Experience Bagan!

Bagan is an ancient city located in southwest of Mandalay, Burma. It can be considered as one of the world’s greatest archeological sites—more than 2,000 temples can be found here.

The weather in Bagan is generally hot but during the months of November to February the temperature can drop towards the night. When travelling during this time, it will be best to bring a jacket to keep you warm during the night.

1. CATCH THE SUNRISE AND SUNSET:

Our guide brought us in one temple and asked us to climb up. There’s a crowd already gathered on top by the time we got there. We waited until we witnessed how the horizon changed as the sun was rising. It’s really really REALLY lovely!!

My friends and I spent 2D2N exploring Bagan. Here are a few things you can do during your trip in Bagan:

Catch either the sunrise or sunset or if you can do both it’s better. I’m confident that it will leave you in awe. Plus, it’s Instagram-worthy. *wink wink*

We literally didn’t want to go down even after the sun had already risen. We can’t get enough of the view. On a side note, I think climbing temples and pagodas is already banned by the government as climbing can be damaging to these very old monuments.

2. FLY OVER BAGAN:

There’s another way to see the sunrise—it will cost you around S$400. You can opt for riding a hot air balloon. The view and experience—worth every money! For our hot air balloon ride we chose Balloons Over Bagan. And our pilot was Mike Petteford. Thanks Mike for making our ride an unforgettable one.

The Classic Balloon Flight package includes transport to and from our hotel to the launch and landing site, a celebratory glass of champagne, some light breakfast, postcard and a certificate.

The view on top is amazing!!!

Enjoy some champagne and snacks upon landing. #ThisIsTheLife

We saw this little girl selling her drawings. And being an artist, I just felt the urge to encourage and support her talent. And honestly, they are quite nice. Her name is Imani, which means faith. I hope she grows up into one excellent artist and person. And maybe get to meet her again.

3. CONNECT WITH THE LOCALS:

Burmese are one of the nicest people I’ve come across with. So go and take time to visit one of their village and interact with them. My friends and I spent half day touring around Minnanthu Village where we got to experience the following:

  • Experiencing their livelihood
    Weaving, making and selling Cheroot (Burmese cigar), and sand painting are a few of the things they do for living.
  • Applying Thanaka Sunscreen
    You’ll notice that almost everyone have a yellowish-white marks on their faces. It’s a natural sunscreen they use which is called Thanaka. The powder comes from grinding Thanaka wood on a Kyauk pin stone. Then water is added to produce a paste. Aside from protecting you from the sun, it also has a cooling effect and tighten pores. It smells fresh and clean as well.
  • Talking with the locals
    Got to meet some locals while we’re touring around the village and some herd of goats and a dog as well!

4. PAGODA & TEMPLE HOPPING:

Bagan’s archaeological zone is such a big place and exploring it by foot is impossible. So there are three modes of transportation you can choose from—E-bike / Bicycle, Horse Cart and Private Van.

  • E-bike / Bicycle
    Renting a bike is the cheapest way to go but it will be hardest since most roads are rocky and uphill. The best choice is the E-bike, if only you know how to ride something like a motorcycle. We wanted to try this one and go around to see the pagodas but our schedule was tight so we didn’t managed to.
  • Private Van
    Comfortable but you don’t get to have that genuine rural experience and it’s the most expensive among the three.
  • Horse Cart
    This one is a popular choice among tourists. The only downside is that sometimes it can get uncomfortable especially when passing on bumpy roads. Among the three, we end up choosing this.

Please leave a comment down below if you have tried other things other than the ones I’ve mentioned. And I hope you have an amazing trip to Bagan.

Tanuki Raw

Craving for some sashimi? Try out Tanuki Raw, which is conveniently located at Orchard area. They also have another location in National Design Centre.

A must-try dish for sashimi lovers is their Tanuki Kaisen Chirashi Donburi ($22.90). Where they serve you all the good stuff you can think about. From tuna, scallop, salmon sahimi to uni and ebiko that goes with Tanuki Raw’s signature mixed rice.

Overall, the taste of the sashimi are fresh and it goes well with the mixed rice. Something I’ll definitely go back to again.

Another dish we tried from their menu is the Foie Gras Truffle Yakiniku ($19.90). It consists of US black angus short rib, pan-seared foie gras and onsen egg with truffle soy sauce and black garlic brown butter over their signature rice.

We also tried one of their rolls—Superstar Roll ($12.90). Seared salmon and crispy mozzarella cheese combo is love.

Tanuki 4

Here’s a photo of their menu:

Tanuki 7

My friend and I had a nice and fulfilling dining experience. Price range is not on the cheap side but I think it it’s affordable enough for the quality and taste they serve. Lastly, the place tends to get crowded but it’s worth the wait. 🙂


Store Locations:

Tanuki Raw at Kapok
111 Middle Road
01-05 National Design Centre
Singapore 188969

Tanuki Raw at Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
#04-01 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896

#ColdplaySingapore

The title says it all! Yes, I was one of the lucky ones to get a hold of one of those sold out Coldplay tickets! Managed to purchase Standing Pen A so on the day of the performance we had to go three hours before they opened the gates. Hoping to get some nice spot.

For this year’s front act is Jess Kent. Any one of you know her? Well, before the concert I had no idea who she was. But she’s a great artist. Maybe you can guys check her music. Here’s a link to her YT channel or you can listen to her on Spotify.

Here’s the setlist that Coldplay played during their concert on 1st of April (Saturday):

You can click on the some of the title for some short videos I’ve taken.

By the end of the night, I was speechless by how amazing they are. It was definitely worth every cent. Definitely an unforgettable experience.

Hands down to Coldplay!

Chris, Guy, Johnny, Will thank you for your music! I love you guys!

AHFOD 24c

I kept the confetti that went inside my clothes and bag in a tiny glass jar with the wristband.

AHFOD-25

When you’re in pain, when you think you’ve had enough.
Don’t ever give up. Believe in love.

Day 5 & 6 — Taichung/Taipei, Taiwan

Day 5 Itinerary: 

Chun Sui Tang | Miyahara | Fengjia Night Market

Off to Taichung!

We took the Taipei to Taichung High Speed Rail (THSR), one 2-way trip costs around TWD1,400. This is the fastest way you can take to Taichung. After about 40 minutes, we arrived in Taichung.

We got distracted by this bakery on our way to Chun Shui Tang — the store who started the whole Bubble tea / Milk tea craze! Anyway, those breads looked so inviting — wasn’t able to resist it, we end up buying. Not complaining though, their breads are good!

After the long search, we finally found Chun Shui Tang‘s pioneer outlet in Taichung. They have other outlets but we had to go where it all started. Just had to!

Each of us ordered our own milk tea. I think it’s the most satisfying thing to do after walking and searching for gem. Personally, I like their milk tea, it’s not too sweet or bland, just right! They also offer dishes that you can munch while drinking your bubble tea.

If you’re fond of sending postcards, they have a post box where you can buy milk tea design postcards and drop it there. There’s also stamping station, where you can stamp the post cards before sending them or you can just stamp any of your belongings for remembrance.

Chun Shui Tang
No. 30, Siwei St, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403


Our next stop which is Miyahara.

But first, some family groufie while wandering the rainy streets of Taichung.

Taiwan 77

Miyahara is a shop that sells ice cream, tea and lots of pastries that are wrapped in all sorts of pretty packaging. They are ideal to give out as gifts. The interior of the shop is really cool! It somewhat have a Hogwarts feel to it. Well sort of…

Oh just FYI, their cheesecake is the bomb! I love it! You have to taste it!

You also have to try the ice cream, it’s quite popular among locals and tourists — the queue says it all. While waiting for your turn, you can think about what flavour to get as they offer A LOT of flavours!

Miyahara
No. 20, Zhongshan Rd, Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan 400


Our last stop: Fengjia Night Market.

We strategically picked out a hotel that’s just walking distance to the night market. So we can spend more hours checking the shops.

As we we’re walking around, we spotted these wall arts:

I was like! “Ermegherd! TOTORO! Best day ever!!!” LOL We spent some time posing on these walls. They also have Minions and other wall art which I wasn’t able to take photos because I was busy ogling at Totoro. I love Totoro BTW, but I think you already can tell as I have said the word “Totoro” multiple times already. Ha Ha


Day 6 Itinerary:

Caihongjuan Village (Rainbow Village) | Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Before heading back to Taipei, we toured around Caihongjuan Village. We’re lucky enough that the weather is cleared up because it was raining since we arrived in Taichung.

You will meet a person wearing an Iron Man mask and rainbow coloured outfit hence, he’s called Rainbow Iron Man. He will gladly take photos / selfies with you — an added entertainment to this colourful place.

Managed to meet and had a picture with Mr Huang Yung-Fu, the artist himself! He was so sweet and accommodating and cute (look at his V-pose).

The village itself is not that big but it’s one of those must visit places in Taichung. And it can really brighten someone’s mood. Just look at the place.

And our final stop:

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. The gloomy and rainy weather is back by the time we arrived in Taipei.

To inject some fun to an overcast weather, we did these sort of silly things.

CKS Memorial Hall at night.

‘Til my next trip!

 Day 1 & 2   |   Day 3 & 4