It’s always fascinating to hear of tales of friendship sparked by solo journeys to faraway lands. But what if you aren’t a social butterfly and need a little extra help in making friends with other travellers? The Penroads application does just that.
We realised that we could start making friends before, or even while planning, a trip. Here’s how to do it: simply key in your travel destination, arrival and departure dates, and the app will show you a list of travellers whose travel plans coincide with yours. All it took us was a few seconds and we had a list of potential friends and travel buddies awaiting our trip.
With this app, we embraced the concept of social travelling and could make plans with people we’ve never met in the flesh- yet. The app’s chat room function enabled us to make contact with our new found friend(s), where we can then discuss travel itineraries and plan for activities together.
So join the community with us to seek out adventures with other soloists travelling to your destination!
Have insider information or travel stories to share? Contribute to the Travelog blog & engage with travel-lovers like yourself (credits will be given). Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!
This photo essay mainly captures the beauty of nature in Phuket with shots of the clear waters and limestone cliffs, along with images of floating villages and the locals there. Oh, and the author sneaked in a picture of the notorious Patong area as well.
With many pictures of the places of worship and the beautiful details in their architecture, this photo essay shows a side of Phuket that is different from the ‘sun, sand and sea’ stereotype, although some pictures of the latter is included as well.
Perhaps not the prettiest or most professional of pictures, but this photo essay that focuses on Phuket’s transportation system is worth viewing nonetheless, as it captures the vehicles that locals use, providing insight to their daily lives.
This photo essay is very ‘real’- compiled over a period of 6 months by a foreign teacher who lived and worked in Phuket. It shows everything from the beaches to the temples to the nightlife, and is probably the closest to how the locals would see the province.
The tallest hotel in Shanghai and one of the tallest in the world, you can be experience being literally on top of the world when you stay at Park Hyatt! The skyscraper hotel also boasts quality service and a luxurious interior design that looks like it could double as an art gallery.
Located at the heart of the former French Concession area, Mansion Hotel is China’s first deluxe City Heritage Boutique Hotel. Upon entering, expect to find classical design along with a host of antiques decorating the lobby and corridors. This is one hotel that combines luxury rooms and service with historical flair.
Book a night at Astor House and you’ll have a chance to stay at rooms once occupied by the likes of Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell and Charlie Chaplin! This hotel was Shanghai’s first, being built more than 160 years ago during the Qing Dynasty in 1846. The interior is elegant and reminiscent of the building’s past, complete with impeccable wooden floors and chandeliers!
A cafe, museum and bar all rolled into one, 1942 Alfresco is the place to go for history buffs and travellers who are curious about the country’s past, and 1942 was the very year Singapore fell to Japanese rule, hence the name. After exploring the artefacts and play fighting with the fake swords and guns, the war themed cafe serves up some amazing dishes for you to fill up on as well- from soups to salads to pasta, and not to mention, desserts!
Quaint and classy, the design of Antoinette is centred around the theme of French royalty, with the cafe and restaurant named after the last French queen, Marie-Antoinette. Head over enjoy the desserts that are probably delicious enough to be served to royals themselves! These include French pancakes, macarons (of course!), and other desserts such as the Baked Alaska (above), which is a meringue with vanilla ice cream, almond nougatine and fruits. They’ve also got mains like steak, as well as a selection of aromatic teas.
This Singapore cafe looks like a perfect place to film a drama or movie, and it’s no wonder why some locals have their wedding photos take there. Designed with a 60’s theme centred around Volkswagen cars, this is the place to be for lovers of anything vintage or retro! Besides the themed design, this diner and cafe offers a variety of Thai food, along with some refreshing iced coffee and other drinks to wash everything down.
As the name suggests, this cafe was inspired by the popular book The Little Prince, straight from the pages of the childhood novel. Step into this whimsical cafe and you’ll find yourself surrounded by hand-drawn prints around the walls, making up a black and white interior. Their menu offers a variety of items including savoury sandwiches and coffee, but the crowd favourites would have to be their ice cream and waffles. With interesting names like Pink Panther and Mango Kiss, the staff at the ice cream counter will gladly let you have samples to taste the myriad of ice cream flavours before you decide!
Be surrounded by books in the Reading Room. What seems like a grand library is actually a cafe by day and a bar by night. And unlike your experience in a library, you can have food and drinks while reading here, so book lovers, rejoice! Located along a stretch of bars and cafes, the Reading Room is a lovely hideout for bookworms to grab a cup of coffee and have a leisurely read. You don’t have to worry about food either- the cafe serves up a tasty brunch menu as well, so you can sit around and enjoy your book for hours on end.
When thinking of leisure activities in a concrete jungle like Singapore, horse-riding isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But at Rider’s Cafe, you can do just that. Plus, the cafe serves up a delicious menu for brunch so you can replenish your fuel after a horse-riding session. Tucked away in the Bukit Timah area within the Saddle Club, this place might take a bit to time to locate, but it’ll be worth it once you’re on a horse’s back enjoying the fresh air.
Go back to Singapore in the ’90s (or some say ’80s) in this cosy cafe, with its decor inspired by classrooms of the past. It even sells some of the typical, nostalgic snacks that school children back then loved. Try a few of those and then order some of the traditionally Singaporean drinks off the chalkboard, such as Bandung and Milo Dinosaur, which Singaporeans enjoy. If you’re feeling hungry, they also serve up local dishes like Laksa, Curry Chicken and Nasi Lemak, along with a variety of cakes. For those who want to immerse themselves in Singaporean culture and food, Old School Delights is as local as it gets- no other cafes can compare!
Shopping is one of Singapore’s national pastimes and it isn’t difficult to see why. As a crowded cosmopolitan city with no lack of consumers, brands are flocking to the nation-state to set-up shop. But for those who want to bring home something special, sidestep the commonly seen brands and seek out these uniquely Singaporean accessories designed by local designers!
Featured in magazines like Simply Her and Women’s Weekly, Carrie K provides a variety of accessory designs from quirky statement pieces to elegant chic. And who says jewelry are for girls? The brand offers a range of items for guys as well, so have fun shopping with your significant other or simply with your friends. No more boring waiting while your girlfriend shops, guys!
Another brand that offers pieces for both genders, Depression is located the heart of Singapore’s shopping district. Those who love unusual accessories won’t want to miss this brand, which has a knack for avant-garde designs. Other than accessories, expect to find black and white clothing designs as well.
Other than jewelry, bags are also an important accessory that can glam up your outfit. From elegant clutches to sophisticated and practical sling bags, Ling Wu’s extensive collection has got you covered, so seek the brand out and shop their high-quality pieces while you’re in Singapore!
This year, The Hong Kong Sevens are held on the last weekend of March, 27 – 29 March, at the Hong Kong Stadium. Once again, the city is bracing itself for an influx of tourists from all over the world. 28 teams will be participating in the 2015 tournament, and here are some tips on where to party (and how to survive) the Hong Kong Sevens weekend.
While the South Stand is hard to get into, this is the place to be if you want to party throughout the Sevens. It’ll be loud, colourful, and crazy, and you’ll see plenty of awesome costumes so be sure to dress up. The seating is unreserved, so try to get here early to grab a seat.
The Sevens will usually finish between 7 and 9, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore Hong Kong by night.
Wan Chai used to be Hong Kong’s red light district in Hong Kong and these days is bursting with all sorts of pubs and bars, which overflow onto the streets.
This area is close to the stadium, and the streets are sure to be packed with people still in their costumes. This is where you’ll find the cheapest drinks in Hong Kong, and a lot of character which makes Wan Chai an interesting and exciting place to explore.
Take the outdoor public escalator to the top of the district, and pinball your way down, hitting the best bars.
The most boisterous and busiest parts of Wan Chai are “The Corners,” which are two intersections on Lockhart Road, one by Fenwick Street, and the other at Luard Road. These are where you’ll find the less sleazy bars, and it’s the place to go for a slightly more upscale drinking experience.
Mes Amis is an open facaded bar, and is usually considered to be the centre of Wan Chai. The central location is on the corner of Luard and Lockhart, and it’s a good place to meet friends, with crowds spilling out onto the streets. Walk a little further up Luard Road until you get to Jaffe Road, and you’ll find the Delaney’s The Irish Pub as well as Bar Amazonia, both popular choices in this area.
While the Fenwick-Lockhart junction isn’t quite as central as the Luard-Lockhart corner, the nautically-themed Typhoon is a must-visit, and is famous for giving out free shots whenever there is a Typhoon warning. Typhoon is a place that gets crazy during the Seven’s and is known as one of the best places to party.
When the booze hits, and you’re ready to dance, head to Carnegie’s, which has installed brass railings on the bar since dancing on top of it is so popular. This place generally draws a younger crowd with a mix of tourists, university students, and international school kids frequenting it regularly. It’s sure to be a huge hit during the Seven’s.
Lan Kwai Fong is one of the other main drinking districts in Hong Kong, and the bars here are some of the best in Asia, which has earned it the nickname of party central. It’s not as close to the Hong Kong Stadium as Wan Chai, but the area is still well worth a visit.
Dublin Jacks is an Irish bar, with a friendly atmosphere and a great deck to chill out on, and Irish pub-style food. Grab a bite to eat here, before heading to The Hong Kong Brew House for the best selection of beers in Hong Kong.
When it’s time to really party, head to Stormies (LKF), which is where hundreds of people inevitably end up spilling out into the street. There’s a surprisingly good restaurant upstairs, serving excellent seafood.
For something a little different, head to Sub Zero Temp Bar, a Russian restaurant, where patrons can hang out in the freezer and drink multiple types of vodka. Don’t worry about being underdressed, as they have plenty of fur coats for you to wear.
The Seven’s is a great excuse to go out, and with the amount of amazing bars and clubs on offer in Hong Kong, you’ll be spoiled for choice when you go out after the games.
We are popping the question on Valentine’s Day Getaways in 2015!
Whether you are a fan of beach, countryside or city destinations, hotels and resorts across the globe offer exceptional escapes that will make your romantic retreat memorable. The most cherished Valentine’s Day gifts come not only in heart-shaped boxes but also in unforgettable experiences.
Choose from any of these exotic destinations and make this Valentine’s one to remember.
6. Bali, Indonesia
Bali, meaning “heaven”, evokes your dream of the most splendid sights: towering volcanoes curled in a deep canopy, long white sandy beaches, and green turquoise water along curving coastlines. Ranked as one of the ‘World’s Best Islands’ according to Travel & Leisure Magazine and Lonely Planet. Bali is exactly what you are looking for on your voyages of love. Spend time together lying on the pristine sand seashores or participating in watersports and beach activities to makes your trip more active and interesting. Rafting, surfing, cycling while savoring this beautiful island, the friendly, open locals and the stunning sunsets are among the best things you can do to warm-up your love on the Valentine’s Day.
Inle Lake is the iconic destinations for couples looking for a quiet but charming getaway on Valentine’s Day 2015. Float on the small boats on the tranquil water, watch the splendid sunrises and sunsets reflecting the red-yellow waterway or slowly contemplate the exceptional floating gardens and floating homes of the Intha people. The feeling of take-back-time indulges your love into the slow rhythms of life, simple yet unique. The one-leg rowing technique of Intha fishermen is beyond your expectations and will complement this amazing Valentine’s Day Getaway in 2015.
4. Bangkok, Thailand
Defining the essence of a superb Valentine’s Day, Bangkok, the busy but charming capital of Thailand offers you a retreat of peace and comfort with a romantic twist. You will definitely want to take a canal tour to see the enchanting Chao Phraya River and beautiful canals of the city. Most of these extraordinary boat trips start at the eastern bank of the river, through the backwaters of Thonburi, the glorious Royal Barges National Museum and a unique floating market. Don’t forget to reward you and your loved one with a traditional Thai massage at least once during your visit to Bangkok. Reach the sky and walk in the clouds at the 61st rooftop of Banyan Tree Hotel, kindly recommended by our friends at Exotic Voyages.
If you’re looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day in an intimate and significantly beautiful setting, the Maldives is the world’s best destination for all these things. Spoil yourselves with a dinner under the millions of stars with candlelight and natural wind, relaxing in a bungalow to watch the endless green turquoise water, doing beach activities such as surfing, fishing or even diving to see the vivid underwater world. A boat trip as if nature plays with the colors of the setting sun just to ensure that you remember each moment and this love for the rest of your life. Velassaru, Maldives, one of the most romantic Valentine’s Day Getaways in 2015 offers one-of-a-kind exclusive dining experiences.
2. Hanoi, Vietnam
Visit enchanting Hanoi and welcome Valentine’s Day with a true Vietnam experience and the best that Hanoi has to offer. Take a morning or evening cyclo along Hoan Kiem Lake, through 36 old Quarter streets to watch the daily life of Hanoians. Seeing Hanoi come to life in both its ancient and modern ways. At Exotic Voyages, we highly recommend you try a café in Hanoi. The unique décor and exceptional quality of coffee in each shop will give you a true taste of Vietnam. Walking along the Long Bien Bridge and watching the sun slowly sets behind the Red River presents the perfect end to any day. You are definitely in for a retreat as you visit Hanoi with your loved one in some of the luxury hotels at the centre of Hanoi.
1. Shanghai, China
Tianai Lu or Sweet Love Road in Hongkou District is the ideal place to take a romantic stroll. Here young couples often look at walls adorned with well-chosen love poems and aphorisms from famous poets of love. Ride the ferry wheel at Jinjiang Amusement Park and observe Shanghai from a birds-eye view. Shanghai is not only a place steeped in history but also a charming destination, good enough for even the most hard-to-please dates for Valentine’s Day 2015.