Cebu, Boracay! Im In Philippines

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Warm days that surrounded by turquoise sea water, powdery white sand and your soul just exposed to beautiful timeless sunsets.

A blast of today's hits playing on the nights of Boracay. Beach bars scattered along the paths of Station 1 to Station 3. Swaying away to the rhythm we walked happily, lungs filled with the smell of seafood, from one bar to another beach club. Anywhere feels like heaven on earth (except that its overcrowded with tourists)

entertainment in boracay for tourists

The intention for this Boracay trip was simple; To forget and ENJOY. There are no rules for this trip, no must-visit landmarks, no cultural engagement. Just for the first time, pure entertainment. 

how long will you take to reach boracay

The Journey from Cebu to Boracay was an exciting one. The flight was filled with beach-goers all ready for the crazy nights to come, the long relaxation under the summer sun. We felt young in the flight. What made the journey long (and exhausting) was that after you land at the Kalibo airport, you have to get into a shuttle bus that gets you to some arrival hall. After that, you have to pay to get a ride to the jetty which is about half an hour. The jetty terminal is flooded with people all waiting, rushing, LOST. Then you have to go on a 15mins boat ride to Boracay Island.  Once you arrive in Boracay, you have to get into another taxi to drive up to your hotel. A 3 hours nightmare.

Sadly but predictably, the massages in Boracay sucks, also, its pricier than what you can get in Bali. The masseuses are noisy! Always chatting with each other no matter which massage place you go to! We had 3 massages in 3 different places and goodness, they can't shut up.

I am a foodie and always open to trying something new. Though Philippines Cuisine is catching on, it's still not as popular as other Asian cuisines. I personally don't like it at all. I was literally hungry the entire time and was ready to settle for a cup noodle from 7-11. Most of their dishes are basic and tasteless (unless you love sourness or soy sauce). 

Boracay is probably the worst tourist trap in the Philippines. It is very pricey here, international cuisines especially. Most of the beach clubs require an entrance fee. Also, they don't really go big on haggling prices unlike most developing asian countries.

but everything else fades to nothing once you get to see the

boracay has amazing sunsets
boracay has the most beautiful sunrise

I have been to countless beaches, from Bali to the famous Cinque Terre, to Phuket, to Barcelona, Italy,  and nothing compares to Boracay! The sunsets here are otherworldly and the sunrise is worth waking up to. I feel theres something magical about sunsets and sunrises, it felt like by doing so, you're cleansing something within you.

The beaches are PERFECTION. I am surprised by the cleanliness of the beach. Despite the 24hours beach parties, they somehow managed to maintain such cleanliness. It also helps that no smoking is allowed except for designated areas.

We came here to party and that's what we did every night! it wasn't disappointing at all, we all had a blast.


2 nights in Cebu was just nice for us. The city of Cebu is very busy as compared to Boracay.
I felt like Im in 2 different countries when in Cebu City and in Boracay. In Cebu, I see alot of beggars and the air felt polluted. The traffic was insane so we prefer to get a bike taxi to get us around.

The highlight of this Cebu trip has definitely got to be swimming with the Whale Sharks.
I have mixed feelings about this experience. 
swimming with the whale sharks in cebu

wow. A close encounter and such a humbling experience swimming with these beautiful, majestic, gentle creatures. You will be put in a group of about 10 into a small boat where they'll bring you towards the centre of the enclosed area where they lulled the whale sharks. It didn't sink in until much later how big these creatures were. I remember seeing bubbles and movement in the water, and then mouths and then more movement. My guide announced loudly " ok get in now!"

After that amazing experience, I actually felt guilty. I realise how many tourists were actually swimming with the whale sharks at once. And how the fisherman lulled the whale sharks with food. I know for a fact its definitely disrupting the natural food cycle of the whale sharks. Later, I read the whale sharks are now spending up to 6 hours feeding in Oslob, losing out on some of the key nutrients that they gain from foraging naturally. That being said, I wont support such activity and will not be doing it again. I hope to be a responsible traveller and to educate you if you're unaware of such practises. 

Pictures of spectacular waterfalls in Cebu has flooded Instagram and has fuelled the wanderlust for me to come and see for myself. It didn't disappoint me at all! We managed to visit the Tumalog Falls which was spectacular and thankfully not crowded, It is much less popular than the Kawasan Falls but our guide said most locals prefer the Tumalog Falls because its beautiful

Let the pictures do the talking because the fusion food found in these famous cafes are delicious!

1. 10,000 roses cafe! Beautiful & definitely Instagram worthy!

2. The seafood place next to 10,000 roses. Dine in by the little hut overlooking the sea. Their fresh mango shake is to die for. I literally finished it in 5 minues.

3. A Korean fusion cafe at Cebu City

korean cafe at cebu city 

I enjoyed this vacation and glad that I've ticked the Philippines off my list. Im still searching for the next destination that can blew my mind away with their sunset like how Boracay did!

Weekend Trek in Miri, Sarawak

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I feel it strange how some people claim to be bored living in Singapore. The fact that we have travel freedom and situated in a place where we can travel literally anywhere easily, there's no way you can be bored!
Ps : Singapore is the highest-ranking Asian nations on the 2016 Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, as our passport  can travel to 173 countries without needing visa

Enough ranting! Ok, so as someone who thrives for adventures; an ideal weekend break would involve experiences that empower me to reconnect with myself, heart-centered, mind, body. Buckets of sunsets, a sea of good vibes and random dancing.

=Gaya and I both enjoy trekking/hiking in nature. One random day, we booked a weekend trip to Miri, Sawarak. The purpose was to trek Lambir Hills & Stargaze. 

Tickets: Return flight to Miri cost us just SGD$100 so it wasn't burning a hole in our pocket at all! (We spend $100 easily on Friday Nights. )
Hotel: Pullman Miri Waterfront, 5* Hotel
Transport: Use Uber at all times as it is cheaper than taxi
Allowance: We changed only SGD$150

My Shockingly Wonderful Experience                    

Miri exceeded my expectations the moment we arrived at the beautifully located hotel. The check in at Pullman's Waterfront is smooth and fast. Sherlyn who assisted us surprised us with an upgrade to their suite! 
such a wonderful stay in pullman miri sarawak
The sleek designed suite with the calming colours of turquoise & sandy brown. 

It even has a dining area with a mini kitchen. The best part was, they even include yoga mats & weights for you fit people! 

The first day in Miri was all about relaxing and food! 
We tried the famous place for lunch called Ming Cafe but it was disappointing. 
 what to stay in miri sawarak, pullman miri waterfront

It was hot in Miri so lounging at the Infinity Pool was a good idea. We brought Tyler the Flamingo along, some drinks, good music and a spectacular view of Miri. 

Pullman Miri is also known for their food buffet and so we had their buffet dinner that night. It should be good because I had 3 rounds of full course. Damn. Seafood, Asian and Western Cuisine for a price of about SGD$30. 

We met with a couple of cool couch surfers in Miri, where they took us to Tanjong Beach to stargaze. We shared travel stories under the blanket of stars with the waves crashing. it was beautiful 

trekking in lambir hills miri sarawak


Before you trek the Lambir Hills, be sure you have your insect repellant stickers on. And a word of advice, don't forget to bring a swimsuit. 
Ticket Price: If you are a tourist for a weird reason, you have to pay more. So I claimed to be local and got a local price. 
The entrance of the trekking grounds
We got there around 745am which was pretty late to trek but nonetheless, the weather was good as it wasn't too hot at all. 

which trail to take at lambir hills miri
There are different tracks for you to chose from. They are coloured trails ranging from white, yellow, red etc. White being the easiest. But our goal was to see the waterfalls. So we followed what it seems to be a Waterfall Route which is a mixed of the yellow and white trail. Most of Lambir’s trails are interconnected. PS: The Latak Waterfall Trail is the shortest, easiest and most popular

Ours was about 10km long and we took about 4 hours. Please note that the trek consists mainly of uphills so it requires a lot of physical strength! and because it's almost untouched, it can be challenging when it comes to the downhill. Thankfully, at the end of every challenging climb is a 
beautiful waterfall waiting.
The first waterfall. It was a pretty easy effortless climb for this one
Latak Waterfall, the biggest one & easiest. Soon after this picture was taken, there were other trekkers who came  & swam 

At the 3rd one,  cooling down at Nibung Waterfall. Tough uphill but as the trees have all fallen down, it wasnt a nice sight. 

at my favourite waterfall! the last one and we stayed here for an hour, enjoying the cooling fresh water

I would highly recommend this place to anyone who loves to hike! Come with your family or friends. It's really nice to get close to nature and away from everything. Its more than just whole-body-exercise, as we physically stretch our limits while hiking, we discovered each other’s fitness quotient & I must admit that it was pretty awesome. 
Oh going back to the city centre was a NIGHTMARE! there were no taxi, no uber, the buses had long intervals. Thank goodness the staff was just simply AMAZING! wendy & her friend actually went out of their way to drive us back to our hotel! They actually closed their counter and were so kind to us! Im forever grateful!

We were determined to catch the sunset at Tusan Beach before we return home. Admittedly we wanted to take a nice picture with the famous horse head there as well! 

Whats pretty wonderful about this simple beach is the wide sunset, the unique natural rock formation that looks like a horse head and the sand crabs. We had coconut juice, dance to the sunset and stalking the tiny sandy crab just to see their amazing sand art!
These spectacular sculptures were created by dozens of sand bubbler crabs as they tunnel into the sand on a beach 

Every sunset is a happy sadness. Miri exceeded my expectations. The amiable people who went out their way to help us (Sherlyn for the free upgrade, Wendy who closed her counter & drove us back to the hotel because we couldn't find any transport after hiking , Ashraf our Uber driver who waited 2 hours for us , not forgetting Alec,Jenny & Thibault for stargazing session at Tanjong beach) Thank you life!

Been to Miri? Share your beautiful experience with me!
Inspired to visit Miri? I'll be glad to answer or give additional tips to you!


Falling in love in France - Autumn in Rouen & Paris

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There's always that one city, that one country you love & would be your "escape" plan whenever life gets tough. I never thought I'd be back in France this soon. After I came back from Italy in July, I started a new job. Only 4 months to it & I knew it was something I didn't want to pursue. It was a hard decision to quit knowing how bad the market was  but I did it anyway. Fast forward, I knew I had to get out of town to breathe and think; and to be honest my long-distance relationship with Matt  was shaky. Life was slowly falling apart. I knew I had to take control.  So I checked the price to Paris & surprisingly it was very cheap. Thank you God. Thank you Universe! I knew that was my cue to book despite everyone's advice. I ended up booking a return ticket with Saudia for only  SGD$650 ! 

Looking back, I didn't regret returning to France.  I have only been to Paris during Spring but Rouen and Paris is so magical during Autumn. This trip has made me realising something - A "wrong-turn" lead me to a field of golden fallen leaves, Misty Sunrise, Sparkling Christmas Markets and suddenly I'm second guessing every "wrong-turn" in my life. Every "wrong-turn" had led me to where I am currently & I'm happy as hell, not jaded, so were they really wrong turns? If I never made that "mistake" of trying to be a professional recruiter, I wouldn't have known it was something I didn't want to pursue, I wouldn't have taken a pause & book a trip to France & experience all this moments in life that I'll never forget. 
"We give everything, everything just to feel alive."
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The other thing I've learnt after this France escapade is that we shouldn't be impatient, sure some of your close friends are getting married, some have reached their desired profession but you feel like you are not moving, just tangled up. Don't get frustrated, don't start yanking on things or meddle with nature before its ready to come. You'll just have to be patient and trust in the timing of your life.

Matt fetched me from Paris airport and we drove about an hour and the half to the city of Rouen. Rouen is the capital of Normandy and its a city near the river. Located in a rather hilly environment, one must be ready to climb uphill at all times. So please don't be silly like me to pack only heels. 

I would recommend a 2 day visit to Rouen. However, As Matt is studying here, 2 weeks was a little too long to stay in Rouen for me, so I went back to Paris for a few nights and we did a road trip to Mont Saint Michel.

What I did in Rouen

It was November, the month of crimson fallen leaves , when the air is sweet & heavy
Subtle christmas decoration slowly covered the whole town
I guess the old architecture is what makes Rouen so delightful
CAFE HOPPING of  Hot Coffee , Books & Thoughts : They have amazing cafes & bars that serve relatively cheap hot beverages to combat the chilly misty autumn. I was usually alone out exploring the town as Matt was in school. Most of the time, I find myself in another cosy cafe with a hot coffee just lost in thoughts. There's something about watching the leaves falling ...

Walk around the Rue Du Gros-Harloge: This road consist mainly of historical areas including the golden clock. Alongside with hidden bars and fleur shops, its a nice stroll. You will sense how old this whole city is.

Indulge in the French Cuisine: One of the reason why I love France so much is for their food! They take pride in presentation and quality no matter how "cheap" your dining experience is. The various quality and type of cheese, the fresh meat, the wines and oh, the desserts -I swear I ALWAYS gained at least 3 kg after leaving France!

Free Museum: A trip to the Museum is the great idea especially when its a rainy weather and you cant explore the town while its wet and freezing! Free and surprisingly huge, this museum in Rouen is  impressive
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The Beautiful Christmas Market in Rouen: Since it was my first time actually in a Christmas Market, It was all so unreal to me. Everything looks magical and It was a pleasant experience soaking up the festive mood. When France welcomes the festive season, it is definitely the merriest! 

Although the Christmas Market in Rouen is not as big as Paris, it definitely feels more authentic. They were selling traditional chocolate marshmallows, rolls of ham, mulled wine, crispy churros. I enjoyed every time I went there and thats like every night!

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Look how beautiful this is!
Mulled wine perfect for the weather. I thought it tasted very sweet but comforting. it taste like some kind of tea
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One of our favourite things to do is to go on a Roadtrip. Since we both enjoy travelling so much, exploring new cities is a perfect date for us. Singing in the car, talking about anything as we passed by odd towns, watching him drive, watching the trees. We have only been together for 1 year but we have been to more than 8 cities including 4 road trips! He is an amazing travel partner 

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We drove about 2 hours to Mont Saint Michel from Rouen passing by beautiful town and stopped by Le Vilage Cancalais to have some fresh oysters. Cancale is known for their fresh oysters and eating it  fresh by the beach.

Christmas Magical Market in Paris

Saving the best for the last is the Christmas Market in Paris. Wow, I never thought I would have experience its magic this soon. We decided to spend a day exploring the christmas market by Champ Elysee which is overflowing with happiness

Its about 45 minutes train ride from Rouen back to Paris.  So of course I went over twice for this trip because Paris is my most favourite city in the world & because Rouen is pretty boring after a week.
Do things you love, visit the city you love, do whatever it takes to smile and be happy inside out

I think I visited the Eiffel Tower more than 6 times in just 2 years & I don't think i'll ever get bored of it. It has capture my soul and may I stay in love with this city. I WILL RETURN SOON OK!
but I never thought that I will be visiting Paris with someone I love. The first time I visited paris was in May 2015 & I wish that I would someday visit this place with someone I truly love. So I never thought it would be a year later
So after the eiffel tower & lunch; we made our way to Champ Elysee where the Christmas Market was. With all the hype about it , I was super excited!  And as expected , its MASSIVE and filled with people, food, entertainment. I just love it!
christmas market in paris 2016
The Christmas Market in Paris is just so huge so its hard to complete it in a few hours. But I note a rather repetitive stores so I just spend my time over at the food section.
After that, we made our way to ice skating.

We fell in love, despite our differences in race/ culture and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has only happened once, and that's why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I'll never forget a single moment of it. Paris being my favourite city and to  ice-skate here,its just hard to believe. I never thought i get to experience such movie-like romance
By the time I published this post to my blog, Matt & I are history. We are nothing but beautiful memories, a phase in life. It is what it is but I will ALWAYS remember this Paris. To all of you that will be visiting Paris, welcome. Know that it holds such magical memories for many.

I guess its one of the reason why I love Paris so much, despite its superficial front painted by others.. its a place where you feel both the distance of precious memory  and blurred present. Its a place where you can be romantic without being judged. Its a free place. We are not together anymore due to a simple but strong fact - life. Life happened. You know like when the both of you come to the end of a road and there are two ways. I don't know if we will ever meet again but despite our abrupt ending, I still do feel lucky and blessed to have met someone I can actually love so deeply. I never felt a love so pure, never felt so connected. But everything belongs to GOD, and I know that Matt may not be mine to keep forever. Thank you Mathias for loving and saving me.. for allowing me to receive such otherworldly moments.

I will always remember this