Brightly-coloured kavadis on the shoulders of devotees. The thick scent of camphor punctuating the air. Dizzying sight of hooks and spears pierced across the tongue and body. There is no festival quite as compelling as Thaipusam, which honours Lord Murugan’s victory of good over evil.
Travelling alone as a female isn’t a big issue to me. I can easily argue that solo female travel has been on the rise over the past decade and there are more of us now than ever before. However, being an Asian female meant that there was another level of uncertainty to address.
Although the trend of solo female travel is emerging in Asia, there are still a few things holding wannabe wanderers back. Before leaving for a three-month solo backpacking trip last July, I received plenty of questions and feedback from my family and friends. Many were supportive and excited for me, but some were confused and worried.
I realised that a number of their concerns were deeply rooted in Asian cultural identity and anxieties. So I thought I would compile a few of them and see if other travellers have faced the same. Here are 6 questions Asian female solo travellers would hear at some point prior to their trip and what they can do under these circumstances.
“Is it safe for a girl to travel alone?”
In South East Asia, there is sadly still the belief that it is alright for guys to go anywhere alone because they can take care of themselves, while girls should travel in groups as “it is not safe”. Women are expected to remain within the domestic sphere, protected from danger. Although this gender stereotype is shifting, it still has a long way to go.
2016 has been one surreal, strange year. The world has seen some crazy, shocking and seemingly impossible things. Years from now, people will look back at 2016, wonder what we were on, and take a swig of strong drink.
Me? It’s been one wild journey. There were good times – absolutely amazing times. And there were also bad times, which I decided to take as lessons, blessings in disguise if you may.
If I could only use one word to summarise my year, it would be “bravery”. Letting go of fears, leaving my comfort zone and taking the leap – I guess throughout the year, I’ve been doing crazy, shocking and seemingly impossible things myself.
To make sense it all, I thought it’d compiled a list of things I’ve learnt and am grateful for. Perhaps it might help me make sense of where I’m going in 2017.
Do you know the way to Neverland? Second star to the right, and straight on till morning. Or perhaps you can find it in London.
For over a century, Peter Pan has sprinkled fairy dust over London and turned it into a magical playground. He flies across the city in search of his wandering shadow. He whisks the Darling siblings to a land untouched by time. He fights Captain Hook and races through the woods with Lost Boys.
And this extraordinary tale of The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up all began in one ordinary city. This is the Peter Pan literary trail of London anyone can get on. Continue Reading…
Need an easy-to-make door gift for a Christmas party, or spread some joy to those around you? Here’s a gingerbread men recipe that makes the cut(ter)!
What’s different about laksa in Malaysia’s Northern state? We dug into this dish at two stalls in Kulim to see (and taste) what the fuss is about.
As a backpacker, your back is your most important asset on the trip. 7-10kg may not sound like much at first, but stretch it to several weeks or months (along with the occasional need to run with it), and that’s a whole lot of weight to shoulder!
How better to enjoy the sunset than with a drink on the rocks by the dramatic Mediterranean sea?
Hungry in Sarawak? Here are local dishes and drinks you wouldn’t want to miss, plus how they came to be so beloved.
What do you mean there isn’t anything to do in Kuching?
Prior to our trip, whenever I mentioned our short weekend getaway to Kuching, many people insisted, “But there’s nothing to do there!”
While Kuching isn’t an unusual place to visit in the country, it isn’t as popular as other cities especially those in West Malaysia. It is no surprise that Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh and Malacca tend to steal the limelight as Malaysia’s top urban holiday destinations.
Meanwhile, this city in the state of Sarawak, East Malaysia remains wrapped in the fantasy and shadow of a tropical paradise. Sure, people know about the beautiful national parks, wildlife reserves and the Rainforest World Music Festival – but is that really all there is?
From its delicious delights to architecture and literary associations, Aroma serves traditional cuisines with a side of Slovenian history in the city of Ljubljana.
If you are a huge fan of BBC’s Merlin, you’ll probably recognise this sublime castle in a little village north of Paris.