Category Archives: Travel

[Story in photos] Everyone will find their own comfort at VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver is a magical place for anyone looking for some peace and quiet and want to be one with  nature even for just a few hours. It is included in the top 10 Best Public Gardens in North America. It boasts a 55-acre botanical garden designed elaborately and beautifully allowing visitors to educate themselves of the different plants in the world and enjoy their leisure time in the garden as well.

Here is my story  in photos:

On your way out, they have a gift shop for you to buy souvenirs. Now I don’t normally stay in gift shops but VanDusen’s have tons of really cool books about plants that I can’t take my eyes and hands off.

For more information, you may check their website here. Enjoy!

Superfly: The LONGEST and HIGHEST Ziplines in Canada!

I am a self-confessed adrenaline junkie, always enjoying the speed — riding in the fastest cars and looking forward to riding the fastest and scariest rollercoasters of the world. And Superfly is probably the fastest zipline I’ve experienced in my life!

Located in Whistler, BC, Superfly is Canada’s longest and highest zipline — it is more than 1 kilometer long, high above the grounds at 600 feet, and with speed reaching up to 100 kilometers per hour!

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(Image courtesy of Superfly Zipline’s Facebook page.)

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Streaming Café: One of Kelowna’s best hand-crafted coffees laced with music and arts

Kelowna is the most populated city in the Okanagan Valley accounting for around 40% of the total population of The Okanagan (the names Okanagan Valley, The Okanagan and Okanagan Region are used interchangeably in this entry). The city of Kelowna is booming with tourism and arts, culture, both indoor and outdoor activities available to anyone of any age. So, personally, it is no surprise that Kelowna produces one of the best hand-crafted coffees in the city, if not the entire Region.

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(Image courtesy of Kelowna Live Music Blog)

Before starting our day in Kelowna, we went to Streaming Café early in the morning for a cup of freshly roasted coffee and light breakfast. We ordered a cup of latté, breakfast sandwich and broccoli soup.

Rich, aromatic and full-bodied café latté.

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The Back Porch: Harrison Hot Springs’ hole-in-the-wall flame-roasted coffee, pottery and more!

We visited Harrison Hot Springs expecting only to spend most of our time in the beautiful mineral-rich pools, little did we know that this is where we’d taste one of the best flame-roasted flavour-filled coffee.

Sign board.

The Back Porch sells roasted coffee, pottery, basket weaving, etc. It is only a few minutes drive away from Harrison Hot Springs and is one of the regular stops of those visiting the small town.

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The Back Porch’s coffee roasting and pottery studio. (Image courtesy of Lurie’s Tumblr)

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Philippine Airlines brings back its Manila to New York route: Witnessing #PALFliesNY inaugural flight send-off

March 15, 2015 marked Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) 74th founding anniversary. This is also the day that PAL resumed its Manila-New York route after an absence of 18 years, making it its longest route to date, covering 14,501 kilometres or approximately 18.5 flying hours. Its route will operate four times weekly on an Airbus 340-300 with stopovers in Vancouver (in both directions).

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(Image courtesy of Fly Away Simulation.)

PAL celebrated its milestone by offering introductory airfares of $610 to New York last November 15, 2014 for travels starting March 15, 2015 onwards. You can read more about this news on their website here.

I haven’t flown long haul with PAL in almost a decade so when my husband booked our flight to Vancouver with PAL for our March 15 flight, I was excited to witness their inaugural flight send-off at NAIA terminal 2.

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Room review of the Grand Swiss Sukhumvit in Bangkok

Grand Swiss Sukhumvit 11 by Compass Hospitality is located right off Sukhumvit Road and is just a few steps away from the Nana BTS Station in Bangkok. Don’t be confused when you try to Google this hotel though because it also goes by some other different names: Grand Swiss Hotel Bangkok, Hotel Grand Swiss Sukhumvit, Grand Swiss Sukhumvit, Grand Swiss Hotel, etc. At the end of the day, it’s THAT Grand Swiss at 155/23-24 Sukhumvit Soi 11.

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Image courtesy of Trip Advisor

We were lucky enough to have our room upgraded for free again during our stay in Bangkok! And, again, as always, we very much enjoyed our stay.

LOCATION

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Screenshot map of the area to show the close proximity of the hotel to the Nana BTS station. 

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Getting tourist trapped in the otherwise beautiful Koh Phi Phi

When visiting Southern Thailand, there are too many beautiful beaches to choose from that I didn’t know where to start. I wanted to visit them all! There are:

KOH LIPE

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Photo credit: Koh Lipe Thailand

KOH LANTA

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Photo credit: Koh Lanta Pocket Guide

KOH SAMUI

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Photo credit: Thailand 24

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An unexpected surprise: Suite upgrade at The Aspasia Phuket

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Screenshot taken from Aspasia’s website.

Phuket’s main attraction is its beaches, and one of its main sources of revenues is tourism. In our opinion, tourism drove up a lot of the prices in Phuket — with the influx of tourist, the local entrepreneurs (i.e.: taxi operators, restaurants, etc.) have put a premium on basic necessities such as transportation and foodHowever, tourism dictates the price quite a bit.

To illustrate, below are the taxi fares that we paid per kilometer for each city we visited — Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket:

CHIANG MAI

The distance between Chiang Mai International Airport and Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa is 7.5km and we paid only THB150 (negotiated from THB200), this gives us THB20 per kilometer.

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Discovering Chiang Mai’s Old City

Chiang Mai is northern Thailand’s largest city and Thailand’s fifth largest; it’s not as progressive as Bangkok but it has its own charm — it is slow yet lively, old yet exotic, it is also filled with culture and history. To better appreciate Chiang Mai, Hubby and I decided to stay 15 minutes outside the Old City by tuktuk (read about our resort here), taking advantage of the life outside the City walls, but close enough that we can commute there in a quarter of an hour.

Driving from Chiang Mai International Airport to the Old City isn’t a spectacular experience but once you arrive in the Old City, everything transforms in sight.

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Thapae Gate. Photo credit: Chiang Mai Places

Wat Chedi Luang. Photo credit: self

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An unforgettable experience: Learning how to cook Thai food in Chiang Mai

It was our first time in Chiang Mai, and Hubby and I were looking forward to trying authentic Thai food. Fortunately, we didn’t just get to eat authentic Thai food, we were lucky enough to have stumbled upon tons of brochures on the road about cooking schools in Chiang Mai and choosing Baan Thai Cookery School wasn’t a difficult decision to make — it’s rated as “Excellent” by TripAdvisor and recommended by Lonely Planet!

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