#nofilter

Just in the past year, several of my couple friends have selected the Maldives as their honeymoon destination. It’s one of the most romantic and remote places in the world where you can lounge in one of those bungalows on stilts floating above the ocean. All day long, you can relax in all-inclusive resorts and booze it up, only to be bothered by mealtimes. I decided to check out the Maldives… with my parents… And their couple friends. And it was just as fantastic as any honeymooners’ trip!

Highlights:

  1. Scuba diving: I’ve been scuba diving in some pretty magical places…


And can do another month if I have to…

It was a punch to the gut on April 7: restaurants closed, takeaway only; you can’t hangout with anyone you don’t live with until May 4. And then the straw that (almost) broke the camel’s back came April 21: the circuit breaker would be extended until June 1. For someone who has her life planned in hourly blocks (ok, sometimes 15minute intervals), this was my worst nightmare. All social plans went out the window, and I had lost control of how I was going to live the upcoming weeks.

After 2 years of never having cooked in Singapore, I am suddenly Martha Stewart…almost.

But I…


Myanmar was pure magic with its imposing temples dotting the landscape for as far as the eye could see. There were so many ways to appreciate the grandeur of the pagodas: whether through winding arches and paths, or from hundreds of feet in the air — all were spectacular.

Russell from “Up” the movie ain’t got nothin’ on me.

Highlights:

  • Bagan: the hot air balloon ride was one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life. Human ingenuity never ceases to amaze me as we invent new ways to marvel at the world.
  • Yangon (Rangoon): at 46.3 hectares, the Shwedagon Temple feels like the Disneyland of…

I’ll be riding shotgun underneath the hot sun

Feeling like a someone…

South of the equator, navigate it

Gotta hit the road, gotta hit the road…

“Shotgun” by George Ezra was the #1 repeated song on our road trip playlist around the South Island of New Zealand. Our epic playlist was rewarded with even more epic views, which made the hours on the road fly by. I’m typically not a road trip person — for me, it really is about the destination, not the journey. …


Sri Lanka has always been a mystical place to me, a tiny island off the coast of India with its own distinct culture. As our plane started to descend into Colombo, my entire vision of the country was a patchwork of green. We only spent a week in Sri Lanka, but were able to pack in so many incredible sights and experiences.

Highlights:

  1. Sigiriya, the Lion’s Rock: the ancient civilisation high up on a mountain rock should be a contender for a World Wonder designation
  2. Safari in Habarana National Park: elephants galore!
  3. Train ride from Ella to Kandy: seven hours…


August 2019

Komodo Island is the perfect three-day weekend jaunt in Southeast Asia. It’s got the 1) scuba/snorkelling, 2) adventure (Komodo dragons and bats), and 3) the infamous laid-back Southeast Asia beach vibe.

Pro tip: wait to travel to Labuan Bajo in 2020 when airlines will offer direct flights from Singapore, Thailand, and Australia. But even with our layover in Surabaya (which we almost didn’t make our second flight), it was definitely worth the trip.

Cue the Jurassic Park theme song.

Best snorkelling I have ever done in my life: I’ve been fortunate enough to have scuba dived in some of the most beautiful underwater landscapes…


August 9–18, 2019

Fiji doubles as an adrenaline junkie’s dream plus a beach bum’s paradise. I was able to feed 15-foot sharks as well as chill on the shores of the most pristine beaches I’ve ever seen (could the ocean BE any bluer??) Extra bonus: the people are so incredibly hospitable and joyful, it’s like they’ve found Nirvana. And when you live on this little island of Heaven, I can see why.

Highlights:

  1. Volunteering at Treasure House Orphanage [blog post]: Staying at the orphanage for 1 week changed my life (for the better), as I was surrounded by constant generosity…


These kiddos are a handful, but bring the greatest joy.

August 11–17, 2019

Treasure House Orphanage in Fiji is, indeed, full of 19 gleaming treasures. There are 19 orphans whose personalities brilliantly radiate, and are shrouded with the selfless love of female caregivers, all affectionately called “Ma.”

The house stands humbly with its front yard and playground facing Queens Road in Nadi, with just two bathrooms for 19 children. Yet all the children go to bed squeaky clean with teeth brushed every night. The caregivers properly bathe all the little kids, no exceptions. Mrs. Singh, the cook, works the tiny kitchen to feed the children three square meals and two…


Since I moved to Singapore a year ago, the Philippines has been my favorite place to dive in all of Southeast Asia. From Moalboal to Malapascua, you get the most vibrant neon rainbow colors of marine life, plus the exhilarating proximity of thresher sharks a mere 15 feet away.

Moalboal is primarily a wall dive teeming with marine life, but Malapascua offers a myriad of dives, including a shipwreck dive, cave dive, and diving with thresher dives! (Yes, there’s even a “thresher shark” scuba diving certification. PADI really is trying to squeeze every ounce of money from us they can..)

SHARK!!

Not gonna lie… I almost peed my wetsuit :X


  1. Food is life. Alcohol is (almost) prohibitively expensive, so just indulge in the myriad of glorious cuisines all on this one island. Peranakan, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, even delicious Mediterranean, Italian, and Peruvian… prepare to gain 10 lbs. if you move here. And food doesn’t have to be expensive — Hawker Centers offer affordable, yet delicious, food that won’t break the bank.
All this delicious goodness can be bought at a hawker center for ~$12 USD.

2. Singapore has a strong cocktail game. This island may be tiny, but it boasts 6 of the Top 50 Bars in the World. Just LOOK at Atlas Bar (#2), which is a mere 10-minute walk from…

Stacie Chan

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