10 Travel Essentials For Island Adventures

There’s something about the island life that makes us want to escape to one every now and then. Blue waters, clear skies, palm trees and beauty surrounding all around you. Tropical islands usually give us a sense of escaping reality and entering a dream land. While it’s important to disconnect from the real world, here are some essentials for your island adventures that I highly recommend you to take with.

Travel Essentials
1. Adult Inflatable Snorkel Vest Life Jacket
If you’re like me, afraid of drowning, or not a great swimmer, you can always count on this vest life jacket to float on to. It’s easy to use and only takes up a little bit of space in your suitcase.

2. Snorkeling Mask
Where there is blue water, there’s always a snorkeling spot somewhere around. Indulge yourself in the beauty of the underwater world. Snorkeling is a beautiful experience. In the past I’ve rented snorkeling gear but with time I’ve appreciated having my own snorkel mask. You get to maintain hygiene, which should really be enough reason to own your own mask. Additionally, some places don’t rent out masks and if you’re up for an adventure you can take it along with you anywhere.
Speedo Adult Adventure Mask/Snorkel Set – Blue

3. Waterproof case
This case has helped me carry quite a few things while swimming through the ocean. Island hopping can be an adventure, especially when the shore has shallow waters and the boat has to dock far from it. The only way to get to the shore is to swim through the waves. Who would want to leave behind their precious cell phone/camera or even a lipgloss, if you may? I’ve carried quite a few things in this case and the locks are so solid that there was no leak. This is a legit investment.
Mpow Floatable Waterproof Cell Phone Bag, iPhone 8/iPhone X Waterproof Case for Swimming, Snowshoeing,Skiing,Skating,Sledding,Ice Fishing,Kayaking Universal Waterproof Cell Phone Pouch for iPhone 7/ 7 Plus/6/6 Plus, Google Pixel, LG G6, Huawei P9/ P9 Plus, Galaxy S8 and More

4. Go PRO Mounts
For those of you who use Go PRO or anything similar, this set of mounts can really help capture your adventures. You can use them on a surfing board, as a head mount or on your chest while you’re snorkeling or even mount it on a selfie stick. These mounts can not only be used for your island adventures but all sorts of adventures!
Zookki 39-in-1 Accessories Kit for GoPro Hero 5 4 3+ 3 2 1 Black Silver, SJ4000 SJ5000 SJ6000, Camera Accessory Kit for Xiaomi Yi/DBPOWER/WiMiUS/SJCAM

5. Travel Blow Dryer
I love this dryer because at one point I felt like it was much better than my regular dryer, which actually costs way more than this. Its durable, easy to use and compact to carry. You can use it anywhere in the world (dual voltage). Comes in handy when you’d want to wash the salt off your hair and style it for a nice summer night by the beach bar.
Berta 1875W Negative Ionic Folding Hair Dryer Dual Voltage Travel Blow Dryer US Plug 100-240V, Silver with Red

6. Microfiber Swim/Sport Towel
I love this because it also feels very nice on your skin. It can be used as a beach towel – the sand slips off without sticking to the towel and you can also wipe yourself dry with it. Easy to carry and dries super fast. You don’t have to wait for this to dry before you can put it back in your bag.
Sunland Ultra Absorbent Thirsty Travel Sports Microfiber Towels Swimming Towels Bath Towel w/ Carry Bag(Slate Grey 24″x48″)

7. Water sports shoes/slippers
Personally, I love the feel of sand underneath my feet but sometimes when it’s unbearably hot you’d want to wear your slippers. This product is quite useful for that purpose but also because they feel like you’re wearing nothing while working as a pair of shoes and also protecting you from the shells and other things under water. You can definitely use this for water sports such as snorkeling, paddle boarding or even kayaking. They come in sizes for men, women and children.
OOLIVUPF Water Sports Shoes Barefoot Beach Pool Shoes Quick Dry Aqua Yoga Socks for Men Women Love 40/41

8. Sunscreen Lotion
What an obvious essential! I personally like this brand the most because it makes me feel like it’s actually working! Don’t forget your sunscreen when you’re under the sun. It’s important to protect your beautiful skin.
Banana Boat Sport Performance Ultra-Lightweight Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30, Value Size (315mL)

9. Aloe Vera Gel
Sometimes skin can burn even though you’re wearing sunscreen. Aloe vera gel comes in handy for times like those. When you have a burning sensation or skin peeling, this helps soothe your skin. I recommend carrying it because it can really help you recover from an awful pain without having to leave your hotel room.
Aloe Vera Gel Pure Juice – For Face & Dry Skin Psoriasis Eczema Treatment Cold Sore Scar After Bug Bite Redness Relief Rash Razor Bump Sunburn DIY Body Lotion Skincare Moisturizer Women 100 Percent Pure Premium Nature


10. Swimwear and sunglasses
Everyone has their favorite brands for swimwear and accessories. Personally I really love Aerie for their swim collection. As for sunglasses, the world is your oyster!

When in Penang

Malaysia’s Food Capital!

Penang is a very unique place with it’s own culture and amazing views. The three main ethnicities here are the Chinese, Indians and Malays. Penang is also known as “Pearl of the Orient”.

Here are a few things to do in Penang –

Kek Lok Si – largest budhist temple of southeast asia – combines Chinese, Thai and Burmese architectural styles.

The Goddess of Mercy Temple, also known as Kuan Yin Teng is by far the most intricate temple I have ever been to. This historic temple was built in the 1700’s and is located in George Town. Add this one to your list of sight seeing in Penang!

Penang Hill Railway – Launched in 1923. Penang Hill – approximately 6500 ft in height. It’s quite steep and I was a bit anxious but it’s truly an exhilarating experience. The views from top of the hill are incredible. You will be able to see almost all of Penang. I highly recommend going there before sunset so you are able to see the view during daylight, along with the sunset and also the city lit up at night. You won’t be disappointed!

I really liked cruising through George Town and spotting pieces of art work everywhere.

As mentioned earlier, Penang is also Malaysia’s food capital so if you’re a foodie, you’re in for a treat!

5 Reasons To Visit the Phi Phi Islands

For those of you who don’t know this place – let me introduce you!
The Phi Phi Islands is a tiny island located in the KRABI district of Thailand. This island has beautiful turquoise waters and is completely secluded from the modern world. The streets are so narrow that there are no vehicles there.

 

5 Reasons why you must go there –

1. If you want to disconnect from technology and the urban life – welcome to Phi Phi Islands! Internet is not the greatest here. You will find wifi in some areas but the connection is not the best. Just relax and enjoy the beach vibes.

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2. The viewpoint is absolutely stunning! It’s a 40 min hike and really worth the view!

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3. Explore Maya Bay and the bioluminescent (glow in the dark) planktons! Maya Bay is an island close to Phi Phi. You can take a island hopping trip that takes you there. I have been to Maya Bay, however, only during the day. Definitely want to check out the planktons while camping in Maya Bay at night.

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4. Nightlife is great! If you like music, people and entertainment then I recommend checking out the main beach at night. There are many bars lined up along the beach and each have their own entertainment. It gets pretty lively there!

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5. It is close to many other islands, including Langkawi in Malaysia! You can easily take the ferry and hop on to the next island, making overnight stops and finally arriving in Langkawi (click here for blog on Langkawi).

Below is a short clip of the viewpoint –

https://youtu.be/nIuxyZRTxF4

Tips for Accommodations in Byron Bay, Australia

In reference to my blog post Things to do while in Byron Bay, I have put together some tips for accommodations there!
Although I lived on the farm, I have stayed in several hostels in between, before and after.
1. At first I stayed in Backpacker’s Inn  for 5 days. Met a lot of people, made a few friends. This was right by the beach so it was very convenient to just go to the beach whenever desired.

 

2. Then I stayed at the Cape Byron YHA when my friend came to visit me on a long weekend. This is a 5 minute walk to the beach. The hostel is quite clean and not a party hostel. We didn’t really spend much time at the hostel but according to my experience, it was alright.

 

3. My third hostel was Aquarius Backpackers Resort. I probably stayed there for 7-8 days. For the most part, I stayed with a friend who came to visit me. This was definitely a party hostel. They have some sort of event almost every night. The girls jello fight was pretty intense and definitely not something I would want to experience seeing again. The things people do for money! The kitchen is quite spacious but our food did get stolen from the fridge. The room was moderately clean. Aquarius has a restaurant and a bar and the food is pretty decent as well. The rooftop has hammocks which makes a great place to hangout!

 

4. My fourth hostel was Arts Factory. This is known to be a hippy place. People are usually stoned here. I only stayed because this was my last time visiting Byron and my friends from Sydney came to Byron with me for a week. We decided to compromise and stay at two hostels, just so everyone was happy. My compromise was staying at the Arts Factory. The reason why I didn’t want to stay there was because it was extremely far away from the main beach and town. It was a 20 minute walk. The other places are quite close to the beach and restaurants. This was a bit inconvenient. What I liked the most about this place was where we stayed – it was a big tent with bunk beds inside and we had our own balcony with chairs. From time to time we had some visitors by the balcony – the water dragons. Since we were right by the pond, they would swim by and come up to the tree, sit and chill. Pretty harmless. Scared of us if anything. The restaurant beside Arts Factory has good food. It’s called the Brewery.

 

5. My fifth and last hostel was Holiday Village Backpackers. This place was right across from Cheeky Monkey’s. If you read my other blog about Byron, you will learn a lot about this place. It is party central.You also get a lot of deals at Cheeky Monkey’s if you stay at this hostel. This hostel is alright, you can’t help but socialize with people here. So if you are an introvert, avoid sitting in the lounge area outside!

 

P.S Enjoy this view 😉

 

10 things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What can I say about this place? In 2011, I instantly fell in love with Malaysia when I first stepped in. I have been there thrice since, 2015 being the last time there.
Let’s start with the trains from the airport. What a nice and clean train with air conditioner in it. It only took forever long to get where we are today but a “developing” country such as Malaysia had already had this established. I was amazed. WiFi. Let’s talk about that. Malaysia has WiFi everywhere! Like literally. Everywhere! I love it.
Usually I’m not much of a shopper while I’m traveling but the malls in Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL, has many shopping centres which consist of a lot of pretty things. Shoes. OMG. Shoes! So many amazing shoes! I think every time I go there, I end up buying at least 2 pairs of shoes or sandals.

 

Cyberjaya

 

Cyberjaya is one of the outskirts of KL. I stayed there the first couple of times I visited, mainly because I had friends staying there. Cyberjaya is so beautiful. It is quite different than Kuala Lumpur. Personally, I really like Cyberjaya and Putrajaya because they are the prettier cities of Malaysia that have everything you need.

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Indoor skating rink at the shopping centre

 
The very first thing that caught my attention there was the little trees which were nicely cut and shaped like mushrooms. I found that so cute!

 

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Cyberjaya with neat trees

 
They have a bridge in Putrajaya which lights up. It switches colours every few seconds. You can walk around on the sidewalk of the bridge and hangout. At night, there’s a nice breeze by the lake and you have a satisfying view of the city.

 

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Kuala Lumpur is just like any other city. Their downtown is very commercial with all brand named stores with lots of people and lots of traffic. What excited me the most there was to see Sephora! I couldn’t believe it! Had a girl moment there.

 

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The Pavilion is a very colourful place. It won’t feel like you’re in a developing country at all. Of course, like any downtown, KL’s is also not so clean. It’s very polluted. This is why I liked Cyberjaya. So neat and clean with less people.

 

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View of Patronas Towers from KLCC

 

The Petronas Towers

 

The Petronas Towers, or as they call it the “twin towers” are also downtown. I’ve actually never made an effort to go to the top but it looks beautiful from KLCC.

 

China Town

 

China Town in Bukit Bintang is a place you can go to for affordable shopping. You can even bargain. Most things are fake brand named products. If you are into that then it’s a great place to shop. Alternatively, you can also buy souvenirs from there. There is a place called Jalan Alor behind Bukit Bintang, where you can go for local food. This place has really good food! If you are looking for an authentic experience, I highly recommend this.

 

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KL

 

Batu Caves

 

Batu Caves is a train commute away from KL. It’s not a bad journey as you can take the local trains. You can see the temples there and finally climb up the stairs to see the Batu caves. I haven’t seen any bats but mainly monkeys. They are quite amusing so you won’t be bored there! The climb is steep so you will get a workout but its nice to go up to the caves. You will also see many statues there.

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Batu Caves

 

Genting highlands

 

Genting highlands is a bus ride away from KL. You will have to take the cable car to go up the hill (1865 m above ) where they built a casino and a theme park. I was a bit skeptical about going on those rides, so I just did some sight seeing and amateur gambling.

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Genting highlands indoor rides

Things to do while in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Petronas Towers
  2. China Town
  3. Batu Cave
  4. Aquaria KLCC
  5. Jalan Alor
  6. Genting Highlands
  7. Putrajaya Bridge
  8. KLCC
  9. Cameron Highlands
  10. Sunway shopping centre and theme park

 

 

Top 10 Things to do when in Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to. I left a piece of my heart there. Living there for a few months sure changed me as a person. I’ll be giving you tips on things to do in Byron from a local perspective.

Byron is a super laid back beach town with a unique culture and atmosphere. There are no corporations or malls or big buildings. It is a paradise. In the main town there are a few things to do. Alternatively, you can also rent a car and visit the towns nearby. There are surrounding towns that are SUPER beautiful so driving there is definitely worth it. 

1. Main Beach

The main beach is very accessible since it’s right by the main town. I would usually go there for the beautiful sunsets and the drum circle at sunset!

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Main beach Byron Bay

 2. The Pass

If you walk a bit further east from the main beach, you will end up at this beach called The Pass. My favourite! 

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The Pass

 

3. Wategos Beach

Wategos beach is a small beach with really nice views. A place where you can spot dolphins from!

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Wategos beach

4. Tallows Beach

From the lighthouse, you will have breathtaking views of the Tallows beach. The coast looks amazing from here! 

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 It’s like having a private beach to yourself! In midpoint of this beach, you will spot a tea tree lake. It’s amazing because it’s right across from the ocean and the colours of tea tree lakes are quite different and unique than any other water body that you have ever seen! It’s known to be good for your skin so swimming in a tea tree lake is highly recommended.

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Tea tree lake in Tallow’s

5. Broken Heads

Broken Heads in 7 mile beach road. This place is INCREDIBLE! Referring back to my “Camping on the beach”  blog, this place is a great place to just go and camp out at night. There are about 9 beaches along 7 mile road and every one of them is gorgeous. 

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Just hiking up Brays Beach
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Brays beach
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King’s beach

6. Lennox Head

 This is a small town near the airport. You will pass this on your way to or from the airport in Ballina. It has breathtaking views and it is just by a residential area so it has a different homely vibe!

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Lennox Head

7. Minyon Falls

It’s a half hour drive from Byron Bay.  When you walk around the park, you will see the stream and it’s such a serene and calm feeling that you can just sit there and meditate.

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Minyon Falls

8. Brunswick Heads

A park here with the ocean on one side and lake on the other. The wave currents there are quite strong. I haven’t seen many people going there for swims. However, it’s a nice place to go and have a picnic. The small beach there on the other side almost has no wave.

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Brunswick Heads

 

9. Light House

Going on a coastal hike from The main beach to the lighthouse is incredibly nice! You can start at the main beach and go through “The Pass”, Wategos beach and take the stairs all the way up to the light house. You might even spot some dolphins on the way if you’re there around May-August! Breathtaking sunrises can be seen from the light house – the most easterly point of Australia!

10. The Local Bars

Cheeky Monkey’s

The Northern Hotel – live band music

The Rails Friendly BarREALLY GOOD live band music

And there, you have it. All the places that you can possibly go to while in Byron! They are all incredibly beautiful and amazing!!!

Click to view Tips for Accommodations

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Sunset from the most easterly point of Australia

Surfer’s Paradise in Gold Coast, Queensland

A Short Drive from Byron Bay!

The drive is only about 2 hours away from Byron Bay. Gold Coast is a complete contrast to Byron. It has huge corporations, big buildings and is an actual city. Of course there are many beaches but the feeling is quite different. Instead of mountains by the coast, you’ll see very tall buildings.

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Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise is quite a busy place with lots of backpackers, restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, and they have entertainment like Ripley’s Believe it or not. This place sort of reminded me of Niagara Falls Canadian side, except that it’s way smaller than that. There’s the main street which consists of all your shopping, restaurants, bars and then you have the main beach for relaxation.

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Broadbeach

The atmosphere of Gold Coast is pretty lively. I have been to Broadbeach which is about an hour of bus ride from Surfer’s. This beach I found was nicer. It’s quite long and away from the party scene. I think I enjoyed Surfer’s beach more on my second day. It was nice to just sit under the sun. The water was not so cold yet just enough to cool me off.

It’s a nice place for a weekend getaway!

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