Taipei

I popped over to Taipei for a night during my visit to Hong Kong. Taiwan has been on my bucket list for a long time, largely due to one reason: food.

I’ve been thinking of re-adopting vegetarianism, but I was in full carnivore mode when I went to Taiwan in February. The best way to experience Taiwan is by eating everything that’s put in front of you. It’s going to be delicious – and cheap!

I intended to eat my way through the whole city, but little me only managed to scratch the surface in the 36 hours I was there. However, I got overexcited and researched enough for a week’s worth of meals. So here’s a non-exhaustive list of places you need to eat at while you’re visiting Taipei.

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Hong Kong

I love a good city break. Few things get me as excited as the idea of eating good food in a new setting. Living in London opens the door for so many exciting weekend trips, but my new favourite city break happens to be on the other side of the hemisphere.

I went to Hong Kong last month to visit my childhood best friend who has now started calling this vibrant city her home.

hk4 hk3 hk1 Soho Hong Kong Wan Chai Wan Chai“How do you like living in Hong Kong?” I asked J when I got there.

“I absolutely love it,” she replied empathically. And I spent the next four days seeing first-hand why she was so enthusiastic about Hong Kong. Continue reading

Belgrade

This year, I’m definitely going to visit you in Belgrade.”

I’d been saying that to Sonja for about four years, so a visit to the Serbian capital was well due. I finally found some cheap flights and went over for a few days this July.

I’m not going to sugar coat this: Belgrade isn’t a pretty city. It has a certain “heaviness” about itself, perhaps owing to its recent past. But that heavy backdrop is what sets the scene for its cool vibe.

Belgrade Belgrade Manufaktura Belgrade If I had only one word to describe Belgrade, it would be lively. Locals are out and about, filling up the outdoor seats along leafy streets. Grey buildings have been spruced up with blasts of colourful decorations. No matter what time of day, you’ll find the locals enjoying their city.  Continue reading

Viennese coffee houses

It’s no secret that I love a good cup of coffee.

It’s also no secret that when it comes to cafes, Vienna has a special league of its own – the Viennese coffee house.

The Viennese coffee house culture is listed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” as per UNESCO. It’s a concept I recently became familiar with my friend Melissa went to Marrakech and told me that the markets were listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage. While the more well-known concept of World Heritage sites refers to tangible – or touchable – buildings, monuments, places etc., this particular categories refers to song, music, drama… overall vibes that you can’t replicate elsewhere in the world.

And surely, I’ve never been to a coffee joint quite like the Viennese coffee house. I liked them right away, and went to several during my trip to Vienna. They all have different decors, moods, menus, but what remains the same is the hushed banter, the elegant service, melange on the menu and delicious cakes served with silverware.

The first coffee house we went to – literally within two hours of arriving in Vienna – was Cafe Hawelka. It was on the very top of my list for all the historical significance it boasts of – opened by Leopold Hawelka (who passed away in 2011 at the age of 100) in 1939, the interior of the establishment has been fully preserved, from its marble table tops to elegant lace curtains.Cafe Hawelka Vienna Cafe Hawelka Vienna Cafe Hawelka Vienna Cafe Hawelka Vienna Cafe Hawelka ViennaI ordered my first Wiener Melange, literally translating to “Viennese blend.” It’s something I’d describe as a cross between a cappuccino and a latte. And I liked it!

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Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca

My Erasmus girlfriends and I have a bit of a tradition: we like going on trips for our birthdays.

For my last birthday we all met up in Amsterdam and the year before we went to Krakow. And now that we don’t live under the same roof anymore, it’s even more crucial to plan holidays where we can catch up, overdose on coffee and check off another place on our bucket lists.

Somehow it came up that we go to Palma de Mallorca for Nina‘s birthday. Palma was never on my must-visit list, but it should have been.

By going in the spring, we avoided the hoards of rowdy summer crowds and were able to admire the beauty of this Balearic island at leisure. Inspiring architecture, buzzing squares, delicious food, sea breeze and the company of my two darling friends: how was I not supposed to fall in love with Mallorca?

Palma de Mallorca streets
Before we get ahead of ourselves, the first order of business in Palma was celebrating Nina’s birthday.  Continue reading

The Ultimate Aarhus Guide

AarhusOne of my friends recently moved to Aarhus to start the Mundus Journalism program, so I thought I’d pen down some tips for her. That list has now expanded into this blog post because I have too much to say. And after all, sharing (travel tips) is caring.

I am going to preface this post by saying this: I didn’t realize how much I liked Aarhus until I left Aarhus. It’s easy to find yourself complaining about the expensive prices, cold weather, steep hills that break your back while biking, the fact that everything closes at 5pm and nothing is open on the weekends, lack of daylight… you get the point! But, it’s been over six months since I left Denmark and what I remember the most isn’t any of the above; it’s the hygge, the coffee culture, the live music scene, awe-inspiring art, breathtaking scenery and the clean air.

So, if you find yourself in Aarhus, and aren’t sure how to navigate this little big city, then check out my tips: Continue reading

T24 Project: Screening

I ended my first blog post about the T24 Project experience by inviting you all to the film screening of Wake Up so we could garner some votes to win the Audience Choice Award (since we were out of running for the Visual Thesis Award for being two minutes late). Turns out that if one or two of you folks came (big THANKS to those who did, by the way!) we probably would have won Audience Choice: we were the runner-ups while a very deserving team took home the award. Like us, the film Metro also couldn’t compete for the Visual Thesis Award and the filmmakers were first-time participants.

Win or lose, at the end of the day, the point of this was to challenge ourselves, make a film and be proud of it. Cherry on top: the film was actually very well received.

Blogger Alfonso Espina ranked Wake Up number 3 in his top five picks for the challenge and said: “With visually compelling cinematography and images on-screen, guided by an eloquent narrator, Wake Up successfully encourages the viewer to think about how they define the city.” Thanks Alfonso!

FilmArmy‘s Addison Wylie recapped the T24 screening in a video blog and said, “… that personal connection can be found in Wake Up. By using coffee to find similarities between it and a cityscape, was just something we could easily connect to. It’s an everyday element that we could instantly connect to and follow along with the story.” He also said that our film was “technically well made.” Thanks Addison! Continue reading