Monday, November 14, 2011

New Blog

HI. If you would like to continue following my food adventures, I am starting a new blog called Ready. Get Set. EAT! . I am hoping to make a more professional impression, as well as, put more attention and effort into the blog, now that I have consistent access to internet and free time. thank you! diana

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where is Middle Country...?

Apologies--I was unable to post while traveling through China. This will be my final post on this blog as I have returned home after 2 years of Peace Corps service and 2 months of traveling in Asia. What started out as a monthly, when I have internet access, or I'm not feeling lazy today, account of my life and work in Cambodia, morphed into a travel food documentary of Asia.  Thanks to my followers, where ever you are. I hope you have enjoyed my photos as much as I enjoyed eating the food and traveling. CIAO!

In Cantonese, China is called 'zhong gwok', which accurately translates into 'middle country'. I divided my time between Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin and Yangshuo (Thanks DragonBus). I really didn't (and still don't), know much about China before going, despite my ancestry. In a nutshell,China is another world. I spent 3 weeks in China and that barely cracked the surface of what the country has offer in culture, diversity, cuisine and landscape. It was beautiful, strange, despicable and wonderful all at the same time. I hope to visit China again in the near future. As always, I will summarize my travels with photos (mostly of food). Please enjoy.

A foodie alleyway in Beijing with deep fried scorpions for sale.
The small ones are alive and moving!!! POOR STARFISH!
I took a cooking course in Yangshuo. This is my work station.
Beautiful, fresh ingredients to work with...
My favorite dish: Spicy Eggplant
Finally!  I can eat.  Michelin 2 stars!
No doubt about it--A few of these were probably used in my spicy tofu! SO GOOD.
Have a cup of tea in the peaceful rice terraces of Guilin.

Beginning of the Great Wall.  Doesn't look too bad, right? WRONG!  The Great Wall certain deserves its name!
So steep! Almost lost my shoe!
This was at the end of the walk!
In Macao now.  Portuguese Egg Tarts! SOOOOOOO Delicious!
Now, in the New Territories of Hong Kong on the Kowloon side.  This is not too far from the Tseun Wan station. All these people are waiting for dessert at 10pm on a Wednesday night!

Fresh fruit with sago and coconut milk. YUMMM
Thanks for reading. Good Bye!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fish for Lunch

I've been eating pretty mediocre food for dinner, so I decided to splurge on lunch. I had a classic--Fish n' Chips! I didn't think I would be able to get good fish and chips here, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was very delicious. I keep forgetting about the British...Dutch...and Portuguese influence. Overall, I had a really nice, relaxing day. I slept in, played into the water, read, ate food, ate chocolate and took a nap. Also, the lady at the front desk of my hotel did my laundry for free. I love washing machines! My clothes smell SO good. I'm heading into KL tomorrow. Yikes!

Here is my lunch--

Monday, August 1, 2011

Palua Pangkor Getaway

Still in Malaysia. I arrived in Palua Pangkor yesterday. Palau Pangkor is an island off the cost of the state of Perak. I'll stay here for 3 nights until I head into KL. In order to stay within budget, I have disciplined myself to not eat any seafood for the time being. Well, I'll splurge on my last night here. Here is an example of what I have been doing since I've arrived--

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The 8 Dollar Tour

Today, I partook in a countryside tour that was 'meh' to 'okay'. But, in reality it cost 8.50 USD and it included transport to and from the guesthouse. So, I shouldn't complain. I did get to eat some tasty treats (not included in the price of the tour). The tour consisted of 7 sites around the Cameron Highlands, which lasted about 4.5 hours: 1)Buddhist Temple 2)Rose Garden 3)Boh Tea Plantation 4)Honey Bee Farm 5) local produce market 6) Butterfly farm 7)Strawberry farm.

The highlights of the tour was really the Tea Plantation. But, the Rose Garden and the local produce market were pretty neat. The others weren't so impressive and I didn't even enter the butterfly farm (5RM for entrance fee I didn't pay because I chose to spend it on food. A few photos here and the rest are on picasa--

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Cameron Highlands

I only stayed a night in Georgetown/Penang. I am not the one to do historical cities...hmp. I'll try again...I should've taken a photo of the place i was staying in...2 years in cambodia just barely prepared me for this place! back to the colonial times!

I'm in the Cameron Highlands now. Its in the state of Pahang. Its high up in the hills and its not hot and its beautiful. Unfortunately, still mosquitoes here. I guess this place is the capitol of where Malaysian teas are grown. Tomorrow, I'll take an early tour of the tea plantations and other attractions, like a strawberry farm...

Here is my afternoon snack: scones and jam. Strawberry Jam. Its pretty good quality jam and then i realized that strawberries are grown here. I'll see the real thing tomorrow.

More photos up on picasa now. Please take a look at my food travels...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On being Chinese

I missed the bus this morning because I purposely overslept. I've had a nice time at this guesthouse. The owner has been the most accommodating. He speaks cantonese too. I really like being in Malaysia because all the blending of cultures here. Frankly, I'm enjoying being in a place where people speak cantonese. And, not surprisingly, I am mistaken for a local here too, that is until I start speaking.

I'm known in Asia as an A-B-C, or an American Born Chinese. When people find out that I was born in America, they seem to be really surprised and confused. I'm not sure why. I'm thinking it could be one of two things: 1)they expect me to look different, or 2)they've never met a Chinese person who was born in the states. I'm thinking its the latter.

Well, here is my Chinese face in a photo. Judge for yourself. American or not?

I'm drinking a Melakan ice blended coffee, hence the happiness. Its really delicious.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy camper in Malacca, Malaysia!

I am going to dedicate this entire post to just CAPITOL SATAY! It was like a club—HAPPENING! You had to wait in a line outside before they let you in! I ate at Capitol Satay for dinner tonight. You know, satay, the meat on a skewer, usually served with peanut sauce. In Malacca, satay is awesome. You cook it yourself at this place and choose the skewer type you want for only 80cents in Malay Ringgit. So, I had 22 skewers and 2 cups of iced tea. This put me back 19 ringgit or a little over 6 bucks green back. It’s a nice farewell dinner in Malacca. I hope these photos will do this place justice…

Who is Durian Earl Grey?

He's not a who, he’s a what: ice cream flavors to be exact! In Singapore, I visited an ice cream/waffle place with my CS hoster, Sue. The place: Udders. Yes, like the udders of a cow. This place offers the classic ice cream flavors along with unique ones, like lychee martini, earl grey and; wait for it…DURIAN!

Since I’ve been in Asia, I’ve found a new appreciation for durian. The #1 stinky, highly prized, expensive fruit is delicious. The very first time I tried fresh durian, it was disgusting. But, over the 2 years I’ve been in Asia, I’ve come to appreciate its rich, pungent flavor.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Welcome Home--in Singapore

Hi. Good morning. Its morning time in Singapore.

The title of my post today is "Welcome Back" for two reasons. The first, Singapore is like home--DEVELOPED. The second, the flight attendant welcomed me home when I was getting off the plane :/

In the spirit of coming home soon, I stopped in the first Coffee Bean and Tea i found and had a hearty drink(in the airport of course). Ohh, I made it my goal to watch Harry Potter when I came to Singapore! Mission Accomplished!

For those who do not already know about my adventures explaining to locals that I am an American, I'll quickly explain. As part of my Peace Corps service, it was part of my job to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the people who I was serving. Basically, I told and re-told that America was a diverse place and that people of all colors come from America. So, where ever I go now, I tell people I am an American--born and raised. Actually, its a really difficult feat to accomplish as everyone seems to think I'm not an American with my asian face. Yes, I know what I look like. So, every country I have visited and not visited so far in Asia/SE Asia, I've been mistaken for a local. I've gotten Nepalese/North Indian, Japanese, Korean (I've been mistaken in Cambodia as Korean 85% of the time), Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian, Singaporean, Malaysian, Filipino, Taiwanese, Malaysian, you name it. People have often insisted that I was a local even after I explain to people that my ethnically, I'm Chinese.

Enough about that, I have one day left in Singapore and I need to some laundry and then go eat some food. I can't afford to shop in Singapore. Clothing seems more expensive here then it does in the states. I walked around yesterday after taking a long nap. I'm staying with a Couch Surfer host. She's been very nice and her place is clean and central to all the places in Singapore. I'll take a few more photos tonight and tomorrow, hopefully, I'll be on my way to Malaysia! By the way, I updated my picasa to include some photos of Bali.


I spent my last 3 days in the Sanur and Kuta/Legian areas of Bali. Both are beach places, but very dissimilar. Sanur is more family and senior friendly. Frankly, Sanur was a bit of a snore. I did get to visit the Orchid garden though. But, that sounds like a Golden Girls moment. I wanted to spend some time around the beach and I thought Sanur would be a nice alternative to Ubud, but it wasn't what I expected somehow. Too, I packed up and spent my last day and night in Kuta.

Kuta/Legian are for the party going crowd. In Kuta, I stayed in a $7 room located on one of the two backpacker alleys and it really reminded me of Khao San Road in Bangkok. All night partying and drunken debauchery by the 20-30 year old crowd. If I were that kind of person, I probably would've enjoyed the night life. But, the beaches are really beautiful.

Here are some more photos of Bali. I'll upload the rest to my picasa, so please take a look when you have time.

FATTY TUNA for lunch

Snack Time: Carrot cake and a cup of tea

I Heart Bali--Lime and Mint Iced tea

Kuta Beach

Bye Bye Bali

Tuesday, July 19, 2011



I woke up later than I wanted to this morning. But, its okay, I'm on vacation. I am staying at a themed bed and breakfast. My room was designed after the musical, South Pacific. Its the cheapest room in this place and is a fan room. Actually, the fan isn't necessary because its been cool everyday since I've arrived. I was super excited about the breakfast and afternoon high tea this place provided but, both have been a disappointment. I have failed to finish both my breakfasts, thus far. And, except for the first day, I've skipped the afternoon high tea. This morning, I supplemented my free breakfast with my own fruit. Here are some photos of this morning:

My waffel dish with butter?

The fruit I bought and ate. Similar to the passion fruit, the marquisa is sweeter tasting and not sour.

Here is the inside.

Anyway, I wanted to take a leisurely stroll through the rice fields this morning after breakfast, but since I woke up late, I was only able to do a 2-hour walk, so that I could make it to my noon time spa appointment. I should've chosen the walk over the facial because I chose the wrong facial treatment!!! I chose a cucumber honey facial program and discovered that I AM ALLERGIC! I knew something was wrong when the therapist began placing sliced cucumber on my face. Despite the cooling properties of cucumber, my face became itchy. YIKES. And, being the dummy I am, I didn't say anything thinking I was overreacting! After removing the cucumber from my face, the therapist asked if I was allergic because my face was RED. It was red, itchy and bumpy. I'm okay now though. Didn't take too long before the itchiness stopped but my neck is still sorta red and splotchy. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy after my spa treatment. LESSON LEARNED: NO cucumber facials. Sorry, no photos available of my face. But, here are some views of the rice field!

I'm just now having lunch since my 3-hour spa appointment ran into lunch. I should've know it was a bad idea interrupting lunch. I found this neat vegetarian/vegan japanese indonesian place while walking back to my guesthouse the first night. Its too bad I'm leaving Ubud tomorrow because the food here is delicious. SO DELICIOUS. This is what I ordered:

Taco Rice with avocado, beans and salsa. Truly DELICIOUS!

And, of course dessert! Vegan Coconut Pumpkin Pie. Also, tasty. Interesting texture. I was expecting custardy filling, but the filling was stiff like a hard jello.

I'm gonna post this now. I was gonna wait til after dinner, but I'm too lazy for that. I'm gonna have dinner in a bit, not sure where, but this japanese vegan indonesian place is quite tempting and is worthy of a second, consecutive visit within a 3 hour period. I purchased a ticket to see a Balinese Shadow Puppet show at 8! BYE! Talk to you tomorrow when I am in Kuta--3 more days in Bali.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bali: The 'B' means beautiful

I'm in Bali now. It is beautiful here. As in Cambodia, Bali is in its rainy season and its unbelievably lush. It is a lot greener here than in Cambodia. It is also a lot cooler than I expected and in the evenings, its rather chilly. I only have one hooded sweatshirt and this is the most I've worn it in over two years.

I managed to snap a few photos today.

This seems to be traditional Balinese architecture. This is the entry way to a home or a shop.

I visited the Monkey Forest in Ubud today. Monkeys live inside this sacred Balinese Hindu site.

These long tailed macaques are common in southeast asia.

I treated myself to some street food after the monkey forest. For a little under $1 or 5,000 Indonesian rupiah, I was able to buy some fried tofu and spring rolls slathered in a sweet/spicy peanut sauce. Verdict: delicious and full of flavor.

For lunch, I visited this hugely popular place that specializes in Balinese suckling pig.

The pork was very, very moist!!! The rice was a really good quality too!

More to come tomorrow when I take a walk in the rice paddies!