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Showing posts from 2016

Just trying out the new emojis!! / Also, being adult these days

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12 years later on blogger, finally I've got emojis to play with!

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I've been a loyal user of this platform, not because there are no other better platforms to use... but rather because I'm too lazy to change the entire thing. It has gone through numerous breakups, facelifts, templates, enhancement .. from a fun thing, to "I have now gone to not being able to live without" this space thing.

See, I talk a lot.
I think a lot too.

Sometimes I need to contain myself from talking so much about what I think.
So I learn to describe things better in words, I write, throughout the years, throughout the lives.

And when everything changes, this space hasn't.

I still bear a lot of honesty, a lot of truth, a lot of me in this space. *hugs my blog*

And I work a lot. Monday - Sunday, sometimes even up to 18 hours a day šŸ˜” Writing is my past time, that no one can PAY me. I mean yes, you can pay me for brand write ups and content marketing *hint*, but my life and all its h…

Free half day tour in return for English sessions in Hanoi!

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A week before actually travelling to Hanoi I spent my days, nights, hours and seconds Googling about everythhingggg. It was like a crash course of Hanoi. Where to stay? Where to eat? What to do?! Rush, rush, rush, type, type, type. 

It was the fastest itinerary I've ever done!


Even though I had saved enough, I was still very thrifty at that time after having to travel to Shanghai, to KL and then to Hanoi. I was stubborn so I tried to push the envelope of travelling for my birthday as well while keeping it minimum. Always travel within your means guys or you'll have to swallow your own saliva.

While I was busy looking out for the best deals possible online - I read tons of blogs, I even found my dear Tho and was immediately attracted to how she wrote and spoke about food! Please follow her at tholovesfood.wordpress.com :) While getting lost in all of the blogs, which I diligently read line by line, I saw people talking about HanoiKids.org which offered free half day or full da…

Making our own cement bags with a local!

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When we decided to visit Siem Reap, I was adamant about doing sustainable tourism. I wanted to do something for the local community or with the local community but I simply just didn't know how to go about it. All I had in mind was it to be something to do with art and community.

Thankfully, I found BackStreetAcademy.comwhile I was heavily browsing online searching for "sustainable tourism in Siem Reap". I was hesitant about booking a tour supposedly hosted by the locals and coordinated by an online channel. But after going through it's impeccable website with all the information I needed to know and the 5* reviews on Tripadvisor... I was convinced that this was the next best thing. After all, how else do we make decisions these days!

Why

I wanted to choose a family bonding activity with mummy and sister, one can never get enough family time, and decided that getting our hands on, picking up a skill and essentially connecting with Cambodian local ladies would be the …

Ladies fashion around the world

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Now that I’m older, and presumably wiser, I have built my own opinions on a lot of things and another, style. Most times I am either clad in a simple top with dark pants, pearl earrings and my famous string bag pack. Other times you’ll see me donning something sweeter, mostly in white, I like the clean, crisp and casual feel of a white shirt / top.

Perks of traveling around the world is seeing a lot of interesting things, learning new stuff and eventually exploring new ideas. Food, architecture, people and fashion to name a few are the things that I truly love to observe. I picked up so many new ways of fashioning myself throughout my travels; scarves, bracelets, anklets and a little bit of everything else to mix and match. My style is a cross of bohemian, sweet (pearls, braided long hair) and just chilled.

(unless I'm in the office 9 -6, then, I am in my monkey suit)

This is a rare post of me talking about the ladies fashion around the world that I’ve come across with, but rare i…

Eating street in Hanoi

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I will be honest. 

My influence to visit Hanoi was inspired by Mr Bourdain (again), not from the legendary visit that the world knew so much, on stools with Mr Obama over Bun Ca. But from No Reservations, after a whole day of crazy at work with a bowl of ice cream thinking how blegh the world could get. That episode, he was in Hoi An, cruising through the buzzing streets enjoying the good things in life; good food.

That looks so good I said.

There are so many good things in life. Like great new friends, new hair, new clothes, a good dinner, some good movies, and GOOD FOOD. This is a terrible introduction, but the food photos are coming, so please bear with me.

I wanted to be more impromptu and spontaneous in life, and this was that trip that I was. I decided on a few days before the actual date, and had very little research. Which is quite unlike me, I usually spend months ahead researching for the places I'm visiting, learning a thing or two about their culture (except for Shangha…

Thank you Tho

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Dear Tho,

Thank you for having me in Hanoi, and for taking care of me within the few hours that I stepped onto Hanoi. Thank you for introducing to me the wonders of Vietnam cuisines, welcoming some of the most amazing culinary experiences I've ever had into my life. Now I can't wait to experiment and try to make my own Vietnamese cuisines (they seem quite easy but who am I kidding!!).

Thank you for navigating me through some of the oldest alleys, into the beautiful colourful buzzing streets of Hanoi and for inviting me to have meals with you in the most awkward positions I've ever been in. Knee to knee, elbow to elbow on one of the smallest tool I've sat on with monoxide blowing to my face. Ah, life is very good :)

I have never lived enough, the least, till I did all of that. Thank you again. xxx 

Thank you for introducing me to each and every one of the dish we've explored together. You were so FUNNY, patient, kind and obviously knowledgeable about everything. For…

Turning a year older // travelling alone

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Man this journal is becoming a complete and wholesome travel journal day by day. And I'm not so sure about that.. Eventhough I did change the title to 'Travel with Me', I'm not sure I want to completely disconnect my honest thoughts away from this space and focus completely on my travels. (which are honest account of them also anyway) *emoticon thinking face*

Anyway, I turned a year older last week and in true Jacqkie fashion, I hopped onto the plane to go somewhere new, somewhere foreign, and made some new friends :) And yes, I flew to Hanoi, Vietnam for my birthday. By myself.

I didn't had the time to update everyone about it (except for mum, sister and bro) and a handful of girlfriends, plus the moment I arrived Hanoi, I was so overwhelmed by the traffic that after a day of out in the streets of Hanoi, I was so beat I can't even form proper updates on Insta...

I have decided that this trip is purely.. FOODCATION. 

Yup, you saw it right. As if I haven't …

Ni hao Shanghai - pt 1

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I must admit, I have never been so intimidated to visit any place in the world, much like I was intimidated to my recent visit.. to China.

And it was for just one reason; language. 

I don't think any of my 'Ke-yi', or 'Meh si', or 'okay mou' - which are mostly Cantonese anyway would help me go far. And I did a terrible mistake of not learning any of the basic Chinese prior because I was just.. too.. busy. Also, doesn't help that I'm going there with my friends who can all speak Mandarin, or understand Mandarin at the very least. So I kind of took it for granted.

And that part intimidated me a little bit knowing that I cannot lose sight of them.

But it turns out, every trip is different and I'm different in every trip.

I've gone to so many solo adventurous trips that I am so glad I stuck by them like a baby guppy, because it reminded how much laughs and loves they always give me like old times. And that traveling in group means you sign up f…

Dining in Rome & Venice

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If Elizabeth Gilbert had dedicated a chapter of her life to the pleasures and delight of dining in Italy, and Dean Martin so much so longingly professed that your eyes could go big as pizza pie as amore, synonym to finding one's mojo back in life, or being in love or better yet, better than love itself........

One can only imagine the passion, intensity and life the Italian meals can create in most of us, for them to profess their surrender to these delicious cuisines.

1. They love their sweet life 
If we haven't already known, the Italians are notorious for being the world's most romantic, most pleasurable people in the world. They love a good life, and love a good way of living life. And what better way to celebrate life than through food. Italians usually start their day with dolce which basically means 'sweet' or anything sweet. I don't really take sweet stuff in the morning.. but you know what they say, when in Rome.......

If they're not puffed in suga…

2D/ 1N long overdue Kampung Tenom visit

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My late dad was born and raised in Tenom. Minus his amazing background stories of him having to walk for hours to and from school, having to continue to work at the rubber estates after school, then to study in the dark just before sleep, then sponsored by the Government to continue his studies in economics in Canberra Australia, and then continued his lifelong journey of being the awesome man that he was - he will always be fondly remembered as the hilarious dad and charismatic politician that he was.

Coming back to basics to where he was from is not only so humbling, but so refreshing from the constant chase in the city. We wanted to see dad's side of the family to announce that my brother is finally getting married (Finally! Hopefully that'll keep mum lay low for a couple of years -_-) and that he's pursuing his studies in KL.

Sometimes, I feel so bad that my dad's side appear so little in my pictures due to distance. I work hard almost 7 days a week, up to late ni…

Missing Venice

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Sun lit alleyways, wooden windows, coffee smell, masquerades for sale, soft accordion in the background, stone pebble driveways, people drawing, flowers, fresh vegetables for sale, summer dresses, gondolas, Italian yells, glasses clinking, melting ice creams, chuckles and kisses.

I always think of Venice as a painting, a distant painting impossible to get acquainted with. A travel myth, an illusion, that only the people in the myth tells the love stories. A dream that only one can dream. I mean why wouldn't I, so many emulations of this canal city everywhere in the world. From the casinos in Macau, to Vegas, to every other entertainment city in the world, creators creating an illusion of a place so synonym with love and dream.

Until last May. 

Everything I envisioned of Venice was unfolding right by my eyes from the moment I stepped out of the train station. A grandeur of a welcome by the iconically decorated gondolas, slowly cruising the green blue waters in between the bridges a…

Cooking class in Pattaya

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Winning a lucky draw like free stays are GREAT, but when you're thrown into a destination you barely know of.............

I decided this would be a great time for me to bond with my little sister Jessy despite not knowing what we could do together in Pattaya. There were a few things to choose, from a floating market to petting the most adorable elephants. Eventually I decided to do something that would be more educational, in a sense, some useful information that we could bring back home and possibly apply.

I reckon cooking seems like the perfect bet!

So we decided on the website with the best SEO, haha, cause I simply Googled "cooking classes in Pattaya" and Walter and Lom came up first. I emailed Walter about 2 weeks before the actual date, and Jessy and I secured ourselves a half day class with him and his wife :)

Happy Chef Thai Cooking Class: http://learnthaicooking.net/

For every activity I do, I must choose the ones that are close to my hotel obviously for easy tr…

A night in Papar in Koposizon Homestay

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There is nothing - nothing like the feeling of seeing one of your best friend walking down the aisle. Angel was asking me whether I'd come for Stephie's wedding, but the actual fact that she is one of my closest, and coolest, made me consider whether I'd stay on for the party till night.

Because, why not. 

So I said yes, and just maybe continue the night. I wasn't gonna cut short on a friend I've known for almost 20 years' wedding party. After all, I've got all the freedom in the world to }:)

One of the highest honour in life is to be able to help your friend on her wedding day. I sorted her bouquets, the flower girls' flowers and even her bridesmaids'. She requested for it to look tropical, and I tried just that. It looked like a tropical jungle out there! So so beautiful.



After the church wedding, we drove to Papar and started the party.......... #yolo decided to stay on for the night (minus Morris because he is from Papar himself). We hooked ours…

Rome by Foot

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Yes you can! 

We did just that without knowing that we could. Prior to executing our actual visits to Rome's main attractions, I was looking through online and found out that these places are "quite near to each other". So I took everyone's word for it, and decided a day for Rome's city centre.

I had to decide only on 3/4 attractions, the ones that we really wanted to visit. Mum said, Spanish Stairs, I said Villa Borghese, Fontana de Trevi and city of Trastevere. Jessy chose Fontana de Trevi as well. We had only our map to equip us with the day, our phones are not on roaming so the option is out. And we reckon, that the crowd is our source of information.

Our stay in Rome was very central.

We're just by the side of a bus station that connects us to basically everywhere, so we decided to hop onto the bus to bring us to our first main attraction, Villa Borghese. Little did we know... this was the no 1 starting point of going into the road that would lead us to …

"Temple Running" in Bangkok

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Before we took the flight to Bangkok for our all girls trip, we asked Stephie - the bachelorette to decide what else she'd like to do.

And she said, temples! But of course!

I forgot Bangkok is beaming with beautiful temples, that I only remembered the shopping part of this city. So I did all my research and suggested a few.OK - one day for temples it is :)

We started the day the usual.

Headed to Terminal 21 for a heavy brunch, sort ourselves out, learned our saved maps in our phones and then made our way out. It seemed like the best way to navigate to all the places that we wanted to go was to go back to where we were yesterday (Taling chan "floating market") which is Saphan Taksin/ Chao Phraya Pier, I've got so many inverted commas for this day please bear with me...

So we did just that.

We took the train straight to the last station towards the big river, queued for the boat and started on our first temple which was Wat Pho (the lovely Reclining Buddha). When we re…

3D/ 2N in Intercontinental Pattaya Resort

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This is going to be a straightforward post of how lovely the Intercontinental Pattaya is. The more interesting ones are coming up in a few weeks time :)

I actually won free stays from my company's annual staff party and I for one would not give it a pass. I coincide the trip with Stephie and Ingrid, but this time with Jessy (because I promised her).

Jessy and I head to Pattaya by bus we took from Victory Monument in Bangkok to Pattaya around 4pm. We were expecting to reach Pattaya around 6/7 pm, just in time for dinner, and a good sleep when we reach the hotel.

It was quite smooth sailing, except, by the time we reach Pattaya every other cabs we hailed said "they don't use meters". I don't even know what that means, but after living in KK for so long, I think I'm beginning to adapt to it. Doesn't mean I condone it, taxis should always have meter charges.

Once we reached......



Airbnb at Venice, Mirano

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Some of you may have seen my instagram posts @jacqkierowena on my Italian trip and may have wondered whether any of the posts I shared were too good to be true.

Well yes, they were too good, but still very true.

Staying in a place that looks like it came straight out of a postcard, with the friendliest of furry friends that would rub against you and shake your hand (YES) and with the loveliest family that would be kind enough to bring you to church together with them.

I don't usually endorse a lot of things, but I have gained so much from my experiences through Airbnb, that I admit it was what I have been looking for during all my travel years. To be able to meet locals from the places I've visited, ask questions, see them live. From Sri Lanka, to Japan, and now Italy. I'm just a young traveler, cool with innovations, and loving the idea to keep people around the world connected. So I'm always up for trying these things.

I'm dedicating this entire post about stayi…

Cost of self-planned 10 days 9 nights - Venice & Rome

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This post was 3 months in the making!

(I know I owe other posts about Bangkok, which are in queue..)

But no seriously.. I started this post end March so that I can be diligent with my posts and tips. I wanted to include all the numbers and facts first before I impart all the photos (from the actual trip) and here goes:

1) Return flight KK - KL (has to be accounted for since we had to fly from KK) 
Total per person: MYR 350.40nett per person via Malaysia Airlines. They had the best deal for the best times at that time so it was a no brainer. And the whole trick of getting tickets, before and after the flights to Rome.
Malaysia AirlinesMalindo Air Air Asia 2) Overnight in KL (also to be accounted for because this is part of the cost) 
Total per person: RM 56.10 per person. Including taxi and airport transfer to and fro. We stayed in Youniq Hotel because it was cheaper than anywhere else, plus it could host us 3. And I remember the airport transfer from the hotel to the airport which I thou…

Shopping in Bangkok

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Best friends Ingrid, Stephie and I have known each other most of our lives. When I say most, I mean at least 13 - 18 years. Now some say, 13 years is nothing, on the other hand, some say a decade is enough to know.

Well I think, who gives a fk.

20 years, 3 days, 5 months, a lifetime. 
When you've got a good friendship, you've got it good. 




We've always talked about taking a trip together, now that Stephie is finally getting hitched, we thought it's the perfect excuse to go for an all girls trip, like I did last year with the rest of the girls. AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.

We decided that it was going to be ALL about shopping. That we'd come to Bangkok, enjoy a little bit, and spend most of our waking time shopping. I've never had a shopping holiday........ I must say....... Now that I'm older and earning my own...... It feels DARN GOOD.

We stayed in The Blocks Hostel, which was a quirky hipster hostel managed by youngsters. I chose that hostel because of it's…

One night at Kundasang, Mile 36 Lodge

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It's been ages since we're trying to fix a date and time to go for an outing together. Finally! We decided on a date and worked our way towards it.

And for Sabahans. There seem no other places.......

Mostly because it's so near to KK, and it's an entire world on its own. Cool, scenic, windy and refreshing, it's like an entirely new place yet so near from the city. And it's only less than 2 hours away from the city.

So it's only natural... everyone voted for Kundasang.


Mile 36 Lodge 

There were nine of us, so trying to find a place that could fit all 9 of us, was tricky. Eventually, we found Mile 36 Lodge who so conveniently have bunk beds and one king bed for all 10 of us. We fit in just like a big family, haha.


There were a full operating kitchen, outdoor barbecue pit extension, with stove, knives, plates and other utensils, sink, cutting board etc. IT WAS COMPLETE! We kinda underestimate the lodge, not only was it complete, it was clean, and still very cu…