Posts in Asia
the big guide to Bangkok: where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in Thailand's capital

After years of bouncing around Bangkok on self-guided visits, long layovers, and group tours…I’ve finally put together a comprehensive guide I’m proud of. While it’s no secret every trip to Bangkok has been riddled with bad luck for me, looking back at these photos also made me realize…I’ve had so many fun memories in the capital city. It might have suffered the fate of the tourist boom {i.e. a Starbucks, H&M, and McDonald’s on every corner}, but it’s also got lots to see and do, great food, and alluring temples.

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a dairy doing good: Laos Buffalo Dairy in Luang Prabang, Laos

For such a small little town in the middle of a country no one talks much about, there are a number of social enterprises doing big things in Luang Prabang. One of these important businesses is Laos Buffalo Dairy.

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a local’s cafe guide to Luang Prabang: where to find the cutest cafes + the best coffee

This cafe guide includes local joints, social enterprises, and some of the more expensive but aesthetically pleasing spots in Luang Prabang to grab your morning caffeine intake— something for everyone.

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Nahm Dong Park: the secret oasis you never knew about in Luang Prabang, Laos

An eco-tourism haven, Nahm Dong Park is an oasis you’ve probably never even heard about right outside the city limits of Luang Prabang. Don’t worry, I knew nothing about it either! Until one day, paint fumes of a newly renovated office space dizzying my head and fingers hurting from whipping out writing work, it was suggested that I hop on the back of a motorbike and head to Nahm Dong.

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a first-timer’s guide to Penang, Malaysia: where to eat, stay, and play in Penang

Penang is located in northwest Malaysia. On Penang Island, you’ll find stunning cultural landmarks {like Kek Lok Si Temple}, delicious street food {think Indian samosas for less than USD $1}, and world famous interactive street murals. As a first-timer to Penang, I was impressed with all that the small area offers its visitors.

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gyms, spas, + yoga retreats: a wellness guide to Luang Prabang, Laos

Staying fit, healthy, and well while traveling can be a challenge, but it’s also a vital part of being a happy traveler. When you feel better, you have more energy to explore! Working on {consistent} wellness has become more of a priority for me recently. If you’re in Luang Prabang and unsure where to start, look no further— I got you!

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eating like a local: where to eat real Lao food in Luang Prabang, Laos

Lao food is amazing and often gets overshadowed by its neighbors’ banh mi or pad thai fame. But there’s something special about the lesser known joys of sticky rice and jeow on the Mekong washed down with a Beer Lao. By the time you’re finished reading this food guide, you’ll know more about Lao food culture and all the best places to eat local cuisine in Luang Prabang.

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straight from the source: a local’s recs for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Staying at an AirBnB has its perks! You can hit up your host for the best local tips and recommendations for just about everything— they are locals after all. During my most recent stay in Kuala Lumpur, I hit up my local host to give me all the best recommendations so that I could see the city like a native.

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how to celebrate the Festival of Light in Luang Prabang, Laos

Every October, the little UNESCO town of Luang Prabang lights up in celebration of Boun Awk Phansa, the end of Buddhist Lent. The city becomes impossibly beautiful, illuminated by wax candles melting to pagodas and crepe paper lanterns hanging from temple roofs and the windows of local homes.

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everything to know about Perdana Botanical Gardens in Kuala Lumpur

Gardens tend to be popular attractions in big cities— Auckland, Sydney, and New York City all have their respective botanic gardens, London has Kew and Sky Garden, and let’s not over look the Cloud Forest in Singapore. Kuala Lumpur, like other great cities, has gardens for its visitors and residents to enjoy— the Perdana Botanical Gardens.

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the most quirky, Instagram-worthy eateries in Nanjing, China

Looking for restaurants in Nanjing with beautiful interiors, fun themes, and good atmospheres? I gotchu. Thanks to a combination of writing for The Nanjinger and spending 10-months in constant search for inspiration, I’ve compiled a post of the most ‘gram-worthy eateries in Nanjing.

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learning about Laos through art: handicraft workshops with Backstreet Academy

Laos is ethnically diverse and has a rich cultural heritage that truly stands out. So much can be learned about a culture through the art its people create. The 49 ethnic groups that make up Laos all have varying ways of weaving, sculpting, and cooking. I felt extremely lucky that I got to learn about Lao culture through handicraft workshops— the work it takes, the precision and the craft.

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the coolest temple in Penang: a guide to Kek Lok Si

Those visiting Penang are often there for the beaches, Malaysian seafood, and the UNESCO Heritage Site of Georgetown with its interactive street art— all worthy reasons for making a trip to the island. However, the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia is also located in Penang and many visitors either aren’t sure how to get there, or don’t know it exists. Others may have heard of Kek Lok Si, but they aren’t aware of its vastness or its other attributes that make it worthy of a visit. I’m here to tell you exactly why it’s worth a visit, how to get there, and all the other details you need to know before you go.

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secret Kuang Si: every tip + trick travel blogs don't tell first-time visitors

Let’s be honest: a large majority of travel blogs are written by first-time or one-time visitors to a place, and heaps of that information is gathered in a limited amount of time {we’re all guilty of this}— a major reason why slow, diligent travel {post coming soon about this} gets a big “thumbs up” from me, as someone who doesn’t like to get rushed. It gets a bit boring to see the same posts about what to do in Luang Prabang being written time and time again— night market, the Bowling Alley, Utopia, Mount Phousi, and Kuang Si. So here’s a post filled with insider scoop.

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a brunch guide to Kuala Lumpur: what to order + where to go

I wrote my first brunch guide years and years ago when I realized I spent an abundance of my time in ordering coffees, cafe hopping being something I truly find joy in. However, there have been one or two of these brunch guides that have only offer a few options— NOT ENOUGH! We like as many cafes as possible, always. So, when I returned to Kuala Lumpur thanks to Air Asia, this time, I spent a week in Malaysia, and more than a few days in its capital city so that I could take in all the adventure and eat all the brunch {literally like two brunches a day were had}.

FOR THOSE WHO ANSWERED MY INSTA-POLL WANTING A BRUNCH GUIDE, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU.

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an Instagram guide to Kuala Lumpur: the coolest places for pics in Malaysia’s capital

I found Kuala Lumpur full of hidden treasures, easy to navigate, and oozing with art. Instagram, Culture Trip, Pinterest, and stumbling onto the right streets lead me to amazing photo opportunities. Now, I’m here to pass on my favourite places for pictures in Malaysia’s capital city. To keep things fun, I thought I’d include some of the outtake photos from my most recent stay in Kuala Lumpur, including a picture with my eyes closed in Perdana Gardens and a picture with me and everyone else in front of the Petronas Towers.

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hotel highlight: the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton on Penang Island, Malaysia

Arriving at the DoubleTree Resort in Penang after a 4 AM wake up in Kuala Lumpur for a 5 AM flight, I was more than a little ready to devour pancakes and down copious amounts of coffee. I walked through the stunning front lobby where I was given a warm welcome cookie by the smiling staff. The concierge grabbed my carry-on to escort it to my room and kindly pointed me in the direction of caffeine and carbs. Here’s the skinny on my stay!

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from farm to table: a tour of Living Land Farm with Backstreet Academy

Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Maybe you make the effort to buy organic fruits and pesticide-free vegetables? But what about your rice? Do you know where it comes from? I didn’t. More than that, I didn’t know how much work it was to grow it, harvest it, and get it on my plate.

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close encounters: an intimate non-riding experience with the Mandalao Elephant Conservation Project

I pull another leech off my leg as Lan, my guide, sprays it with a lemongrass and water mixture he carried in a fanny pack. “You just donated blood to nature,” he says, laughing. I’m unbothered by the little leech. I’m walking in the jungle of Laos on a day when the heat isn’t insufferable…next to elephants. And all thanks to the conservation efforts of Mandalao.

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