Friday, June 21, 2013

Long time no see

Oh hai there readers.

(that is if I still have any)

Considering it's been 11 months since my last post -- and it was an advertorial at that -- I can't blame you if you've lost interest in me. 

But the fact that I haven't been posting doesn't mean I haven't been busy. There have been some major changes in my life. 

Since we last talked I have been to Sumatra, Guam, Malaysian Borneo (x 2), Ukraine, Palau, Thailand (x2), Germany and Hong Kong.

Oh yeah, and I repatriated. 

 As of May 2013, I am living in Vancouver, BC, Canada. 

At first I thought the big move meant perhaps it was time for a change in blog name... but then I realized that idreamofdurian is perfect for an ex-expat whose heart is still in Southeast Asia

Stay tuned for a redesign and (more) regular posts. 

 x. tanya

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Experience Brunei with Royal Brunei Airlines

Just in time for the Travel Carnival fair being held from August 4 - 5, 2012, at the Singapore Expo, Royal Brunei Airlines is offering four new travel packages to experience the best of Brunei.

Kampong Ayer (water village) in the middle of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Prices start at just $600 SGD per person for a 3 day / 2 night package including airfare with Royal Brunei Airlines, accommodations at selected hotels like the Ulu Ulu Resort, and fun activities. Whether you want to experience Brunei's rich culture, go trekking in its national park, or simply relax there's a package perfect for your needs.

I visited Brunei in 2008 when traveling across Borneo. I really didn't know what to expect of this tiny country, but found it to be like a mini-Dubai in the jungle. Considering it's such a small country, I was really impressed by Brunei's wildlife and you can hop in a speedboat in Bandar Seri Begawan (the capital city) and be spotting proboscis monkeys in the mangrove forests in just 15 minutes. Of course, there's also the water village and the majestic Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.

Breath-taking views of Ulu Ulu National Park from the canopy walk.

Full details for the four new packages and how to book them can be found below:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The greatest show in North Korea: The Pyongyang Military Circus

They fly through the air with the greatest of ease and crush imperialists with their bare hands – they’re the stars of the Pyongyang Military Circus! 

A visit to this all-soldier circus in the capital Pyongyang wasn’t on the original itinerary for my 5-day tour of North Korea in April 2012, but served as a fill-in for the Mass Games that were cancelled because the country was still in mourning over the death of Kim Jong Il. A ticket to the circus was one of the only things not included in the all-inclusive tour,  and cost an additional 20 Euros per person.  

Walk the tightrope today, start World War 3 tomorrow...
To give the North Koreans credit where credit is due, the circus was really impressive. There were no complicated set-ups or fancy costumes – just ridiculously fine-tuned human talents.

I don't think I could do that even if I practised for 10,000 hours

One man juggled while balancing atop a tower of metal cylinders, a bouncy woman on the Russian Bar, four uniformed young men walked the tightrope at the same time, and a male/female duo suspended from the ceiling spun and contorted themselves so much I was dizzy just watching it. But the most bizarrely entertaining act was the group of acrobats who used their legs and a see-saw to toss each other around, eventually forming a 4-person tower.

The greatest show in Pyongyang

Except for the occasional Communist propaganda image projected onto the backdrop, the Pyongyang Military Circus had a light, fun mood. Near the middle of the show there was a sort of clown act with a chef who kept  hiding a meal from a soldier. The dialogue was in Korean so I had no idea what they were saying, but the few North Koreans in the audience were certainly laughing!  

If the country ever opens up and gets reality TV, “North Korea’s Got Talent” is going to be a world-wide phenomenon!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Haiku at altitude

Business class is nice.
Wine and cheese at altitude.
Now I'll watch Twilight.

Why 'chicken or fish'?
Shouldn't all airplane meals be
microwaved Thai food?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Singapore's best street food on CNN Go

Hooray to fellow travel Travelfish blogger. Lina Goldberg for her epic Asian street food article on CNN Go.  It covers the best street eats from 10 cities including Bangkok, Taipei, Manila, Penang, and, of course, Singapore.

I provided some of the Singapore street food pics.  Now I can just sit back and wait for the food photography jobs to come rolling in....  ha! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Two weeks without sweating

This is Tanya reporting to you live from Red Deer, AB, Canada. The current temperature is -11 C and the local time is 4:48 AM, which isn't bad for my first night of being maximally jetlagged and forgetting to take melatonin before I crashed around 10pm last night.

This is my first time visiting Alberta since a family holiday to West Edmonton Mall when I was a kid, and I'll be here for the next 2 weeks visiting my parents who relocated here just a couple months ago. Apparently it's been cooler here than elsewhere in the province, and there is still plenty of snow. If you exclude flying over the snow-capped peaks of Mount Everest, it's been a good four years since I last saw snow. Please don't ask me if I miss it. Asking someone from Winnipeg if they miss snow is like asking someone from Iraq if they miss sand.

In addition to the family party that's the reason for my transpacific trip, my Alberta itinerary includes what will be my first visit to Banff and Jasper National Parks. I've got my 400mm telephoto lens with me,so I'm hoping to see some wildlife. 

If you have any tips for enjoying the parks, or even just a suggestion for where I should eat, please leave a comment!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Where to buy Beer Lao in Singapore

Yessir - that is my very own case of Beer Lao purchased right here in Singapore!

Beer Lao by the case, now available in Singapore.

Generally I'm of the opinion that most beers taste pretty much the same, but I have a soft spot for Beer Lao.  Maybe because it tastes like European beer, or maybe it's because I had an amazing time celebrating Pee Mai (Lao New Year) in Vientiane, a celebration in which Beer Lao plays a major part.  Who knows.

Anyway, we'd occasionally see Beer Lao for sale at the Golden Mile Complex, AKA Singapore's "Little Thailand", but it was never a reliable source. So smarty-pants Peter decided to actually call the phone number on the little "Imported by" sticker on the bottle to see if they'd sell it directly to us, and lo and behold they said they would!  No minimum purchase, either!

So we went down to Toa Payoh last weekend to pick it up, and the store sells all kinds of imported liquors, beers, and wines. Prices were excellent (for Singapore) and the Beer Lao cost a bargain $4.50 SGD per big bottle. Goodbye Tiger Beer!

I'll share the secret of where you can buy it, just promise you'll leave some for us!

Euro Link Wines & Spirits
Blk 85A #01-324 Lor 4 Toa Payoh
Phone (65) 6255 7271