My 7 Travel Tips for New York City

So I visited the Big Apple last Thursday. It was a quick short trip but nonetheless amazing. I did not do much planning. I hate making travel plans unless I have a place or two in mind that I really want to visit so bad – like Niagara Falls – otherwise, I’m the girl that goes to wherever brings her. So this trip was equally unplanned, rushed and well… kept chill.

So here’s New York in my eyes and my personal tips for you if you’re thinking of getting lost in New York City:

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Taiwan Trip 2013

Fyi: This entry was written last year August 16, 2015 for my previous blog. 

Thought I’d share my trip to Taiwan two years ago today. It was a fun 7 day trip with Cheryl and her parents and I have meant to blog about it for a lonnng time.

Here’s what, as I recalled, happened…

Not in any chronological order.

Warning: This is a very long, photo heavy post. Read at your own risk!

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Seattle Trip!

So during my birthday weekend, Mel and I went to Seattle! It was really nice to be away for a while, it felt like forever since I last had my break.

So here’s how I spent my 2 days in Seattle. This post might be useful if you’re a foodie thinking of taking a short trip down to the Emerald City or if you’re just a very curious cat.

Day 1

We didn’t sleep on the bus and were glued to our phone for most time. Well, I certainly couldn’t help it with the free wifi on the bus. I did try watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind though but couldn’t get myself to complete it. I.will.try.again.tomorrow.


The first thing we did upon arriving was head to the Crumpet Shop for their famous and delicious crumpets. The line was crazy – But on Saturdays like then, the line was crazy everywhere. I guess weekend isn’t really a good time to be in Seattle. I was literally in line for every food I craved for at Pike Place Market.


We ordered a plain crumpet with chocolate hazelnut. It was sinfully delicious.


Then queued for Piroshky Piroshky. Their salmon pate is the best thing ever and right now, my mouth is watering as I write this.


A lot of eating as usual. We visited Jack’s Fish Spot and had their famous fish and chips and oysters.


We walked around Macy after because

  1. Vancouver doesn’t have Macy
  2. It would be insane to go for another bite after having so much food at Pike Place.
  3. We are going to Cheesecake Factory for another huge meal.

Shopping is becoming a very boring activity for me. Macy has nothing much to offer as well. Either that or shopping has completely turned me off…? Maybe it’s an age thing? You get wiser and realized that shopping for something completely useless is indeed very meaningless and redundant? Hmm…

Anyway, I thought the trees outside Pacific Place were such a beauty.


Asked Mel to pose so I can improve my photography skills. Not too bad eh?


After walking for several hours, we finally headed to the Cheesecake Factory!


Cheesecake Factory was as usual crazy crowded. We were finally seated at 9PM – a very ungodly hour for dinner – especially for a health freak like me… But it was my birthday and I thought screw eating clean and calories counting!

We ordered my usual favourite, Chinese Chicken Salad and their Alfredo pasta which Mel was craving for.


Then as though they weren’t filling enough, we ordered a slice of cookie-dough cheesecake.


Trust me, it is as it delicious as it looks. 

I returned to the hotel with an almost exploding stomach. I almost threw up.

Day 2

Thank God for speedy metabolism because day 2 was another foodie trip. Chaiyo was our next food destination.

Located at Northgate, Chaiyo has been one of my must-go places whenever I’m in Seattle. I was first introduced to this thai restaurant by a friend and constantly heard ravings for their thai food – which I have to agree, are spicy enough for my Indonesian tongue.

We ordered a variety but my favourite is their Guay Tiew Lord. At Chaiyo, you get to pick how spicy you want your food to be. We had all for medium since Mel isn’t really a spicy eater.


After, we drove down to get my Avocado plus chocolate drizzle drink at Tapioca Express.


I love this drink because they don’t have it in Vancouver. I visited their location here in Richmond and when I requested for this heaven-knows-how-good-yet-so-sinful drink, the man at the counter looked at me as though I was speaking in alien.

Btw, considering that I’m kinda a newbie driver, I’m very impressed at myself and how I managed to drive around Washington safely.

Though I have to say driving around Seattle downtown was really stressful. For instance, we couldn’t visit the Olympic Sculpture Park in the morning because we couldn’t find a parking and I have wasted like 40 minutes driving around the park. We finally returned to the park in the evening, after returning the rented car. Kinda glad I let my stubborn self go – otherwise we’d probably be wasting hours and wouldn’t be able to cover so much.


I love how peaceful this man is despite being humongous. It’s like he doesn’t give a damn about the world and how his neck is rooted to the ground. Yes, I’m staring at him and thinking that I should be like him. My feet are like his neck, and I should walk with my head held high and perhaps, be very very simple minded. Which is hard. You know how hard it is if you are like me, a very very deep thinker. 


The last time I visited the park was 4 years ago (I think). Cousin G was still in Seattle then and in the evening, we took her dog, Noah for a walk around the park. The park does bring back fond memories. Brb as I be #emotional.


Cousin G and I trying to get Noah, her dog, to look at the camera. 

While every road trip / travel has been real fun and eye-opening, this trip is especially unforgettable because:

  1. I drove in and outside Seattle!!!!
  2. I’ve felt very independent
  3. I covered places outside Seattle that I thought I wouldn’t be able to without a friend who is familiar with the city or who is more street smart
  4. I feel like I’m confident enough to drive in LA now (Now, please trust me. I’d be your safest driver)

Yukon 2015

Three months ago, I finally booked my trip to Yukon. It was initially undecided. I’ve wanted to stay put in Vancouver after Christmas but finally decided otherwise and conceded to my long-time dream of seeing the northern lights.

The Northern Lights. The first time I heard of it was during my Astronomy class in university – that was also when I learnt to stargaze and fell in love with the enormous sky and its content. The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis , are the results of collisions between the gaseous particles from the Earth atmosphere with the charged particles from the Sun. Oxygen produces green northern lights while Nitrogen Oxide produces Purple hues. And after the course, it became my desire to see them one day.

I’ve tried catching them here in Vancouver but to no avail. Sometimes, CBC/ Vancity Buzz will write about their upcoming appearance but either I’d somehow miss them or they just don’t appear. One time I even waited somewhere in Whistler till ungodly 1AM to view them but they didn’t appear! So, this time, I chased them all the way to Whitehorse and here are the highlights of my 4 days / 3 nights trip!

The beautiful snow-covered land


The beautiful Northern Lights on my first night. I thought I wasn’t going to see it since it didn’t appear at all until 2AM. Anyway, the lights were dancing for a few minutes and I felt chill plus goosebumps just by watching them (apart from the temperature hitting minus 30 that night). It was so beautiful that I felt so emotional and almost teared. I’ve never had thought I’d one day see them with my very own eyes. I finally did and will never trade anything for another experience like this.


Books… more books and books! Give me all time in the world and you’ll find me hiding in a book store or a library. The selection of books in the minute Yukon Downtown is simply amazing. The prices are also extremely reasonable. The underground store (its passage is seen under the “BOOK ORDERS” sign) has crazy great deal of books priced $5 – $10. I was so tempted to get a few books but remember how my shelf is currently full so didn’t get any. Shucks. But I did spend a very long time browsing. 


Another day of seeing the Northern Lights was still as exciting as the first day. Only this time, the lights danced in the sky all the way until we left. Btw, the sky was darker than pictured. I had to change the focus, shutter speed, ISO etc as to get a clearer view of the green hues. Thus the picture looks like the sky was really bright that night. Nope. It was in fact pitch black.


The heat in the cabin located near the Northern Lights viewing point. It was so cold that I had to make trips to the cabin to keep myself warm for a while before coming out to capture the lights again. And the heat has never been as appealing as that night.




Moose at the Yukon Wildlife Reserve Park staring at my camera. It was so friendly and I felt so sad seeing it kept behind the fence. 🙁


The Yukon River. It’s so beautiful. I cannot even imagine. The weather was really cold. That day, it hit minus 35, still the beauty took away the breeze of cold and brought me a sense of appreciation and gratitude – I’m not even kidding. I didn’t think I could stand and stare for at least 30 minutes but I did. Nature is simply amazing, isn’t it?


Snowmobiling on a frozen lake! The ice hit 6″ deep that day (according to the tour guide) so we crossed the lake and it was such a thrill. I’ve never thought in my dear life I would be crossing a frozen lake with a snowmobile!


The snow. Whats winter and Christmas without snowflakes and snowfall? Teehee


Takhini Hot Spring. It was a joy to be immersed in a fairly warm water when everywhere was chilly. I finally felt my freezing fingers.


The beautiful nights. 


Now now, I think Yukon has taken a bit of me with its beauty and people…

I’d be back soon!