Busan, South Korea

Travel

Hi guys!

Just a quick article about a trip I took to Busan, South Korea last Fall, for the autumn festival weekend.

I stayed at a hotel called Jini Guest House. The hotel has a view of the Gwangalli beach front, the diamond bridge and facilities include free breakfast in the morning. The lift was made of glass also so we could see the view when going up or down.

Along the beach there are lots of cute restaurants and if you go, make sure to try Bibimbap (rice and veggies and seaweed) and Kimchi at a local Korean restaurant. If you walk around and you see people having picnics near the sea. Drinking Soju is an unavoidable step towards your goal of exploring the real Korean life! My friends and I did it on the beach and we lit up fireworks on the beach, then went out in a club. There were no beds, so we slept in futons.

 

On the next day, we went to the cultural village (Haedung Yonggungsa).

We had red bean noodles which is a Chinese dish but you should definitely check it out! Then we went to hike in Jangsan. From the top of the hill you can see the city from afar, waterfalls and fireflies. Just make sure you go back to the city before it gets dark (hmm hmm). After making that beginner’s mistake, we (safely?) came back to Busan at night, went to Mad Dog to have something to eat and left the next day.

This was the perfect getaway weekend from where I live (Beijing). People usually know about Seoul but Busan is worth it, you should give it a shot!

So, is Busan on your list yet? 🔥

Myanmar

Travel
IMG_20190929_065811_1
For the Golden Week holiday I went to Myanmar because I had a one week break. It was in October so I was practically the only tourist there! Here’s my itinerary, I hope it gives ideas!

Day 1: First I got to Mandalay, in the North. At the airport I ate a tea leaf salad (with crispy/fried peanuts), it was delicious. I highly recommend it! I learned to say “hello” (Minguelaba), thank you (Jezuba) and “cheers” (chakwa). I dropped my bag at the Ostello Bello hotel, and walked around the city center. I saw a few lit-up temple as we walked along the river. That evening, I stopped at a café to get coffee and a dragon fruit juice. After that I went to the terrace of Dad’s BBQ, had a beer and ate a bit.

Day 2: After waking up to a really nice rooftop view from the hotel, I enjoyed their free breakfast (free watermelon and coffee!!). Then I took a tuktuk to the bus station to go to Bagan. At Bagan I stayed at the Baobabed hostel where I had a pool on a rooftop and a bar. I met the manager of the hostel chain and he was very nice! Drinks are allowed in the pool! The only disappointment for me was that in Bagan in October it is the only time when there are no hot air balloons, so we didn’t get to see them. But the landscape with the temples was breathtaking anyway! The hostel provides a free sunset tour if you rent e-bikes across the street, so I did it. It was a first time for me driving one, so doing that in the sand and close to sunset hour it wasn’t the safest, and I fell a couple of times but made it in the end! They took us to the view point where there is a lake and we saw a herd of cows passing by. In the evening I went to the pool and had a banana milkshake.
Day 3: I walked around, saw a few temples by the road, and bought a longyi (a type of long skirt that you tie around your waist). I got lost in more local streets where I tried to buy bananas at a small shop but the locals made fun of me and gave them to me. I guess it was just decoration and it wasn’t on sale. I was told that the Nanda restaurant was nice and I found the (beautiful) Nanda hotel trying to find it. There was a pond, a swing in a spacious garden. The people working there told me to hop on their e-bikes and they took me there. It is funny because women have to sit on one side of the e-bike because of their long skirt and can’t open their legs to sit properly. The restaurant was well decorated, they offer puppet shows but just for dinner so I couldn’t see one. There were paintings and puppets everywhere. I had lunch there, it was pretty nice. I saw a shop selling the types of umbrellas for the sun, it is one of the symbols of Myanmar and they are beautiful. A local artist is also selling a painting made of sand. I saw one which represented the skyline of Bagan and according to the artist it was indestructible. I went to Full Moon ice cream in Fit street and tried taro ice cream. I also had a look at different shops, selling wooden objects. After that I took an e-bike and saw different temples and returned to the sunset point. In the evening, after one more drink in the swimming pool, the night bus to Kalaw came to pick me up from the hostel.

Day 4: I arrived at Kalaw at 4 in the morning. It had rained so I used our towels and clothes to clean a bench and sit on it for an hour. After that I found a coffee house where I had chai tea and an omelet. I met two French people, a man who lived in Guangzhu, China and his father. Across the street was a market and there were toilets so I went there and bought oranges, bananas and an avocado. When I got to the first stop before the trek, a man was offering to cover me with some Thanakah which is some mud that you put on your skin to avoid sunburns. I then started the 2 days trek with my group. We walked among the corn and rice fields, saw many local farmers work. We saw pumpkins, ginger.. We learned that mimosa helps you sleep, and we touched a planted called sensitive (it closes itself when you touch it). The guide showed us female and male bamboos. We slept in a Monastery. You cant take your shoes inside. The toilets and showers were rudimentary – to say the least. We had dinner and breakfast there. A cat sat on my lap while I was eating. Our guide spoke English well and he told us that he had learned it in only 2 months! He told us about the two types of Buddhism (in China and in the rest of the world). He was supposed to meditate for 2 hours per day but after 30 minutes he was tired of it. He told us that he is not interested in politics because he only cares about what is happening now, he lives day by day. In the morning some young monks played soccer outside our monastery. Then we left for our second day trek, saw a school where the kids talked to us (they were really happy to see us and also to practice their English), we saw a black pig and we got to Inle lake in the late afternoon. There we had lunch. There were fishermen on the lake. The trek ended by a boat tour to get us to the Inle village.
Then the guide left us and I stayed at the Baobabed for a while before having dinner outside. From the bedroom window I saw a full rainbow! And on the rooftop there was a hot tub and a bar so I had a drink there. I went to a place and tasted a local red wine from 2017 that was really good. Our French friends saw me and joined me.

IMG_20191001_084151IMG_20191001_120129IMG_20191001_122845IMG_20191001_155707IMG_20191002_082353IMG_20191002_093222IMG_20191002_125347_1IMG_20191002_130454IMG_20191002_131849IMG_20191002_115659IMG_20191002_180543

Day 5:
I took a flight to Yangon early in the morning. The taxi driver put up some techno music in the car. Then I arrived in Yangon, and I was told I couldn’t go to the golden rock because women are not allowed there. I walked around Yangon, the city is crazy. There is a lot of people and it was pretty chaotic, but fun. The hotel I stayed at was bad though. The electricity only went on and off. We went to the Yangon Yangon Rooftop to have cocktails.
Day 6:
I went to an abandoned amusement park where I paid locals 1000 burmese kyat to let me in through a hole in a fence. I was told there would be wild dogs and snakes but I was lucky not to see any. After that I ate in a monastery and went to visit the Shwedagon temples and the Bodhi tree. Finally I went to the Penthouse rooftop to enjoy some red wine for the last time before leaving early the next day. 

USA Roadtrip (California, Nevada, Utah)

Travel

thumb_IMG_5757_1024.jpg

California is and always be my home… Actually, I’ve never lived there, but every time I go, it feels like it is my home. So far I’ve been three times, and each time was very different. Let me tell you about the third time I went. I wanted to come visit my friend who lives in San Francisco. I lived in Paris then, so I took a flight, got to SF, and the adventure began!
One thing I would recommend while in SF is to go to the parks. There are so many, and they each have a different vibe. This time I discovered the Glenn Canyon Park, Golden Gate Park, Billy Goat Hill and went to a few museums (SF MOMA..). I tried a Mexican hot chocolate (delicious discovery, I can assure you!). And walking around, I got to see amazing cacti, architecture (that’s actually one of the reasons why I love SF so mucho).
DSC05464.JPG
DSC05467.JPG

DSC05494.JPGDSC05472.JPGDSC05521.JPGMy friend is so good to me, she made me breakfast with some tea, coffee and a buddha mug (hell yeah, she’s the best!).

DSC05527.JPGDSC05557.JPGDSC05584.JPGWhen you cross the bridge, you get to Sausalito, where you can escape the fog (Goodbye Karl – yes, SF fog has a nickname!).
DSC05599.JPG

I also went to Oakland, to see a friend, we had lunch at a place downtown and chilled around the lake.DSC05816.JPG

With my other friend and her roomates (hi guys!), we went hiking in the area, and yes, if you were wondering, these are clouds!
thumb_IMG_5183_1024.jpg

That is when our road trip began!
DSC05838.JPGDSC05848.JPG

DSC05858.JPGDSC05871.JPG

DSC05900.JPG

thumb_IMG_5456_1024.jpg

thumb_IMG_5436_1024.jpgThis is Zion National Park, where we decided to fight the odds and try the hike of the Narrows. If you decide to go, beware of the flashfloods! DSC05907.JPG

DSC05965.JPG

thumb_IMG_5675_1024.jpgthumb_IMG_5681_1024.jpg

DSC06008.JPG
At this point I decided to dye my hair pink. It didn’t work very well haha. We went past Bryce canyon, and kept going towards Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park.

DSC06159.JPG

I made friends with chipmunks (I was the only one who cared).DSC06179.JPG

But can I blame them? What they really wanted to see was this… the Lower Calf Creek Falls. Because it is so far from the main canyons and we had to hike for a few hours to access it, we were pretty much alone.DSC06222.JPG

DSC06314.JPG

 

After all this hiking, fire-making (thank you friend), we decided to spend a day and night in Las Vegas. At first I wasn’t interested, but it turned out to be really fun! However I wouldn’t spend more than two days there, unless gambling and partying is your thing. We stayed at the Luxor hotel.
DSC06329.JPG

When we got back to SF, I had to attend a wedding in Fremont, we enjoyed some more of the city, tried a pole dancing class (fun!) and went to the redwoods.

thumb_IMG_5933_1024.jpg

thumb_IMG_6011_1024.jpg

We had a drink at the fancy Cliff House restaurant where we watched the sunset.DSC06472.JPG

On the last day I got to see some more cool SF street art. I love it! DSC06564.JPG

What do you guys think? Are you ready to give it a shot?

Stop by damn Dam

Travel

Hi! 

When I first came to Amsterdam, I was surprised at how modern and cute it was – I mean, really surprised. I didn’t know what to expect. The architecture is really cool, and there are lots of cafés with interesting and unique concepts. 

I used the P+R system, which allowed me to park the car outside the city for 3 days for a total of… 3 euros! But you have meet the requirements when you get back to the parking lot, meaning using the tram not the bus, and checking in when you are in the city center. We had to go back and do that, otherwise I would have paid 72 euros!

Now here’s our summary of the trip:

Day 1, arrival in the evening: 
I walked around downtown (for a change, you know how much I love walking) and saw the red district, tried some NYC pizza, and fries in a burger bar. 

Day 2
I woke up and went to the flower market, tried some (lavender, red pesto, baby goat) cheese, Belgian and Dutch waffles. After that I went to the Pluk Café, it was a bit hard to find a spot but it was worth it! I highly recommend it!
On our way to the Moco museum where I saw an exhibition on Banksy, I stopped by the I Amsterdam Sign, and followed the old tradition of taking a selfie with it in the background. I finally had a burger at Ter Marsh, it is opposite the Flower Market.

Day 3
I started out the day with a few hours at the Van Gogh Museum, ate lunch at the amazing Avocado Show, where I had an avocado burger, a bagel with flowers and sweet potato and a delicious mushroom sauce. In the afternoon I gave the Heineken Experience a shot and was offered 3 beers. After that, I tried an Argentinian Restaurant and through the window saw a bunch of celebrities here to see the premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody. I then went to a bar downtown. 

Day 4
I tried to get into Ann Frank’s House, but didn’t manage to get tickets online. It was sold out. I walked to Lot Sixty One, a tiny café on the outskirts of town, had some kebab and falafels at Baba, and went to the GREAT Blue Amsterdam rooftop bar. 

A few things surprised me during this short trip: You have to check out when you leave a bus, and if you don’t your card doesn’t work when you take a correspondence. Many spots don’t take cash, it’s only credit card. And to buy tickets for attractions, it’s online only! And there were many Argentinian restaurants. 

I hope you enjoyed your read, and that it inspired you somehow. Let me know if there something you’d like to try 🙂

Bye bye! x

It’s Mainz LIFE

Travel

It’s been a while since I haven’t posted about Mainz, Germany so I thought I would catch up on this a little. 
The Big Easy is our favorite place to celebrate Halloween. They serve amazing sweet potato fries and you have a great view of the river. You should try it!

This is the dome of Mainz. It’s very pretty inside too!

Have you ever been to Germany? What are the top spots in your opinion?

Let’s go West! California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona

Travel

It’s my fourth time in the US and I just love it!
This time I went for three weeks to SF at my friend’s house and we did a road trip around Utah and Nevada…

Let’s start in San Francisco.

I’m lucky because I could meet another friend of mine who lives in the area! After lunch in a Mexican restaurant and a little walk we grabbed a Mexican hot chocolate. We also visited Oakland. 

With my friend-host, we went to Sausalito for the day.

We then left for our road trip! We started by Zion National Park, where we hiked the Narrows.

We drove all the way to Grand Staircase Escalante National Park.

We saw a chipmunk (cute!).

And we finished our trip in the Luxor Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, with some cocktails by the pool.

On our way back, we kept on visiting the city, discovered the Dropbox headquarters with my friend’s roommate (Hi Tanner!), we went into the Red Woods (I love these woods) and we tried some classes (Pole dance and aerial flow yoga).

I’ll be back!

I ADORE the US, and, somehow, I always end up back there. Do you have any country that you always end up going back to? Let me know 🖤

Why Russia?

Travel

My friend and I decided to go to Russia in August 2016. We stayed four days in Moscow and seven in Saint Petersburg. We were on a tourist visa.

On our arrival there was a storm so it was a bit chaotic but then we had quite good weather! We stayed at the Apple Hostel Moscow, near the Kitay Gorod metro station. 

We saw the Kremlin, the red square, the State Historical Museum, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

You can see the Moskva River, just like on TV!

The big shopping center by night (the GUM) was really impressive.

From the Central Children’s Store, we had an incredible view of Moscow.

The Alexander Gardens, the golden Dormition Cathedral are other landmarks that you must visit in Moscow!
The World Clock Fountain is really cool too.

Of course we had to go to the Vodka Museum.

Here is the Bolshoi theater (although it was closed so we couldn’t go inside and see a performance).

We went inside the State Tretyakov Gallery, where we can see the famous “Girl with Peaches” painting and sea paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky.

Don’t forget to take the metro because in Moscow it is really beautiful!
One of my favorite things was the Gorky Park, where you can hear classical music as you watch the water fountains. 

We then took the night train to Saint Petersburg. 

We stayed at the BroadSky Hostel.

We walked around a lot, met a nice Russian girl (hi Vicky!) who brought us to a pizzeria with a view of the Kazan Cathedral.

 

She took us to a party downtown and we went on a roof at night.

We also saw the Isaac Cathedral…

And Church on the Savior on Blood.

Here are some other views of Saint Petersburg: The Hermitage Museum, the Winter Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress, Nevsky Prospekt (a shopping street), the Palace Square…

  We enjoyed a few drinks in a bar with awesome cocktails.

From there, we visited Peterhof Palace, the Russian version of Versailles!

I remember when we decided to go to Russia, people were confused because it wasn’t common, but we loved being there and we were extremely well welcomed.

So, is that on your list now?

Sawadee in Thailand

Travel

A year ago I decided to (finally) go to Thailand. I arrived at Phuket, went to Khao Sok and then to Bangkok.

Let’s start by Phuket.
I went to the market to eat fruits and drink smoothies.
 

Looking for tips online, I found the Natural Restaurant, a restaurant with vegetation everywhere! It was my favorite restaurant in Thailand. They have fresh juices and a famous dessert: mango sticky rice!

The next day, I went on a tour to Phang Nga Bay. It was organized by the John Gray Sea Canoe company. The whole day was spent on a boat on the Adaman sea, we had canoes to visit three caves. Always smiling, our guide was fun and helpful. We ate some traditional food on the boat, and we could swim around the islands.


If you like DIY activities, you’ll love this one! We made our own krathong, made a vow and let it go on the water. We also saw bioluminescent plankton in the water (when you put your hand in the water they appear it’s like magic!).

On the next day, I took a bus to Karon Beach.

And I left for Khao Sok by bus. When I arrived in the jungle it was night time and I went to a restaurant in the middle of the jungle and saw a big flying insect, just to remind me that I was in Thailand haha. 

In Khao Sok I went in the jungle with a guide who showed me animals (insects, adult and baby monkeys) and made me breakfast and lunch (a freshly cut pineapple and delicious fried rice – probably the best food I had in Thailand to be honest). I swam in the river (before he told me that there were leeches everywhere!). 

 
On the way back to Phuket, I went to the Big Buddha (in the middle of the island) and rented a scooter to drive around (and hopefully find a “secret beach”). 
   

Then I left for Bangkok.


We visited Grand Palace.

In Bangkok shit got real. The Songkran Water Festival (the New Year in Thailand) lasts three whole days and people throw water at you to bring good luck. It’s a lot of fun!


It’s tuktuk time!

We shouldn’t forget the flower market in the city.

 

I hope you enjoyed this long article, I really loved our trip to Thailand so it was hard for me to reduce the number of pictures on this post. 

I will definitely go back to Thailand in a few years to visit the North of the country (around Chiagmai). Feel free to leave a comment to give me some tips for that next trip, I’d be excited to read you!

Have a great day!

New Year’s Eve in Barcelona

Travel

This year my friends made the proposition to go to Barcelona to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I took a few days before and after that night to enjoy the trip, as I hadn’t been in a loooong time.

Here’s a summary:

I arrived really early in the morning and couldn’t do the check-in so I went to a 365 Bakery to get breakfast. It was really nice and comfy!

I walked downtown and reached the sea, went to the beach and to the W Hotel in the evening. 

I had some tapas in a delicious restaurant and some sangria. 

The second day, in the afternoon I went to Park Guell after admiring Casa Batllo from the outside. 

  

I visited the Museum of Illusions, which was tons of fun.

In the evening, my friends and I went to the restaurant The Cow Market. We had booked it online a few weeks before, it was a nice meal and wasn’t that pricey for a New Year’s Eve! They offered us some grapes and champagne to go (mostly because they wanted us to leave, I suspect though haha). 
We went to the Poble, which is a big medieval castle, they had a party for New Year’s Eve which was nice, but it was a bit cold so we were glad to have booked the VIP tickets to go inside. The entrance included 4 drinks and some cotillions and grapes.

The next day I slept in the morning and in the afternoon I had tapas and beer at El Nacional, it was suuuper cute inside, all lit up.

On the fourth day, I did some shopping (its was the sales at Mango hehe), and ate a traditional paella at Mil Grito’s downtown.           

In the evening, I went to a rooftop restaurant on top of a hotel, we had a view of Barcelona which was very nice and we could see the sea also. Yay!

My flight was pretty late in the evening so I went to a friends to relax a bit before being on my way. 

 

Ever thought about celebrating New Years Eve in Barcelona?
If you need any tip, reach out and I’d be happy to help!