1 Day Itinerary in Singapore

Singapore is a very beautiful country with very many tourist attraction sites. A one day lay over will you give just the time you need to sample out some of Singapore’s attraction sites, leaving you wanting to spend more time exploring. Like any other country, Singapore boasts with lots of rich history and culture backed up by numerous relics and antics that are to be seen in both their public and private museums.

When touring Singapore, come prepared to be amazed by the tremendous beauty. There is a lot to explore and enjoy. Below are some attraction sites that will get you off on the right foot when visiting Singapore.

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Yum Cha Restaurant

This restaurant is to be found in Chinatown and it offers local dishes in the tourist district. The early mornings in Chinatown are rather quiet, offering you a quick look at what Singapore was in the olden days.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

The museum was constructed in 2007 as a dwelling place for the sacred artifact “the Buddha’s tooth” which is displayed in the museum. The temple and museum are also to be found in Chinatown. It receives many Singaporean Buddhists who come to pay homage.

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Singapore Zoo

Being single most celebrated zoos worldwide, the zoo has over 2,530 occupants and 11 highly populated zones. Magnificent and rare white tigers find a home in the jungle enclosure in this zoo.

The zoo has many wild animals from the flying foxes to sloths to be found in the rainforest trees.

River Safari

The River Safari is located next to the Singapore Zoo. This is one of a kind wildlife park that houses seven of the residents of the world renowned rivers, from the Mississippi are the alligators, from the Mekong are the giant catfish and from the Ganges are the frog-faced soft-shell turtles.

Here you will also get to see the two pandas, Jia Jia and Kai Kai and the new addition, the rare red panda.

Ah Meng Restaurant

This restaurant was named in honor of an orangutan, a former inhabitant of the zoo. It is enjoyable particularly for families and offers a variety of local food. For you to have an out of this world experience, try the early breakfast with orangutans.

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Orchard Road

Orchard road started out as a street lined with plantations of nutmeg and orchards. The road has changed over the years gradually being occupied by temples, markets, and cemeteries to what is today; an exhibition center, entertainment hub, and a serene place to take soothing walks in.

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Gardens by the Bay

This is a botanical garden filled with plants from all over the world except Antarctica. A Skyway is hovering 22 meters above the Gardens, giving you a spectacular view of the natures beautiful flowers and scents.

KU DE TA Club Lounge

The KU DE TA club hangs atop the Marina Bay and offering an incredible 360 degrees panoramic view of Singapore at night. The clubs dress code is semi-formal.

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This is a restaurant that gives you a great view of the sunset over the Singapore River. The restaurant is linked to the flower dome, one of the sights of the Gardens. The food at the restaurant is inspired by the Mediterranean coast.

Conclusion

A day in Singapore will give you a taste of Singapore’s rich culture and beautiful sights. The location of the attraction sights makes it possible for you to experience a lot of history and beauty. The various museums give you a feel of the Singaporean history and a deeper appreciation of the culture.

From fine dining of the Mediterranean meals to the local foods of Singapore are all to be found in the various restaurants in within the city. Night life also has a place in Singapore with the KU DE TA. Consider enjoying your drink and taking in the scenic view this club offers.


 

Kally Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

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10 Reasons Not To Miss Out On Mozambique

Mozambique is a rather short drive from SA and is becoming one of Africa’s gems. Below are reasons why you need to visit soon.

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  1. Visit Gorongosa National Park

Gorongosa, now under Carr Foundation has buffaloes, lions, and the majestic sable antelopes.

  1. Horse riding on Bazaruto

The indigo bay Island resort found on Bazaruto has boerperd horses that love to climb dunes and gallop on the long, beach on the eastern side of the island.

  1. Paradise snorkeling

The waters around Santa Carolina -the official name for Paradise Island- are warm, shallow and sheltered. The visibility is excellent. The reef is rather busy with a population of rays, reel fish, eels with the rare appearance of the blacktip reef shark.

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  1. Walk in the Lago Niassa

Mozambicans call is Lago Niassa and Malawians call is lake Malawi. A beautiful lodge, Nkwichi Lodge is built around the trees and into the rocks in the remote bays of the lake. This offers a great view of and an exotic travel experience of the lake.

  1. Experience History on Ilha

Ilha de Moçambique is a crumbling colonial masterpiece which has seen the succeeding waves of Chinese and Arab traders. You will also see the little chapel de Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, built by the Portuguese and still survives to date so do the original cisterns that get the island its fresh water.

  1. Ride the train across the North

The every day run between Cuamba and Nampula ranks as the worlds hardcore railway journeys in the world. You can buy your ticket a day in advance from the ticketing offices in Cuamba or Nampula. To avoid the overcrowding be sure to get a second-class ticket.

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  1. Dhow sailing on the Bay

Inhambane is the most relaxed and prettiest town in Mozambique. For an exotic travel experience, head down the beach, and hire yourself a good boat. Go down on the water and drift around the bay, chasing dolphins, chasing dhows and sipping coconut juice of its shell.

  1. Enjoy Piri Piri’s Pawn Curry

The stalwart restaurant café at Avenida 24 de Julho in the town of Maputo has a reputation for excellent yet simple food. Their grilled chicken, doused in the best peri-peri sauce in the world, is consistently excellent, so is their prawn curry which is renowned world over.

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  1. The beer

At the end of the war, the best beer in town was called Impala, Which had a sweet and yeasty taste. Impala has gone and now everybody drinks Laurentina or 2M and it worth noting there are very few things more satisfying in the world than a cold, dark Laurentina Preto beer on a hot day as you wait for your chips and grilled chicken, as you stare at the sea.

  1. The Gods seafood

You can enjoy seafood on the terrace of Costa do Sol, a deco art hotel and restaurant at the road out of Maputo while watching palms sway in the breeze. Make a point to have Africa’s awesome coffee milkshake as you chill on the lounger by the pool.

Join me on an exotic tour of South Africa as we bring you the best because you deserve the best. Want to know more on how you can squeeze out the best from your travels? Just askus@ladyredot.com!


 

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Must-know Hacks to Enjoy the Forbidden City

During the October holidays, teeming crowds turn up at the historical site for an exotic travel experience into the Satan’s pit. For most of the Beijing residents’ going to the Forbidden City is out of question throughout the holidays. Even all through the busiest of weeks, below are some tricks that can make visiting the Forbidden City more tolerable when not pleasant.

  1. Plan for an early morning visit: The ticket sales limit is 80,000 a day. This may seem like its a lot but during special exhibitions and holidays but the possibility of the tickets selling out by early on in the afternoon is very high.

(Advanced Tip: A reservation system is available online and you can book at most 10 tickets for a group except you need to have someone who reads Chinese – or you can do so yourself – and even have a payment method like Zhifubao or Alipay.)

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  1. Skip Mao: About 90% of the tourists approach Forbidden City via Tiananmen to the south. Getting here for an exotic travel experience often requires that you pass through rather long lines to get to the security checks. In order to avoid these, use the west or east entrance. Pay the entrance fee and walk into the park to the east side. This will get you to ticketing area right outside the Forbidden City main entrance. However, you will need to queue for the museum security checks so you can go inside.
  2. Stay away from the crowded area: Most visitors follow the same route right into the center of Forbidden City. Stay away from the crowded places and rather explore the interesting parts by turning right or left. When you walk along the wall going towards the East Gate, you will come to a fascinating and quiet museum of the palace architecture. Down the stairs near the East Gate as if going back towards the courtyard you will find the Literary Flourishing Hall which is a ceramic well-curated museum.

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  3. Keep away the mid-axis: Make a point to visit Cining Gong and Shoukang Gong which was home to the emperor’s mother in 18 century. This is a functioning archaeological site which has sculpture displays that date back to more than 1,500 years. This includes terracotta soldiers loaned from Xi’an.
  4. Use an alternative exit: Officially, Forbidden City is to be exited through one way that is north-south. However, the transport options outside the northern gate are restricted to jam-packed buses and trishaw hustlers. You can, however, exit from the Donghuamen (east gate) which lets out into the quieter street which has better taxi options and is closer to the nearby subway. Should you be hungry, a division of Siji Minfu- a famous Beijing restaurant and TRB Bites are located outside the eastern gate.

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  5. Remember to carry your passport: In 2015 new policies were enacted which require you to present a type of identification for every ticket purchased. The security personnel also look for lighters since it’s not advisable smoking inside the 600-old wooden palace.

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One more last tip – always ask a local for the best time to visit China or you can always rely on us at askus@ladyredot.com. If you have been to China, come and share your stories with us!


 

KallyKally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

5 Reasons You Should Visit Almaty

Kazakhstan is a cosmopolitan place that borders the cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe. The vast country stretches from China to the Caspian Sea. It is one of Asia’s diverse cultures where Russians and Kazakhs border the Ukrainians, Tatars, Uzbeks, Germans, and scores of other cultures mix harmoniously.

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Almaty is the country’s financial and cultural center and custodian of the essence. It is also the biggest city falling short of being the capital city after the young flash rival, Astana. The town sits amazingly below the snow-capped peaks of Zailysky-Alatau Mountains. It is pleasantly green and very relaxed with fountains, fancy malls, black-windowed SUVs and busy and pretty busy boulevards. The town is modern and a sophisticated hub for booming petro-economy, one that has many surprises that make Almaty the focus of any tour around Kazakhstan.

  1. The wonderful ski spot fit for royalty

The ski resort of Shymbulak is about 30 minutes drive from the city. In 2014 the resort became famous in when Prince Harry and his then-girlfriend Cressida Bonas went skiing on the slopes. It is ritzy and the sunny, chilly winters guarantee varying good conditions and crispy cold snow well into the month of April. The ski lifts leopard-print cabins are painted so in honor of the snow leopards that are rarely seen roaming the mountains. The 4kmseries of ski lifts run up to 3180 meters Talgar pass.

  1. You get to enjoy yourself along the Silk Road

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The bustling green bazaar market halls, filled with traders from across far as Korea to central Asia gather to hawk are a fantastic way to get familiar with the multifaceted ethnic mix of Kazakhstan. The foothills near Almaty are said to be home to the apple fruit, and it is said to massive proportions. Almaty translates to “father of the apple”.

 

  1. The impressive socialist architecture and art

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Soviet War Memorial in Almaty looms vividly in front of the city’s former army command center. The city’s finest museum, Kasteyev State Arts Museum, was named after Abilkhan Kasteev-Kazakhs greatest painter. Along with the huge collection is the intriguing room dedicated to his depiction of life in the former Soviet era from portraits of the peasant life to the canvases of the fast developing landscape.

  1. The second tallest wooden building in the worldnki

Proudly standing in the leafy Panfilov Park is the Cathedral of the Holy Ascension; a mix of pastel-colored gables, a gilded dome and brightly painted tiles that rise 60m high. All built with no single nail.

  1. The Russian baths are the finest in Central Asia

The Arasan Bath’s complex in Almaty is the most highly styled bathhouse in this area. It was built in the early 1980s as a notable statement of the Soviet ambition. Pick your slippers, conical felt hat (shapka) and a towel and join fellow bathers in the fiercely hot Russian steam room (parilka). Bundles of birch or oak leaves (vyeniki) are used to thrash on each other. This wince-inducing practice is believed to improve circulation. From the parilka, you are to upturn over yourself a bucket of gasp-inducing cold water. To finish up a dip in cool plunge-pool under the domed atrium will leave you refreshed.

Want to go on an exotic tour with us? Drop us a note at askus@ladyredot.com


Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Why You Must Visit Sarajevo In 2018

The recent traumatic history of the city is well documented but what is hardly know is the welcoming, warm and amazingly cool exotic travel destination the city is. Sarajevo is surrounded on three of its sides by mountains and it is where the twin strains of ottoman and Hapsburg architecture come together. Trains and buses rumble past bazaars and mosques, and minarets take their place on the skyline together with the Catholic spires and Orthodox domes.

Below are reasons to make Sarajevo your next destination for exotic travel

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The captivating Old Bazaar

Suspended on the steep Miljacka valley slopes, Baščaršija, the city’s old Bazaar is a smoky, hectic and noisy locality that is unlike any exotic travel place in the Balkans.

The narrow alleys burst with antique Ottoman monuments, the sweet-smelling ćevabdžinica and several street-corner cafés, and a varied assortment of stalls each selling all types of goods, from sandals and slippers to copperware and coffee sets.

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The one place with the best cevapcici in the Balkans

The legendary staple in the region can be found here. The high calorie spiced minced meat is typically served with kajmak-(a slightly sour and thick cheese) or ajvar (red pepper spread which is first roasted) and somun- a doughy delicious flatbread. Ćevabdžinica Petica is known amongst the locals as the one place with the best of these morsels.

The coffee

Bosanska kafa is served on a thin metallic tray; this bubbling coffee is served from an attractive džezva (copper vessel) into small fildžan (tumblers). Sugar lumps can be added – the regular practice is to dip the sugar lump into coffee then taking a tiny nibble to help customize the taste.

The two world-class summer festivals

During July, the old town streets rock big time throughout the Baščaršija Nights. This is a month-long music gathering from folk, rock and classical to the theatre, ballet, comedy, and opera and it is free.

Augusts’ Sarajevo Film Festival is more prestigious and bigger adding to your exotic travel experience. The festival has grown ever since its start during the 1995 siege to turn into the greatest movie gathering of Eastern Europe.

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The most captivating architecture in the Balkans

Numerous elegant monuments all though Sarajevo are proof of the 4 centuries of dominion from the east. The most exquisite is the Gazi Husref Beg Mosque and above it towers the Sahat-kula- the striking seventeen-century clock with hours of prayer marked in Arabic numeral. Also, check out the Sebilj fountain.

In contrast, the buildings down the Ferhadija Street have an Austro-Hungarian orientation – as are much more along Obala Kulina bana- an elegant riverside fare found further south.

The most symbolic building in Sarajevo is the National Library. It was obliterated in 1992, this noble neo-Moorish construction reopened in 2014. Its renovation is the most obvious proof of Sarajevo’s renaissance.

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The most important Bosnian War exhibitions

Inevitably, Sarajevo is full of sights attributed to the siege. However, the most significant exhibition is Galerija 11/7/95. It stands as a proper memorial to the traumatic events that widely spread at Srebrenica on this eponymous day. The show is presented in a potent way, courtesy of interviews, audio-visual documents and black and white imagery.


Kally
Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Best Vacation Destinations for Anthophiles

Originally, anthophiles refer to insects which frequent flowers or feed from them. These days, however, flower lovers everywhere has appropriated the term anthophile to mean a person who loves or appreciates flowers. For example, I’m a self-confessed anthophile. Since I don’t have much space for gardening in the city, I make do by displaying fresh cut flowers on my work desk, dining table and even on my bedside table.

It may seem a bit frivolous for others because flowers wilt anyway, so why keep purchasing them? But for me, it really is worth every cent. Plus, the lives of fresh cut flowers do not end on murky waters inside a vase. You can actually dry them out and craft them into potpourri or frame them into something artsy. Your only limit is your imagination!

Still, nothing beats living, breathing and thriving flowering plants. Fortunately, I do get to appreciate flowers in their natural habitat when I travel—wide, open spaces of pastel-coloured flowers in full bloom. Wherever I am, I always make it a point to visit flower farms or well-tended gardens and parks. So if buying hampers and fruit baskets from the best florist in Singapore is not enough to satisfy your anthophilous needs, perhaps going straight to the source may do the trick. Here are some of the prime vacation destinations you can visit and the best time to go there.

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Keukenhof in Lisse (The Netherlands)
(Unsplash | Owen Williams)

Tulips have become so in demand that it even caused the Tulip mania during the Dutch Golden Age that sent the prices for tulips skyrocketing. They have remained popular even up to this day. These elegant blooms are perfect for various occasions, including weddings and especially for Valentine’s Day. Every online florist in Singapore probably has Holland tulips in their inventory. To see these tulips in their place of origin, travel to the tulip fields in Holland to see millions of bulbs bloom in spring. The best time to visit Keukenhof is during the months of March to May.

Though I can’t visit those fields whenever I please, every time I miss Holland’s gorgeous tulip farms, I often order A Better Florist’s The Allison composed of multi-hued tulips. It just transports me to the countryside’s of Europe. Fortunately, you can also buy The Allison from Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai due to their recent expansion. Seems like there are anthophiles everywhere as they’ve already gained quite a following after they’ve been touted as best flower delivery in Hong Kong, best florist in Hong Kong and one of the best florists in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The flower business is definitely blooming!

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Yanaka Cemetery, Ueno, Tokyo (Japan)
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If your version of satisfying your floral fix during a vacation is by ordering a luxurious bouquet from the best florist in Hong Kong in between shopping sprees and food trips, then you need to level up your anthophilous game. Why not ditch your annual Hong Kong trip and pick another Asian destination for an authentic floral fix at Japan’s sakura season! This is probably the most magical season in Japan. Even the best bouquet from the best florists in Singapore can’t quite capture the whimsy and scenic appeal of sakura. When springtime comes, tourists flock to the country to get a glimpse of the ephemeral beauty of Cherry Blossoms. For a brief time, Japan gets covered in a delicate tapestry of pink and white.

Yanaka Cemetery in Ueno may seem like a morbid choice, but trust me, if you want to witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom and in relative peace, then this is where you want to be. Nagoya Castle may have the more cinematic overall experience, but you can also expect droves of people bound to be there obstructing the view. The best time to witness the sakura season is late March to mid-April. You can also check online for a more accurate schedule.

 

Adventures in Hang Son Doong, the World’s Largest Cave

Considered as the largest cave world over, the three million-year-old cave is located in central Vietnam. The cave’s name translates as ‘Mountain River Cave’. The cave ceiling is spread 100 meters over our heads. Sun rays stream in through the serrated sides of the cliffs. The high-pitched calls of the macaque monkeys and the birds bounce off the limestone walls, resounding from the world past the skylight. The Hang Son Doong cave is situated in Vietnam’s Quang Binh province in the middle of the Phong Nha-Ke National park.

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In 1990, a local farmer, Ho Khanh, stumbled upon the cave. While in the jungle, he heard the gushing sounds of the underground river and saw clouds hanging above the large opening in the limestone. He reported his discovery to the British Caving Research Association but sadly, upon his return he got lost and could not find the cave. The cave remained lost for eighteen years, and in 2008 as he was hunting for food, Ho found the entrance to the cave again. A year later he returned with Howard and Deb Limbert both from the BCRA.

The Hang Son Doong covers an area of more than 5 kilometers (3 miles) and a height of two hundred meters. The main grotto is huge enough to accommodate a whole New York City housing block. The Hang Son Doong was for the first time opened to the public in 2013, with the Oxalis tour company offering limited 5-day expeditions. The use of only one Tour Company has helped protect the cave from huge developments. The tours run once a week from February to August yearly and only ten customers are allowed for each departure.

The Hang Son Doong has a unique eco-system with its own localized weather. Scattered in the dried pools are the unique limestone cave pearls and the biggest stalagmite ever stands eighty meters tall. The collapsed cave ceilings have formed openings called dolines, which allow plant life to grow in the cave.

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The journey into the Hang Son Doong involves a 2-day trek through thick jungle shrubbery and crossing rivers to arrive at the cave’s entrance. Night-time is spent camping within the cave and the close by Hang En cave. The Hang En has come to be recognized as the third largest cave world over. In order to get to the end of the cave, hikers climb, crawl, abseil and swim through the underground rivers, making this a remarkable adventure. Even with the physical strains, guests are well cared for; accompanied by 2 caving experts, two chefs, three local guides, 20 porters and two park rangers who ensure the expedition is exceptional and safe. Small tour groups ensure the cave is preserved as well.

The Quang Binh province has greatly benefited from the growing tourism after the discovery of the cave. Many locals turned to tourism after guests started arriving; this has contributed greatly to the provinces’ economic growth. Local entrepreneurs have established hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and eco-conservation companies to work together with the caving expeditions.

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In recent years, the Sun Group, a Vietnamese development firm has been forward with its intention to construct a cable car to the Hang Son Doong. In 2015, strong opposition from the UNESCO and other activist groups urged the Vietnamese government to briefly stop the construction permits. The cable car construction still looms and it remains unknown whether the approval will be allowed.

Some people are for the idea that tourism will keep benefiting the locals, while others express their concern regarding the destruction tourism will cause to the ecosystem due to the high numbers of guests it brings. Comparable projects like the Mount Fansipan and the Halong Bay have experienced major environmental due to tourism. It can only be anticipated that a responsible and sustainable decision is arrived at to help preserve the Hang Son Doong.


Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com