That moment that took my breath away in Agra, India.
It was worth 12 hours of not-the-most-comfortable travel – 6 hours on Jet Airways to Delhi (didn’t enjoy the flight and service one bit), and 6 hours on the craziest roads I’ve ever been on in my life. But the sight of Taj Mahal in the early, cool hours of the morning made it all worthwhile. So thank you B for inviting me to your wedding in Varanasi thus encouraging me to make this journey to Taj Mahal.
More on India to come, and from the happily-married B too of her massive wedding celebration. It’s not been easy recovering from India, Chinese New Year – plus B is in New Zealand enjoying her honeymoon, but we’re back blogging for good!!
fine beaches, south china sea, amazing food, rich culture, gorgeous weather, tailored clothes, coffee, cycling, shopping.
there you go, danang and hoi an in one line! both are located at the south coast of Vietnam; March is one of the best months to visit in terms of climate.
fly from sg to danang direct via silkair.
if you love beach holidays and haven’t visited danang before, do it. the view of the vast south china sea is only the icing of the cake. i love that danang, unlike many beaches in Southeast Asia, is still relatively quaint and untouched by crazy beach-starved tourists. if you like to throw a little culture vibe into the mix as well, you can sign up for one of those jeep tours that takes you to My Son (a UNESCO world heritage site) and Marble Mountains.
a group of us girlfriends stayed at the ocean villas, a relatively new luxury resort located not too far from the airport. upon arrival we were very impressed by the environment – it looked like an upscale suburb just like Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives. unfortunately on closer inspection, the furniture in the villa looked quite dated. the service didn’t match the exceptional ambience too. for example being flexible in bending the rules to add an extra portion to a fruit plate for an extra charge – these are little details that make the hotel experience exceptional. i also thought it was a shame they didn’t provide bicycles for guests since the entire resort was huge and the roads were very quiet anyway.
all that said, the beach was amazeballs. the uninterrupted view of the south china sea and the long stretch of sandy beach all made up for the lack of service. there is also a tennis court, a pool, and a recreational area with a pool table. so we were pretty much sorted in terms of entertainment within the resort. we stayed 3 nights and went out for a seafood dinner on the last. ask your concierge for a recommendation; most of the seafood restaurants in the area are quite consistent.
hoi an (or hoi an ancient town)
danang was great for its beach and view but honestly much of the action was in hoi an itself, which is a 15-20min cab ride away. the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the town is extremely well-preserved. it’s a real struggle trying to balance taking photos all the time vs. just taking in the beautiful architecture and sights.
five things to do in hoi an:
- walk around on foot, admire the architecture and colours
- eat – try out street food, sign up for a cooking class at morning glory
- get some clothes made. go prepared with pictures, and be discerning about the fabrics you pick. there are rows and rows of tailors in hoi an, choose one based on your gut. don’t go crazy; the kind of pieces that will get you the most ROI is probably jackets. forget about imitating designer goods, the quality of the fabric is just not there. recommendation is to make 2 pieces and if you’re happy with them, order more. normally the turnaround is in a day – they are that fast!
- drink some vietnamese coffee
- if all else fails, there’s still the beach!
2. eat and learn how to cook at morning glory – the food here is SO good
cabbage roll with shrimp paste – one of the dishes we learnt to make during the cooking class at morning glory
love / Z
I finally managed to put together a video featuring highlights from my last Paris trip with a couple friends in May 2011. The video says it all.
love / B
To-be-hubs and I flew Scoot to Sydney and did a weekend stopover in Melbourne last month. We visited friends and did a bunch of fun stuff – so happy the weather held up! Melbourne is a lovely city and I only wish we were able to spend more time exploring beyond the city.
You can’t go to Melbourne without having lots of coffee! This city takes its cuppa seriously.
Kick back and have lunch at any of the cafes along the colourful Degraves Street.
Rent a bike at Federation Square and pick one of the cycling trails you fancy. We did a short one that took us to the Royal Botanic Gardens and Rod Laver Arena – it’s a nice activity to wrap up your trip if you only have a few hours left before your flight. If you have more time, do embark on a longer trail that brings you to Abbottsford.
I stuffed my face silly with macarons. Honestly every single macaron I had (and I had a lot of them) was great. This one is a little shop called La Belle Miette found along Hardware Lane. The cherry sake and passion fruit flavours rocked my world.
St Kilda on a Sunday was just beautiful. I love the colourful vibes of this arty area – there’s awesomeness in every corner and alley in this area.
love / Z