The blog is now 4 years old! I still can’t believe its been that long since I’ve suddenly decided that I’d love to document all my travels and share them with the world. Since then, the blog has taken me on countless whirlwind adventures — and I’ll forever be grateful for that random lightbulb moment… 4 years ago.
This 2018, I have had the opportunity to re-visit 9 cities and explore 11 new ones. I got to step foot again in 10 countries — Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Maldives, Australia and the United Kingdom; and added 2 more new countries to my list — Sri Lanka and Morocco. I went to dive in Bali, Nha Trang and Maldives; surfed in Cherating, Bali and Sri Lanka; and cruised in the luxurious Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas and Star Cruise’s Superstar Gemini.
And just like every other year, it is the time of the year again that I write about my past year’s travel reflections. 2018 is a little different though — instead of a Top 10 list, I have a 12 Month’s of Adventures list… a resolution I made at the end of 2017 to experience an exciting adventure every month. Never would I have guessed that I would actually achieve it, but here we are — and here’s sharing with you 12 of my 2018 adventures.
1. JANUARY – Surfing in Cherating
I picked up a new sport at the end of 2017 / beginning of 2018 — surfing. I’ve always been in love with the ocean and the beach, so it was only natural that I started riding the waves too. I tried surfing a couple of years ago in Bali, but it was only during my visit to Malaysia‘s east coast beach of Cherating (which by the way, is less than an hour’s drive from my hometown of Kuantan) — that I really started loving it. After a year, I’m still learning the basics — but I’m sure a couple more in-season visits to Cherating (including another one end of 2018 / beginning of 2019) will help with gradual improvement!
2. FEBRUARY – Exploring Vientiane, Laos
I made an impromptu trip with my travel buddy, Wilson (placesandfoods.com) to explore the capital city of Laos — Vientiane. It was our first time in the city, and we spent a few days checking out the local markets; visiting the many, many temples; chilling by the banks of the mighty Mekong; and sampling the local delights.
Read about my visit to Vientiane here:-
Mynn’s Top 10 Things to Do in Vientiane, Laos
3. MARCH – Admiring Malaysia’s Tallest Mountain, Mt Kinabalu in Sabah / Traversing Chiang Mai & Mae Hong Son with Tourism Thailand
March was a busy month for me this year as I traveled for family, and for work. The beginning of the month was spent with my mother and her friends exploring the beautiful state of Sabah — the capital city of Kota Kinabalu, and the mountain town of Kundasang overlooking the majestic Mount Kinabalu. After that, I went on a trip with Tourism Thailand where I had the chance to visit another beautiful mountain town of Mae Hong Son, the popular Chiang Mai, and the bustling Bangkok — and that took 6 flights in about 5 days!
Read about my trips here:-
Sabah, Malaysia: Two Days (of Food and Sights) in Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia: A Trip to the Mountain Town of Kundasang
A Day in Mae Hong Son, on the Northern Hills of Thailand
A Day of Unique Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
4. APRIL – Back to My Roots in China
Or more specifically — I’m back again in Shanghai! I was there just the year before, but this year was a little different as I decided to stay in an AirBNB, which put me living together with the locals. I revisited Disneyland Shanghai, explored several other places in Shanghai that I didn’t get to see the first time round, dropped by the world’s biggest Starbucks Roastery; and made a visit to the stunning garden city of Suzhou, and the most popular watertown of Zhou Zhuang.
Read about my holiday in Shanghai here:-
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai: The Biggest Starbucks in the World
Mynn’s Top 10 Things NOT to Do on a Visit to Suzhou, China
Wandering Around Zhou Zhuang, an Ancient China Watertown
5. MAY – Ocean Adventures in Bali
I decided to combine my two loves in one trip — diving and surfing. During my week or so in Bali, I spent half of it diving in the waters of Tulamben, on the east coast of the island; and another half of my time surfing at Kuta Beach, on the west side of the island. I traveled solo during the first half of my visit, and my girl friends decided to come join me during the second half. I will always enjoy my solo travels and the unexpected adventures they bring, but it was nice having some familiar company too.
6. JUNE – A Secluded Island Getaway to Coconut Island
I won a stay at The Village Coconut Island in Phuket during my trip with Tourism Thailand — and I went on this beach vacation with my family! We had a good few days under the sun on this secluded and private island in our very own private-pool villa. It was nice to spend some quiet time with my family — doing nothing, enjoying each other’s company, and getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Read about my vacation here:-
The Village Coconut Island, Phuket
7. JULY – Over the Hills and Under the Waters in Southern Vietnam
In July, I made another solo trip to Vietnam, to explore the coastal town of Nha Trang and dive its waters. My mother and her friends decided that they would love to join me as well, and came in time to follow me on my league to explore (yet another) mountain town — Dalat, about a 3-hour ride from Nha Trang. I had a great time with the ladies, but I thoroughly enjoyed my solo travels around Nha Trang — especially the day trip out diving, and riding around the city on a GrabBike.
Read about my Vietnamese experiences here:-
A Day Scuba Diving off the Coast of Nha Trang, Vietnam
Mynn’s Top 10 Things to do in Nha Trang, Vietnam
8. AUGUST – Learning a New Language in South Korea
August is probably the most memorable month for me in terms of my year’s adventures — because I spent almost 3 weeks learning the Korean language in South Korea. Thanks to an opportunity from Lexis Korea, I underwent 2 weeks of intensive Korean language classes in two of South Korea’s biggest cities — Seoul and Busan. I got to actually ‘live’ in the country, got to know the two cities better, made friends from all around the world, and well… ‘almost’ learn a new language. I promise I’ll get better at it!
Read about my Korean language studies here:-
South Korea: Learning Korean in Busan with Lexis Korea
South Korea: Learning More Korean in Seoul with Lexis Korea
South Korea: Two Weeks as a Language Student with Lexis Korea — Which to Choose, Seoul or Busan?
9. SEPTEMBER – Days Under the Sun in Maldives (and Diving with Mantas)
I went to Maldives on a work assignment — to shoot a corporate video for Club Med Maldives. I guess when you are in one of the most beautiful islands in the world, work doesn’t exactly seem like work any more; and I spent more time gawking in awe at the crystal clear waters, perfect fiery sunsets and pure white sandbanks. And while working, I got to chill on the beach with a cocktail, stay in an overwater villa, ride the waves on a jetski, dance the night away, and the most awesome experience of all — scuba dive with manta rays.
Will write about my wonderful days in Maldives soon.
10. OCTOBER – Spring Time in Perth
Another one of my solo travels this year — spending spring in Australia. I was in the city of Perth to visit a college friend, and she was so kind to let me put up with her during my stay, and even accompanied me on a weekend trip to Margaret River where we drank wine to our heart’s delight. On other days, I explored the city of Perth and Fremantle; went on a tour to see the Pinnacles; and even spent a night with the Quokkas at Rottnest Island.
More on my experience in Perth soon.
11. NOVEMBER – Days on the Coast of Sri Lanka
I was really excited to visit Sri Lanka because it was the first new country on my list this year. The main aim of my visit was to surf the Sri Lankan waves — and in November, the best place to be is at the south-western coast of the country. I took a classic (the rickety rackety kind) 3-hour train to the coastal town of Weligama, and spent days on the waves and under the sun. I also spent 2 days exploring Colombo, where I got to walk its market streets, visit its religious temples, and eat its yummy seafood (especially the oh-so-delicious crabs).
Will share details on my surfing trip to Sri Lanka soon.
12. DECEMBER – Stepping into Africa in Marrakech, Morocco
Another big adventure in 2018 was stepping foot into the African continent — my very first time! It was my family’s yearly BIG vacation, and just like all our holidays, we usually plan to visit an exotic and far-off location — and this year, it was to Marrakech, Morocco. I was totally mesmerized by the ancient beauty of the city, from its old walls and narrow lanes, to the small mud houses and vast barren desert. And then there’s its modern charm too — colorful mosaic tiles, beautiful riads, and delicious cuisine. Morocco, I will definitely be back.
Will write about my exotic adventures in Morocco soon.
I’ve had 12 months of fantastic adventures this 2018. Some of these trips have been brought forth by “She Walks the World”, and I am so grateful to be able to work with wonderful organisations such as Tourism Thailand, Lexis Korea, Club Med, Cruise Master and Roaming Man. And not to forget, the friends who have opened their doors for me to come and visit. Thank you for the opportunities you have given me to see (and walk) more of the world. It’s been quite an adventure!
And to those that have been reading my posts and articles, thanks for being a part of “She Walks the World”. The blog wouldn’t be what it is without you, and I am glad to be able to have this platform to share my adventures, my experiences, my feelings, and me.
Here’s to more wonderful days walking the world in 2019!