I will already prepare you for this post, since it only contains a little preview of my short trip to Berlin. Nothing else really happened that week. I was basically just working, except for this little weekend getaway to Germany’s amazing capitol city. Let’s start with the pictures!
1. At the beginning of the week, we all got together with my cousins and had dinner at Archie’s, which is an American style chain restaurant. They have amazing burgers. I ate the Kobe Beef Burger which was delicious <3
2. On Saturday morning, around 6am, I arrived at the airport and was shocked! It was filled with sooo many people! Thousands of thousands of vacationers, getting ready to fly away to some sunny parts of the world! I have never seen our home airport so busy. I felt lucky that I already checked-in online and didn’t have to queue for that. The lines for the security checks were so long, they nearly reached back to the entrance doors. Nevertheless, I made it on time for my flight.
3. After I finally arrived in Berlin, I took a nap at my friend Yen’s apartment and then we met to get our nails done. It’s really cheap there, only 26€!!! Here, you pay 35€ just for a refill -.-
4.+5. We then walked around the city of Potsdam a little bit. Here, you can see the Brandenburger Tor of Potsdam, and the city hall.
6. In the evening, it was finally time to meet for Yen’s Birthday Dinner at the korean BBQ restaurant Kimchi Princess. The lighting was really bad though, so I don’t have good pictures from there :’D
7. After dinner, we went to the club The Pearl where my friend booked a table for us. It was an amazing party and many of us had some drinks too much :’D
8. The next morning, we woke up pretty hungover and tired, but we decided not to waste the day and go explore the Thai Park. It was all very yummy, but unfortunately, I lost the pictures :'( To make up for that, here is a photo of my favourite dessert: Hong Kong Waffles. This was sold at a restaurant at Rosenthaler Straße called Chicken Buzz. It was a chinese restaurant, and they also served these waffles and refreshing lemonades <3
9. Towards the end of the day, we were feeling a bit more energetic, especially after that raspberry lemonade. We decided to head to Alexanderplatz and take some photos in front of the TV Tower. They actually turned out pretty fine!
I will write some seperate posts about Berlin as well. It will contain a lot of food, so be prepared for that. I was actually thinking about starting a restaurant guide on this blog where I review different locations and the food they serve. Tell me if you’d be interested below. In general, I am lagging behind with blogging. I am always extremely tired from work, so it’s really hard for me to blog regularly. It was easier in the past when I was still a student. I realize how much time I used to have back then.
What about you guys? When do you find time for blogging?
Have you ever been to Berlin? If so, tell me your favourite spots there.
1. Monday started with a brunch out in town. We ordered the breakfast for two which included a basket full of bread, a plate with scrambled eggs, two different types of jam, butter, 3 different kinds of cheese and ham, different kinds of fruit, two cups of fruit oatmeal, and two glasses of orange juice. I also ordered an extra ginger tea since I was a bit sick. The breakfast was extremely yummy and filling. We couldn’t eat anything for the rest of the day.
2. The rest of the day was dedicated to shopping. I found a pair of sunglasses which were reduced from 120€ to 99€ and I spontaneously bought them as you can see on the picture. I did need a new pair though.
3. We were walking around a beautiful park, looking for a nice spot to take photos at and they had these colourful flowers planted. We didn’t take too long, and went back home. We were completely shattered.
4. On Tuesday, July 4th, it was my birthday. We had planned to go to the thermal baths that day. My sister still had free tickets, so we used them. It was a day full of relaxation, swimming, sunshine and yummy food and drinks. Despite being sick, I enjoyed it a lot. Still miss the steam bath and the amazing fruit sugar peeling we got there for free.
5. At the weekend, I finally got to celebrate my birthday with all my friends. My sister did my make-up and I got to wear my new dress from Mango.
6. It was such an amazing evening, despite some reservation problems. I booked a table for 11 at the most popular sushi restaurant in town called Origami at 9pm (8pm was not possible), and when we arrived at 8.50pm, they told us that we’d have to wait for a while until the guests have finished eating. It was around 9.30pm until we were able to go inside for food finally. Until we had ordered and got our food, almost one hour passed. Some of us got starters as well. I got the gyoza, and it was friggin yummy!
7. Finally the food – and with it the sushi – came. I also ordered a huge sushi platter for everyone to try. I didn’t only eat sushi, but also a coconut udon soup with shrimps. I didn’t like that so much though, and my sister’s beef pak choi dish looked so much yummier. It was a great evening though, and by the time we left the restaurant, they were about to close :’D We were the last ones inside (11:45pm), but then again, it wasn’t our fault, since we did arrive on time.
8. Group picture with everyone :)
9. Me with the cute HappySocks I got from two of my friends :)
10. On sunday, I first had to unpack all my gifts and take photos of some of them. I loooveeeed all of my gifts I got and want to say thank you to everyone who came and got me presents. I am fortunate to have friends who know me so well :) The ‘One-Line-A-Day’ 5-year-journal is actually one of the things I have thought about buying, but never did.
11. And the Instagram-famous book is a book I just recently discovered at Urban Outfitters and had to think about my friend Giulia thinking about me if she ever got to see the book :’DD And then she actually got it for me :D
12. I just specifically fell in love with the Harry Potter pillow set <3 The trio and Hagrid look soooo cute! Hagrid is actually my favourite out of the four in this pillow collection :D Other than these gifts above, I got a Sailor Moon mug and a unicorn pocketmirror, an Amazon voucher and some bathing stuff, and I am gonna get a see-through umbrella :)
I hope you guys had an awesome first week of July. Mine was great as you can see. I was sick on my birthday, probably for the first time ever, but it was still a great birthday week with all the friends, food and swimming <3
We went to the Streetfood Festival two days in a row, although it wasn’t even that big. I have been to bigger ones, especially the ones I been to in Asia which don’t seem to have an end.
Anyway, first we ate some spinach and feta cheese dumplings at an austrian dumpling stand. The next day, we visited this stand again, for some curly potato fries.
On the first day, we also tried Tacos for the first time. Tacos are not as common here in Germany as they are in the US. We have Döner Kebab here, which is rasped beef meat filled in a wrap or a loaf of bread together with some raw vegetables like tomatoes, onions, beets and more. In my opinion, a Döner Kebab is waaaay more delicious and apparently, healthier. But I guess I have to try proper Tacos in Mexico one day.
For dessert, we had Frozen Yoghurt. It was good, but the toppings were just too little. The next day, in addition to the potato curls, we also had a Burger. It was nothing special though. I could have eaten something different instead.
The dessert was great, though. We had Choco Kebab. It’s rasped nougat inside a wrap which has some toppings you can choose from as well. It’s way too small but super yummy! <3
On our way back home, we had the most amazing sunset.
During the course of the week, I finished Scarletby Marissa Meyer. It was such an amazing read! I love this series! The Lunar Chronicles is probably my second favourite series after the Harry Potter books. I think I love it even more than the Hunger Games. One of the main reasons I love it so much is because it’s a fairytale retelling. The first part, Cinder, is set in New Beijing and it’s about a girl who is half cyborg half girl. And she is supposed to portray Cinderella of course. She even has a mean stepmother, and two stepsister, but only one of them is mean. And in the end, she even looses her cyborg foot :’D
The books have this excellent humour, but they also portray serious problems that could be compared to political problems of our time today.
Sunday, June 4th 2017
On Sunday, we met up to have an amazing sunday brunch at a restaurant called Cafe del Sol. The interior reminded me of a hotel breakfast area, and the outside looked like a countryside house which is typical for the USA, with a wooden front porch and a wooden swing in front of the entrance. It did have a mexican-american vibe to it. We enjoyed it and we decided to come back for the 1-Meter Pizza :’D
Last week was pretty great, although I had to work a lot. The week, as well as the weekend were both great! It was very food-filled though, but I guess that’s why it was so good ;D
After this one-week trip, the end of my stay in China was slowly approaching. Right after my trip to Hong Kong, I still had one night to sleep in my room back at home, but the next afternoon which was a Sunday, we had already our next train going to Shanghai. Our group this time should be a very different one. Ana and me have gone on weekend trips to Shanghai or Hangzhou already, but Josie and Ale never joined us, so that was a first time for the four of us. Although I wished that the others could have joined us as well, it was still a nice way spending my second last weekend away with my friends.
On my very last weekend in China, I was also invited to Shanghai by some new friends I met.
In this post, I will just point out what you can do on two Sunday/Mondays in Shanghai:
Have dinner at the top rated restaurant on Tripadvisor:
Since Ana and me discovered this turkish restaurant Efes after our spring festival holiday, we were certain to tell the others about it and make them try it as well. Especially with our foodie friends Josie and Ale, it was a must.
Have you last fancy drink at Bar Rouge:
After our dinner, we went straight to the Bund to have some drinks at Bar Rouge. That was the second time at that bar for me now, and the drinks are still one of the best I have had so far.
Go to the foreign language bookstore:
On Monday, when we had our train back to Yuyao in the late afternoon, we still had some time left to do some shopping. Ana had to go to the embassy, Ale wanted to meet up with a friend and Josie and me went shopping. We split up as well. She had to go to Sephora and Nike and I wanted to get a new book from the foreign language bookstore that was just down the street from our hostel.
But none of this could happen without having proper breakfast first.
Stroll through Yuyuan Garden:
I have been to Shanghai so many times, but only on my last weekend in China did I have the possibility to see the Yuyuan Garden and stroll through its streets there. It’s the perfect place to try street food and buy souvenirs. But the architecture looks awesome as well. It is a great spot for photo opportunities.
Try Stinky Tofu:
During my stay in China, I swore to myself that I would never ever try Stinky Tofu, no matter what. But then my friends craved it when strolling through Yuyuan Garden, so I said “yolo” why not? My final thoughts are: Try it, because it basically tastes like nothing. You might like it. I will not eat it again, because I didn’t like the texture and the aftertaste is just exactly like the smell. Not nice.
Visit a Jazz Bar:
On my very last evening in Shanghai, we visited the Jazz Bar that is right in front of the Captain Hostel which is called House of Blues & Jazz. That was my third time there, and it is weird that none of the times, none of us had actually thought about taking a photo there. A shame. It is a great bar and the people who go there really go for the music, to dance and just to enjoy the moment. It is not at all pretentious.
Because I don’t have any photos of the Jazz Bar, here is a photo of a stranger having a monkey pet we saw on the street when walking to the bar.
When thinking back of that time, I was having mixed feelings. Both happy and sad about returning to Germany, to start a new life as I imagined, and sad about leaving my new friends and beautiful China behind. I do have a new life now, but it is not as I imagined. I am still struggling to fit in, and I miss Asia, especially China so much that it actually hurts.
I don’t know what the future will bring, but I still have one last post left which will be dedicated to the last parties in Yuyao.
Finally I have reached the letter S which I have waited for very long. It has two of my favourite must-go places that are on my travel list nowadays, of course, both of them in Asia. It also has one newly-found spot that I just recently discovered and immediately wanted to explore.
Without further ado, let’s start!
Singapore is surely on the top 3 countries I want to visit right now. It is the perfect example for a modern, clean, asian nation that could manage to please every- and anyone. Here are the top things I would love to see.
-Spend one night at Marina Bay Sands Hotel
I know that this might be a bit expensive, but going to Singapore, and not spending at least one night here would be a total waste. Plus, the Marina Bay Sands was probably the first famous infinity pool that started all the infinity pools around the world. I think this would be perfect after a long flight, arriving early in the morning, sleeping in in your room and then spending the rest of the day and evening in this hotel. Checking out the next morning and looking for another, cheaper accomodation.
Even more than fancy restaurants, it is the Hawker Centers I’d go for food in Singapore, since they are famous for its authentic food from different cuisines in the world, especially local cuisine which is a mix between Chinese, Indian and Malay. I love the first two cuisines so much that I’d die to try their fusion. I also heard amazing things about Malay food. I mean, there has to be a reason that Singapore is known as the foodie capital of the world.
Here is a link to a website where you can browse through all the hawker centers and all the food that is offered there.
There are already a lot of dishes on my list:
Ayam Penyet, Bak Chor Mee, Ban Mian, Biryani, Chendols, Chicken rice, Laksa, Halal Chinese Foods, Nasi lemak, Nasi Padang, Onde Onde, Roti Prata, Satay, Popiah, ,…
OMG I AM GETTING SO HUNGRY!!!! :'(
All food photos are from hungrogowhere.com
-Gardens By the Bay
This looks like straight out of a fantasy world. Some people compare them to the Avatar trees, for me they look like massive, sparkling massage sticks :’D
I’d definitely visit these trees in the evening when the lights are turned on. And I’d try anything to get a picture like this one <3
-Singapore Botanic Gardens
It’s all about the gardens in Singapore it seems. I know that this is also a UNESCO Sight, but I have also heard a lot of beautiful things about this spot, and it is the perfect playground for photography obsessed people like me :’D
The rest of Singapore is actually more artificial than cultural. I would think about some stuff to do in Orchard Street maybe which is the main shopping area, and I would consider visiting Universal Studios if I still had time and money left to do so. Other than that, I would just make Singapore a complete food tour :’D
When I think about Seoul, I think about a relaxed, but cosmopolitan city. I think about beautiful and fun people. I think about its bustling nightlife. And I think about Korean BBQ.
Except for these amazing things to do in this city, there are also some sights to explore.
This palace actually reminds me of the Forbidden City Palace Museum in Beijing, just a tiny version of it. I heard that there is a change of guards with the presentation of local weapons, so I’d be excited to see that as well.
-Myeong-dong/ Dongdaemun Market
These are the main shopping districts of Seoul, and I guess there should also be restaurants and cafes, and I hope several animal cafes that tourists and locals alike can visit.
This might actually be the only high tower in Seoul I think. From here, you can actually get a great view over the city.
The skyline of Seoul actually reminds me a little bit of that of Taipei or a small chinese city.
Namsan is actually the name of the mountain where the Seoul Tower is located at.
Since I have many gadgets by Samsung (phone, tablet, camera), I can actually say that I am a Samsung fangirl.
-Nightlife in Itaewon and Hongdae
These two districts and Gangnam are the main parts of the city for nightcrawlers. Since Gangnam is rather posh, I’d focus rather on these two districts. I am sure that you can explore these parts of the city during the day as well, but they are particularly known for their nightlife scene.
In general, Seoul seems like a cool city for young people to hang out, but also for travellers who want to get a taste of korean culture. Surely a must-visit place.
3.UNESCO World Heritage Site: Serengeti National Park
I have known about this place for ages now, but just recently, I saw pictures of this National Park again on social media. This place reminds me of the Lion King, and if I had to think about a place where it all takes place, I guess it would be this very place here.
I also saw pictures of hot air balloon rides over the national park, and I would love to experience that as well. Seeing the animals from above probably feels like watching a documentary.
And quite quickly, we have already reached the end of this post as well. I imagined it to take more time, but most of the places I chose are more relaxing than full of sights to see.
What are some places starting with S on your travel list? Let me know below!
On my previous blog post you could read about my difficult arrival in Taipei.
On the second post you will finally see the first impressions I got from Taipei which were pretty awesome and fun.
First, a small introduction. As you might know, Taipei is the capitol city of Taiwan, a small island south from China. Hundreds of years ago, citizens from Fujian Province in China settled to this small island. They just hopped on a boat and sailed off. In the last decades, Taiwan was also influenced by the Japanese occupation that happened when Japan tried to take over China and Taiwan, so you will meet many Japanese locals and tourists, and the language is spoken by quite a lot of people as well.
Nowadays, Taiwan is famous for its laid-back lifestyle, its fast trains, and milk-tea culture.
So here are in 7 steps of how to discover Taipei on your first day:
1. Play with squirrels:
My hostel was very close to the National Taiwan Museum, and it had a huge park I had to pass to go to the metro station. When I passed that park on my first day on the search to the metro station, I came across a man who was feeding the pigeons. As I followed him and his animals I also met some squirrels who were fearlessly approaching me. When I was trying to stroke them, they would quickly run away though. I took some snaps of them. I might upload those short video snippets here as well.
2. Use the metro:
Taiwan is famous for its trains and its flexible metro, so you have to use it as often as you can. Plus, it is super cheap, one ride is less than 1€, a dream for a european budget traveller.
3 Visit a cute cafe:
Coffee Culture is a big thing in Taipei. It is actually known as THE coffee city of Asia, and with so many choices, I had to visit one. Mine was the Rilakkuma Cafe I saw on the internet, and I knew I had to find this place, or I’d kill myself. Anyway, it was really hard finding this. I was walking around for a VERY long time, so guys, if you wanna find a specific cafe or location, make sure you have the right directions or a local sim card with mobile data on it. I didn’t have either, so I was trying to connect to some random wifi on the go and it was a huge pain the ass.
But I eventually found it, after what seemed like hours of searching and wandering around the place. It is in some hidden side street with a lot more cafes and little restaurants. I entered, was seated and fell in love with the menu. I decided to take a chocolate cupcake and a coffee latte. Both of them tasted amazing and looked very cute *o*
For all of you who don’t know what Rilakkuma is, it is a japanese cartoon character, similar to Hello Kitty, actually it is from the same brand and designer if I am not mistaken. But it is not a cat, though. It is a brown bear and it is so much cuter than Hello Kitty. Kuma means bear in Japanese, and Rilak means, very easy, relax. So it is a lazy, relaxing bear :’D
4. See the changing of the guards:
I decided to go to the Dr. Sun-Yatsen Memorial Hall for this which also had a small park inside. I think the Chiang Kai Shek Mausoleum also has a changing of the guards, if I am not mistaking.
Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of the guard changing, but I saw how the old guards walked away and the new ones took over their places. It was really impressive and calming to observe their mechanical movements.
5. Meet the locals:
While I was walking around the grounds of the memorial hall, I saw a lot of groups exercising, dancing, and doing taiqi. It was quite interesting because none of them cared that I was watching and filming them. They just continued doing whatever it was.
Something very funny happened then. I was filming 2 men doing taiqi and there were also 2 women waiting for their exercise. While I was taking pictures, one of the women approached me and started chatting with me. She wanted to know where I came from and when I said Germany, she was thrilled to hear it. She wanted to exchange Line contacts so that I could meet her daughter. We then talked and talked and she offered to invite me for a coffee after her taiqi lesson.
So after her and her sister’s taiqi lesson was over, we went to a coffee shop, together with the taiqi teacher and some tea, coffee and cake. It was a lot of fun talking to these people, and they also recommended me many things. The sisters also invited me for dinner the next day which was such a nice gesture.
6. Go up Taipei 101 in the evening:
This sight was on the top of my Taipei To-Do List, so I had to do this on the first day. It was a bit hard to get up all the escalators in the mall up to the top. I don’t know if there was an elevator or not, but I just saw the escalator and used it.
At the ticket counter, I purchased my ticket and had to wait in line for the elevator to go up to the observatory platform. The elevator was pretty fast. My ears popped, but the ceiling was amazing! It was getting lit up and changing colours. So that was pretty impressive.
When I arrived at the top, finally, I had a view over Taipei at night, or should I say in the dark, because it wasn’t really night, but evening. Anyway, the view was pretty nice. Not as overwhelming as the one in Shanghai, though, but still awesome, and worth taking pictures of. Convince yourselves:
7. Go to one of the Night Markets:
I saw some videos and pictures of the night markets of Taipei and of course I had to go to one. I wanted to go to the Shilin market because I heard that they have lots of amazing sweets and desserts.
At first, I was busy with buying lots of merchandise stuff like pokemon plushies, Disney stuff, and studio ghibli socks :D When I finally realized how hungry I was, I ventured out to look for some food. The place was packed though. I could barely move around, and eating and walking is something I am really bad at, so I’d prefer standing in a corner to eat.
I ate Hong Kong Waffles, Sweet Potato balls with peanut powder, roulade filled with spring onions (there were way too many spring onions inside, it burned my mouth), some kind of vegetable pastry cake, some berry juice, and as dessert, I had matcha crepe with ice-cream on top, and it was AMAZING!
The Shilin Night Market was also the last stop on my first day in Taipei. I had too much food and spent quite a lot of money on merchandise stuff, although I could have spent more as well :D I had to be careful with my luggage though.
Anway, I hope you enjoyed this post.
Let me know in the comments if you have ever been to Taipei and if there is anything you loved that I didn’t mention.
Unfortunately, our last day in Amsterdam started with an early morning. We woke up to the masculine smell of 4 guys we were sharing our dorm with. Usually, I can be a bit slow in the mornings, but we didn’t enjoy the smell at all so we hurried up a little bit and left the dorm which we were somewhat happy about. We were not so happy about leaving this city of course, but still we got some hours left until we had to head to the airport.
Since we checked out at around 10 am, and our flight was around 4 pm, we still wanted to do some things until 2pm.
Here is a mini guide on how to spend you last 4 hours in Amsterdam:
1. Canal Ride:
That day, we were lucky with the weather, since the day before the weather was a bit rainy and therefore we didn’t go on a canal ride. Because this was on top of my to-do list in Amsterdam, I was obviously quite excited to finally do it. Unfortunately, we only did a normal tour on a small boat which went through the smaller canals, but I enjoyed that a lot. We initially wanted to book one of the tours including drinks and food, but our budget wasn’t enough for those anymore :/ Next time I go, I will definitely do one of those :)
The ride took around 1 hour and I just couldn’t stop staring at those wonderful houses and buildings we passed. Best way to describe them is by showing the photos:
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2. Eat raw herring:
Since my friend and me are big foodies, we were keen to try out the famous raw herring in Amsterdam. The last few days we had difficulties finding any stands or restaurants selling local food. So I looked up online and found out that there were some herring stands close to the train station. Since our canal tour ended right at the train station, we decided to walk to that herring stand described online and we were successfull:
I really enjoyed this sandwich. Some people describe it as slimy and fishy, but it was really delicious. Maybe the first bite might be a bit different from what I was used to, but I quickly came to like the taste and wished to have a second one.
3. Visit souvenir shops:
My friend still wanted to buy some souvenirs for her mother, so we had a look at a bigger souvenir shop close to the train station as well. They had some interesting stuff and another cheese trying section where we spent a lot of time at :’D Free food d’uh!
Soon, we had to slowly get going. We shortly went back to our hostel to pick up our suitcases and said goodbye to Amazing Amsterdam.
It is a city you can visit a couple of times and won’t get enough of.