Phuket is the largest island off the southern coast of Thailand and is an amalgamation of all the attractions that make Thailand such a popular travel destination.
Things to do
Visit Patong Beach
Ride a colourful tuk-tuk to Patong beach and party the night away or soak in the sights and sounds and get a massage at one of the many shops along the street.
Visit Nai Harn Beach
This is a pristine beach with fewer people and a great place to relax. On the way to Nai harn is the Kata-Karon viewpoint and makes for a great pitstop at sunset. You could also take the boats out to small islands near Nai Harn for a bit of snorkelling or diving.
Learn to cook Thai cuisine
Have yourself an impromptu cooking class on the street, the friendly locals are happy to show you how they make thai curries and other specialities in their carts. Also don’t forget to sample the delicious nutella pancakes you find at every corner.
Singapore is one of the cleanest, safest cities in the world and has the prettiest gardens. The people of Singapore are conscientious, helpful and always full of joy.
Places to see
Singapore Botanical Gardens – This 156 year old elegant garden is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend an entire day exploring the musical stream, the ancient trees, the prized orchids, the hidden alcoves and at last, stop by the Villa Halia for a refreshing ginger drink and a delicious lunch.
Haji Lane – Watch the street come alive at sunset with the smell of kebabs and the sound of jazz! Don’t forget to treat yourself to a refreshing massage at the Frangipani spa located at the end of the lane.
Adventure Cove, Sentosa – Swim with beautiful fishes of all colors of the rainbow at the Adventure Cove, watch the amusing manta rays and enjoy the sun while you gobble delicious gelato.
Singapore Philatelic Museum – is located in a colourful, colonial building near Clarke Quay and is a delight for stamp collectors; You can even buy stamps from other countries. I bought a treasured dinosaur stamp from Ecuador.
Jurong Bird Park – The African Waterfall Aviary is an impressive 5 acre, rainforest habitat with free-flying birds, many of whom have learned to mimic human speech!
Lily and Hopie Stockman have brought together centuries-old textile printing techniques and modern Californian aesthete to create Block Shop Textiles.
Here is a peek into the beautiful process –
Lily and Hopie’s designs are hand carved onto Sisam wood blocks by master carvers in Bagru. The fabric is prepared for printing by being soaked in a bath of harda, a natural mordant from the myrobalan nut, which helps the natural dyes bind to the fibers of the fabric.
A master printer dips the wooden printing block in a dye tray, then stamps the block on the fabric with a hard pound of the fist. This will be repeated from left to right, aligning the blocks perfectly by eye from years of experience.
The printed fabric fashioned into scarves or pillows are hung from roofs in the communal drying field and left to fix in the sun for up to three days. They are then boiled in a large copper pot in a bath of alum and dried flowers for softness and colorfastness.
Shop their collection of scarves and pillows here.
Goa is lush and verdant in the monsoons; It’s a wonderful time to experience the beautiful countryside, traditional Portuguese architecture and the near empty beaches.
It is also the perfect time to enjoy delicious and fiery Goan cuisine in traditional Goan establishments.
Places to Eat
Ritz Classic, Panaji
The lunch thali here is not to be missed. The servings of fried fish, mussels, prawn and fish curry are fresh and delicious.
Cafe Venite, Panaji
This eatery has a wonderful, bohemian vibe, great music and flavoursome Goan seafood platters.
Cafe Baba au Rhum, Anjuna
‘Baba au Rhum’ is a quiet cafe run by a frenchman, Leo Michaud and his wife, Dayini Michaud. They make delectable chocolate croissants (pain du chocolat).
‘Curlies’ has a beautiful view and is a great place to unwind over a refreshing ‘Virgin Mary’.
The Best Beaches
This easily-accessible, white-sand beach is clean and free of litter.
The cove at the end of the beach is safe for swimming and always manned by lifeguards.
The beach for spectacular sunsets and long walks.
Two Forts and a Church
Immaculate Conception Church, Panaji
The striking church is a rite of passage for all Goan tourists and is always crowded. The best way to enjoy the lively promenade is to set oneself up on a bench facing the church and talk to old Goans about times gone past.
Fort Aguada and Fort Chapora
The scenic route flanked by luxuriant paddy fields and breathtaking views at the top of the forts make it a worthy addition to any travel itinerary.
Places to Shop
Wendell Rodricks, Campal
The flagship store in Campal stocks a great selection of linen prêt wear; Perfect for the Goan weather. They also have minimalistic yet elegant evening wear, the likes of which only Wendell Rodricks can create.
Look carefully and you will find wonderfully designed wrapping paper.