Monday, 18 November 2013

The central hub of Santorini- FIRA

Fira, is the main town of Santorini, a.k.a. Thira, that is on top of the cliff of the caldera. From its white architecture against dark rocks,  looking very much like yummy 'icing on top of chocolate cakes'. As appealing as it looks, Fira is must go with it's unique beauty different from Oia (as how I mentioned in my previous post, here and here). 
That's just me in Fira. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
June 2013. Fira, the icing on top of chocolate cakes. (Canon EOS M 18-55mm)

I love the ambience of Santorini, that you just wish to relax all day, being stress-free. The people there are too, very laid back. Wandering through steps of small little streets, looking at many Santorini's unique produce or arts, just hold your heart back, but they can be extremely overpriced. For a thrifty traveller like myself, I would not land myself in expensive arts pieces and jewelleries. If you're there for honeymoon, if it's a gift from your love one, I'd say why not?

Overlooking Caldera from Fira. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)
Spotted, Oia on the very end of the island. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)

One of the largest 'main street' on Fira, where you can see the caldera, churches and some shops. September 2013 (Taken with Canon EOS M)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Oops!! I've been missing out!

Dearest blog readers, 

I've been really busy with MSc work in university which is the main reason I've been idle from blogging for more than a month now!  

I'm so sad that I do not have the time to blog but if you wish to follow more of my updates while I'm idle, follow my Instagram account: anna_bong_

These are some of the papers I've been reading almost everyday and producing lots of writing in a short period of time. Nevertheless, it may looked like boring stuff but I'm actually enjoying the process of knowing more from the subject. 

I'm a traveller and a geek too! Hahah! 

Anyway I'll blog real soon, as my coursework finishing soon! 

Till then! 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Life's a Beach! The Red, White and Black Beaches in SANTORINI

Who doesn't love the beach? 

The Red Beach. September 2013, taken by dad with Canon EOS 5d Mark II
Many countries around the world are famous for its unique sandy beaches, like Boracay in Philippines, Cannes of France, Ibiza of Spain, etc. 

I personally find beaches in Santorini particularly near Akrotiri to be truly rare and unique, hence the name given for the beaches - Red Beach, White Beach and Black Beach. Akrotiri is the place to go, if you wish to know the archaeological part of the isle, as there's an archaeological museum. 

On my first trip there in June, all I can expect from reading various blogs online is that we have to go through a rocky cliffs to get down to the Red Beach. It wasn't easy for two girls to be honest. One way for getting to the beach through Akrotiri is not too long a walk away. Follow the crowd. For those who drive, there's a small area where you can park your car/ATV when you go to the beach. 

The rocky path to the Red Beach. Taken on September 2013, by my dad with Canon EOS 5D Mark II

We were amazed by the beauty of the red rocks on the cliffs with mixture of colours, and overlook the turquoise crystal-clear water of the Aegean Sea.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Legendary Sunset in Oia, SANTORINI

Just as you google-search for things to do in Santorini, one of it would be to view the sunset from Oia. It is just as important as how you need to ride on a camel on a trip to Egypt. 

Taken in September 2013. (Camera: Canon EOS M)

Oia's sunset is famous for the sun sinking into the horizon without obstruction. The sunset is described by many as majestic, magnificent, breathtaking, etc. It is something you definitely has to see with your own eyes that not a single photo would do it's justice.

The elaborate architecture of Oia (see more in my previous blog post) has a different set of emotion when the golden orange rays from sunset reflected on the white buildings.

 Taken in September 2013. (Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II)

The best place to watch sunset would be from the castle-ruin of Oia. Beware, it will be crammed with photographer, photography-enthusiast and tourist even if you go early. People would stand there for hours. To be honest, looking at the number of people massed at that area would kill any romantic feelings you have towards the golden sunset.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Oia, SANTORINI: Nothing but 'WOW!'

I believe many of you have seen the movie, Mamma Mia or perhaps Sisterhood of Travelling Pants? The scenic side of Greek island were filmed in the enchanted Santorini (formally known as Thira), Greece.

June 2013 (Photo taken with Canon EOS M)

I was so lucky to have visited that beautiful island (twice!) recently. The most talk-about postcard view would be from a small town (or more likely a village) called Oia (pronounced as 'ee-yaa', omit the pronounciation of 'O'). The blue waters of Aegean Sea, cloudless sky and Greek hospitality definitely give travelers a truly unforgettable vacation. Having been to many cities with the hustle bustle of traffic or lavishness, Santorini is the place to get away from that to relax your mind. 

(Photo taken by my dad with Canon 5D Mark II)

During my trip there, we stayed just outside Oia in Anemoessa Villa (June 2013) and Atlantida Villas (September 2013), both gave us easy access to Oia. Atlantida Villas has a better gateway to Oia, through a pedestrian-only footway from the front of the villa overlooking calderas while making our way to Oia, which is a short walk away. As for public transport, the only option to get to Oia would be from the main town, Fira. This service runs approximately every 20-30 minutes or every hour after 8 or 9pm. Wherever you would like to go in Santorini, always have to go through Fira. Otherwise, one could take the taxi or rent a car/bike/ATV. 

 Atlantida Villas, September 2013. (Photo taken by my dad with Canon 5D Mark II)

 September 2013. On our way to Oia from our villa. (Photo taken by my dad with Canon 5D Mark II)

 The view from our villa, on our way walking to Oia. (Photo taken by my dad with Canon 5D Mark II)

The village of Oia has population of under 4000, this settlement has began circa 15th to 19th century. When we went for the volcanic island tour in June, the informative tour guide of ours mentioned the earliest house were painted pink/peach instead of the stark white architecture against the blackish volcanic island. 

 September 2013. Yours truly. (Photo taken by my dad with Canon 5D Mark II)
  September 2013. Look at the cloudless sky and sapphire blue Aegean Sea. (Photo taken by my dad with Canon 5D Mark II)
  June 2013. (Photo taken with Canon EOS M)
 June 2013. (Photo taken with Canon EOS M)

Oia is quite small that you can't possibly get lost, with just one main street. As soon as you get into Oia, you will be 'WOW-ed' by the idyllic architecture with blue-domed white buildings. It is simply magical. There's a reason behind it's architectural domed-roof, that is to let rainwater runs down and not accumulated, presumably the drainage system would be a huge problem on the island. Speaking of that, we tried to boil water from the tap, and it turns out to be salty as the main source of water on the island would be from the sea.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

What I did this Summer

Summer holiday is a popular time for many to travel, not to say many things are much prettier during the day, also you do not need to combat the winter cold. 

I, too, joined many to begin my long-planned summer holiday on June 1st, 2013!

The following are the places that I went (and my hometown, Kuching, is included in the map). Fast forward all the journey, I am now settling in Glasgow, Scotland for my postgraduate studies for approximately one year. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Top of my Bucket List

Have you ever thought of travelling the world? I do. This seems to be easy to say but achieving it requires some sort of effort. 

Do you feel like you've been stuck in the same routine, i.e. work, for sometime now? And deep down somewhere in your heart or your bucket list, says that you want to get out there and see the world? All you need to do now is plan your savings, timeline and let's travel!

One question that I've been asked was, "Where are you now? Malaysia?". Even my friends sometimes lost track of my locality. I dare not to say that I am a jet-setter but I love travelling

This summer, I'm proud to say that I've finally ticked off the top of my bucket list. I traveled to some cities in Europe and the UK for 8 weeks. I'm really lucky to have a BFF who traveled with me throughout.

"Where do you get the money from?" and "how much do you spent?" is the question I've been asked by many. Well, I must say money plays a big role in travels. I once watched a television show, a financial advisor said, you must divide out your salary into three portions. One third for your room rental (or your housing loan), one third for your spending (food and shopping), and the last one third for your savings or investments. Of course if you can save more than one third of your salary would be better in long run. That's what I did! Travel keeps me going.

The favourite part of my (ultimate super duper) summer 2013 was the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. Not any lavish city, Glastonbury Festival is like a town made up limited to 150,000 person for only 5 days in a year. I will dedicate an entire blog post for it in near future. 

Having being to Glastonbury Festival, my life is now satisfied. I look forward to going back to Glastonbury Festival.

Stand up and get started! Save up if you love travelling like I do!

Till then!


Friday, 2 August 2013

I'm back...!

...but soon will be away again!

I have finally returned from my 8 weeks trip to the Europe and United Kingdom. It was the most exciting, adventurous, eye-opening and fun-filled trip I have ever had, also with my best friend! What else can I ask for!

As with the first line of the post, I will be away from home again, for some good reason. That is also the reason why I have not been blogging since I returned 5 days ago. I need to encounter my worst-ever jet-lag, and have all sorts of matter to deal with. Now that I just have to wait, I need to sit back and relax for a bit!

Trust me, new blog post will be up really soon! I need to sort out my tonnes of photos first. 

Till then!


Thursday, 20 June 2013

I've been to...... recently.

I've been rather quiet on blogging recently after revealing my adventure on the last post. I'm still away from home and I'm trying to blog a wee bit through my phone. 

So...... I've been to these places so far! Of course, more details on each individual destination will come later!  

Been to Santorini, Greece. One of the most talkabout picture-perfect destination on Greece's volcanic island. You HAVE TO SEE IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES!! 

Followed by ANOTHER scorching hot country that is Istanbul, Turkey. It's another unique European country that is Islamic. I got print-inspired with the colourful patterns from wall tiles, to spice bazaar, and food! 

In case if you checked out the news, headline of the past few weeks including the time I was there, there were protests in Istanbul. 
(Photo source:
Of course we avoided the area. It was going on in modern Istanbul area, Taksim. 

The old town that's where we stayed and most important sights and attractions are there. So, we're fine! And we had way too many kebabs (almost every meal!)

We continued our destination to a cooler place, well just the Swiss alps was freezing! I've been there before so everything is quite familiar to me. And I got to eat cheese fondue again!! So yes, we were in Switzerland. 

By now you must be thinking how many places I'm going to, well, not many more to go! 

Moving on, the picture above should give the clue. You know where? Yes, you're right, I was in Netherlands. Not many part of it as we mainly stayed in Amsterdam. 

So, that was my last destination and now here I am in a Scandic country which (unfortunately) being ranked (many times) as one of the most expensive country! 

Oslo, Norway it is! 

More to blog about soon!!

Till then! 

(P/s: all photos taken with my iPhone 5, and more photos are in my camera!)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Get set, ready, go!

The long awaited planned adventure has finally begun! I'm super excited that words can hardly describe. 

Camera, checked! Passport, checked! Foreign currency, checked! Anna, checked!!!!

I cannot wait to share my adventure with you, and when the trip is over, I'll thoroughly share how things are planned, how do you travel free and easy without joining any tour-program with tight schedule that you sit in the tour bus most of the time. 

It's happening!!!!! 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

My Favourite Bit of Singapore

Just like many metropolitan city, Singapore is one of the fastest growing Southeast Asian countries. This post is not blabbering about the economic growth, but something I like about the city, personally.

Living in Singapore for 20 months, I try out many things in the eye of an explorer. I love travelling however skeptical about what are the things being introduced in bookshop’s travel guide. And that’s also the reason why I do not like to go on group tours by travel agents if I can. Here's some of my personal recommendations if you wish to visit Singapore.

Things & Places I like in Singapore

1. Diversity of Shopping Culture – Orchard Road  
#Orchard Road. Here you can get everything you need from head-to-toe, and it's always the place I go to when I need shopping!

 All you can get from Local Designers to International Designers, prices from High Street to Luxury.

2. Haji Lane
It is the quirkiest place I've been to in Singapore. Click here to read about my blog post for it

3. Red Dot Museum 

I'm always into modern art and design stuff. When I know about the existence of this museum, I paid a visit and get inspired. I have lots of inspiration for designs and illustration purposes. 

4. Hawker Centres

A typical hawker centre offering very affordable delicacies. If you're looking for Singaporean food, lookout for the hawker centres that is located in many corners of Singapore.

5. Transport

Singapore's public transport is efficient and reachable to many corners of the city by MRT or buses. Even when you need taxi, the fare is quite affordable.


6.  ZoukOut

I'm lucky enough to been to ZoukOut twice with my best companion, it is indeed an international event that is so grand and fun! You'll get to know more DJs and my favourite for now is Calvin Harris. Look out for this event every year during the second weekend of December.

7. Concerts
Many local and international artist performed in Singapore, as a hub for entertainment. 

January 2013: Swedish House Mafia #OneLastTour. It was absolutely epic and still so happy that I was there to witness the history.

For more concerts/events, go to

8. Food of International Diversity

In Singapore rich with many expats, you can get not only local Singaporean/Asian food, you can get to try many authentic international food, like British, French, American, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, etc. 

Below are a few of my favourites. 
Best cakes from Canele

Ice-cream sandwich for only $1!

English Breakfast.

Egg Tarts from a very traditional Chinese bakery.

When people talk about British food, the feedback is always awful. I may and may not agree with it from my stay in UK for 4 years. People would definitely think about fish & chips. It is ever oh-so-easy to have this meal in UK, either in university’s refractory, restaurants or chippy store. From personal experience, it’s not easy to get nice fish & chips in Asia. Fortunately for Singapore, they have authentic fish & chips. They also serve fried Mars Bar! (Give it a try!)

Smiths Authentic Fish & Chips
230 Tanjong Katong Road,
Singapore 437018

Many of you may have heard about the infamous macaroons from Paris, Laduree. It is now available in Singapore!

All in all, Singapore is a nice place for a short breakaway, that you get to see, feel, eat, and experience a lot of things. If I return to Singapore, it would be all because of the 8 points mentioned above. 

Till then!


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Quirky & Chic - Haji Lane

"Retail therapy is the cheapest type of therapy you can get."

Do you have the time when you walk into a retail space or arcade, you don't go straight to their merchandise, but slow down your pace just to admire the visual merchandise and storefront design?

"I do!"

Here's a place I went to I would slow down and sinking in all the artsy-fancy thing before looking into the retail items. It is no other than Haji Lane in Singapore that I would highly recommend to fashionista who love something unique, chic, quirky and affordable.

Colourful row of shops reminded me of Brighton and Notting Hill, England. Haji Lane is a petite pedestrian street near Arab Street. The nearest MRT is Bugis (East-West Line).

I just love the creativity. Need I say more?
Edgy bike shop.

Bright colours.

Haji Lane widely use bicycles as part of the storefront design. Uniqueness. 

Artistry wall art along the street. This is one of my favourite, inspired by Audrey Hepburn's Breakfast at Tiffany's. 

Even the name of the store is rather fun. 

Many of the shops belong to local blogshop, where they source their items from all over the world. Most of the items are affordable. It is the ideal place for you to look for fun-looking or vintage items, yet fashion-forward. 

You can get everything from head-to-toe, headbands-to-highheels, and even furniture. There are several cafe or retail-cum-snacks store. Shops there usually open from 12pm onwards, so it's recommended to go after noon till night.

I cannot wait for my next trip back to Haji Lane.

Till then!