Bali, which is 90% Hindu despite the rest of Indonesia being mostly Muslim, has a ton of temples. Families in a village would share one, but there are some in particular that are especially beautiful and visited by many tourists. Here’s a quick list of the ones we visited. If you plan to go inside the temple instead of walking the perimeters, you will need a sarong (rental usually covered by the admission price). Our driver did inform us that Besakih Temple, however, overcharges you for admission, sarong rental, and a mandatory but unnecessary guide. So we decided not to go (and have read similar negative reviews about it). There are plenty of others anyway, as you will see, and the admission fees are generally quite cheap. Do note women on their menstrual cycle are not allowed inside the temples (though..how will they know?).
Even before we got to Singapore, I was super excited about dining at Restaurant André, which is one of Taiwanese chef André Chiang’s five restaurants. It is lauded as the best restaurant in Singapore and was awarded 2 Michelin stars. Chef André is most well-known for his octo-philosophy approach to his food: unique, pure, texture, memory, salt, south, artisan, and terroir. Each course exemplified one of these eight elements either in its appearance or taste (or both). The dining experience was one of my most memorable (thanks to Tie for this lovely birthday gift).
As we prepare to return to Hong Kong in a few weeks, we’d like to share a list of our favorite foods from our last trip there. From street food to restaurants, the city has a ton of sumptuous options. Here’s a quick list of the places we dined at during our last two visits!
There is more than 1 way to pick a destination. Sometimes you just feel like going to a certain country and sometimes a flight deal appears for a place you’ve never been to and want to check out. This time, I picked a destination based on airline’s flight cabin. And it was Singapore Airline’s suites class. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically Singapore Airline’s first class on certain routes aboard their Airbus A380. You get your own fully enclosed suite from floor to almost the ceiling for maximum privacy. My initial impression of it after hearing about it was that it was out of my reach. But after learning that it can be booked on miles, I realized that it was no longer unattainable and I went to work to figure out how I can book a flight in the suites class.
Because Japan is so densely populated and real-estate is scarce and expensive, especially in Tokyo, many of its “theme parks” are actually indoors. We went to one inside Tokyo Tower during our last trip. If you haven’t noticed by now, Tie and I are huge fans of the anime, One Piece. It’s currently all the rave in Asia, so unsurprisingly, they have their own theme park, even if it’s only two stories tall. But since you’re reading this post, you probably already know what One Piece is. Let’s check out what’s inside!
Asakusa is a bustling part of Tokyo, popularized by the Kaminarimon Gate that leads to the Senso-ji (oldest temple in Tokyo). Many tourists also go there for shopping at Nakamise Street, a line of shops right past the gate. There, you can find traditional souvenirs such as masks, clogs, and cloth. Running perpendicular to Nakamise Street is Shin Nakamise (or “New” Nakamise), which is a covered arcade of stores. Lots of great snacks such as senbei and taiyaki (I wrote about it here).
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in Tokyo, look no further than kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi restaurants. “But we’ve already tried that before,” you say? Not quite the same. In the states, conveyor belt sushi is pretty standard – plates of food spin around and you just pick up whatever you like. Certain Japanese chains, however, take it to a whole other level. It’s efficient, cheap, and delicious for what you pay. We tried two of the more popular chains: Kura Sushi and Uobei. Almost every dish is only ¥100. Because of that, these restaurants are also very popular with locals and there are long queues during dinnertime. The wait is definitely worth it, though.
In a previous post, I had written about booking a first class flight for our next trip to Korea and Japan. And then, it came time for us to embark on our journey. As travelers who have ever only flown economy class, we were very excited to experience a flight in the first class cabin. And we were going to be aboard an Airbus A380.
The next day we took a shuttle from our hotel to Old Macau. The casinos here certainly feel like they are from another era. The architecture was old-fashioned and the chips and tiles were much bigger (again, wish I could’ve taken some pictures). There were table games and digital games, but overall the casinos were not as grand as the one we stayed at. A lot more Chinese people than westerners.
Usually before a trip, Tie and I put together a spreadsheet of all the places we’d like to visit while we’re there. But since we were only going to Macau for two days and Tie has previously been there, we decided to just wing it this time around. Even so, we ended up covering a lot of ground! My perception of Macau prior to visiting was it probably is similar to Las Vegas, full of casinos and not much else to do. Funny enough, I’ve never been to Vegas either. So it was a pleasant surprise when I was proven wrong.