From the highly polluted air, stinky mung-bean milk to men who air their naked bellies like prized treasure on warm summer days, Beijing isn’t really the la-di-da destination darling like her other more flamboyant siblings. But as the red flag, charged with five golden stars, rises from Tiananmen Square at the crack of dawn, Beijing rises along. This is a city who has a wealth of history in her pouch, a commanding present and a limitless future willed by her unyielding dwellers. From exotic food to the Great Wall, the community spirit to the major tech players who have shored up the country’s economy and shaken the world today, AL taps on them all. Come get to know Beijing from the eyes of a five-day tourist. You will thank me for this.
“What do you want for your birthday?”
“Picnic by a castle.”
OK that’s it, grab your jacket. We are getting out of Amsterdam. Twice in this riling capital and I still haven’t learnt to love it. Only a one-hour train ride away, Delft is the perfect solution. This town gives you the most relaxing stroll by the emblematic Dutch canal, beautiful blue and white pottery, rich butter cookies and a peek into the life of Dutch Golden Age’s finest painter, Johannes Vermeer. No sight of cheap tasteless fish-net stockings. No terrible stench of smoking cannabis. Are you coming or are you coming?
This is a post about why travelling hard and fast in your 20s doesn’t buy you a place in the new cool. The likelihood is you wind up in quarter-life crisis with a bruised passport and nothing else. But, maybe you are the exception. Maybe you will make it to the Forbes Billionaire List for quitting your full-time job to travel the world. And right, you couldn’t care less about the money and the prestige? You believe that true wealth comes from these worldly adventures you have, don’t you? That’s all fine if you are planning on moving to another planet darling because the last time I checked, there’s no one country on earth that goes by that currency.
You take time off work, dig into your savings, book a flight, arrange accommodation, read a thousand where to go, where to eat articles online, you don’t speak the language, you depend your life on free Wi-fis, you might lose your passport, you might actually meet the love of your life (!)… all that effort and you still don’t see Travelling as something important? Heck, you dress up for funerals! Do this properly. Do it chic. Dress like you are onto something great. Because it is.
A cultural rant carefully disguised as food review. This is my take on a Vietnamese pho shack in Southwest London, which also cooks up Malaysian Laksa and Chinese pork buns Cantonese-style. From the way this business operates to the tableware it uses, Phat Phuc gives you a complete experience of how it’s like noodles-chasing in South East Asia minus the sweat. This is not your typical food review. Come see why.