5 Malaysian Travel Bloggers You Need to Follow this School Holiday

What a way to start the school holidays but to discover more places so here we compiled a list of some of Asia’s top up-and-coming, Malaysian travel bloggers; keen observers and documenters of life that let us see the world vicariously through their globetrotting adventures and drive us to count our pennies at home—so that we might fulfil the wanderlust in us!

You’ll pick up great tips on the best places to eat, the country that gives you the best bang for your buck, and the priceless experiences you won’t exchange for anything in the world!

1. RAMBLE AND WANDERER

RaW of Ramble and Wander takes travel blogging to new heights with his award-winning photos and posts, some of which have been gained international recognition on BBC Travel, CNN, and Lonely Planet!

2. MALAYSIA ASIA

David Hogan Jr. is a multiple award-winning travel writer and blogger from several tourism boards in Malaysia. He covers the latest news and events related to tourism and the local scene in Malaysia, such as the upcoming 20th Century Fox World theme park at Genting Highlands.

3. MY TRAVELLICIOUS

Why you should know him: If you’re looking to inject some humour in your reading list, look no further than Fadli of My Travellicious. What differentiates Fadli from the other travel bloggers is that his posts are bilingual (Malay and English) and he writes from a first-person point-of-view using a highly conversational tone and a stream of consciousness style.

4. THE TINY WANDERER

Kher Ying of The Tiny Wanderer keeps a record of her personal travel experiences on The Tiny Wanderer, so you won’t see much in the way of reviews, but instead, you get a first-hand view into certain experiences, such as waitressing in Melbourne, working on a cruise ship and living in Germany.

5. ALEXANDRA LUELLA

Aside from being a foodie lover who documents her gastronomic conquests across the world, she’s also quite the stylite who takes an interest in eclectic wacky clothing lines and attends acclaimed fashion events!

10 Things to Do in Merida, Mexico

The stunning colonial city of Merida is located in the Yucatan. This city is rich in both culture and architecture. What captures you most about Merida is the people. Unlike some of Mexico’s more popular vacation destinations the pace is slow and the smiles are big. Merida is also widely considered to be Mexico’s safest city for years now.

Narrowing the list down just 10 things to do in Merida is tricky. That becomes increasingly difficult when you realize just how many amazing day trips from Merida there are. This list is a starting place but by no means all there is to do in this thriving Mexican city.

1. Wander the Historic City Center

The historic city center better know as Centro is the beating heart of Merida. You’ll find shops, restaurants, markets and entertainment everywhere you look. The stunning colonial architecture and brightly painted homes come with right stories. This is undoubtedly the number one thing to do while you’re in Merida. If you want to take a deeper dive into the the homes and gardens check out this great walking tour.

2. Climb Uxmal

While a day trip to the famous Chichen Itza is totally possible we are going to recommend visiting Uxmal. This set of ruins is equally as impressive as it’s more famous cousin and boasts some incredible perks. There are two major reasons Uxmal gets our vote, the first being you can climb the ruins. Climb up, take some pictures or just marvel in the moment. The second reason is there are far less tourists. The crowds at Uxmal are small so you won’t waste time waiting at the entrance.

3. Relax at the Beach in Progreso

There is a bus called AutoProgreso that take you directly from Centro to Progreso Beach. The beach is lined with restaurants and bars to enjoy while you take in the view. If you make a purchase for any of the restaurants they will allow you to use one of their beach chairs. Progreso is alo a cruise port, on days the the ship is in town you’ll see lots of street vendors pop up as well.

4. Browse the Markets

At the root of all cultures there is food. To find the most authentic, fresh ingredients you have to visit the market. Merida’s biggest market is the Lucas de Galvez market, located in Centro. The tip here is to go in the mornings before the crowds and the heat pick up. You also get your pick of all the freshest produce and food.

5. Swim in a Cenote

If swimming in a freshwater, underground cenote is on your bucket list the Yucatan is perfect for you. Within a short drive of Merida you can swim in all cenotes of all shapes and sizes. The hidden gems can be tricky to find so linking up with a great local guide for a cenote tour means you’ll get the most of the experience.

6. Visit the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya

To truly understand this region of the world you need to make a stop at the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya. The museum focuses on the history and culture of the Mayan World. You’ll have a chance to learn about the way of life and see what aspects are still present in everyday life. The beautiful modern building is air conditioned making it a great option for a hot afternoon.

7. Taste Yucatecan Food

When most people think Mexican food they think taco. While you will find plenty of tacos they are not the main event. The Yucatan has its own unique dishes including cochinita pibil, huevas motuleños, panuchos and chilaquiles. Eat your fill of Yucatecan food at some of these amazing spots. Also,don’t forget to use that salsas found on the table at each meal

8. Experience a Street Festival

Merida is one of those cities where there is always something going on. Every Sunday there is a street festival in Plaza Grande. Vendors selling food and handcrafts line the park paths and streets. If you time is right you’ll hear music and see people flocking to the streets to dance. It really is the best way to spend a Sunday.

9. Ride Bikes

In Merida there is a strong focus on families. Family friendly activities are common and easy to find. One of the most popular is Bici-Ruta, a Sunday morning bike ride. Every Sunday morning between 8:30 and 12:30 half off Paseo de Montejo is closed for the ride. You’ll find bike rentals near the Walmart.

10. Visit the Churches

The churches and cathedrals are pillars of each neighborhood in Merida. Each is backed with history and its own story of how that community has grown and changed. Create your own walking tour, popping in and out of these beautiful spaces.

10 Unbelievable Destinations to Spend New Years Eve

Can’t believe how incredibly fast that 2018 flew by. A whole year and it felt like it happened in the blink of an eye. As the end of the year approaches us everyone is starting to make their New Year’s Eve plans for ringing in the New Year and welcoming 2019. Traveling for New Year’s is always so much fun for me because it is so much fun to spend your holiday in a place that isn’t just your hometown. If you can make it to a big celebration/festival then it will make your holiday that much more fun. Here are 10 of the best and most unbelievable destinations that you can spend your New Year’s Eve throughout the world.

1. Sydney, Australia

Sydney is absolutely beautiful and they host a huge fireworks display and celebration for the New Year. You can watch the firework show at Sydney Harbour and enjoy the beautiful show. Plus it is also Summer time there during the New Year which means it is nice and warm for ringing in your New Year. Not to mention because of how time zones work, you will be the first to ring in the New Year in Sydney.

2. London, England

London is an amazing city and they have an incredible New Year’s Eve fireworks show that you can watch at Stately London along the Thames. But be sure to buy your tickets in advance as they do sell out quickly!

3. New York City

Of course you can’t exclude New York City from the list. It is one of the most famous New Year’s Eve celebration cities in the world and is quite often televised. From watching on TV you always want to know what that experience would be like! Just keep in mind, it gets extremely busy and packed like sardines in Times Square but the view and whole experience is truly amazing.

4. Pago Pago, South Pacific

If you’re looking to be the closing lineup for ringing in the New Year then you will want to do so in Pago Pago in the South Pacific. You will be the last place to strike midnight and ring in that New Year with a fun celebration!

5. Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando FL

Disney is a truly magical place but even more so around the holiday season. A great way to spend your New Year’s Eve would be filled with a day of fun at the park followed by the magnificent firework and projection show to end your night. Get there early though because they do tend to hit capacity on holidays!

6. Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland is another beautiful country to visit if you have never been you may want to try it out. There are so many fun activities and festivities to celebrate ringing in the New Year and their celebrations are three days long. The firework show at midnight on New Year’s Eve is a spectacular sight to see as it features 4.5 tons of fireworks that are shot over the Edinburgh Castle, it truly is amazing to see.

7. Hong Kong, China

If you want to mix the feel of the New York City New Year’s bash with the traditional cultures of China then you may want to schedule a visit to Hong Kong this New Year. There is a beautiful fireworks display over the skyline and you will see the famous ball drop just like in NYC.

8. Cape Town, Africa

Cape Town is an absolutely beautiful city and a great place to bring in your New Year. Again, Cape Town is entering the Summer season so you can certainly enjoy your New Year in the beautiful warm weather and enjoy an extravagant fireworks show with fun festivities around you.

9. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is known to be a party city so as you can probably imagine, they know how to celebrate. They bring in the New Year with a celebration known as Silvester that features the Party Mile including food, festivities, and shows/music. The fireworks show at midnight is incredible and the party continues after the show is over!

10. Las Vegas, Nevada

Another party city is of course Las Vegas. The whole Vegas strip becomes one big New Year’s celebration filled with food, festivities, and music. At midnight there are so many fireworks being sent off that you are bound to see them from wherever you are, it makes for a great night!

New Year’s eve is such a great time of the year. You get to reflect on the past year and everything that you went through. If you are looking to make a trip for your New Year’s celebration this year I hope you check out one of these amazing destinations. You are bound to have a blast at any of these beautiful cities. Above all, remain happy, healthy, and safe during your celebrations.

Bicester Village With 1 Year Old – Yay Or Nay?

We have been longing to visit Bicester Village since we had our first couple trip to Europe! Having heard about the beautiful shopping village and how it is cheaper buying there than from outside, it was on our draft plans when we visited Europe as a couple for the first time, but had to take it off the list due to time and budget constraint.

Look how smiley Aydeen was!

We finally visited Bicester Village during our family trip in May 2018. It was such a memorable one, especially with our 1-year-old on tow! We tried to make the trip awesome for everyone (we had range of ages from, 1, 30, 40 & 69, so we were trying VERY hard to make everyone pleased). Here’s what we think!

1. Day trip was fine

We originally wanted to bring everyone to Oxford before going to Bicester, as Oxford was the city where we celebrated our first anniversary (and we personally think it’s a beautiful historic city, especially for Harry Potter fans!). However, since this round of trip we bring other people who were more keen to shop than to visit cities, we just had a car ride around the town and off to Bicester Village.

It only takes about 22 minutes car ride from Oxford to Bicester Village, so you definitely should add this into your itinerary if you are visiting Oxford. If you are from London, it takes about 1 hour 21 minutes car ride, so day trip is fine.

Not going by car? No problem! There is an express train from London Marylebone Station. Alternatively, you can ride a coach.

2. Changing diaper was easy

Diaper changing was very easy at Bicester Village. It is very spacious and clean, our toddler made a trip there every few times while others were busy shopping!

Forgot to bring diaper creams? No problem! They have a machine inside the diaper room that sells just that!

3. You have the option to relax and wait for the things you bought to be delivered directly to you

Being first time parents ourselves, we know how tricky it gets when your toddler starts to throw tantrums. Going to Bicester Village with people who really want to shop – that doesn’t make your life easier. Best way is that you keep your child entertained, it will be a happier trip for everyone.

We went only to selected shops, whenever our toddler was happy. After we got home, we only knew the hands-free shopping service offered by Bicester Village – just sit and relax waiting for the items to be delivered directly to you. Isn’t that just awesome for parents with small kids? Too bad we only knew later, or else we would have buy more things!

Those are some of the things that we can share about our trip to Bicester Village with a toddler on tow. Hope it helps!

5 Top Things to do at Walt Disney World Florida

I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had a bucket list for travels. Even if it’s local, or just a few hours worth of travel time, friends/family and strangers can be heard saying how they have a dozen places or more that they’ve dreamed of traveling to. Personally, I have dozens of destinations on my travel list. Yes, this includes both near and far destinations but on the larger scale of things, my most fantasized about locations are many thousands of miles from my hometown. I’ve dreamed of worldwide travel since my childhood, especially travel that is done stateside.

In fact, one of my most desired places to visit is Walt Disney World, which most known is located in none other than sunny, Florida! Although I’ve been longing for pristine beaches, shady palm trees, quaint beach side eateries and marine life, I can’t deny that a day filled with pure Disney magic & fun has been beckoning to me as well. Walt Disney World has long been called the most magical place on earth, and with all of the spirit of childhood dreams & experiences meant to stay with visitors for a lifetime, it has more than earned its reputation over the last 40+ years since its grand opening.

Although I have yet to cross Disney World off of my ever growing bucket list, I know a few who have and had so many delightful stories to tell. From my loved ones and even those I’m just meeting, the stories of things they want to experience when/if they ever visit are endless. This is why I’ve decided to compile my own list of top things to do at Walt Disney World, should my day ever come to sprinkle myself in Pixie Dust and explore every nook & cranny of the most magical place on earth. I hope that for those who have never experienced Walt Disney my list helps inspire them to either make or add new experiences to their list of things to do; for those of my readers who have made the trip, I hope my list can hold up to the true experience you’ve gotten to live!

1. Character Meet & Greet.

This might be something that is best suited for little ones but to be honest, meeting the Disney Characters that have brought magic into my life as well as countless others, is among the first things I’ll be doing if I ever make it through the gates of Disney World! Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Peter Pan, Ariel and more can be found around the park (check your map so you don’t miss scheduled meet ups!) waiting for you with a hug and eager to hand out autographs.

Visitors can also schedule FastPasses to be able to schedule a meetup with multiple characters at once, like Anna & Elsa. Meeting your favorite characters will require dedication and research but if you’re a true Disney fan it’ll be worth the leg work.

2. The famed Fireworks show.

Who doesn’t love a good fireworks display? I know I certainly do! If you’ve heard about the character meetups before then you’ve definitely heard word about the world famous fireworks shows at Disney World. The best part about this spectacular shows is that there’s more than one so you’re guaranteed to witness one or the other or both if you’re paying attention/plan accordingly.

You can catch the formal shows that are done in specific areas of the park or you can catch the standing view shows that are done park-wide, featuring dazzling fireworks & an accompanying parade. If you can’t bear to settle for second best, I’ve heard that the show you want to be at can be found within Magic Kingdom, at the Happily Ever Show. Living out your childhood dreams at Walt Disney World will be topped off by the iconic Disney castle coming to life with animation, story, and song to tell some of your favorite character stories.

3. Grab a seat and Be Our Guest.

As a die hard Beauty and the Beast fan, this is one experience that I can’t pass up, no matter what experienced try to dazzle me along the way. I’ll have to be sure to make my reservation well in advance because as I’ve heard it be told, it’s almost impossible to get a dinner reservation unless it’s done with plenty of planning beforehand. Lunch is easier to get into, however it isn’t exactly the full experience I’m dying for.

4. Dine Around the World.

This particular feature of Disney is able to be experienced by both adults and children. Celebrated in Epcot (another park within Disney) visitors can experience the wonders of food around the world or popular adult beverages from France, Germany, etc. You won’t walk away disappointed or with an empty stomach, that’s for sure!

5. Calling Avatar fans!

I know I should have mentioned more about rides and dining options in my earlier 4 top things to do a Walt Disney World BUT I couldn’t pass this one up. If you’ve ever seen the film, Avatar, then you know you absolutely have to have to experience Pandora – the World of Avatar, for yourself. Visitors can experience 3-D rides such as Flight of Passage, wander though the floating mountains or go on to dine at vegetarian friendly restaurant locations inspired by the movie.

    Like I said, I know I should have talked more about rides, food, etc. but from my own bucket list and those I’ve spoken to about their own experiences, the top 5 had spoken to me. My research also led me to so many other noteworthy things to do within Walt Disney World but maybe my readers will get a part 2 to the Top 5 Things to do at Walt Disney World, in the near future!

    5 Best Beaches In Miami

    The sound of palm trees swaying lazily in the breeze, an endless abundance of warm sun rays on your skin, sandal weather all year around and quaint little tourist shops are just a few things that come to mind when I think of Florida, also known fondly as the Sunshine State. With its picturesque sunsets, the allure of endless beaches and warm weather, it’s no surprise that Florida is one of the most coveted travel destinations in the world. Tourists from colder states and even backpackers from overseas visit the state in troves every year just to get a taste of the Floridian lifestyle, some even going home briefly only to return months later to relocate permanently.

    While the state has a lot to recommend it to travelers and those fleeing colder weather, such as amusement parks, botanical gardens, and other hidden gems, the main attraction is certainly the beaches; hands down, no contest. The first question many tourists ask upon arrival is usually somewhere along the lines of a.) where’s the nearest beach? or b.) what is the best beach to take my family to, within easy driving distance. Visitors are always a hurry to hit the beach, dip their toes in the warm Florida waters and work on their tans.
    Now that I’ve, hopefully, given you a tantalizing glimpse of what visitors have in store for them while in the Sunshine state, I’d love to help further the cause by telling my readers about a few locations in particular that are the highlight of Florida’s beach scene. Central Florida beaches are quite the lure for tourists, however, Miami is the biggest bucket list destination for many tourists. This is due to the clear blue waters, shimmering white sands and exotic street fare offered right on the beaches. Locals and tourists alike spend their days crowded on the beaches, lining the sidewalks to visit popular eateries, bars, & soaking up the sun in the balmy Miami weather.

    There are dozens of beaches located in Miami, ranging from large to more intimate options depending on personal preference. Most are open to the public, although there are some that aren’t, and offer visitors the option of public restrooms, picnic areas and also, on-site grills. There are even on-site lifeguards who are trained to monitor the beach, use life saving measures should they be needed and who also keep beach-goers up to date with beach conditions by utilizing flags that list rip currents, wind conditions, etc.

    For my readers who have been dying to visit Florida or more specifically, Miami, I’ve done some research on the best beaches to visit and have come up with a list of my top 5. These beaches made it to my top 5 based on location, size, attractions and of course, the natural beauty factor. With that being said, let’s get started and see if any of them manage to get a spot in your Top 5!

    1. Virginia Key Beach.

    (Source: viginiakeybeachpark.net)

    Minutes away from some of the top tourist destinations in the area, retail hot spots and dining options, this particular beach stretches over a mile of natural shoreline and attracts both locals as well as tourists, who are able to traverse the beach/park via the miniature train that was built specifically for getting around the park itself.

    In addition to two different playgrounds, which are ideal for parents of small children, Virginia Key also boasts a historic carousal that still stands today AND a dance floor that is available for rentals for parties, events, etc.

    So in addition to a beautiful natural landscape that visitors can enjoy while being surrounded by swaying palms, Virginia Key has various other attractions with which to draw in visitors.

    2. 85th Street Beach.

    (Source: Vylla)

    I’m going to have to be honest and come right out to say that this one made it to my list simply because it’s one of the most secluded beaches in Miami and I’m all for relaxation without the added foot traffic, both automotive & people related. As one of the only stretches of beaches that are devoid of condos or traffic, 85th Street Beach is ideal for those who prefer quiet over large crowds.

    Due to being so far from the normal as far as beaches go, aka being less populated, 85th Street is also lacking in major draws such as food carts, grills, etc. so visitors will want to be sure to bring everything they’ll need for a days worth of fun in the sun.

    3. South Beach.

    If you’re dreaming of seeing Hollywood stars and basking in all of the glamour, then South Beach is the most happening beach in town. Frequented by celebrities and within walking distance of some of the hottest nightclubs in town, South Beach is ideal for those who don’t shy away from the spotlight/crowds.

    Additionally, if you like being more active than just settling down on the beach and staring out into the blue waters, don’t forget to head to Haulover Park, which is a short distance away, to enjoy activities such as bicycle rides, tennis, golf and for fishing!

    4. Homestead Bay Park

    (Source: Visit Florida)

    Although it has a $7 entrance fee and flotation devices are prohibited (wonderful conservationist effort on behalf of the animals & environment) Homestead Bay Park is ideal for those looking for a lowkey vacation spot. Located just North of the Florida Keys, Homestead Bay Park features crystal clear waters, a full service restaurant set in a tropical setting and a pool for those who aren’t a fan of swimming with the wildlife.

    5. Crandon Park.

    Last last but not least, this particular beach is the most idea for visitors who are traveling with family. Famous for its clear waters, white sand and depths that are ideal for little ones, Crandon Park is the perfect destination for travelers with small children. Featuring a board walk, nature center AND a family amusement center, you can’t go wrong by adding Crandon to your bucket list if you’re heading to Miami in the future!

    While I can only put words on a page, I can’t do justice to these Top 5 Miami Beaches but I do hope I at least painted a tangible picture for my readers to enjoy and consider while planning a trip to sunny Florida! If my Top 5 didn’t catch your fancy, don’t worry: there are MANY other beaches for tourists that you can find or if you’re feeling adventurous, inquire about once you’ve reached Miami.