Temple Hopping

S. Line Jacket // H&M Scarf // TNA Leggings // Fendi Bag // Ugg Boots

All bundled up with many places to go!  I know there are certain inconveniences about travelling in the chillier months.  For starters, travelling light is definitely not an option.  But besides having a slightly heavier suitcase, underneath all these cosy layers, it’s my favourite time of year to explore.

Photos by NN

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Ho Chi Minh City Instagram Diary

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A lot of friends have been asking for travel recommendations for Asia lately which reminded me to go through my Ho Chi Minh City photos.  Being only a one hour direct flight from Hong Kong, it puzzles me why I didn’t visit Vietnam sooner.  A good mix between city life and the feeling of a tropical resort, I enjoyed the convenience of having direct access to local hangouts right outside the hotel door, but at the same time the luxury of relaxing by the pool and catching some sun.

Highlights of my trip .. favourite shopping spot in the city: Ben Thanh Market, best local food experience: Pho Hoa, best tourist experience: cooking class at The Vietnam Cookery Center and favourite chill out spot to revisit: L’uisine.

Paris Instagram Diary

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I can’t think of a better way to kick off my first post of 2015 than to reminisce about my favourite trip of 2014.  Having visited Paris numerous of times thanks to the magic of television and the beauty of cinema, I must say that the city was everything I had imagined it to be.  I love being on foot when visiting new places, and this time, I felt like I could happily wander the streets while getting lost in the history of the architecture, the art on the walls and the story behind each glass of wine. 

Highlights of my trip .. favourite shopping spot in the city: Saint Germain de Pres, best food experience: Le Dauphin, favourite cultural spot: Musee d’Orsay, best souvenir: tea from Mariage Freres and most recommended site for my next trip: Le Versailles.  

The World at My Feet

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“The World at My Feet” is my latest photography project which made its debut on Instagram back in March.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had the inspiration to put together a thematic body of work, but my trip to Ho Chi Minh City really opened up my eyes.  The feedback I’ve received on these photos so far have been very encouraging and I look forward to developing this series into something more concrete.  Perhaps one day it will become a project that exceeds Instagram and the digital world.

But for now, for those who don’t follow me on Instagram, please check me out at @oisfor and follow this series at #otravels and #worldatmyfeet

Devon on Devonshire

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There’s no better way to spend a lazy Sunday than brunching at your favourite breakfast spot.  During our last visit to Sydney, I took advantage of the city’s trendy brunch culture to try as many restaurants as possible.  One of the places we decided to check out was this little cafe called Devon in Surrey Hills.  A new addition to the neighbourhood of other popular brunch hotspots, Devon certainly lived up to expectations.  The restaurant was small but cozy, with a front section for takeout and limited bar seating and then a dine in section at the back.  Of course the first thing I ordered was my usual skim latte before I dissected the menu which offered an interesting selection of Western and Japanese fusion dishes.  We ended up agreeing that their two daily specials sounded most appealing that morning.  I wouldn’t normally think of ordering seafood for the first meal of the day but the miso grilled salmon paired with a smoked eel croquette and a 63 degree egg satisfied my cravings for breakfast type foods as well as my love for fish.  It was the best of both worlds and I definitely left a very happy customer.

Photos by NN

Bali Instagram Diary

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It has been an emotional but amazing four days as we all flew to Bali to witness one of my dearest friends Jen & her hubby as they begin their new lives together as Mr & Mrs.  After all the wedding excitement was over, NN and I spent the rest of our weekend eating.  This was not our first time in Bali so we already checked off a lot of the typical tourist attractions last time.  Having only one spare day from the wedding, we decided to make the most of it by checking out some local eateries.

Hoping to test out Mamasan (which was unfortunately closed on Sunday), we took a chance and wandered into a neighbouring restaurant The Bistrot for lunch.  Having had our fair share of nasi goreng already, we made an impulsive decision to try their Western menu instead.  Picking two smaller dishes, both my tuna tartar and tempura fried shrimp were wonderfully prepared, with hints of Japanese influences in both dishes.  However the highlight of our meal was definitely NN’s Mediterranean burger, which he rated as one of his best burger experiences ever.  Juicy, well seasoned and diced to a tartar consistency, we did not expect this quality of burger from an Asian fusion restaurant.

Although the next day we were on a tight schedule before our flight, we had to made it back to Mamasan to see what all the hype was about.  The menu was as expected with a variety of Asian dishes.  After some careful consideration, I ended up picking their Thai Khao Gang (which was stylishly served in a tin lunch pail), while NN went straight for the laksa.  Once again we were not disappointed by our choices.  The meat in my Thai Khao Gang was full of flavour and perfectly paired with a fried egg and rice.  Having not had a proper laksa in awhile, NN was very pleased with the creamy coconut broth and the chewy egg noodles.  All in all, this was a wonderful way to end our long weekend before our flight back home.  Looking forward to seeing what Bali has to offer next year!

Highlights of my trip .. favourite shopping spot in the city: Jalan Kayu Aya in Seminyak, best food experience: The Bistrot for lunch, favourite cocktail spot: Kudeta, best souvenir: bracelets and silk scarves from the markets and favourite chill out spot we visit each time: Drifter Surf Shop & Cafe.

Balinese Retreat

We’re traveling more than normal these past weeks and right after Sydney, we’re now off to Bali.  It’s only going to be a long weekend for one of my good friend’s wedding so I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and look through our photos from our Bali trip last year.  I normally like to plan a detailed itinerary to make sure no time is wasted but since this is just a short trip (and I know we’ll be back in Bali very soon), I’m going to play this one by ear.  Perhaps we’ll lounge by the pool and sip cocktails all day, or maybe go for a wander and visit the local temples.  Either way I’m looking forward to some much needed R&R.  Sending my love from the plane and wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Photos by NN and me

Sydney Instagram Diary

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First full week back in Hong Kong and I’m already having severe vacation withdrawal.  For those who follow me on Instagram, you’ve already had a sneak peek of my vacation.  We accomplished quite a bit this trip so looking forward to sharing all our wonderful moments with you over the next few weeks.

Highlights of my trip .. favourite spot in the city: Hyde Park, best food experience: Quay Restaurant for lunch, favourite brunch spot: Devon Cafe, best souvenir: sweets from Happy Lab and most recommended coffee spot for my next trip: Cornersmith.

Shanghai Instagram Diary

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I just spent a wonderful week in China touring Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi and Huangzhou. My parents planned this trip as I’m often hesitant about traveling to China. This hesitation is mostly from previous experiences when I visited as a young child, but in honesty, this developing nation never ceases to amaze me. Especially the cities we visited this time, were not only rich in culture, but also home to some of the most breathtaking Chinese landscapes. Each place we visited was not just visually stunning, but was also a peek into the past as each location had its own unique story. Although one week is only a short introduction to Chinese History 101, but at the end of the trip, I felt very much in the middle of it all.

Highlights of my trip .. best historical site: West Lake, best food experience: Wuxi ribs, best souvenir: fresh water pearls and Dragon Well tea, and most recommended site for my next trip: Huangshan.

Snapshots of Beijing: Black and White

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I’ll be off to Shanghai tomorrow which reminded me that I should really go through the photos from my last trip.  Back in November, NN and I made a quick trip to Beijing.  Although it was just a short few days, the city definitely lived up to my expectations.  From the food, the architecture and visiting all the historical sites, I was truly in cultural heaven.

Highlights of my trip .. best historical site: the Forbidden City, best food experience: Black Sesame Kitchen  and best souvenir: teacups from Capital M.

Photos by NN