Up until K-pop crossed the mainstream and spawned a whole youth culture in the west, I'm not sure Seoul was at the top of many people's lists. A long way from home, and surrounded by famous cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and Hanoi - Seoul was an afterthought. However, it's recently become the 9th most visited city in the world. I decided to spend a week and find out for myself just what makes Seoul so interesting. You can read by detailed review here, but here's 5 things I loved about Seoul.
Once upon a time, Hong Kong was nothing more than a small fishing village, a colonial outpost of the British Empire. You wouldn't think that seeing it today. A thriving financial centre, Hong Kong is one of the global cities. It's loud, chaotic, smelly, cramped - and I absolutely loved it. It was tough getting this list down to just 5 I loved about Hong Kong, so you can read my full review of Hong Kong here, but I've given it a go.
Airport Rating *****
Reception of locals *****
Airport Rating *****
Reception of locals *****
For a rich person, Singapore must feel like a bit of playground. The whole city seems to be geared toward wealth and money. However, I found, that even a little money can go a long way here if you spend it wisely.
I've made two trips to Singapore now, and got to know the city a little better. Sure, it can be a little pretentious, a little in your face - and yep - it can seem a little fake (although not to the extent of Dubai). However, scratch the surface, and you have a beautifully complex city that has something for everyone. Neighbourhoods, with their own vibes and energy, and landmarks that leave you breathless. You can read about my first trip to Singapore here, my second trip here, and 5 things I loved about Singapore here. But this article will cover my journey through the city state in a series of pictures.
This is the third time I'm writing an end of year review, and it's always nice to have a look back on the places I've been lucky enough to visit.
You can read my end of year review for 2017 here.
You can read my end of year review for 2016 here.
For the first time, I didn't do an extended trip, but instead took a large number of smaller trips to cities in Europe, Asia and North America.
I kicked off the year in Italy, visiting Rome (including a quick stop in the Vatican), Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. I then went to Asia where I returned to Singapore after 5 years. I then experienced a personal highlight exploring Kuala Lumpur and the nearby Batu Caves. It was back to Europe as I visited Vienna, Frankfurt and Zurich in quick succession. I then had a change of pace as I climbed the 'Rock' during my time in Gibraltar. I finally got to visit a city I've wanted to see for a long time when I made the trip to Berlin. As summer turned to autumn I returned to Amsterdam before ending the year with short trips to New York and Edinburgh.
As with the posts the last two years, you can click any of the blue links to read in depth reviews of each location.
Not many cities have surprised me the way that Kuala Lumpur did. I didn't have particularly high expectations when I visited, but I was completely blown away by the character of this city. Often overlooked for Hong Kong, Bangkok or Singapore, Kuala Lumpur is one of the best examples of old meets new and a must visit city. It has incredible food, jaw dropping architecture, it's cheap and there's a decent Sikh population out there. I had quite an adventure in KL and my detailed review can be read here. You can also read top 5 lists of other cities that I have visited here. As with most places I enjoy, it's difficult narrowing the list down to just 5 things I loved about KL, but I've given it a go.
I originally wrote this list a few years back, but earlier this year I visited Singapore for the second time (you can read about it here). I realised that the things I enjoyed about Singapore had shifted a little, and therefore I probably needed to update this list.
That's exactly what I've done, so read on for my 5 favourite things about Singapore
Airport Rating N/A
Reception of locals N/A
Despite being built just over 10 years ago, the entrance to the Batu Caves with the large statue of the Hindu God, Murugan, has become one of the most famous images of Malaysia. Stories of the caves' history, and a desire to see the statue in person led me to taking the very short journey north from Kuala Lumpur to the site of the Batu Caves. This article covers my thoughts from the caves as well as sharing how to get from Kuala Lumpur to the Batu Caves.
Airport Rating ****
Reception of locals ****
My visit to Singapore gave me the opportunity to take a side trip to nearby Kuala Lumpur, giving me my first taste of Malaysia. The city is relatively new, established in its modern form some 30 years after Singapore, yet somehow it feels comparatively ancient. I managed to spend 4 days in the city, and although I'll write a separate article on the Batu Caves, this post covers my thoughts and observations on an often overlooked city.
British Sikh, born in the Midlands, based in London, travelling the world seeing new cultures.