Activities - Eat Drink

Best way to experience Karuizawa

Karuizawa is a beautiful upmarket mountain resort located in the Nagano Prefecture. It's definitely not a cheap place compared to some other countryside areas, and has developed as a popular place for many Japanese to visit especially during Summer, with many affluent ones owning a second home here. I aptly call it the Hamptons of Japan. The great part of Karuizawa is its accessibility to Tokyo via the Hokoriku Shinkansen in slightly over an hour, making it even possible as a day trip. And some fun facts if you didn't know, this was John Lennon and Yoko Ono's favourite place to spend their summers with their son John back in the 1970s. I would caution anyone coming here not to just spend a day here, it's nice...

Kayotei Ryokan and exploring Yamanaka onsen

Recharged from our first night in Kanazawa staying at the lovely Asadaya Ryokan, I made my way with Y and her best gal pals to our next stop to Kayotei Ryokan, an hour's drive away. Located in the small hotsprings area of Yamanaka, Kayotei is a traditional ryokan, family-owned inn of only 10 rooms. I booked it through my favourite website - Ryokan Collection months ahead of time just to be safe! (1 Chome-ホ20 Yamanakaonsen Higashimachi, Kaga-shi, Ishikawa-ken 922-0114, Japan, Tel: +81 761-78-1410) Getting here You could take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kanazawa and then take a car down, or also fly into Komatsu Airport (from Tokyo or nearby other Japan cities), which is about a 30 minutes car ride from Kayotei Ryokan....

Kanazawa Travel in 24 hours

In celebration of Y's big 40 last year, we went for a nice girlie getaway with some of her best gal pals to Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture. This post describes the first part of the trip where we stayed in Asadaya Ryokan in Kanazawa for the first night, before moving on to the Kaga area to stay in Kayotei for the next 2 nights. It was definitely too short a trip, as there was so much to do and see, but what makes Kanazawa so convenient is also its proximity to Tokyo, which means I could come back here again in the near future! Getting to Kanazawa The best way to get to Kanazawa is via the Hokuriku Shinkansen, it's about a 1 hour and 35 minutes ride...

Things to do in Lima

Lima was our first exciting destination into South America, a part of the world that Y and I have never been to and we were so stoked to be here with R, as part of Y's celebratory 40th birthday trip. We flew from Singapore to Los Angeles to chill for a few days before making our way to Lima via Latam Airlines, not the cheapest airfare I must say, since they are the only airlines that fly direct from Los Angeles to Lima. Anyhow, the flight experience was pretty decent, and we caught the most amazing views as the pilot told us to observe the views as we arrived into Lima. It was so surreal seeing the tips of the Andes mountain ranges peeping through the...

Your food guide to Danang and Hoi An in a weekend

My first time to Vietnam with Y was in mid August this year, with a girly getaway trip with some of our closest pals to Danang, the idyllic coastal city known for its sandy beaches. Our focus was on food rather than on sights for our 3 nights stay here, and we did all we could to take in the best of what the city had to offer. I have to give a special shoutout to Summer Le and her other blog site Danang Cuisine, which helped me to distill what I wanted to eat in Danang. She's definitely the go to person if you are finding your way around on where to eat for the first time in Danang. Hoi An is also a must visit when...

Bali Summer Break 2017

Just in end July, Y and I took a well-deserved (that's what I always say) break to Bali, after having not been back there since 2009 when our buddies YL and SH got married. Talk about how time flies! To be honest, I am not crazy about the sun and beach, but was definitely looking for some zen-break and just lazing about doing nothing. I was pleasantly surprised this trip to find many things to see and eat just alone in the area of Seminyak (where we stayed during the full week) and nearby Canggu area too. Hello Coco! Hanging out at Seminyak Beach. STAY Bali is highly concentrated with many areas you can pick from to stay at ranging from casual hostels to private villas...

Tokyo Best Eats 2017

I can never get tired of Japan, and was so happy to be able to visit Tokyo in early March where the weather was so nice and cool. Winters here seem to get later and later and the coldest time seems to be from January to early March in these recent years. My short getaway here with Y was a prelude to our week long ski trip in Niseko, and we were so happy to be able to check out new eats this trip and enjoy some of the nice wintry weather. Off to Tokyo on Singapore Airlines' Business Class. It's almost a sin not to visit a sushi establishment in Japan, and we were glad to squeeze two in - one during dinner at Sushi...

Courmayeur Skiing

Courmayeur is a lovely little Italian village located at the foot of the famous Montblanc mountain in the Aosta Valley. Conveniently located just beneath the entrance to the tunnel on the Italian side of Montblanc, it can be easily accessed from the French side. I first came here last year with Y when we visited Chamonix for spring skiing (see blog), and decided to visit Courmayeur for a day to ski and eat, just 30 minutes drive away from Chamonix. We decided to spend 4 nights this year after our skiing in Megeve, to get some good ol' Italian fix, and Y and her group of friends wanted to explore more of the slopes here, and get in more practice runs before the 2017 season...

Megeve Ski

Finally after years of wanting to go Megeve, we finally did it this year! It has always been on my hit list after reading so much about this charming and chic ski town in France, close to the Montblanc. This place is definitely laden with old money and best described as discreet luxe as compared to the other 'moneyed' ski resorts like Courchevel, famed for its more opulent lifestyle attracting the Russians. This quaint farming village was first discovered by the Baroness Naomie de Rothschild in the 20s who wanted to create a French version of St Moritz. It started with a remodelling of the Hotel du Mont d’Arbois, which she bought. She hired a young architect - Henri-Jacques Le Meme to develop a new style of...

Hakuba Ski

Hakuba, in Nagano, most well-known for being the first ski resort in Japan to host the Winter Olympic Games in 1998. A lot of friends ask me, why Hakuba as compared to Niseko - a popular ski destination for many tourists from SE Asia and China? I have summarised in a few points below: It's at the heart of the beautiful scenic Japanese Alps, which means the alpine views that one gets here is not just of one mountain but many, which you notice very well when you are on the slopes and even when driving to the different slopes and town areas. In Niseko as one skis down the slopes, you tend to just see one Mount Yotei. Close proximity to Tokyo. I am not...
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