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What’s Out There (And In Here): Traveling By Yourself To Broaden Your Mind

There’s nothing quite like getting out there, on the road, and traveling the world, viewing proceedings from the ground floor. But, when you are thinking about planning a long journey around the world, stopping over in many countries, are you going to do this by yourself, or with a group of friends? Usually, we would think about going as a group, but if you really want to experience the world first-hand, going around the planet on your own is the best way for you to broaden your mind. It’s been said a million times before, that travel broadens the mind, but if you really want to expand your horizons, mentally and emotionally, you have to explore the world by yourself, and so, how can travel broden the mind better when you are by yourself?

You Find Out What You Are Made Of

There is nothing quite like going somewhere by yourself, and having to rely on your skills and instincts to get you around. We can either feel intimated by a big and scary world, or we can embrace it, and really get involved. What you learn when you are travelling by yourself is that getting from one place to another isn’t as stressful as we once thought. In fact, even if you don’t speak the language, there is always help available, and you realise that a new environment isn’t scary and alien. And, even if you encounter a few difficult scenarios, you have to think that little bit more to get yourself out fo those situations. And once you’ve done this, you can realise exactly what you are capable of. By throwing ourselves into new situations, we embrace the whole sink or swim attitude to life. By doing this, and realising that when we make a little mistake that the world doesn’t cave in on us, we build our emotional strength.

You Develop Your Confidence

The stronger we get in an emotional sense, the more confident we feel. When we are stuck in our hometown, in a dead end job, or we are used to a certain pattern of living, we can feel somehwat hemmed in. Once you break out of all of these constructs, and you being to travel the world by yourself, you can reinvent who you are. This is one of the most enlightening feelings we can have in life. By going to a new country, we can completely change our personality, or try on new ones. Instead of being a shy and retiring person, or being a nosey loudmouthed person, we can’t try on a new “suit” and see how this different personality fits. And that’s a great thing when you are going from place to place, and relying solely on your instincts to get you by, in many ways, you might realise that the person you were isn’t the person you’d like to be. By going from place to place, and making new friends, even just for a night, you learn how to adapt to new situations quickly. You realise that these moments we have in life aren’t always about lifelong friendships, it’s about learning from others, and figuring out who we really are. These is no better way to understand who you really are than travelling and putting yourself into these new and exciting situations.

You Can Start Again

And by putting on a whole new personality, you may find a way of life that suits you more than the one you are used to. A lot of people travel from place to place, and they encounter so many new and exciting ways of living, there can be the temptation to stay in one place, possibly for the rest of your life. But the great thing about travbelling is that you can spend as long as you really want to in one particular place, and you can even rent a property, just so you really know in your heart of hearts if this is a place that you’d like to stay for the foreseeable future. Links like https://www.rumah.com/rumah-disewa/di-area-semarang-idjt28 shows you the various types of houses that are for rent in Central Java, and, on the opposite end of the spectrum spending prolonged periods of time in these places may help you realise where home really lies for you. By going all around the world, you may finally understand that there is no place like home. In this respect, you can start your life over again with a clean slate, wherever you end up, because you’ve been out there, and experienced what the world has to offer, and you’ve found what is really important to you and what you actually want out of life, whether it’s an adventure, or the simpler things.

You Learn New Skills

Naturally, as you explore the world and find new cultures and approaches to life, you learn how to navigate public transport, find great food recommended by the locals, and learn new skills within yourself. Coping skills are one of those all important tools that we need in life to tackle new and exciting horizons. Whether you learn through fellow travelers, or you naturally stumble upon new skills that you wouldn’t have considered before, these are all things you can utilise for your adventures across the globe. While something like meditation can be beneficial in every  aspect of our lives (https://alifeofproductivity.com/meditation-guide can give you some of the basics), when you are travelling across the globe, you need to find a way to relax quickly, but still have your wits about you. After a while, this idea of expanding your comfort zone means that you will thrive in situations that used to stress you out completely. By learning new skills, it’s not just about making these serve you well during your travels; you will learn how to implement them in other areas of your life, long aftet you finished your excursions. And this is the true benefit of broadening your mind while you travel.

You Will Feel A Great Achievement in Life

Last, but not least, you will feel a great sense of achievement. After all, you’ve learnt how to navigate “alien” worlds, discovered how to trust your instincts, and you’ve learnt how to apply so many new skills to get by, all of which adds up to a momentous achievement. And, these skills you learn are what will help you live a better life. Heading out across the world by yourself is a major undertaking for anyone, and many people will voice their concerns, but you will get to the core of who you are and what is really important to you. Whether this is by experience new cultures so you can look at the world a little differently, or these experiences you have accumulated has finally made you realise that home is where you will thrive, it’s hardly a surprise that the travel bug is something that so many people can’t shake. Some people don’t like to experience new things, they are more than happy in their bubble, but it’s these people who may not necessarily achieve much in life. Yes, this is a grand statement, but if you are missing something in life, or you want to discover what is out there as well as in you travelling is the simplest way to achieve so much. It’s been said before that travel broadens the mind, but it’s not just because you learn about new cultures, by going out of your comfort zone, you finally get to grips with who you really are.

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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D’BUN 利满: CAFE@356 in Joo Chiat

True-blue foodies are willing to travel great distances in search of good eats. In the heart of Joo Chiat, there are no lack of culinary hotspots and most recently, D’bun (the bun specialist) newly opened Cafe@356, a cosy, homely concept that delivers the best home cooked flavours.

We know the weather can be unforgiving in the afternoon, with the sun scorching down on us. With the air-conditioned ambience, the cafe provides a great respite for customers.

Not forsaking its traditional product offerings, one can expect to find authentic light-bites. The owner shared that they aimed to make their foods with fresh, subtle and natural tasting flavours. As such, the products from our kitchens are hand made in small batches using quality ingredients.

From the way they are, the products simply doesn’t need any further embellishment.

With the mid-autumn approaching, would you like to try D’Bun Mooncakes which are baked fresh using fillings blended so that they are not overwhelmingly sweet and come in several traditional varieties. The suite of mooncake comes in these styles – snow skin, traditional baked and baked pastry.

Trying out their ever popular freshly made buns. Your first bite will be a revelation. We are not sure if they are absolutely addictive, but you just can’t give it a miss.

CHAN2 (1)

Absolutely love these light-bites, served in pretty generous portion! The soya-bean milk is a thirst-quencher.

Their shop cannot be easily missed when you step into Joo Chiat Road.

Main Branch
358 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427603
Open Daily 8am – 10pm
T: +65 6345 8220
F: +65 6344 8110

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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Insta-worthy #BEACHPLACE across South-East Asia

South-East Asia is known for countries that are rich in traditional cultures, amazing, extremely delicious food, great people and a whole lot of picturesque settings. Not only are these places totally affordable, visiting these countries will surely change the way you look at life. So, going back to my title, check out these totally insta-worthy beautiful beaches where you can get all the #vitaminsea that you need.

1. Rai Leh, Thailand

Rai Leh or also commonly known as Raileu is one of the most beautiful beaches in Krabi, Thailand. If you’ve even come across Krabi on a postcard or in any images, Rai Leh is the exact beach that you are looking at. It is the ultimate Andaman gym for rock-climbing fanatics as the limestone formations here are what they would call a dream come true. Let the waves wash away your stress on this beautiful, broad strip of white sandy beach that is perfectly framed by massive cliffs each end of the beach.

Image Credit: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/

2. Dreamland Beach, Bali

This once-hidden paradise that is located on the Bukit Peninsula was first ‘discovered’ around the 1970’s and has since become a popular destination for surfers all over the place thanks to its great shore breaks. Though it has grown to be so popular in the last 40 years with new, luxury hotels sprouting up, this beautiful island has retained its hang-ten vibe with small shops and beach shack cafe’s that promotes total relaxation.

Image Credit: http://www.bali-indonesia.com

3. Nha Trang, Vietnam

Surrounded by a necklace of hills, not forgetting the picturesque stretch of beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches and clear waters with an abundance of marine life and thriving reefs. Nha Trang is konwn as the Riviera of South China Sea not only because of its beautiful beach, but also because of this island offering a myriad of sightseeing and recreational activities as well as breath-taking structures that date back to the Champa Kingdom.

Image Credit: http://www.vietnamtravel.guide

4. Rawa Island, Malaysia

Are you looking for a more seluded vacation? Rawa island is a small island 16km off the east coast Peninsular Malaysia and is greatly known for its clear white sand, turquoise waters and its exclusivity. As it is owned by the family of the Johor Sultanate, Rawa only has two resorts available on the island, making it the perfect weekend escapade.

Image Credit: http://onnsapuan.blogspot.com

5. Sipadan, Malaysia

Sipadan Island in Sabah, Malaysia is a beautiful, untouched piece of art with clear, crystal waters and home to the finest marine life in Malaysia. This amazing world heritage site is voted by divers all around the world as one of the top five dive sites in the world. This crown jewel houses species like barracudas, hammerhead sharks and hawksbill turtles and the reff wall plunge into great depths just meters away from the beach. This island totally defines what peace and relaxation means.

There are many more islands around South East Asia that are totally beautiful and worth every visit. But how to do we get there? Thanks to Malindo’s cheap flight that flies to all these destination, basking under the sun here is a total dream come through without leaving a hole in your bank. Go ahead and start finding for your cheap tickets today and start your new chapter of life in SEA.

 

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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MyTaiwanTour: Taipei Culinary Experience

Bitten by the travel bug and can’t wait to explore Taiwan? Every visitor personal interests may differ but when planning your itinerary, MyTaiwanTour offers custom curated journey that is bound to make your trip even more enjoyable. Continue reading “MyTaiwanTour: Taipei Culinary Experience”

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Taiwan Travelogue: 10 Street Foods You Must Try in Taiwan

Tempting foodies with its mixture of 台湾小吃, Taiwan’s night markets have won over fans. We have seen many Taiwanese franchise stores popping up in Singapore but we know very well nothing beats tasting the real deal in the home country. In this blog, we bring you the 10 street food you must check out in Taiwan! Continue reading “Taiwan Travelogue: 10 Street Foods You Must Try in Taiwan”

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Itinerary Compilation: Taiwan Travelogue in a Nutshell

We were asked about our Taiwan itinerary by many parents. Well, school holidays are coming and there’s nothing better than for the whole family to explore the best of Taiwan. This is a compilation of our Taiwan travelogue in a glance. All you need to do is to click onto the individual blog title and it will direct you to the blog post. Happy sharing and reading 🙂 Continue reading “Itinerary Compilation: Taiwan Travelogue in a Nutshell”

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10D9N Taiwan Travelogue – (Part 9): Day 9 @ Kenting National Park 墾丁國家公園, Eluanbi Park 鵝鑾鼻公園, Longpan Park 龙磐公园, Kai Xuan Night Market 凯旋夜市 and Liu He Night Market 六合夜市

So, we visited Cijin Island 旗津島 in our last blog and thought that would be our only encounter to get near the seas. In this episode, we surprised ourselves with much more places to sight-seeing. But first, we had to check in to our new hotel.

Kindness Hotel

Kindness Hotel is a chain of hotels in the Kaohsiung city. Ideal for fun and relaxation, Kindness Hotel – Kaohsiung Station Chen Chien is located in the Sanmin District area of Kaohsiung. Before booking this hotel, we were looking for one with cheap rates and good review. Looking at a review of more than 9 in Agoda, it didn’t take us too long to consider booking and here we are.

Kindness hotel is not posh-looking and some parts may look dated. However, we think they made it up with their good customer service.

After a long day of shopping, the hotel’s cafe is where you would like to chill out. If you are the hotel guests, free supper (Taiwanese porridge and usual food items) is included every night.

There is this soya-bean ice cream machine at the lobby. It is all-day free flow for the guests.

This is how our room looks like. Decent and spacious in the most important part – our beds! How much we paid for it? S$158.81 for 1 day.

The beds are soft and fluffy. How can they resist chilling out over here?

The view from our hotel room.

Good morning, everyone! Let’s try out Kindness Hotel breakfast buffet. Earlier on, we mentioned of the good customer service. Yes, the hotel staff would walk around the tables to ask the guests how was the food quality and anything they can improve or assist. We thought it was a very nice touch by the hotel. Thumbs up for them 🙂

Look at the spread. It seemed more than a lunch buffet.

Soya-bean milk

Nice coffee-making machine for the caffaine addicts.

We would call this as our brunch. The hotel is not stingy in the food servings. We were really full by the time we finished our breakfast and that would last us till the late afternoon.

Another plus of Kindness Hotel. One of the beautiful things of visiting Taiwan is the availability of bicycles for guests to rent and explore the city.

Our overall experience at Kindness Hotel was pleasant. The room could be better but what’s more could we ask for when the rate was just S$158? This is inclusive of breakfast and supper buffet as well. The hotel is clean and is the kind of no-frills stay many are looking for. This is Kindness Hotel address if you intend to book it.

Kenting National Park 墾丁國家公園

We booked a cab to bring us to the Kenting National Park 墾丁國家公園 in Pingtung. This trip took up to 4 hours travel on the road. This is so because Kenting is located at the extreme southern tip of Taiwan. It is famous for its beautiful beaches and lush vegetation, and plenty of differents corals. Along the way, we stopped at some rest points for toilet breaks.

Exhausted from the long road ride but the smell of fresh air and being near to sea waters brought great respite for us!

Kenting National Park is a tourist attraction and don’t be surprised to see flocks of visitors here. Low mountains and hilly terraces prevail over much of the land in the park, along with rugged high cliffs and sandy deserts. The swimming beaches with yellow sands and turquoise waters are wonderfully suited to recreation, and sightseeing on a scooter or bicycle is highly enjoyable.

Local shops lined up near the entrance. We had seen the best of Taiwan night markets so there was nothing much to shop here.

How good is this! Near to the sand, near to the beach. Head down to Kenting which boasts some of the most pleasant climate in the country. We don’t get such natural wonders back in Singapore. Treasured every bits of our trip.

The wind was so strong and chilly.

A further walk up will bring you to Maobitou Park. As a result of the movement of the waves on the limestone reef coast, the terrain of this area resembles a crouching cat looking out at the sea. The inshore fishermen of Taiwan used to refer to the prominent cape as a nose (“bi” in Chinese). Therefore, it was named “Mao(cat)-bi(nose)-tou (head)” (Maobitou), meaning “cat’s nose”!

Definitely relaxing to laze on the grass patch

 Up next, we are going to get nearer to the waters.

Address: No.32, Ln. 125, Hengnan Rd., Hengchun Township, Kenting

Our driver drove us nearer to the coast.

Where we can get up close to the sea waters. Not a good idea to swim here as the currents were strong. It was winter season and definitely no go into cold water.

One trip but many memorable moments were captured.

Lunch at Kenting

On our way to Eluanbi Park, we stopped by at this restaurant for our lunch.

Ordered the local cuisines. A sumptuous spread of dishes right here.

Eluanbi Park 鵝鑾鼻公園

Eluanbi Park was created in 1982 to provide an appropriate venue for people coming to visit Taiwan’s southernmost point and one of the peninsula’s most notable landmarks, the Eluanbi Lighthouse, also called “The Light of East Asia”. It stands 21.4 meters high and is reputedly the brightest lighthouse in Asia.

The admission tickets cost NT$30 (adults) and NT$15 (children).

However, please note that the park will be closed during typhoons period.

This was the trip that we came to know Taiwanese love dogs so much. Many a times they would bring their furkids out together with them.

Take a stroll in Eluanbi Park. Honestly, it wasn’t that impressive when we entered. If we were to compare with Singapore’s Botanic Garden, it would be far fetch. But wait till we delved deeper into the park and find some really interesting spots.

One of the highlights of travelling overseas is to expect lots and lots of walking. When travelling with little ones, it would be wise to bring along your stroller.

Small M loves this shot very well. It looked so natural.

Visitors can choose to take a trail along the sea to enjoy the sea breeze and view or  explore the Eluanbi Lighthouse.

The famous Eluanbi Lighthouse 鵝鑾鼻燈塔 right here. Another attraction checked from our list 🙂

 The lighthouse was severely damaged on two occasions – during the First Sino-Japanese war in 1894 and allied bombing during the Aerial Battle of Taiwan-Okinawa in 1944.

An exhibition room at the park provides the history of Eluanbi Park.

Eluanbi Lighthouse gives a panoramic and unblocked view of the sea. This place is that serene and tranquil.

This is definitely a place to explore when you are in Kenting.

You should be here too 🙂

Eluanbi Park is open daily from 7 am to 5.30 pm. Hours of operation is extended from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm during the month of April to October.

Address: 946, Taiwan, Pingtung County, Hengchun Township, 鵝鑾里鵝鑾路301號

Longpan Park 龙磐公园

Situated in Pingtung County is Longpan Park. With a wide range of grassland, Longpan is lying between Jiae road and the Pacific Ocean, and is a spacious place for visitors to watch the sunrise, sunset, and the stars. As a coral limestone tableland, Longpan is rich in slumping cliffs, caves, and fissures eroded by rainwater.

It was beginning to rain when we arrived.

Small M’s hair was flying in the wind! These were our adventures in Kenting before making a long road journey back to Kaohsiung. We were supposed to go firefly watching but had to give it a miss as all the kiddos were totally knocked out in the car. We wanted the kids to experience this one of these days. You can also watch fireflies in other parts of Taiwan. Click here to find out more.

Catch a video on Longpan Park 龙磐公园 here:

Address:Jia-E highway, Hengchun, Pingdong County

Kai Xuan Night Market 凯旋夜市

If you are taking the MRT to Kai Xuan Night Market, take the subway Red Line to the R6 Stop.

Walk out of Exit 2. Cross the street heading south and turn left. You’ll be at the night markets within 5 minutes. If you don’t want to walk, there is a free shuttle to and from the station to the markets.

We read in the airline magazine that Kai Xuan Night Market is touted as the largest night market in Taiwan. So we were expecting the “Shilin” atmosphere when we reached here but alas, it was a big disappointment.

The place was big but the stalls were few. Not the kind of thriving night markets we visited previously.

We did a bit of shopping and eating and didn’t spend much time here.

We couldn’t resist these buttered grilled prawns.

The highlight of our Taiwan trip is about eating and eating.

Big and Small M favourite flour balls. Is there any of these in Singapore? We have a craving for them.

Liu He Night Market 六合夜市

The Liuhe Night Market is a must visit market if you are in Kaohsiung. It is located in the heart of Kaohsiung and is easy to get to by MRT. To come here, take the MRT Red Line and alight at the R10 stop or Orange Line O5 stop. It is the famous Formosan Blvd. station. Walk to Exit 11 which is the Liuhe Night Market Exit and you will be at the eastern end of the market.

Our eyes lit up when we arrived at Liu He Night Market. It was bustling with activities and visitors were thronging the streets. Do you know that the market open from 5pm to 6am!

We find the local Taiwanese are very appreciative of street arts and performances. They would slow down and be entertained by street buskers. Fancy singing “Country Road”?

The best thing to do here is to try the local cuisine.

Hot from the oven
This friendly stall owner invited us to try their soft oyster omelette and so we did.

Beef noodles stall.

We ate a lot and now we were craving for desserts.

Slurp down a bowl of warm beancurd in the cold weather. We also met a Singaporean couple visiting Kaohsiung and like us, stayed in the same hotel and travelled by the high speed rail.

This furkid was kind enough to allow us to snap a picture of him with Liu He Night Market in the backdrop.

Liu He Night Market has plenty of spaces for visitors to walk and overall it was a pleasant experience exploring it. If you visit Kaohsiung, never leave without visiting these night markets.

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Disclosure: All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.