48 Hours in Prague

It’s been a while since me and my boyfriend returned from our trip to Prague and my travel bugs have been biting me relentlessly so I thought writing a blog post might stop the biting for a bit. To me, Prague is a grand city that is decorated by beautiful yet mysterious looking medieval architectures with lots of hearty food and gorgeous parks, a city that is perfect for hopeless romantics like me.

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We picked a place called Prague Holiday Apartment and the location of it just couldn’t get any better. You can reach the famous Cafe Savoy by foot and the peculiar looking Dancing House is just one bridge away.

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If you’ve only got 48 hours in Prague like us, an itinerary like below should bring be able to bring you a lifetime memory:

E A T / D R I N K / S E E – DAY 1

Go to the Cafe Savoy for brunch. The decor of the cafe is grand and elegant. They have a wide selection of breakfast choices and Czech gourmet dishes. We went to this restaurant twice because it was that great!

After the heavy brunch, you should now be recharged with energy and it’s time for a little walking. Walk to the famous Charles Bridge from Cafe Savoy, venture your way to Prague Castle and Mala Strana (the oldest town in Prague) where will find yourself surrounded by ancient chapels and cobbled lanes. You can end your walking tour at Oldtown Square where the clock tower is, wander around and take some pictures.

After all the walking, you are probably feeling a bit peckish, there’s an Amorino in the old town that you can get the creamiest pistachio gelato!

Our original plan was to go to U Kroka or Ferdinanda for dinner, places we found online that do Czech food and have good reviews but unfortunately, both of them were closed the night we wanted to go so we stumbled upon a restaurant called U Glacubicu in Mala Strana and the food turned out to be great! I had a potato soup call Bramboračka and it was utterly delicious! I would definitely suggest you have a dinner there too.

Last but not least for day 1, visit the pub area near Charles Bridge for a few drinks, if you are looking for a place to dance off the calories of the dinner you just had, you can go to the Karlovy Lazne, it’s a huge club in central Prague.

Cafe Savoy in Prague
Cafe Savoy

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Amorino
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Amorino

E A T / D R I N K / S E E – DAY 2

After a full day with lots of walking, laughing, drinking and eating, you must be a little exhausted by now. Go get yourself pampered by enjoying the spa at Boscolo Hotel, we spent two hours there swimming, enjoying the sauna and steaming and it was a pretty soothing experience.

Now you should feel rejuvenated and ready to keep exploring the city but you will need some fuse to do that right? So chow time! Visit Konirna in old town if you like alfresco dining and want to try local Czech food. After lunch, take a short walk back to the Charles Bridge area to digest the food and you will see there’re paddle boats and water zorbing along the bridge that you can go play. Guys, if you haven’t tried zorbing yet then you are really missing out some serious fun here. It’s much much hard than you imagine, we managed to stand up and roll for about 5 seconds max but I guess the constantly laughing burned off at least 500 calories for us.

One of the most memorable things that we did in Prague was visiting the Letna Beer Garden. It’s a leafy outdoor beer garden decorated with fairy lights with lots of benches and tables, live music, food and beer situated up on a hill where you see the view of the whole city. We had a really good time there and I am pretty sure you will too.

Alright, let’s get to dinner time (how much do I love food…), we had a delectable meal at an Italian restaurant called Pastar, their risotto and seafood rigatoni were so good and you shouldn’t miss out on that!

 

Water Zorbing in Prague
Water Zorbing
Konirna Restaurant in Prague
Konirna
lenta beer garden in prague
Letna Beer Garden
Pastar in Prague
Pastar

 

If you are taking a return flight at night, there are a few more things that you can do before leaving Prague:

Petrin Park –  It’s near the apartment that we stayed, there’s a small store at the bottom of the park where you can buy a few cans of chilled ciders and bags of crisps while sunbathing.

Mint Prague Fashion Market – A super good weekend market that when we were wandering around Charles Square, you will find lots of small independent fashion shops and a stall where you can learn calligraphy, the lesson was priced reasonble was very enjoyable.

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Before we got to Prague, we were warned a few times that Prague is not safe, full of pick-pocketers and tourists often get scammed. Luckily we had a safe few days in Prague and made encounters only with beautiful views, gorgeous food, and nice people! 🙂

 

 

 

Paradises Exist | Three Days in Lombok

Paradises are real!  My boyfriend and I decided to spend my birthday in Lombok – Indonesia, an island that has nothing much but a pristine ocean, sweeping bays, and bars where you can watch the blood-red sun dances off the Pacific Ocean. We had a hell lot of wonderful moments on this island that we wanted to relive as soon as we stepped on our return flights. Mangsit Beach LombokSvarga Resort Outfit

To stay

We stayed at two different resorts in Lombok – Katamaran Resort and Svarga Resort. Both of these resorts are located on the Mangsit beach in Lombok.

Katamaran was only built a few years ago hence everything inside the resort is still very new and clean. The resort has two swimming pools – a double decker see-through infinity pool plus a smaller pool, lots of sunbeds, poolside bar, two restaurants and a luxurious spa. The Spa is definitely a highlight of the resort as it has the most breathtaking view a spa salon can offer! We had a 120 minutes massage treatment that ended with an aromatic rose petal bath and it was just perfect!

The second resort that we stayed – Svarga was a birthday surprise planned by my lovely boyfriend. The hotel’s design is simple and neat which I adored and our villa was built on a cliff with a lovely private pool and sunbeds. We lounged around the sunbeds all day when the sun was out and sat by the pool at night to chit-chat until we finished the very last drop of wine. The only downside of Svarga is the resort is a bit old so some features of the rooms might be a bit rusty or broken but overall it was a good stay too.

If you are looking for a wider range of facilities and more choices of restaurants, then you should stay at Katamaran. But if you are craving for a detox and quiet holiday in a secluded place (there are no alcoholic drinks served in the hotel) that no one can disturb you, then Svarga would be a good choice for you.

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Katamaran Resort
Swimming Pool Lombok
Katamaran Resort
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Katamaran Spa
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Svarga Resort
Svarga Resort Lombok
Svarga Resort
Svarga Resort
Svarga Resort
Svarga Resort
View from our living room – Svarga

To do & See

I’d say the thing that you must do when in Lombok is NOTHING. When we were not splashing ourselves in the tranquil waters or trotting along the sand as the sun sets, we were zipping fruity cocktails under the shade and it was fabulous.

Lombok itself is a sleepy village but there is a town called Senggigi in case you get bored (I won’t!) of the laid back resort life. It is a long strip with a few bars, restaurants, massage parlors and homestays.

On the last day of our trip, I was actually all ready to stitch myself to the sunbed but it was a stormy day so my boyfriend dragged me out to kayaking at Senggigi town and I am so glad he did that cause we got to watch the sun sinks into the surf on our little kayak and it was a remarkable experience! The price to rent kayak was very cheap compared to other popular holiday destinations, thanks to my boyfriend who managed to bring down the price from 80,000 Rupiah (6 USD) to 50,000 Rupiah (4 USD). Well done boyfriend!

Do pop by a bar called Sunset Bar if you happen to be in Senggigi town, it’s a beach bar facing the ocean inside a hotel called Senggigi Beach Hotel, it’s a good spot to sit back and relax with a few cocktails in hands.

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To eat

Our best meal of the trip was the first dinner that we had at the beachside restaurant in Katamaran after we landed Lombok. They have this clear ox tail soup that will make you forget how to spell stress! Unfortunately, it was too dark for us to take any pictures (truth be told – we were too hungry to stop and take photos). We also enjoyed a delectable meal at yet another restaurant in the resort called Kliff, the view from the restaurant is amazing and the decor is also one to die for. Kliff serves east-meets-west fusion, the food was ok but the view ‘tasted’ better. We also really enjoyed the room service at Katamaran, we went to bed every night with a happy belly after gobbling all the delicious Mie Goreng topped with a fried egg that has a crispy edge, tender center and a runny yolk in bed! Last but not least, we went to a restaurant that was recommended by a few locals called New Furama, they do local Indonesian food and the grilled fish we had was pretty darn good.

 

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We loved Lombok because it’s a place that doesn’t have too much that is happening which made us feel truly relaxed and unwind. After this trip, I believe we have found our paths to a true paradise.

A Week in Germany

I have returned from the best trip of my life a month ago. My boyfriend and I decided to go to Germany to watch his favourite rock band – Blink 182 (Coldplay happened to be playing in Germany during the same week of Blink 182 and of course, we were not going to miss that).

Germany is synonymous with a few best things that exist in the world – beer and juicy sausages that no one can resists, which explains why the first thing we did after we landed Munich was to try the famous traditional Bavarian breakfast – boiled white sausages and pretzels (we washed the food down with a pint of beer of course). Other than sausages and beer, we wandered around Munich to enjoy its history and beautiful park.   The city itself is upscale and filled with historical buildings, my personal favourite of Munich has got to be the lake side beer garden – Englischer Garten. It’s a huge urban park with a beer garden inside where you will find reasonably priced Radler (so refreshing!), moist roasted chicken and the vibe there is simply amazing.

Munich

IMG_5392.JPGIMG_6002IMG_7933.JPGStuttgart

After a brief encounter with Munich, we arrived in Stuttgart where my boyfriend’s sister and brother-in-law live. Thanks to these two lovely hosts, we did a lot of things that tourists probably won’t get the chance to experience. We went to a strawberry farm to pick strawberries, had a full on white asparagus meal next to a vineyard, went to a local wine shop where they sell the most delicious locally made wine. We also went to Ludwigsburg Palace, it’s a massive Baroque style palace built in the 16th century, we took one of the twice daily English tours and went round the King’s side of the palace (some tours take the Queen’s side of the palace) and it was a fantastic experience. IMG_7319_editiedIMG_5691IMG_5423.JPGIMG_5641IMG_5659.JPGIMG_7322_editedIMG_7328_editedIMG_7289_edited

Leipzig

We took a short flight from Stuttgart to Leipzig to watch the amazing Coldplay. Apparently, Leipzig is an up and coming city that lots of young people start travelling to. We found a really nicely built restaurant call Bayerischer Bahnhof that was transformed from an old train station to a beer hall/restaurant. We had yet another hearty meal before screaming our hearts out at the concert and had the best time of our life.

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Neuschwanstein, King’s Lake and The Eagle’s Nest

Neuschwanstein was the destination I was excited about the most before the trip among all the places that we went. Mainly because of the romanticised ‘Disney Castle’ but I would say it was not as romantic as we thought it would be. The castle is alluring from afar but perhaps there were too many tourists (myself included) and the palace has lost its dreamy atmosphere.

Before heading to Austria, we also had a quick visit to the famous King’s Lake and The Eagle’s Nest. The King’s Lake was beautiful and gave us a respite from all the urban hustle and bustle, you will find yourself surrounded by a lush heaven of forest and a crystal clear lake.

We headed to The Eagle’s Nest after the short stop at the King’s Lake, you need to buy tickets (~16 euros) from the ticket office at the Hintereck parking area and take a shuttle bus from there. The 20 minutes bus journey was a great experience itself because you can enjoy the stunning view as the bus driving up the beautiful Alps mountain. We were warned that the nest is gonna be freezing and it was really really cold up there so we decided to warm our stomach first with rich goulash and curry at the restaurant up in the mountain before exploring the nest.

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The only German city that I had been before this trip was Berlin and I didn’t really enjoy it that much but this trip has completely changed my feeling towards Germany. My absolute highlights for Germany were definitely the stunning architecture that you get to enjoy just strolling around the city with Eiskaffe in hands and the food (=sausages)! Throughout Germany, you’ll find lots of outdoor sausage vendors and the ketchup loaded currywurst is definitely the best thing ever invented and you must try once when you are in Germany!

Eat, Play, Sleep – Da Nang

Places visited: Da Nang, Hoi An

Travellers often seek to cross borders and break your own comfort zone but that’s usually not the case when you are travelling with your family. My family and I all wanted a relaxing and hassle-free beach holiday and Da Nang seemed to check all the boxes; crystal clear water, blue sky and beautiful tropical palm trees so off we went!

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To See & Do

Hoi An – a beautiful and well-preserved old town about an hour away from Da Nang, this place is a very photogenic and such a delightful place to visit. We only spent a day trip in Hoi An but evenings there are apparently very pretty with the town coming even more alive under those colourful lanterns.

Son Tra (Monkey Moutain) – the resort we stayed is built on Son Tra so we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy the gorgeous view from the mountain every day throughout our stay. But even if you are not staying at this mountain, you still should pay the Son Tra a visit as the scenery from the hill is just breathtaking. 

To Eat & Drink

Seafood – being a beach town situated right on the coast of the Eastern Sea makes Da Nang a legendary town for its seafood offerings! There are so many seafood restaurants along the Pham Van Dong Street for you to choose from but remember you must check the price before you order because usually prices are not printed on the menus at seafood restaurants there.

To Stay

We chose the Intercontinental Resort this time and the experience was sensational! The resort is nestled on the beautiful Son Tra Moutain (a.k.a the Monkey Mountain). Although the location is a little bit inconvenient if you want to go to town often, but the resort offers many activities from basket boat fishing, paddle boarding to trekking and we were happily “trapped” inside the resort. They also got some amazing wooden escalators that can take you from the reception area to the beach and it’s super fun to be on it. The thought of deliberately leaving something behind at the beach so that I can take the escalator again did come across my mind a few times…

Tips

Best time to travel to Da Nang is March to May when the weather is not too hot and do try to avoid September to December as that’s the rainy season in Da Nang.

Time flies when you are having fun. I will definitely plan for a longer trip when I go back to Da Nang next time. If you are looking for places to spend some quality family time, Da Nang is definitely a good point of entry especially if you also live in Hong Kong as there are direct flights operated by a few different airlines, and the journey is less than two hours 🙂

 

Two Days in Cinque Terre

 

Places visited: Monterosso, Manarola, Vernazza

From the very first time when I saw the pictures of Cinque Terre, I knew it’s a place that I had to go and finally last September I turned my dream into reality.

Cinque Terre is made of five sun-drenched villages on the coast of Italy – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, it is also a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site. All five villages share a similar theme, so for first timers like us, it was really hard to decide which village to visit especially if you don’t have enough time to see all five. We finally picked Monterosso as our base and visited Manarola and Vernazza because Monterosso has the biggest town with beaches and Manarola and Vernazza appeared to be the most photogenic. We took a train (you can get your tickets from Trenitalia) from Rome to Monterosso, the ticket is about 35 Euro per adult. We were greeted by the dramatic scenery of the Italian Riviera as soon as we got off the train after 4 hours of travelling.

dsc00555dsc00563img_0986img_0993img_0959dsc00539dsc00581dsc00567To See & Do

Monterosso – We picked this place as our base because it’s the biggest village among all five villages, it has a beach and a dozen of restaurants to choose from. I can say we were really happy with our decision, I mean look at that view in the picture below..dsc00548Manarola – The only town with a natural port. It’s pretty much a one street town and there isn’t too much you can do there. Still, it’s going to take you hours to finishing walking it because every corner is worth taking a snap. I would not recommend picking Manarola as your base but it’s definitely worth spending an afternoon there.dsc00546Vernazza – The most popular village among tourists. Getting lost in those beautiful cobblestone lanes that are lined with little cafes is the best thing you can do there! This place is incredibly photogenic, I promise you every picture you take there is gonna be “instagrammable”! 🙂img_1021Hiking – It is a very popular activity in Cinque Terre as the hiking trails are apparently breathtakingly beautiful and you might need some exercise after eating all the irresistible Italian cheese, wine and pasta! You can actually hike between the five villages for about 5 – 6 hours, we didn’t have time to do that but I find this blog post pretty useful if you are planning to hike in Cinque Terre.

To Eat & Drink

Spritz All Day – Nothing beats watching the sun dances off the ocean with a glass of Spritz in hand when in Italy.

Deep Fried Calamari from Batti Batti (Vernazza) – You can smell the aroma of the deep fried calamari as soon as you get off the train, follow the smell and you should have no problem finding this little gem.

I tend to write down a list of restaurants or food that I want to try when I travel but I didn’t do that for Cinque Terre as I felt it is a place where you should live spontaneously rather than having everything planned. If you have any restaurants that I shouldn’t have missed, let me know! 🙂

To Stay

We picked a little place called Hotel Souvenir, it is about 10 – 15 minutes walk from Monterosso train station with comfortable rooms and complimentary breakfast.

Tips

The train is the best way to travel between five villages as some parts of the villages are “car-free”.

Sadly we only had two days there and didn’t have enough time to see everything we wished to see in Cinque Terre but I can confident to say that it is truly a place that will make you feel the reality is way better than dreams.

The Colour of Mykonos

Places visited: Little Venice, The Windmill, Mykonos Town (aka Hora)

Losing my previous blog gives me another chance to re-write all the blog posts that I have written previously and this particular one about Mykonos has made me feel excited about the most. The Greek islands are my favourite places to visit in the summer for all the obvious reasons – beautiful white houses against the volcanic landscape resting beside the alluring Aegean Sea… hmm…

dsc02506dsc02498img_2461Santorini or Mykonos?

I went to Santorini 4 years ago and fell in love instantly with the head-turner white houses and how they were contrasted with the turquoise blue seawater. Many including myself struggle between whether they should visit Mykonos or Santorini first. I would say they are both incredibly beautiful islands but Mykonos offers nicer beaches and better nightlife while Santorini has better sunset views and gives you that extra romantic feeling.

My recommendation would be go to Mykonos with your friends especially if you fancy spending your days at the beach and partying and go to Santorini with you other half because watching the sun dancing off the ocean at Oia and Fia is something that every couple should experience together at least once in their lifetime. If you still can’t make up your mind which island is for you, you can actually visit both by ferry and the journey is just about 3 hours.

 To See & Do

Get lost in those narrow cobblestone lanes – Wandering around the island is probably the best thing to do when in Mykonos as every turn promises a surprise.

Visit the Panagia Paraportiani – The oldest church in the town of Mykonos, we walked pass this church on our way to the Windmill from the Old Port, it’s a neat little church perched on the edge of the beautiful blue sea.

Visit the hilltop Windmill – Let’s keep this short, it will make your Pinterest dream comes true and it is also the place where my passionate love affair with Mykonos begins!

Party party party – The island is actually a popular place for beach parties (parties start at 4 pm! Wink wink). I went there with my family so I didn’t really get to experience that but do check out Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach in the evening if you looking for some quality party times!

Beach all day – Pack a book or two and a bottle of Rose, head to the Paraga Beach and stay there until the sun goes. One can never have too much beach right?

dsc02514dsc02523To Stay

We picked a place called Colours of Mykonos after some serious research cause hotels in Mykonos can get quite pricey during the summer season but we managed to find this cute little boutique hotel situated just less than 2 miles away from the Mykonos Town. The closest beach to the hotel is the Ornos Beach which is about 15 minutes walk but if you are not a fan of walking, the hotel also offers free transportation to and from beaches but you will need to let the reception lady (she’s super friendly) know in advance. Probably because the location of the hotel is a little bit off the main attractions hence we were the only guests there but I am not complaining cause we had the amazing swimming pool and those ultra-comfy sunbeds all to ourselves.

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Being a seaside town, Mykonos offers a good selection of seafood, we went to an outdoor restaurant called Kavos (happened to be the first place I went in Greece) and we had a delightful meal right next to the edge of the sea. They do quality meat skewers and gyros too if you don’t like seafood. DSC02489.JPG

Tips

The island itself is pretty easy to get around so the only tip I have for you is hop on a plane now to Greece and experience this glamour island before it gets too populated by tourists (like myself…)!

Finding Nemo in Okinawa

Places visited: Naha, The Blue Cave, Aharen Beach

As much as I love Hong Kong, it is a place that gives you the occasional feeling that you need a getaway from the hustle and bustle of life. For that reason, me and my sister have decided to venture our way to Okinawa for a spontaneous weekend trip.IMG_5522.jpgIMG_7917.jpgOkinawa has one of the top ocean views in the world and it is also a popular destination for snorkelling and scuba diving for locals and tourists. If you are planning to visit Okinawa, be ready to be hit by the subtropical climate, sun-kissed beaches and sparkly blue sea water!

To Stay

We stayed at a place called Southern Beach Hotel & Resort, it’s about 20 minutes drive from Okinawa’s centre. The rooms are okay, and they offer free parking spaces, staff there are very friendly and most importantly, they have really decent breakfasts! 😋UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1069.jpgIMG_7828.jpg

To see

Aharen Beach – you can’t miss out on this island if you plan to visit Okinawa! Take a ferry from Naha port to Tokashi Island, as soon as you get off the ferry, you will be greeted by a few friendly Japanese people holding “To Beach” signs, hop on that bus (the fare is 1,000 YEN per person) and you will be sent to the dazzling Aharen Beach in just 10 minutes! The brief bus journey from Tokashi Port to Aharen itself already is an unforgettable experience.

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IMG_8119.jpgAharen Island

Blue Cave – If you are a fan of diving and snorkelling, then you definitely need to give this place a visit. The water there is amazingly blue, simply beyond your imagination! We didn’t even have to dive in deep and were already surrounded by lots of beautiful fishes.

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To eat

Unlike other cities in Japan, tourists don’t tend to come to Okinawa for 5 days and eat till you drop. But we did have a really good bowl of Ramen at a place called Dokka Ramen (通堂拉麵) and the dumplings there are just mind-blowing! There is also a fish market called Tomari Fish Market if you are a fan of Sashimis. IMG_5517.JPGIMG_7889.jpg

Tips

Hiring a car is probably the most important thing when travelling to Okinawa. You might think a country as developed as Japan is, public transport must be really convenient, but that’s not the case for Okinawa. Coming from a city like Hong Kong, we simply can’t tolerate the train’s frequency to be any less than a train in 5 minutes. As soon as we hopped off the plane we went straight to OTS to pick up our car, the rental price was around HKD 400 per day.

You can never get enough of a holiday on a tropical island and we already want to go back to Okinawa for more! Until next time xxx