Singapore, the Coolest Place I’ll Never Visit Again

Singapore, the Coolest Place I’ll Never Visit Again

Singapore has been on my must-visit list for a long time. We’ve all seen the photos of the famous Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool, and booking a short visit was an easy decision. The Supertree Grove was an absolute masterpiece. The Marina Bay Sands, though bougie and swarming with irritating nouveaux-riche, is by far the coolest hotel I’ve ever stayed at.

But Singapore as a whole confused the hell out of me. It somehow managed to simultaneously fascinate and bore me; I thought it was visually stunning, but otherwise pretty bland. I expected a place with so much creativity and innovation to have an equally cool vibe, and instead the city felt kind of sterile and artificial.

I did enjoy my time there. I loved exploring Singapore and ticking off my bucket list items, I loved everything I saw, but I was also ready to leave and never return lol. In summary: worth a visit, but maybe just one visit. Maybe I’ll return one day to give it another chance.

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Traditional Balinese Cooking Class: A Foodie Must-Do!

Traditional Balinese Cooking Class: A Foodie Must-Do!

The cooking class I took in Ubud was one of the highlights of my trip to Indonesia, and a great way to familiarise myself with traditional Balinese cuisine. It was also a great way to ensure I would be well-fed and entertained for an evening, which is a serious perk when traveling solo. With over three thousand 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor, Paon Bali Cooking Class was the easy choice, and it more than lived up to expectations.

It was the most well-organised class I’ve ever taken (out of a sample size of one, lol, but trust me, they know what they’re doing).The food was easy to prepare, delicious, and full of fresh, flavorful local ingredients. Pretty much everyone taking the class was a young, fun traveler. Puspa, the owner, was truly the cutest human ever and someone who I can only assume is the Ina Garten of Indonesia. And we got a recipe book to take home. 10/10, would def take again. 

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The Perfect Getaway at Kamandalu Resort Ubud

The Perfect Getaway at Kamandalu Resort Ubud

As a typical shallow millennial, I get a lot of my travel inspiration from stalking people with better lives than me on Instagram. I booked Kamandalu solely because I’d seen a photo of their floating breakfast on some beautiful rich asshole’s Instagram and decided that price tag be damned, I was staying at one of those villas, I was going to enjoy that lush jungle paradise, and I was going to eat breakfast in my pool like the fucking queen that I am.

The resort is located in Ubud, Bali, a beautiful, lush, and secluded area which is a much-needed escape from Real Life. Ubud is about an hour’s taxi away from Ngurah Rai Airport, which will run you about 350-400,000 IDR ($25-28 USD). Kamandalu’s villas are pricy, but they’re stunning, and 100% worth the investment. The floating breakfast (~$35 USD, pictured above) is a really nice add-on, featuring a variety of Indonesian dishes along with standard brunch fare. The entire resort has a very serene, calming vibe. It’s modeled off a traditional Balinese village, so there are endless walkways, rice paddies, and gardens.  I arrived fresh off my frenetic Komodo adventure and completely exhausted, and left feeling relaxed and totally refreshed.

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Why You Should NEVER Take a Wooden Boat Tour in Komodo

Why You Should NEVER Take a Wooden Boat Tour in Komodo

For my second day in Komodo I decided to forgo the comfort of a speedboat and take a traditional wooden fishing boat out to Padar Island and Manta Point, for a ~more authentic experience~. Local boats are the frugal traveler’s ticket to touring Komodo National Park. They are not particularly glamorous – you’ll be sitting on a wooden bench for most of the day, and it takes hours to get anywhere – but you’re rewarded by feeling like a cool, intrepid explorer. This tour definitely felt like more of an adventure than my speedboat tour.

I would not, however, recommend it to anyone who values their life. My boat broke down a half dozen times, we finally made it back to harbour well after dark, and I (literally) almost drowned. I’d read some horror stories about the wooden boats online and ignored them for the sake of adventure, but the internet was right. Take the speedboat.

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How to Survive Komodo National Park

How to Survive Komodo National Park

For the first stop of my first ever solo trip, I thought it would be a good idea to ship myself to a remote Indonesian island to see some giant, poisonous, prehistoric lizards. Upon descending into Komodo Airport, as my tiny propeller plane wildly shook back and forth from strong gusts of wind amid the literal screams of my fellow passengers, I wondered if perhaps I had bitten off more than I could chew. 

Terrifying landing aside, Komodo was an absolute dream, and by far my favorite travel destination to date. “Komodo National Park” is actually a sprawling series of islands in the Flores region of Indonesia. To get there, you take a 90-minute flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo – a small fishing town which is slowly becoming a tourist hub – and catch a boat to the islands from there. There’s a few main spots in Komodo National Park that are considered must-sees – Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Padar Island, Pink Beach, and Manta Point.

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