and possibly rabies, if you’re planning on going through the mountains. None of these are legally required, but are strongly encouraged. If you’re intent on staying healthy, then it’s not worth it take risks. 

Bottled Water

Drink bottled water – that’s all we can say. The tap water is not going to be OK for you if you’re coming from the west. Your stomach is not going to be accustomed to it. In some areas, such as areas heavily frequented by tourists, you might be advised to only buy sparkling water. This is because some sellers refill empty bottles with water from the tap, and then “reseal” them. If you buy a bottle of sparkling water and it doesn’t fizz when you open it, then you’ll know that you’re not buying the real thing. Also, never accept ice cubes if you can’t be certain that they’re not from the tap, as they nearly always will be.

Where You’re Eating

One of the main draws of visiting India is trying out all that delicious food! And take it from us, you’ll want to go with an appetite. But remember that sometimes your eyes and stomach can overrule your head when it comes to the foods you should eat and which should be left to one side. The street food might look delicious, but it might not have been made in the most sanitary conditions. Actually, that’s putting it too mildly – there was probably no cleanliness conditions whatsoever. It’s a good rule of thumb to only eat in restaurants that are busy – if everyone else goes there, then it must be for a reason.

Lining the Stomach

It might be beneficial in the run-up to your trip to start taking some gut boosting probiotics. This will help fill your stomach with the good bacteria which helps keep everything running as it should. They can be very effective if they’re taken regularly. Actually, it’s usually a good practice just to take them anyway.

What’s in the Bag?

You can stave off a lot of the problems you could encounter when in India just be packing smart. You’re probably already aware that the biggest complaint people have while there are issues to do with their stomach. If this happens, then you can suffer through the ordeal, or take a Gastrostop capsule, and help to relieve the symptoms. Most people find themselves in the unfortunate situation of having a problem with their stomach only to then think “I should have visited a pharmacy”; by having something in your bag already, then you’ll be ready to tackle the issue head-on should it present itself.

Staying healthy visiting Indian

Opt for Vegetarian

The vast majority of the world’s vegetarians live in India, and that means that it’s probably the best place on the planet to have a meat-free diet. Now, you don’t have to just opt for the meatless option on the menu for ethical or environmental reasons: it’ll better for your health too. That’s because refrigeration isn’t always of the best quality in India, and is, in fact, non-existent all together in some areas, which makes it more likely that the meat is contaminated. But take our word for it – you won’t miss the meat in your dish when you’ve tasted some of the delicious meals that are available.

Wash Your Hands

The most simple tips are usually the most effective, and so it is with washing your hands. You’re going to come in contact with a lot of germs while you’re traveling, but they’re not going to automatically get you sick – but if they have time to linger around, then they will. So wash your hands well, with soap. If you’ve grown up in a Western country, it’s worthwhile researching how to wash your hands properly, as ridiculous as it sounds – a splash of water and a bit of soap on the tips of your fingers won’t cut it, we’re afraid!

Don’t Forget the Sun

It’s easy, when you’re so focused on the diseases that might be hanging all around you, to forget that, well, India is a pretty hot country too. And if you’re not used to spending too much time in the sunshine, then this could pose some big problems for you. When you’re out and about, always wear lotion to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, drink plenty of (bottled) water, and stay in the shade during the hottest parts of the day. It would be silly to spend so much time thinking about upsetting your stomach only to get taken down by the sun!

Rest Well

You’ll have a lot of things that you want to see and do when you’re in India, but it’s important that you get enough rest – for the simple reason that a well-rested person is much better able to withstand threats to their health. It’s highly advisable that you invest in a good pair of earplugs, because as you’ll soon come to understand, the noise in India can be quite intense.

Don’t Lose Your Mind

While it’s important to take precautions to stay healthy when you’re traveling to India, keeping your health in check shouldn’t become an obsession. Some people get sick when they’re there; others don’t. If you’re looking at the country through the lens of “how might this place harm me” then you’ve gone too far. The best approach is to just do what you can, and then put it to the back of your mind. India is a fascinating country that offers a lot to its visitors: go out there and explore all of its delights!

There’s a world of difference between Little India Singapore and Marina Bay Sands area. One is an ethnic suburb with a reputation of being slightly dangerous. The other, needless to say has the most prestigious real estate in Singapore. Both areas are interesting and equality worth going even if you are just staying in Singapore for a couple of days.

With much curiosity, I went to Little Indian on my own to find out what it really looks like. A 48 hours hop on hop off bus tour ticket will take you everywhere in Singapore numerous times. The hop on hop off tour includes walking tours in Singapore Chinatown and Little India Singapore. But I didn’t have time to take either of them. The audio tour offered detailed explanation of the rich history of the area of Little India.

Little India Singapore once had a racecourse, cattle herders and brick kilns. Today it is one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts. Its rich colours, buzzing culture and endless food choices have left a deep impression on me.

The rich Colours!

Little India is nothing short of colours. The moment you reach the neighbourhood of Little Indian, you’ll notice a burst of colours every where.

There are big elephant sculptures decorated in colourful flowers standing cheerfully in the middle of the main road.

And you can’t miss the Little Indian Arcade in bright orange brown colour, even on a grey overcast day.

Don’t you love these colourful, 2 story buildings with traditional folding windows? They are just adorable and pop up every where!

Possible the most colourful building in Singapore, the House of Tan Teng Niah stands out in colourful Little India with its bright rainbow exterior. It is one of the last surviving Chinese villas in a largely Indian enclave. Its former owner Tan Teng Niah was a businessman who owned several sweet-making factories along Serangoon Road along with a rubber smokehouse, and it was said that he built this house for his wife. The house was originally white and green, its rainbow of colours have only added in more recent times. Today the building houses several commercial offices.

Haven’t seek enough colours yet? Check out those flower garlands stalls!

There is however, one white building stood out from the colourful crowd in Little Indian. Housed in a 1920’s building in Little India, Wanderlust is a unique boutique hotel showcasing a diverse range of fun themes.

Buzzing culture

Heritage sites

Little Indian hosts a mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches. There are many heritage sites around for you to explore.

To name a few:

Indian Heritage Center

This shiny modern building inspired by the Indian baoli stands out among the narrow streets and little old shops in Little India. This four-storey building hosts a significant collection of artefacts promoting the diverse Indian diaspora and heritage, including a permanent exhibition of the history of the Indian community in Singapore. It’s educational, never too jam packed with people, and a great spot to chill out and soak in some heritage culture in a humid day.

 Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in the middle of Little Indian is one of the oldest hindu temples in Singapore ( the oldest hindu temple is in Chinatown). It’s dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, fierce embodiment of Shakti and the god Shiva’s wife, Parvati, built by Indian pioneers who came and work here.

Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple

The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is also called the Temple of a Thousand Lights, due to the 15-metre-tall, 300-ton statue surrounded by what seems to be thousands of little lights housed within its walls. This Buddhist temple in Little IndiaSingapore is a mix of Chinese, Thai and Indian styles dating back to 1927. First constructed by Thai monk Venerable Vutthisasara as a simple zinc roof shed, it was later built in to its current form through donations by Aw Boon Har and Aw Boon Par, the entrepreneurial brothers who created the medicinal ointment Tiger Balm and Haw Par Villa.

Church Of The True Light


There are abundant places to shop for different types of goodies in Little Indian Singapore.


Tekka Centre

Tekka Centre houses historically popular, Singapore’s largest indoor wet market, renowned for an incredible array of produce and hard-to-find ingredients.

It is also home to a whole lot of sundry stalls selling everything covering household goods, religious paraphernalia and even tailoring services. The name Tekka comes from a Hokkien name meaning ‘foot of the bamboos’, a reference to the many bamboo plants growing along Rochor Canal. If you want to experience a genuine local shopping experience then head upstairs. The higher floors sell everything from Bollywood music to silk for saris.

Mustafa Centre

Mustafa Centre in Little India is open for 24 hours a day, housing Mustafa department store, which caters mainly to the budget market. The department store consists of two shopping centres: one retailing jewellery and household appliances and functioning as a supermarket, and the other selling a variety of other products such as books, DVDs, watches, electronic goods, footwear, toys and clothing.

Little India Arcade

Little India Arcade is superb for picking up knick-knacks, costume jewellery and souvenirs at super cheap prices.

Market stalls and little shophouses

Needless to say, Little Indian is everything about Indian culture. It’ll be a shopper’s paradise for anything Indian browsing those market stalls and little shophouses.

Endless food choices

Feeling hungry? You won’t be starved in Singapore, especially in this part of town. There are big food centres, loads of restaurants all over the place ready to feed you.

Out of so many hawker markets in Singapore, Tekka Centre is probably one of my favourites. Tekka Centre is a landmark in the neighbourhood, serving up a variety of dishes of fresh food only steps away from the MRT at Little India. This brightly painted warehouse was renovated a couple of years ago and has quickly become a hub for those in search of decent food at honest prices. It stands out from the rest of the hawker centres in Singapore, serving predominantly Indian food, including a great number of Halal dishes.

Inside it is set up like any other hawker centre, with rows of individual stores and tables around them. There are plenty stalls cater for all palettes whether you are after rich curries or a simple dish of duck and rice. So follow the crowds and delicious smells.

It was very hard to decide what to eat when there are so many choices available. After a few minutes’ observation, I found a few stalls with people queuing in front during non rush hours.

Eventually I joined the queue of Ming Fa because among all food stalls, this stall seemed to be the most popular at the time and I always love a big bowl of hot noodle soup. There are different types of noodles available showing in the cute tubs pictured below.

People in front of me in the queue obviously are regulars of this stall. They were whispering that the service of one of the other stalls was always slow and Ming Fa was super fast. So they were right, a waitress took orders from customers in the queue and the guy behind the counter assembled different noodle soups in lightening fast speed according each individual orders.

I enjoyed my laksa so much and will certainly visit again next time I’m in Singapore.

Tekka Centre Opening Hours: Daily 06:30 – 21:00 MRT: Little India Address: 665 Buffalo & Serangoon Roads, Little India, Singapore

Of course, you can’t go to Singapore without having Singapore chilli crabs. There are plenty of places serving this tradition Singapore dish. But many food kiosks don’t service this dish unless it’s dinner time. There’s a restaurant right at the corner of Mackenzie and Selegie Rd in the Neighbourhood of Little India Singapore, serving up fresh seafood and many traditional Singapore, Malaysian dishes. They’ll cook Singapore chilli crab for you with live crabs fresh from the water tans, any time during the day.

Old Change Kee in Singapore is my favourite place to drop by for a quick bite to eat. I just can’t get enough of their curry puffs! If you are a Old Change Kee fan as me, you’ll be delighted that they opened their flagship store – Old Chang Kee Coffee House at the original location of the first stall. It’s opposite Rex Cinema opposite Rex Cinema, where homegrown brand Old Chang Kee started over three decades ago. What began as a tiny stall in the corner of the local coffee shop, is now a bigger and brighter 50-seater space that spans three shophouse units.

It offers tasty food, friendly & fast service and very pleasant atmosphere. You might pay less elsewhere in Little India but it is totally worth it! You will have the old Singapore experience with proper porcelin utensils and lovely ambience, just like the good old days.

Old Chang Kee Coffee House

19/21/23 Mackenzie Road, #01-01, Singapore 228678 – near MacKenzie Road and MRT Little India exit A.

Singapore Chinatown is located right in the centre of Singapore and is very easy to get to. A trip to Chinatown is a must if the country I’m visiting has one.

I’m not interested in browsing Chinatown market stalls or having anything from Singapore Chinatown food street so the main focus on my visit to Chinatown Singapore was on Temples and trying the traditional Hainanese chicken rice from a hawker stall that has the best reviews. Yep, being a crazy hungry Asian, my focus is always somewhat on food.

You might know by now I have a thing for temples – old ruins, perfectly maintained or newish ones. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple turned out to be grander than I’d expected. It was raining by the time I got there so using mobile phone to take photos became a better option.

Here are a few photos from my visit to Singapore chinatown the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Can you see the rain drops?

Singapore Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore Buddha Tooth Relic TempleSingapore Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore Buddha Tooth Relic TempleSpeaking of temples, there’s another beautiful temple that is right on top of the list . Sri Mariamman Temple
is the oldest shrine in Singapore and one of the most prominent places of worship for Tamil Hindus in the country. It was built to honour Goddess Mariamman – the deity of disease and protection.

It’s smaller than the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in size but equality amazing.

I googled traditional Singapore dishes before and found out that the Hainanese chicken rice is actually originated from Singapore. There are so many restaurants in Sydney that offer this dish so I’m super curious to taste it in Singapore. Of course I googled again to see where’s the best Hainanese chicken rice served in Singapore. Tian Tian Hainanese chicken rice came up numerous times. It seemed like an easy choice as it’s in the Maxwell Food Centre, just across the road from the Buddha Tooth Relic temple.

It turned out there was quite a bit construction work going on so it was not that straight forward to go in the Maxwell Food Centre that day. Still it was just a short walk from the temple and Tian Tian hawker stall is right at the entrance. Hainanese Chicken rice from Tian Tian was serviced in 2 sizes, one small, one large. The large size is not that large and small is indeed, quite small in portion.

As you can see, the presentation was extremely plain but it tasted really good. The price of Hainanese chicken rice dish from Tian Tian Hawker stall is noticeably higher than other hawker stalls in Singapore. Maybe because it’s gained good reviews on the internet over the years hence the premium being charged. Is it worth travelling all the way to have this dish from Tian Tian? In my opinion, it’s not worth it. The surrounding has a rather cheap feeling, there’s no tissue provided with the dish. Truth be told, we could easily get much bigger portion, equality tasty Hainanese chicken rice served with proper cutlery in Sydney for the same price, if not cheaper.  Sorry Tian Tian, maybe I’m just spoilt, haha.

My 3 days short stay in Singapore before heading off to London and Middle East was quiet and peaceful. I got the opportunity to wander around and pig out whenever and whatever I wanted without any distraction.

Singapore is a small country in size though their shopping and food malls are huge. I obviously ate too much but being a crazy hungry Asian, over eating is probably what I do best.

I also tried to take a couple of selfies using my new selfie stick before quickly loosing patience. Nevertheless, I did manage to take lots of photos of places so here’s a snippet of it.


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Trying to take a selfie with a stick… Yes! finally got my head in the frame #suckatselfie #awkward

A post shared by Yvonne_Z (@yvonne_thewanderer) on

Singapore often tops the list of countries expats enjoy. It’s no accident either. The city-state has historically made efforts to attract talent from all over the world, and they aren’t shy about doing things very differently from the rest of the world to make it happen.

Singapore continues to attract expats despite facing many disadvantages compared to other countries that also rate highly among expats, such as New Zealand, Canada, and Germany. For one thing, it’s quite expensive to live in Singapore, and its cost of living is consistently among the highest in the world. For another, it’s also one of the most densely populated cities on the planet. It’s also by some measures, an authoritarian state, which often makes it the target of criticism in Western countries.

However, none of those details seem to dissuade most expats from choosing Singapore. Here are several reasons why the micronation continues to be a virtual giant when it comes to attracting the world’s top talents. For more ideas of what to expect in Singapore, check out Living in Singapore: A Complete Singapore Expat Guide.

1.) Low crime rates.

Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. That’s not to say it’s crime-free — it does have its share of pickpockets and occasional corruption scandals. But chances are your own hometown probably plays host to more crime in a month than Singapore does in a year. The famously draconian justice system is one of the pillars of Singaporean society, and most citizens and residents won’t trade it for anything else.

2.) A world-leading educational system

Singapore’s educational system has proven attractive to many expats who want their children to have access to an excellent, well-funded education. The country frequently tops lists of countries with excellent educational systems and it is also a regional mecca for advanced education in technical fields.

3.) An advanced healthcare system

Singapore has one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world, and certainly in the region. Technological investment in this area is among the highest in the world, with cutting-edge equipment and techniques readily available. It’s also incredibly inclusive. All Singaporean residents and those classified as Permanent Residents have access to state health insurance through MediShield Life, which covers basic treatments at public hospitals and other designated centers. You can even pay a little more so you have wider access to different hospitals and procedures.

However, despite the availability of state-backed insurance, medical care is still quite expensive in Singapore. Patients now have to pay at least part of their bill and expats without Permanent Resident status can expect to pay hefty fees out of pocket. In a country where even a 5-minute procedure can set you back over $100, it makes sense to get international health insurance from a specialized insurer such as Now Health International before making the move to Singapore.

4.) High salaries

Even with the high costs of healthcare are comparatively when compared to the high salaries provided within the city-state. This is the chief reason so many expats find their way in Singapore as it has some of the world’s highest wages even while having a reasonable (though not cheap) cost of living. This makes it easy to save up to start a new business back home, travel, and generally have a better quality of life.

To put things into perspective, annual surveys by different companies pegged the average expat salary worldwide at an already substantial $97,000. In Singapore, expats earn an average of $139,000, which is around 43% more than the world average. The city-state, while expensive to live in, isn’t typically as expensive as other world cities to live in, means earners still get to save more of what they get.

The other side benefit to these high salaries is that expats surveyed often note that getting a salary boost in Singapore also greatly boosts their ability to get high salaries even if they move out of Singapore. This makes the country highly attractive to young talents with fresh new ideas as well.

5.) A vibrant culture and arts scene

The country is a hotspot of international world culture. It has this place for the very same reason it attracts so many expats in other industries. The educational level, salaries, and the mix of different cultures of the different people that live in Singapore contribute to a very fertile ground for culture and the arts. People in Singapore generally have the means to spend money on the arts and good artists are more likely to be able to support themselves in the country, in contrast to the steeper uphill battle artists may face in other countries.

6.) Overall better quality of living

If you’re the type of person who likes a bit of poshness in their lives, Singapore gives you access to some of the best food, fashion, and tech items in the world, and often for a much lower price than you expect. Apartments might be expensive, comparatively, but they tend to also be quite luxurious than the norm in the rest of the world. Singapore also has much lower pollution levels than most other dense urban centers thanks to the government strictly regulating and discouraging the use of cars while encouraging the adoption of green technologies.

7.) What might be the best food in the world

Most expats agree that eating out in Singapore is an insanely good experience. You can get a Michelin star meal in Singapore for less than $4 US equivalent. Just let that sink in. And there are tons of comparable, if not arguably better, options for food at that price range or lower. Food is perhaps the only thing that has really bound the different ethnicities that have populated Singapore in its relatively short history, and it still continues to bind and strengthen the Singaporean identity today.

With the influx of high-earning, highly-educated expats, international cuisine is also quite well-represented in the city-state. New concoctions that combine the best of cuisines from all over the world are also being made in kitchens throughout this small country every single day, making it a vibrant melting pot of culinary expression no other country can quite compete with.



Before you pack your bags and your gear, it’s beneficial to know when the best time is to go skiing in Japan. Many guides claim that skiing season in Japan begins in the middle of December and should last until early April, but the truth is, Japanese ski season varies and is dependent on the snow conditions at each ski resort. To make the best of your visit and to experience the best powder Japanese ski resorts have to offer, take a look at our handy guide below:

  1. From November Onwards

Popular resorts such as Niseko and Kiroro generally open their doors early to the public if the conditions are right and there has been a satisfactory amount of snowfall. Niseko is known as Japan’s number one skiing destination: it is composed of four interlinked ski resorts and enjoys 15m+ of snowfall annually. Kiroro, on the other hand, averages 17m+ snowfall every year and is close to Niseko. It may be a smaller resort by comparison, but many of the runs here are suited for beginners and first-time skiers. There should be enough snow on the slopes for beginners as well as intermediate skiers starting in November at these resorts. Best of all, you can enjoy your holiday without having to compete too much with the crowds that generally flock to this area during the Christmas season.

  1. The Holiday Season (Christmas and New Year)

While most resorts are open and there are a lot of holiday-themed activities to enjoy, going skiing in Japan during this time can feel a little hectic. The Christmas holiday season is the most popular time for Japanese people to hit the slopes, which means that you’ll have to fight crowds for space if you manage to book accommodations, and they’re almost always sold at a premium during peak season. It’s also possible that some off-piste areas have not yet been adequately covered, as December is still considered early in the season. It’s best to wait out the holidays if your heart is truly set on a Japanese ski getaway.

  1. Post New-Years’ and Onwards

January is arguably the best time to visit, if your goal is to experience cloud-like powder, smooth runs, and cold temperatures. The snow is just thick enough that flying over them is a literal breeze. However, keep in mind that many of the big, high-profile, foreigner-friendly resorts will be incredibly busy during this time. Early January is bound to be a crowded time for popular resorts such as Niseko, Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen and Rusutsu. The fire festival at Nozawa Onsen is held every year on the 15th of January and can draw a sizable amount of people, as well. During this time, accommodations at the resort sell out fast and expensive. Still, you may be able to enjoy skiing in Japan in January if you book at places that aren’t as popular with the tourists, though keep in mind that not all places have English speakers readily available and you may need to exert more effort into being understood or having your needs met.

  1. From Late January To Mid-February

You’ll want to consult a lunar calendar if you plan on hitting the Japanese slopes during this period. The Chinese Lunar New Year usually falls within this time, which means that you’ll be competing with an influx of tourists from China and Singapore if you book around their holiday. Prices will be high and accommodations hard to find. On the other hand, Japan is great to visit in February, provided that it’s past the Chinese New Year holiday. It’s generally not very busy and snow conditions are ideal.

Outsiders tend to view Cambodia through a negative lens: The Khmer Rouge, poverty, and decades of neglect. But, in reality, this is overshadowed by Angkor Wat, the warm and hospitable Cambodians, and the VIP treatment towards tourists. Many go to Cambodia for a holiday just to see ancient temples and unfortunately neglect Phnom Penh.

royal-palace-Phnom Penh

Why Visit Phnom Penh:

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, gets fewer tourists compared to Siem Reap for the famous Angkor Wat. The city has faced a turbulent recent past with the Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s. But Phnom Penh has recovered, which continues to impress foreign visitors.

There are two types of attractions. Either you enjoy the Buddhist culture and marvel at the pagodas and hit the museums. Or you delve into the darker side of the capital’s history. A combination of both leaves visitors with a sense of awe and humbleness after witnessing the clash of the two different sides.

The Best Tourist Attractions:

The Royal Palace, the Kings official residence, is usually the first calling point. This large complex designed in the traditional Khmer architectural style dominates central Phnom Penh. Visitors can enter a number of rooms and see the Silver Pagoda. The National Museum of Cambodia is nearby with thousands of ancient relics from the rich history of the nation. Local handicrafts, souvenirs, and insect snacks are available in the art deco Central Market.

Strolling along Sisowath Quay, the street next to the Mekong River, is a highlight for tourists during the day and night. Restaurants and bars line the streets offering an eclectic mixture of local and international cuisines. Boats take tourists on a river cruise or to the islands of Koh Dach or Koh Oknha Tei. Locals and vendors come out as the evening air cools.

Heading a little further afield for a more spiritual experience, head to Wat Phnom. The 14th century pagoda is the tallest in the city reaching a height of 27 metres perched on the hill and surrounded by parks. Monkeys roam the area to the delight and annoyance of visitors.

The Dark Side of Phnom Penh:

On the 17th April 1975, Khmer Rouge troops entered Phnom Penh and forced the 2.5 million residents out. The goal was to create a self-sustainable economy based on agriculture. Everyone had to leave or be shot. Families were split up in the chaos and confusion.

Toul Sleng, a former high school, became the notorious S21 (Security Prison 21). Residents suspected of being dissidents and those with an education were imprisoned, tortured and murdered. Survivors were forced to march 15 kilometres to Choeung Ek or what is now known as the Killing Fields. Very few people survived and more than 9000 bodies were discovered in the mass graves.

Tourists have the chance to visit both in Phnom Penh either independently or as part of a tour group. This is a very sombering and upsetting experience but something necessary to understand this city and Cambodia in general.

udong- phnom penh

A Holiday in Cambodia:

Phnom Penh combines spirituality, local traditions, and the recent horrors of the Khmer Rouge making it a worthwhile stop on your Cambodian itinerary.

The Maldives is a stunning archipelago scattered across the crystal clear blue Indian Ocean waters. Lagoons are full of marine life with house reefs just moments from your shore line make the Maldives a luxurious holiday of your dreams but is also ideal for diving and snorkelling.

Maldives-4A little more about the Maldives

The Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean composed of 26 ring-shaped atolls, made up of more than one thousand coral islands. Known for its beautiful beaches, extensive reefs and blue lagoons, the Maldives screams of luxury and tranquility all in one. Its capital, Malé, is busy with fish mongers, shops and restaurants along the main road, Majeedhee Magu, and 17th-century Hukuru Miskiy, which is made from carved white coral. You really need to go on a luxurious Maldives holiday to see what all of the fuss is about! Maldives-7

Some of the finer things to experience in the Maldives

  • Relaxation: Your mind, body and spirit will benefit from the peace and tranquility of a Maldives holiday, especially when enhanced by a rejuvenating relaxation session at a spa. There are approximately 110 high end spas at the island resorts plus some spas in Male’, in addition to some informal spas catering to those staying on inhabited islands.
  • Meditation: Yogic meditation is possible without being at a resort’s spa and is ideal to enhance your mood, during your stay on a deserted island or while enjoying a quiet beach of one of the inhabited islands. Meditation helps to get rid of the subtle mental barriers a person experiences and presents a better self-awareness and better thought processes. It definitely adds to the spiritual benefits of a Maldivian holiday.Maldives
  • Perfect privacy: If you are going with your spouse, a romantic Maldivian holiday is a chance for you both to be together that is special and unique from your usual home life. Resort accommodation is not just a room, it really is a private love nest designed for romance. Villas are hidden away in lush vegetation or craftily isolated over a lagoon. Interior décor is soft, impeccably furnished, with a large comfortable bed, finished off with a luxurious bathroom. Gaze from your veranda to a panoramic lagoon view, of coconut palm trees waving at your from the shoreline.Maldives-5

The local Maldivian culture

Greatly influenced by the exploring Indians, Arabs, Sri Lankans, and North Africans, the customs and traditions of the Maldivian culture are greatly reminiscent these visiting nations. These people would have visited the Maldives while traversing through the trade routes of the central Indian Ocean. As a result, the Maldivian culture is vibrant and rich. Although funnily enough, the Maldivians have built and preserved their own unique cultural identity. Accordingly, the Maldivians speak using their own language; In 1153 AD Maldivians converted to the Islamic religion, which has transformed and introduced new cultural fundamentalsto the Maldivian life.

For a romantic, tranquil stay on the luxurious blue waters of the Maldives, start looking for your Maldives holiday options today.


Are you hoping to still squeeze in a summer getaway this year? There are lots of awesome destinations you could choose from, but have you ever considered going to Bali? This Indonesian island is a tourist favorite, but it’s still possible to escape all the overwhelming tour groups and crowds. You just need to know some insider secrets! Hopefully, all of the following tips and secrets can help you make the most of your time in Bali.

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Head North Or West

Ok, so there are loads of crowds all over Bali. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet and is no longer an untouched paradise. Sure, it still feels like being in paradise, but you will have to share it with some other travelers! But if you want to stay away from the crowds as much as possible, you will need to head to the north or west of the island. These areas aren’t so touristy, and you will find that they are a lot more chilled out.

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Bali’s Best Beaches

Do you want to spend your vacation showing off your new full piece swimwear by the ocean? If so, you will need to know which of Bali’s beaches are the best! If you want some high-end luxury, head to the five-star Nusa Dua. This stretch of coast is a reclaimed mango swamp and is famous for its white sand and pretty reef. Kuta Beach is another favorite with visitors. It stretches for 8 kilometers and is popular with people watching sunrises and sunsets.

Don’t Drink The Water

Once upon a time, you had to be extremely careful about your diet while in Bali. Ideally, you would have to stay away from anything that had been freshly prepared with water. So, things like salad, fresh fruit and some meat used to be avoided. Thankfully, the island has greatly improved its hygiene standards, and now you just have to be mindful not to drink tap water.

bali culture

Pack Your Posh Clothes

You might think that you can just pack beachwear seeing as Bali is best-known for its beaches. But, you better save some space for some fancy clothes in your case! There are many high-end bars and restaurants on the island. If you aren’t dressed correctly, you just won’t be let in. So, make sure you have something you can dress up in, and then you won’t risk being turned away!

Remember To Respect Religion

The locals of Bali are very religious, and you should respect all of their customs and traditions. You might also want to check the Bali calendar. If your trip falls on a religious holiday, you might find that there are some closed streets to make way for the festivities. This could ruin your travel plans if you want to explore the island! So, remember to carefully time your trip and dress modestly while you are on the island.

Bali is such a great vacation destination; you certainly won’t forget your time there. Just remember these tips to ensure you have fun!



For so many people, Japan feels like a world away in absolutely every sense of the word, and at the heart of it all is Kyoto. There is just so much astounding culture that runs through the veins of this old – centuries old – city. It is just one of the most breathtaking places on earth thanks to the hidden temples, ancient palaces, religious monuments, eclectic foods and generous hospitality. In short, the culture here tends to be a gorgeous assault on the senses, never once forgetting all the amazing winter activities that can be enjoyed here too. After all, shrine after shrine isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.


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Go To Gion

The first morning of your first day needs to look like this: get up early, watch the gorgeous sunrise paint the sky red, enjoy a mug of matcha tea to enhance your mood at the same time as calming you, and then head to Gion before too many tourists ascend on the place. It is just stunning. The history is incredible too because this is where all geishas were traditionally trained, something you can experience yourself if you fancy. Seriously. You can get the geisha makeover and walk among the Edo period streets to see exactly how they would have lived.

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Buddhist Temple Of Kiyomizu-Dera

While you’re in Gion you need to climb the hill and see what is considered to be the most famous Buddhist temple in all of Japan, a temple that is seated on a mountain and almost blends in with the natural beauty surrounding it. What makes it so awe-inspiring, though, is the Sakura blossoms that shroud it, pink in spring and the color of fire in the autumn. That is one of the most amazing things about Japan, it’s distinct and vibrant seasons, all four of them, and there is no better place to experience them than from this temple, overlooking the spectacular views of the valley below.

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Local Taste Of The Nishiki Market

If there is one thing that Japan has it is a plethora of fine dining options that could cripple your entire spending budget in one foul swoop. That’s where the Nishiki Market becomes an absolute godsend because you can get the taste of Kyoto on a shoestring budget and with over one-hundred stalls to take your pick from. What’s even more amazing is the lack of seats. This may sound like a bad thing but with only a few tables outside each stall, you’re almost forced to experience new things, whether it be takoyaki or ramen. The authentic taste of Japan is there to be explored.

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The Castle At The Centre Of It All

Bang in the center of Kyoto is the Nijo Castle which has stood there since 1626 and is a reminder of Japan’s last feudal military government. What’s most interesting, though, is that this castle isn’t how it would have looked back then, which is because it has seen huge changes over the years due to the rise and fall of governments. Expansions and ruins have all taken its toll on this gorgeous building. However, the interior is still a preserved relic of how it would have been when first built, so if that is what you were hoping to hear then, voila, your ears can smile.


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The Imperial Palace

For over 1100 years, this palace has remained in the Japanese Imperial family. It is one of those places where the history is almost tangible, and that has been somewhat cherished by the way in which they limit the public’s access. You see, only when the Imperial park is open can you access the walled part of the palace, from which you must then join a guided tour of the palace offered by the one and only Imperial Household Agency. These experts enthuse everything there is to know about this place, from the rich as rich culture to the staggering history, all of which makes up the magnificence of this former royal residence. If you miss a tour, don’t despair too much, because there is plenty of breathtaking to be enjoyed within the park grounds, including the ponds, lakes, shrines, and gardens.

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The Tower Of Contrast

That is not by any means its official title. No. It is called the Kyoto Tower, but what it does offer is a stark contrast from the historical and cultural atmosphere that Kyoto is known for. Standing on top of a nine-story building, this all glass and steel structure stands proudly over the city, stretching up and over 130 meters high. That’s what makes the view from the observation tower so mesmeric. You can see it all, from the Kyoto railway station below you to the downtown district, and the mountains in both the east and west; the Higashiyama and Arashiyama. This is Kyoto from the sky.

Headless buddhas, crumbling bricks & stucco – ruined yet still stunningly beautiful.Can you imagine its former glory? 

Ayutthaya thailand-12One of the highlights of my Thailand trip this year was visiting Ayutthaya, a World Heritage City and historic capital of Thailand.

On the way from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, we visited the the Summer Palace of King Rama V with its mixture of Thai, Chinese and Gothic architecture.

By the time we got to Ayutthaya historic park around 10:30am, it was burning hot already. But the heat couldn’t stop me from running around, staring at everything in awe. This once glittering, vibrant capital city was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. Can you imagine its formal glory?

Wat Mahatad, the royal monastery, served as the residence of supreme monk:


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Ayutthaya thailand

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The famous sandstone Buddha head entwined in tree roots:Ayutthaya thailand-4 Ayutthaya thailand-3

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Wat Phrasrisanphet, the largest and most important temple in Ayuthaya, which was used as a residential palace. After Thai Capital was moved to Bangkok, The Grand Place in Bangkok was built, copying the exact style of this palace in Ayuthaya.

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Wihan Phramongkhon Bophit, the large bronze Buddha image was originally enshrined in the ipen are outside the grand palace and later covered by a building called Wihan:

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Cruise back to Bangkok, passing Temple of Dawn which was under construction at the time:

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Back to the hotel, sipping cocktail on the roof top bar while watching sunset:

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Having seen so many Buddhas in Thailand, it wasn’t exactly my plan to see the Big Buddha in Pattya but we kind of bumped into it one day.  It was a hot and steamy morning and I went for a hike to look for the Pattaya tourist centre in hope of getting some local knowledge.  It turned out, that tourist centre was almost impossible to find; as I finally got there, it was obvious that I was the only visitor there and the two girls working there hardly spoke any English.

The good news was, I found some maps and according to one of the maps, we were directly under the top of the hills where the Big Buddha located. It was quite a hike all the way up and by the time we finally reached the top, I was soaking wet. On the upside, I also achieved the most steps within one day. Bonus!

pattaya big buddha You can’t miss the Walking Street if you are in Pattaya. If you want a Turkish ice cream? Try your luck with this man. It was so funning watching all his tricks in delivering the ice cream to his customers. He is so good and I think you can even find him on Youtube.
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Another tourist attraction on my list to visit in Pattaya apart from the Sanctuary of Truth is Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. It looked amazing in the pictures and had really good reviews on Trip Adviser. When we finally got there, I realised it was such an artificial, tacky tourist trap. There were fake plastic animals everywhere which really destroyed the beautiful of any botanical garden.

Nevertheless, I tried my best to beautify this garden in photos too – as you do.

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Can you spot me in this picture?

Is it fair to say that it’s a shame the most famous/beautiful Thai house that is not a palace in Thailand was built by an American? I absolutely adored The Jim Thompson’s house in Bangkok and was so inspired by its amazing design and collection. All visitors inside the house were organised  by tour groups and it was not allowed to take photos inside the house so the tour guide had everyone’s full attention. Outside the house, there are beautiful details gardens, a large shop selling Jim Thompson branded merchandise and a wonderful Thai restaurant where you can enjoy delicious, authentic Thai food without worrying about getting sick from food poisoning afterwards.


Jim Thompson house Bangkok

Silk worms @ Jim Thompson House

I picked Hotel Mercure Bangkok to stay in Thailand due to it’s super convenient location and excellent review. It didn’t disappoint a bit in every aspect, as a matte of fact, this hotel really exceeded my expectation. They even send me some cake and afternoon desert to my room on my birthday.

Birthday Cake Bangkok

Birthday cake & chocolate, courtesy from my hotel in Bangkok.

Erawan Shrine is a well respected, busy place of worship in Thailand. It is surrounded by modern, high end shopping malls in Siam area and directly opposite to Louis Vuitton store.

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Erawan Shirne Bangkok

My favourite place to eat in Bangkok is this Japanese chain restaurant that offers hot port and sushi buffet. The food there is deliciously fresh and clean. Later I was ecstatic to find this chain restaurant in Pattaya too! Please excuse me for siting a Japanese restaurant as my favourite restaurant in Thailand, but I love hot pot and that Japanese place was literary just cross the road from my hotel in Bangkok!

Japanese hotpot, sushi buffet

My favorite restaurant in Thailand, a Japanese hot pot and sushi buffet place

While those sleepless night bars and clubs in Thailand are loved by many visitors to Thailand, being someone who can’t handle more than one drink, I could easily describe the night life of Bangkok as being crazy. The whole city really comes to life at night. One can possibly be overwhelmed by the stand still traffic packed with cars, motor bikes, tuk tuk, hot hair and the ever increasing numbers of night market stalls. Still, it is good to just go out at night and see it yourself. A good place to go and experience Bangkok’s night life at its best is Soi Cowboy. This red light district attracts tons of tourists and expatriates with colourful gogo bars that could stay open until 2:30am. I wasn’t really interested in stepping inside any of those bars but aren’t those dazzling neon lights and party scene truely phenomenal?


Temple of Reclining Buddha:

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When it comes to travel planning, I’m never lazy. Planning for travel is one of the few things that’ll give me this kind of adrenaline rush. I’ll search and read without blinking; making notes and planning itinerary tirelessly while thinking, I’d blog about my travel experience right after the trip. But very often after the trip, procrastination kicks in and prevails. Truth is I’d have great pleasure planning trips and exploring different places but hardly ever note down my travel experiences. Do you ever experience the same – there are things you always want to do but never really do?

So back to taking notes after the trip, I visited these two temples: Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) on the same day after the Grand Place Thailand.

The complex of Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha) contains quite a few sizeable sections but the most populated place is the temple where the gigantic chilling Buddha lies in. I think many people just come here to see the famous reclining buddha then leave. It is actually very nice to take time to look around other less crowded areas there and have a foot massage afterwards. If you like old and beautiful things, you’ll enjoy the striking architecture, fascinating sculptures and amazingly painted golden doors.

The tradition Thai massage school located inside the complex of Wat Pho is highly reputable with both full body and foot massages on offer. It’s really a nice way to have a break and sip on some ice tea while having a food massage.

Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) are very close on the map. It’s a short boat trip from one another but it took us a while to find the Pier. Initially we tried to hail a taxi from Wat Phot since taxi fairs are so cheap in Bangkok but the taxi driver refused to take us. “It’s the easiest to take a boat.” He shook his head and left. After walking in the heat and looking for 10 minute, we found the Pier for boarding across the river to Wat Arun. The taxi driver was right, it only took 5 minutes to cross the river. And you know how much was the ferry fare? 5 Bart. That must be the cheapest transportation ever! The smallest change on me was 50 Bart at that time. After paying for ferry, I was left many coins and small notes as souvenirs.

Wat Arun, however is much smaller than I’ve had expected. Having seen so many amazing photos of it in sunset, the reality didn’t quite match those images. It didn’t help that Wat Arun was under construction at the time and it wasn’t sunset either but I wasn’t really disappointed or dislike the place. It’s still an amazing temple and a wonderful place to wander around. Those tall stairs though, are not easy to climb but the view on top makes it all up.




Sanctuary of Truth, hands down is the most majestic structure that Pattaya has to offer.  Pattaya indeed surprised me, not totally in a pleasant way mainly due to my own ignorance. Why on earth didn’t I know earlier that Pattaya’s biggest attraction is actually the vast number of prostitutes and lady boys on the streets? Seeing tours to Pattaya are considerably popular and its beach position in close proximity to Bangkok, I planned a self exploring trip to Pattaya in Thailand. On top of my list of places to visit, is the Sanctuary of Truth, which is truly a stunning site and fairly easy to get to from Pattaya city centre.

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12 amazing facts about Sanctuary of Truth:

1.It might give you the impression on the picture that it’s an ancient temple but in fact it’s quite new and still a work-in-progress. Building work started to begin in 1981 and isn’t expected to be finished until 2025. You can see many unfinished pieces and plain wood poles waiting to be turned into something magical.

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2. The massive structure is entirely made of wood without any metal nails. Looking at this architectural masterpiece, I can’t imagine how it could be done but somehow Thai people made it all possible. Those amazing, elaborate carving is totally created by hand using just hammer and chisel.

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3. There’s a dress code inside Sanctuary of Truth so shorts, short skirts, tank tops and dresses above the knees are not allowed inside. Clothes to cover you up are available for rent ( 200 Bart deposit, refundable upon return). Just as you thought it’d be a place where you need to dress appropriately and show respect, they’ll hand you a helmet to wear because it’s still under construction.

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Behind those gigantic toes, it was me wearing a helmet and a backpack.

4. Due to the deterioration from hot weather, sea air and termites, the woodwork is always under repairs and protective treatment. As a result, the wood colour tones of Sanctuary of Truth range from light honey to dark brown.

5. Most of the Buddha sculptures in Sanctuary of truth are extremely sexy, possessing enviably proportioned bodies and elegant poses.

6. The highest point of Sanctuary of Truth is about 105 Meters.

7. Open doorways and total reliance on natural light. There are open doors all around the building to allow in natural light. It could be quite dark around the centre as there’s not a single artificial light inside but it’s nice and bright near the doorways in broad daylight.

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8. The design and carvings are rich in symbolism with a mix of Thai, Khmer, Indian and Chinese influences spread throughout the four wings of the building. Its Buddhism core overlays Hinduism, Taoism and Confucianism equally, a sign of perfect harmony and peace.

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9. Sanctuary of Truth has revived and preserved ancient building techniques and architecture in danger of extinction. In this case, the building continues to support hand-hewn woodworking skills.

10. It’s about 3km from Pattaya town center. Next to the Sanctuary of Truth, stretches fine white sand and warm, turquoise water. You won’t see any swimmers or sun bakers on the beach though; expect to see the occasional speedy boats using it as a parking dock.

11. Building such an ornate temple-like complex was the idea of Lek Viriyaphant, a Thai millionaire whose other heritage projects including Ancient City near Bangkok.

12. It’s hard to define what exactly Sanctuary of Truth is. My first thought was that it’s a temple because of the Buddhas and the required dress code but then I was quite taken aback by the helmet.  Isn’t wearing a hat (or helmet in this case) disrespectful to Buddhas? There are also shows of Thai fighters and dancing on a covered stage at 11:30am and 3:30pm, which are nothing spectacular but rather disturbing. Some people say it’s a combination of a temple, a museum and a workshop. Whatever you define it, it’s the most significant attraction for tourists to Pattaya and a magnificent modern work of art to see with your own eyes.

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Opening hours: 8am – 6pm.

Guided tours are offered in every 30 minutes ( the tour is included in the cost of the ticket price, you are not obliged to join the tour).

Ticket price: 500 Bart