How I prepared for an indefinite motorcycle trip in 3 months and was it enough?

Even though I have been contemplating for over a year on whether I should leave normal life and start travelling full time, it was only in July which was 3 months ago that I decided to do so.

Is it possible to prepare for an indefinite motorcycle trip in such a short amount of time? Read on to see the steps I took and whether I managed to complete them.


Selling most of my possessions

I had to sell most of my belongings because I currently intend to travel for as long as I can. I only kept what I needed for the trip and also a few extra things to get my old life started if I were to go back to Singapore. I was not able to sell my clothes so I donated the bulk of them to Giving & Taking Free Stuff. They take useful small items and send them to the poor in Philippines.

Was 3 months enough? I did manage to sell what I wanted to but if I were to have more time, I would have been able to sell everything at the price I wanted especially in regards to big-ticket items like my motorcycle and piano. I would say start as early as possible if you want to leave indefinitely.

Vaccinations

I took a crazy number of vaccinations in a short period of 3 months: Yellow Fever, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A, Rabies, Gardasil-9, the latest influenza shot and the Covid-19 booster shot. There was even a day where I had 3 injections at the same time.

Was 3 months enough? No it was not. I needed a period of at least 6 months to complete all the vaccinations fully. Right now, I have to take the 2nd shot of Hepatitis A and the 3rd shot of Gardasil-9 in Mexico.

Death Matters

Before I left, I filled up the Advanced Medical Directive(AMD) Form which allows me to decide if I would like to receive treatments if I were to suffer from any terminal illness in the future. I also appointed someone as my Lasting Power of Attorney(LPA) where I will give that person the power to decide how I would be taken care of if I were to lose my mental capacity. Lastly, I made my CPF nominations and wrote my will.

Thank you Juvena for reminding and assisting me with this.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Was 3 months enough? Yes. However, I waited till the very last week to arrange all of these matters and there was a delay in the approval of the AMD and LPA as they both required the forms to be sent by post. It also takes a period of 3 weeks for the LPA to be approved once received. I would say, a period of at least a month would be needed.

Motorcycle maintenance

I tried asking my mechanic if he would be willing to teach me but he totally ignored me. I could not find anyone else to teach me as well. The only thing I had to guide me was the Yamaha mt-03 handbook and advice from Andre who is a fellow rider who has done a long distance trip. Even with that, I definitely need hands-on experience.

Was 3 months enough? No, because no one was willing to teach me. But I will try to learn along my trip.

Keeping updated with the latest Covid-19 requirements and restrictions

Covid-19 has made it really difficult to travel. Right now land borders are open from the USAto Colombia. However most of South America remains closed. What I hope is that by the time I reach South America, land borders would be open.

Was 3 months enough? Obviously not. Entry restrictions and requirements are constantly changing and I have to keep up with them.

Finding out the total amount of time I can stay in each country

As a Singaporean, our passport gives us access to a total of 192 destinations. Out of all the countries I intend to travel through in the Americas, only Bolivia requires me to get a visa on arrival. Right now, the total duration I can stay without any extension is 3 years and 9 months.

Was 3 months enough? Definitely. Information was readily available on the MFA website. This should not take more than a couple of hours.

Researching on ways to reduce my travel expenses

I am going to try my best to save as much money as possible. The only way to do this while travelling is to do Workaways or Couchsurfing. It is simple to set up a profile but the hard part is to write in to hosts and get their approval.

Was 3 months enough? It was enough for me to create my profiles and send in requests for my first 2 weeks. However, I will need to constantly be requesting and searching for hosts along my journey.

Trying to ensure that I can buy a motorcycle in L.A

This was really difficult because I was told that riding season is coming to an end and it would be very difficult to buy the Yamaha mt-03. It was also difficult to contact them as most of them did not have WhatsApp and calling them would obviously incur charges.

Even with a deposit, I would only be able to reserve the bike for 6 hours and paying for the bike in full before I see it in person was not an option for me.

Was 3 months enough? Yes if you are willing to risk buying the motorcycle before you see it in person.

Finding the right gear for me

To start off, Singapore does not have many options for women’s motorcycle gear. I tried on Klim’s Artemis women collection from Regina Specialties but unfortunately, while the jacket was a perfect fit, my hips and butt were just too big. They offered to order in a bigger pants size but the pants were already too long at the size that was too tight for me so I knew that getting a size up would not work anyway. I also tried the men’s Hardanger one piece suit but unfortunately it did not fit as well. By the way, do look for Andy at Regina Specialties if you want to get anything motorcycle related – he has been nothing but helpful and accommodating.

My second option was the Revit Sand 4 H2O. However, it is not available in Singapore. The only way I could purchase it was to order it from Cyclegear and get it shipped to one of the stores near my Airbnb in Los Angeles. Even in L.A. it is impossible for me to find a store where they have all the sizes for Revit available to try on the spot.  

While finding the right jacket and pants was difficult, I was able to buy my gloves and shoes in Singapore. I bought the Klim Women Adventure GTX Short Black Glove from Regina Specialties and the SIDI GORE-TEX BOOTS GAVIA LADY GORE-TEX BLACK from Chong Aik International.

Was 3 months enough? Yes and No. I managed to buy half the gear I needed in Singapore but still needed to go to Los Angeles to buy my jacket and pants.

Finding the right equipment for emergency situations

I want to be as prepared as possible in the worst case situations. For me, my worst case scenario would be that I got into an accident, I am injured, the motorcycle is not able to start and I am in the middle of nowhere with no one in sight.

I needed a device that would allow me to contact someone even if I have no signal. I narrowed down my choices to the ACR Electronics ResQLink 400 Personal Locator Beacon and the Garmin inReach Mini.

The major differences between the 2 devices are:

ACR Personal Locator BeaconGarmin inReach Mini
Does not need a subscriptionNeeds a subscription
One time useCan be used multiple times
Signal is slightly strongerSignal is relatively strong
Cannot track location pointsCan track location points

I wanted to get the ACR at first but after much consideration, I decided that even though it is more expensive to get the Garmin, it is more practical to get it. The Garmin has 2 features that I want and that would be multiple SOS requests and the ability to track my location and share it with friends and family.

Was 3 months enough? Yes, to do the research. But to get any of the 2, I would have to pay for shipping. Instead I plan to get it at the REI store in Los Angeles.  

Saying goodbye to friends and family

This was really difficult for me and I wish I could have the power to teleport back and forth.

Was 3 months enough? I do not think one can put a time for this – it is never enough. What I would like to say is that, sometimes we are so caught up in our own lives that we forget to keep in touch with our close ones. Make the effort to do so before it is too late.


So, what is the final verdict?

Well, I think if I give myself too much time to plan, nothing will ever get done. I am very happy that I got a good amount of things done before the trip and I know I will be able to get the rest sorted along the way. If you are planning to do something like me, perhaps plan at least 6 months in advance so that you can complete the vaccinations before you go. Other than that, I think, the amount of time I had was sufficient.

The Top 5 Things to do in Turkey’s Magical Cappadocia

Have you ever wanted to be in a fairy tale? Well here is your chance because Cappadocia is a Have you ever wanted to be in a fairy tale? Well here is your chance because Cappadocia is a whimsical magical place you have never seen before. From admiring unique land formations to exploring valleys to exciting adrenaline pumping activities – Cappadocia will not leave you disappointed. I was there in Nov 2019 for only 3 days (I wished I had at least a week there) and here are the Top 5 things to do!


1) See Amazing Views from Above by riding on a Hot Air Balloon

Going on a Hot Air Balloon Ride is one of the top if not the most sought after activities to do in Cappadocia. Prices are steep and can go up to 200-300€ in the Summer. I went during the low season in November and I paid 170€ through a booking on Viator. However, when I was there, the hotel owner said that he could have gotten a lower price for me if I had liaised directly with him. I booked my ticket online as I will only be there for 3 days and I wanted to secure my seat in advance. If you are going during the winter months, have more than a few days to spend there and would like to save some money, you can try your luck at buying the tickets in person. 

On the day of the balloon ride, I was especially nervous but not because of the ride but because I was afraid that the weather might not be optimal and the ride would be cancelled. And if that would happen, the tour would be rescheduled to the next day. There was a real possibility that the ride would not take place during the time I was there. So if you are planning on going on the ride, please try to do it on the first day you’re day to avoid disappointment.

I thought that I would have to wake up really early at 4 or 5 am but was picked up at 6 am instead and was even the first to get on the minibus to the lift-off point. At the waiting area, some refreshments were provided and were adequate. Everyone huddled around the fire as It was also really really cold in the morning, maybe about -5 degrees Celsius – the fire provided much relief.

It was a magnificent sight to behold watching them heat up the air inside.

Altogether, there were 26 people on board – 4 compartments with 6 people each and two pilots. I can’t complain about the number of people on board because that was what I paid for. If you want something more private, be prepared to fork out quite a large sum of money.

It is vital that you get a good spot either at the outer ring or at the corners to get an interrupted view.

Finally a shot without anyone else in it.

Every minute was well worth the money spent. I definitely do not regret taking the ride. One more item checked off the bucket list!

2) Get your Heart Pumping by Driving an ATV

What better way to cover the vast terrain of Cappadocia than to ride an Atv. I have never driven an ATV before this tour and that made me more excited than ever to do it.

I booked a Sunset Atv tour on Viator with Cappadocia Adventure Atv at about 34€. For 2 hours, this was a really good deal. Moreover, there were only two other people besides me on the tour.

I was geared up with a helmet and face mask and off I went to do a practice ride. The accelerator was just a push of the button with your left thumb and brakes were operated by both hands. I have both a car and motorcycle license but this felt a little strange.

A minute into the start of the tour and I lost control of the Atv for a second. The tour guide was worried and wanted me to sit behind him. But I couldn’t give up and continued trying. If you haven’t ridden an Atv before, there’s just a slight learning curve at the beginning and after that you will be fine.

The highlight of the tour was riding to the sunset viewpoint at Love Valley.

The view of the sun setting was just spectacular and while I was enjoying the view, I savored a cup of warm wine sold by the people in the car.

Combing the valleys on an Atv is one of the fastest and most thrilling ways to explore Cappadocia. The road may be bumpy and sometimes hard to maneuver around but I promise that you will have an awesome time. If you have a Gopro, bring it along to record the journey, they provide helmets with the attachment. 

3) Be Adventurous and Explore the Valleys on your own

Going on tours gives you the utmost convenience in having everything planned out for you. However, there is always that sense of excitement, adventure in exploring on your own.

I met Ahmet who was my tour guide on the Atv tour and because we shared a commonality in speaking broken Thai, we became friends. He offered to bring me around on his Atv on my last day to explore the valleys that are not populated by tourists and I’m so grateful for that.

We walked through what used to be water channels

Climbed into a cave house.

Exploring without a tour has its own advantages. Give it a try if you have the time, you will not regret it.

4) Take the Green Tour

If you do not have a lot of time to spend in Cappadocia, joining a tour would allow you to see the most in the shortest amount of time. The Green Tour costs a reasonable 40€ for a whole day pack with sight-seeing.

One memorable stop was at Derinkuyu Underground City. It is the biggest underground city in Turkey and the deepest in Cappadocia. It was interesting to see how small the rooms and passageways are and interesting to note how people then were much smaller than us right now.

We also visited Selime Monastery. According to our guide, he said that Star Wars was shot here. I can see the resemblance but I don’t know how true this is.

This was the most scenic part of the tour. We did a short hike at Lhara valley The trees were lush and in abundance – a stark contrast to the sandy eroded landscape I’ve been used too.

The last stop of the trip was to Göreme Panorama Viewpoint. From this viewpoint, you’ll get to see clear extensive views of Pigeon Valley. The valley is aptly named because of how people who used to live there used the small holes to attract pigeons and after which they utilized their poop as fertilizers.

This day’s tour was very informative. I got a glimpse into the lives of people who lived there and got a chance to revel in the most amazing landscapes on earth.

5) Visit Göreme Open-Air Museum – A Museum like no other

If you do not want to go on a tour and also do not have means to hike and explore the valleys and it’s structures on your own, Göreme open-air museum is a destination you do not want to miss.

The museum is accessible with just a 20 min walk from the center of Göreme. A complex of monasteries each with its own church is an amazing example of rock hewn architecture.

The only downside to this is that you would have to pay 75TL to enter. But of course the money is well spent considering the convenience and accessibility to this amazing place!


Cappadocia is an amazing place to visit if you are interested in embarking on a thrilling adventure to discover vast landscapes and rich histories. It is definitely a place not to miss on anyone’s itinerary to turkey!


Follow me on

Yangon Circular Railway – A Great Way to Experience Local Life

Taking the Yangon Circular train is not only a means of transportation but also an experience in itself. The easiest place to start your journey is from Yangon Central Railway Station. The reason being that most tourists start here and thus the people working there have enough experience engaging with tourists to be able to direct you to where you need to go. However, it is possible to start from any of the stations the train stops at.

When you enter the train station, there is a ticket booth in the middle (left most picture) – do not buy the ticket from there. Instead, ask which platform the Circular Train operates at and buy directly at the booth on that platform (middle picture). Each ticket costs 200 Kyat. If you want to get off and get on again, you would have to purchase another ticket. 

Take the stairs at the left-most end of the station to get to the platforms.

When I was there in Dec 2019, there was construction going on eastern part of the loop. So unfortunately I could only ride from Yangon Central Station to Insein Station. Hopefully, when you are there in future, the whole loop will be operational.  

While there may not be anyone checking your ticket before you board, a train conductor might check once you’re on board. So don’t try to get on without buying a ticket.

Seeing the Japanese characters on the board, the train seems to be an old Japanese train. if you look around the train, you would also find old Japanese advertisement posters.

I was one of the last people to board the train and when I got on, there weren’t any places left to sit so I decided to sit at the train steps. Not long after, someone gave up his seat for me and I was so grateful for that. And after a few more stations, the guy with the white cap sitting down asked me to go to where he was so that I could get the best view from the train.

A

And because of his kind offer, I had the opportunity to video this. For me, the best place to be on the train is either the first or the last cabin. I was in the last cabin and the view was amazing.

There is never a dull moment on this train. There will always be someone selling something, a conversation to listen to or even a sight that was interesting- a glimpse of local life in its truest form. 


I truly enjoyed my time on the train. While I didn’t have the chance to ride through all the stations, what I experienced in that short amount of time was everything I hoped for. People working in the stations were helpful to point me in the right direction, commuters on the trains were extremely kind to give up their seats for me and were even thoughtful enough to let me stand at the best position to take pictures and videos. If you get a chance to come to Yangon, this is something you should not miss.

Address:   Yangon Central Railway Station, Kun Chan Road, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Follow me on

The Top 7 Places to Eat in Rome

From pastas to pizzas to delectable desserts, here are the top 7 places to eat in Rome.

1) Trattoria Dell’OMO

This family-owned trattoria is located very conveniently near Termini Station. I almost walked past it at night as I couldn’t see the sign and it seemed pretty quiet outside. But surprisingly, there were a lot of diners inside. The pasta was delicious and the cheese complemented the tomato sauce. While I was there, I saw a lot of locals eating this leafy vegetable dish called cicoria and I decided to give it a try. At first I thought it was something closely related to spinach but I found out that it is actually dandelion greens. The taste was quite unique, a little bitter but not unpleasant. I also loved the atmosphere of the place. They made the effort to go around asking people if they were happy with their meals. This place is a restaurant you must visit for traditional roman food.

Hours:      12:30 pm – 03:00 pm, 07:30 pm – 10:45 pm, closed on Sundays

Website:    http://www.trattoriadellomoroma.com

Address:    Via Vicenza, 18, 00185 Roma RM, Italy


2) Ba’ Ghetto

While looking for Jewish-Romanian food, I stumbled across Ba’ Ghetto.

As I wanted to try as many dishes as possible, I opted for their tasting menu. After some consideration, I went with the first option – Antico Ghetto as I knew I wanted to try the artichokes.

The appetizer – fried zucchini and anchovies pie, was really unique. It was mushy and seasoned well. The artichoke was crispy on the outside with a soft center – it was rather tasty. The pasta was not too soft nor too hard, it was cooked really well. And lastly, the dessert was a great end to all the dishes before. Overall, I was really satisfied with everything. Not only were the portions satisfactory, they tasted really good!

Hours:        11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Fridays 11:00 am – 03:00 pm, Saturday 07:00 pm – 11:30 pm

Website:    https://www.baghetto.com/en/

Address:    Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 2/A, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

3) La Renella Forno Antico Trastevere

After reading rave reviews about La Renella Forno Antico Trastevere, I finally visited it. I was spoiled for choices, everything looked so delicious. The pizza I loved the most was the one with the parma ham and the most unique pizza to me was the one with the zucchini flowers. Pizzas were sold according to weight and it was really affordable for large portions. Besides the pizzas, I tried a Cannoli. It was decadent and really rich. If you are looking for the best pizzas in Rome, look no further, you have to come here!

Hours: 07:00 am – 12:00 am, Fridays and Saturdays 07:00 am – 03:00 am

Website: https://larenella.com/en/

Address: Via del Moro, 15, 00153 Roma RM, Italy

4) Supplizio

Supplì is a quintessential part of Roman street food. In its most basic form, it is a fried ball of rice with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Where better to try this than to try it at a place aptly named Supplizio. I decided to try the classic version of the Supplì and I liked it very much. The outside is crispy while the insides were soft and well seasoned. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who wants to try Supplì.

Hours:        11:30 am – 16:00 pm and 16:30 pm – 22:00 pm, closed on Sundays

Website:    https://www.supplizioroma.it/en

Address:    Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 143 – 00186 – Rome

5) Pasticceria Regoli

After seeing multiple pictures of the fluffy humongous whipped cream filled Maritozzos, I was convinced that I had to try it.  What I really liked about it was that it wasn’t too sweet, making it possible to eat one whole Maritozzo in one sitting. I even ate another pastry that was filled with whipped cream right after the Maritozzo. However, two was my limit.

Hours:        06:30 am – 08:20 pm, closed on Tuesdays

Website:    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pasticceria-Regoli-dal-1916/218792384850472

Address:    Via dello Statuto, 60, 00185 Roma RM, Italy

6) Pompi Tiramisù

While searching for the best food in Rome, Pompi Tiramisu was mentioned quite a few times. And I’m glad I decided to give it a try. While they had a variety of flavors to choose from, I decided to go with the traditional tiramisu. The texture was creamy and the flavors were bold, I thoroughly enjoyed eating it.

Hours: 11:00 am – 09:30 pm

Website: https://barpompi.it/

Address: Via della Croce, 82, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

7) Giolitti

While there are many places that sell Gelato in Rome, Giolitti is a place you have to visit. The queue started outside the store but it moved quickly. However, once you reach the part where you get to choose your flavors, the orderly line disappears as everyone is crowding around the display to get their orders heard. It was all worth it as the Gelato was so creamy and delicious – definitely the best Gelato I’ve ever had.

Hours:        07:00 am – 01:00 pm

Website:    http://www.giolitti.it/en/

Address:    Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, 00186 Roma RM, Italy


These were the places I thought served the most delicious food in Rome. Let me know in the comments whether you have tried any of the food listed above and if you liked them!

Follow me on

People and Places – Industrial Chic Cafe @ Taman Mount Austin Johor

People and Places is a cafe tucked away in the industrial area of Taman Mount Austin. When you are about to reach this cafe, don’t be deceived by the industrial buildings and think that you have come to the wrong place – just follow the signs and you will get there.

I

It is also a cafe once visited by the legendary Jay Chou. So fans of Jay Chou, if you want to step where he has stepped, visit this cafe. 

When we went in the afternoon around 1 plus, we had to wait just a short moment before we could get seated.

Dishes are priced reasonably and there’s good variety.

The first dish we ordered was the Englishman’s Breakfast at 29 RM. We also added an additional side of smoked salmon at 7 RM. Each component of this dish was done well: the hash-browns were crispy and salty, the sausage and mushrooms were juicy, the beef bacon was not too fatty, the brioche and scrambled eggs were light and fluffy, the tomatoes were grilled nicely, the smoked salmon was flavorful and the baked beans sauce added a little extra flavor to the dish. The only thing I wished they had that could make this dish even more successful is having more sauce. I would have liked maybe the option of having ketchup or chili sauce or perhaps even more baked beans sauce.  

The second dish we ordered was the Mushroom Risotto at 28 RM. The rice was soft and creamy and the mushrooms with the addition of truffle oil added an earthy taste to the dish. However, overall I just feel that the dish could have been more developed. I would think the use of wild mushrooms, truffle oil and Parmesan cheese would elevate the dish but somehow the taste was a little flat to me. It was neither good nor bad.

We also ordered a watermelon mojito. While there is no alcohol in the drink, it was very refreshing.


Overall, I love the ambiance of People and Places. It gave a very young, modern and chic vibe – a good place for networking. The food was affordable and it was not too bad. I would definitely come back again to try their other dishes!

Hours: 10:00 am – 06:00 pm

Website: https://www.facebook.com/peopleandplacescafe/

Address: 6, Jalan Kencana Emas 2/3, Kawasan Perindustrian Tebrau 3, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Follow me on

Johor’s Kam Long Curry Fish Head – is it worth queuing up for?

If you search for the best places to eat in Johor, Kam Long Curry Fish Head will definitely appear on any list.

Even though we were there after lunch hours at around 2:30 pm, we still had to queue to get in. But fortunately, I think we only waited about 15 mins or so as they were quick to move people in.

Before you get a seat, they will take your orders first. We were thinking of getting either a medium-sized fish head or a large one but was unsure of the sizing portion. So, we asked what would be good for 2 people and they said the medium would be sufficient.

I thought they only had one level so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was a second level that is air-conditioned!

The Curry Fish Head arrived pretty quickly. The first picture on the left was how it looked when it came and the picture on the right-most shows the surfaced fish head after I pushed the tau kee aside.

The first bite was heavenly. The curry was creamy and not too spicy – it’s like your typical chinese-styled curry but done really well. The tau kee was my favorite part of the dish because it soaked up all the curry juices and oil and because of that it tasted sooo good. The cabbage and lady’s fingers were soft and flavorful – thanks again to the wonderful sauce. And lastly, the star of the dish which is the fish head was really good. The meat was smooth, tender and not dry at all. Overall, I loved the taste of this curry.

The only thing I wished was different was the size of the dish. While the pot looked big, we were soon starting to regret not ordering the large portion. This is because while there were a lot of tau kee and vegetables, the size of the fish head was too small for the two of us. If we ever go again, we will definitely order the large portion with an additional serving of tau kee!


If you are in Johor and you don’t know what to eat, make sure to visit Kam Long Curry Fish Head – it is definitely worth queuing up for!

Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Address: 74, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Follow me on

Tasik Biru, Kangkar Pulai – Johor’s Hidden Beautiful Blue Lake

Tasik Biru is located in a construction/quarry area near Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest. In order to find it, you have to use the satellite view option on Google Maps. But even with that, we still got lost.

Google Maps brought us to the entrance of the site. However, when we reached, there was a warning sign that said “Danger and no trespassing”.

When we saw the sign, we were a little apprehensive about going in even though we knew that other people had gone in before. While we were puzzled and not really sure if we could go in, a construction worker asked us if we were visiting the blue lake and he told us that we just had to drive in and it would be on the right side. Honestly, I thought they would tell us to leave but they didn’t. 

It was a little dangerous riding on the rocky paths but it was really fun.

After getting lost for a while, a guy in a truck pointed out the way for us and we finally made it to the starting point. 

From there, we had to climb up the steep hill. We were thinking of riding the motorcycle up but I thought it was too dangerous especially with 2 people on a bike. We took a few wrong right turns but we finally found our way. If I’m not wrong (I can’t really remember clearly), do not take the first or second right turn but go all the way up and take the third right turn and go all the way to the end.

At the end, we had to climb down a short path to reach the lake. I think it is possible to climb up to the viewpoint from the first right turn but the easier way to get there would be to climb up higher on the wider paths, turn right on the third path and down a short narrow one as shown above. 

While it was really hazy, the view of the lake was really beautiful. It is possible to go down even further if you wanted to but be careful as it is a little steep.

Before we left, we took more photos. It’s not every day we get the chance to ride into a beautiful desert looking area.  


If you are thinking of going, don’t be afraid of the warning signs or getting lost inside. There are many helpful people who will point you in the right direction. And while the short steep climb to get to the lake is tiring, the view of the lake is worth every effort!  

Follow me on

Bloom by Mok Mok @ Mount Austin Johor

After reading great reviews and seeing really beautiful pictures, I finally decided to visit Bloom by mok mok. The cafe is located just a mere 18 mins drive from Woodlands checkpoint in the area of Taman Mount Austin.

While the outside of the cafe seemed pretty ordinary, the design of it’s interior is impressive and so very pretty.  

We knew we wanted to try one rice bowl, one burger and definitely a dessert.

Our first dish was the Beef Burger with Onion Chips. While ordering, the waitress asked us how we wanted the beef to be done and we said medium-well. I think we said that because we usually had steak done either medium-rare or medium-well and we didn’t think twice. This turned out to be a bad decision. The patty was a little mushy and everything else in the burger had a soft texture as well so the whole burger didn’t taste very appetizing. Perhaps, with a well-done beef patty, it would taste a whole lot better. Luckily, it’s saving grace was the heavenly onion fries. They were so crispy, so salty and flavorful – we ate every single onion chip.

Overall, I think the dish is ok. I probably would not order it again but am open to trying their other burgers.

Our second dish was Gyutan. When I read the description of the dish, I thought it was just a normal beef bowl. When the waitress took our order, she told us that Gyutan actually meant beef tongue. We were taken aback a little, but I love to try new things and knew I had to try it.

When it came, I felt that the presentation could have been a little better. The rice was seasoned well, but I think it could have been elevated. What surprised me was the beef tongue. When I think of beef tongue, I think of something that is very chewy and hard to swallow. However, this dish proved me wrong. The slices of beef tongue actually tasted like normal beef slices. Maybe it is a tiny bit chewier but the difference is not big at all.

I feel the dish can be so much better in terms of presentation and the flavor profile of the rice.

We ordered tea as well to compliment our food. I forgot the name of the tea but I quite like it. It was flavorful and the aroma was really pleasant.

Honestly, after eating the two dishes above, I contemplated on whether I should try their dessert and I’m happy I did. We ordered a Cream Cheese Souffle Pancake with Mangoes. We were told that we had to wait about 20-25 mins for this. When it came, the presentation was beautiful and it just looked so appetizing. The souffle was very light and airy, the mangoes tasted sweet and really fresh, the vanilla ice cream was thick and creamy and the cream with nuts was just heavenly. The whole dish was done very well and each component completed each other in terms of flavor pairings and texture. I loved this dish very much. 


While the savory dishes did not meet my expectations, the desert and atmosphere of the place more than made up for it. Perhaps the other dishes would have been really good, but unfortunately, I ended up trying these. If you go, you have to try their onion chips and souffle pancakes. For me these were the areas they excelled in. Also, let me know how the other dishes taste and perhaps I will visit them again someday!

Hours: 12:00 pm – 11:30 pm

Website: https://www.facebook.com/bloomjb/

Address: 87, Jalan Mutiara Emas 2a, Taman Mount Austin Johor Bahru

Follow me on

Visiting Zugspitze – the highest mountain in Germany and Eibsee Lake

Image credit: https://zugspitze.de

The plan for the day was to visit both Zugspitze and Eibsee Lake. The perfect round trip started by taking the cogwheel train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen station to Eibsee station, after which, the cable car up to the peak of Zugspitze. To get down, I took the cable car again but you can also take the cogwheel through the Zugspitze tunnel back to Eibsee station. At Eibsee station, I spent some time trekking around Eibsee Lake and lastly, I took the cogwheel train back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.  


ZUGSPITZE

The Zugspitze mountain stands at 2,962m above sea level and it is the highest peak in Germany. It is possible to hike up to the summit but unfortunately I don’t think I am up to the task. Instead, I chose the route that most people would go which is to take the cable car up.

I managed to get the best spot in the crowded cable car which allowed me to film the spectacular ascent to the peak.

It took a total of 9 mins to reach the peak. The views were amazing and awe-inspiring.

It was really cold and what I wore was not enough to keep me warm.

I had some fun exploring the area on top. Even though it was really misty, the sun’s UV rays were very strong, so bringing sunglasses is a must.  

On a clearer day, you would be able to climb up to the highest peak. But unfortunately, it was clearly impossible for me to do so.

What is really unique is that you can actually visit Austria without having to use your passport! I took a little break at the restaurant on the Austria side and had a delicious apple strudel. 


Zugspitze is a mountain you should not miss when visiting Germany. While there may not be many activities you can do at the top, just being there is an unforgettable experience!


EIBSEE LAKE

Before going back to the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I visited the beautiful Eibsee lake.

By using the measure distance function on google maps, I’ve estimated that the walk around the lake would be about 6.6 km long. I roughly took around 1 hr. and 15 mins to finish the circumference.

The lake is impressive in size and at whichever point you are at the lake, there will always be an opportunity to capture its beauty.

The path around the lake is mostly flat and easy to walk.

There are smaller lakes at the north-east side of the lake.

Besides walking around the lake, you can experience the lake in a different way through a really fun activity – paddling. I wished I had done this but unfortunately I was really tired from climbing Wank Mountain and I needed to get back to Munich on the same day.  


If you are looking to take great pictures, visit two countries at the same time and be enveloped in picturesque scenery, you have to visit Zugspitze and Eibsee Lake.

Follow me on

Climbing Wank Mountain in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Wank Mountain is a mountain situated at the southern part of Germany in the beautiful region of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It stands at 1,780 m with 700 m being below sea level.

Out of all the climbing routes in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I chose this mountain to hike because of these various reasons. First, it was easily accessible being at the the edge of the town, it offers panoramic views of the town from above, it is also not that high thus making it possible to climb within a few hours and lastly it has a cable car station.

It was my first time travelling as a solo female and also my first time climbing a mountain alone. I had intended to find a travelling buddy on either Couchsurfing or the Hiking Buddies Munich Facebook Group. Unfortunately, people were reluctant to join because the period I wanted to climb in which was in late May, had long extended periods of rainfall; and they were not sure if the rain would cease on the day I wanted to climb While I was a little disappointed, I knew I had to do it as I don’t know when i’ll get the chance to do this again.

The constant rainfall made an otherwise relatively easy hike to something which was quite dangerous. Here’s my journey up Wank Mountain.


The foot of Wank Mountain is only a 10-15 min walk from the center of the town.

There were quite a few hiking routes to Wank Mountain and other mountains nearby but I chose to stick with the shortest walking route provided by google maps which was 6.4 km. While it says it only takes 2 hr 7 mins to climb, it took me 4 hours to finish as it was raining and that made the path really muddy and slippery and I also took many little breaks to rest and take pictures. Perhaps on a sunny day 2 hrs would be possible but realistically, 3 hrs would be a safe bet.

The path started off quite easy through concrete roads.

If you listen to the video above, you will be able to hear the bells on the cows. Because of that I knew how near the cows were to me. There was a part of the path where there were cows on the left, on the right and even on the path. I was really scared as I knew they knew I was there and they were staring at me! 

About a third of the way up, the concrete path became more of a trail. While it was getting a little slippery as it had been raining throughout the whole morning, it was still manageable.  

Soon, the path started to get really difficult for me. It was extremely wet, muddy and slippery. Sometimes my shoes would get stuck in the mud which threw my balance way off. I slipped multiple times and had to gasp at tree branches. I didn’t fall down but I was so worried that I would.

I was supposed to reach the summit within 3 hrs. but it seemed like the estimated time now was 4 hrs. and I was getting really tired from having to be so careful with where I stepped. But seeing snow at the top got me really excited and motivated.

I didn’t expect the mountain top to be totally covered with snow as it was the beginning of summer. It was breathtaking!

I’ve never seen so much snow in my whole life!!

Finally!!! Throughout the whole hike, I was alone; the only people I saw were at the foot of the mountain but they went on a different path. I was so glad to make it this far.

Reaching the restaurant aptly named Wank-haus at the top was such a relief. The coffee and the beef broth with cheese dumpling was hearty – a well-deserved reward.

Thank god there’s a cable car station on top because I wouldn’t have been able to climb all the way back down.


This whole experience was amazing. I feel such a great sense of achievement and am so proud that I did this by myself. If you ever visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen and you want a relatively short hike, please visit Wank Mountain. Hopefully, when you’re there it doesn’t rain!

Follow me on