top art museums around the world

Having enjoying art since year 7, did GCSE Art and AS Art; never would have thought I would have visited that many art galleries/museum around the world to give you a list of quality art museums recommendations!

I kept on reminding myself that holiday is a luxury for anyone and that we shouldn’t big up our own mind just because we have travelled. Travelling should widen your horizon and expand your eyes for others while it is not something used as a way of showing off.

Visiting art gallery are on my top list to do if they are interesting enough to be on my list. And surprisingly, from my last few trips I have managed to visit one in each country…

IMG_5693Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen
Skovvej 100, 2635 Ishøj, Denmark

From any central station, take S line to Ishøj. Take the S train, line A towards Solrød/Hundige or line E towards Køge to Ishøj Station (this line doesn’t run on weekend btw), then take bus route 128 goes directly to the museum – it takes approx. 5 minutes. This bus is a circular route, so take it back at where you got off to get to the station.
You can also walk from Ishøj Station to Arken via the path system. This takes approx. 20 minutes.

I was torn between two contemporary art galleries, after some comparison and notes taken from tripadvisor, I have managed to convince my fellow travel buddies to go outside of Copenhagen with me and visit this infamous Arken Museum of Modern Art. It was an easy journey from Norroport station (absolutely, the best choice of staying location in Copenhagen!)
My visit was purely just to absorb what Danish art gallery has to offer and to my surprised not only would I see Ai Weiwei’s 12 zodiac work, I have also come across the exhibition of artist Gerda Wegener, whom was a famous Danish artist and its infamous story of its partner. And the recent movie called Danish Girl is literately based on this artist’s real life story. So it was overwhelming to have encountered her work; got to know her history better and you can associate some of the work with the movie as well. Did not regret making this trip out to Arken, which offers a combination of contemporary arts, even my non-art buddies enjoyed this visit.

IMG_8338Leeum, Samsung museum of Art, Seoul
60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, L5 Seoul, Korea 140-893. Opening hours 1030 to 1800.
Closed every Monday, January 1st, New Year’s and Chuseok holidays.

From Hangangjin Station (Subway Line 6) Exit 1, walk straight for 100m towards Itaewon. Make a right turn at the first alley, walk up the hill for about 5 minutes.

As much as little time I have in Seoul, I was keen to fit in this art gallery on my to do list. Not too sure why, but sense set me to visit at the time (haha). After visited the Mural art area in the morning, I opt for some more art works in the cold afternoon (probably best to be indoor right?) in this infamous Leeum, Samsung museum of Art.

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You know, the mind-set that I have was European probably have the most art galleries of the world. So visiting one in Asia country was something exciting for me. I have been seeing the appearance of this sculpture many times on Instagram but taking a photo with your own camera seems like oh I have finally see it with my own eyes feeling. Frankly speaking, the modern art inside this gallery was somewhat pretty abstract, of course, even the definition of abstract can be quite vague in itself. Overall, I enjoyed that little strolled amongst the entire museum. And what I probably found most interesting was that some of its historical art are pretty similar to Chinese art.

IMG_5322Schloss Belvedere, Vienna
Prinz Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030 Wien, Austria

Get on the underground line U1 Sudtirolerplatz plus 15 minutes walking, would suggest using GPS for ease, Opening hours 10am to 6pm.

Finally saw The Kiss painting with my own eyes! I cannot emphasis this enough… Ever since I have studied Gustav Klimt’s work in my GSCE studies, I would not have one day think I will see this painting and I did! And what makes it really controversial was at that ancient period, people were more conserved on nudity art work or any work that portrait sexuality. And this piece of work, indeed, has become his famous piece. I wouldn’t say the piece was highly skilful like others of the same era, but something about this piece that would naturally draw people in.

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Beside Klimt’s work, I did enjoyed a lot of other, Austrian artists’ work, still find oil painting a different level of art when compare to other medium. They have an exhibition of Impression but unfortunately, its not as great as the exhibition that I have seen in Musee d’Orsay in Paris.

PAR 061Musèe d’Orsay, Paris
Rue de Lille 75343 Paris, France

You can reach this museum either via metro station Solférino or RER station Musée d’Orsay, then you will need a short walk to the actual museum. Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00. Thursdays until 21.30. If you have a Paris card, you have fast track access.

Note, if you buy 24 or48 hours card and visited the places you want to visit within the first or two days, this makes your museum/gallery visit much cheaper!

This art museum is ranked 10th globally but i didn’t come here for its name. I came here for its collection of work. By far Musee d’Orsay has my favourite work of Impressionists of all time. The period of what that I admired a lot at the time of my art studies. I didn’t expect to see majority of them at the time of visiting this museum, until I have reached to the Impressionists Section, it was on the 3rd level if I recall correctly that I saw works of Monet, Manet, Dagas.. Etc. What’s draws me to love this period of work, its the fact how the output produces a soft capture of the subject rather than details, the colour, the stroke.. The overall atmosphere that these art work offers. You may not need to have studied art to love this type of work. Regardless, whether you have had an art background or not, I would still advise anyone to go and visit this exhibition. And see what you intepret from these type of work.

PAR 062Beside impressionist exhibtion, I saw a great selection of Van Gough’s work as well as admiring the interior of this gallery in itself which once was a train station turned into a gallery. Pretty amazing!

 

IMG_0695-2National Art Center, Tokyo
7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-8558, Japan. Open daily 10am to 5:30pm, closed on Tuesday.

You can reach to this art center by taking metro to Roppongi station. Following the internal direction and will lead you to the exit that’s closest to the art museum. Another short walk away, you will be happily arrived at this art museum.

This art museum doesn’t have any permanent exhibition but instead it offers periodical exhibitions of various work. While I was there, there was an anniversary art show (which I don’t understand the title in Japanese, of course). While on the other floor, there was Rene Magritte’s exhibition and this is what I went for in the end. Rene Magritte, not surprisingly was another artist that I have studied in A-level and funny enough, in one coursework of mine, I have adopted his style of work and turn my self portrait into his work alike. It was quite interesting (as any other exhibition) to finally see works that I am used to seen in exhibition catalogue but now with my own pair of eyes. I can even identified the pieces that I have used in my coursework. I never expected to see his exhibition and in Japan!

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In general, I love the interior and the building itself, look at the shape! The interior was really spacious, they have loads of arm chairs dotted around for visitors, as well as chairs by the windows. There were loads of lockers for visitor to use and lock their personal items which I find very considerate. I spent a few hours there and wished I could go to another art gallery/museum but Mori Museum was closed. Very enjoyed this art museum and its vibe.

 

Van Gough Museum, Amsterdam
Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

We access this museum via foot as it was close to our hotel, in fact if I recall correctly, this museum is near the sign of Amsterdam, you get to kill two sights within one journey! This art museum opens daily 9am to 6pm, closes at 10pm on Friday.

We did queued a little to get into this art museum, to be honest with you, I didn’t do much research while going Amsterdam for a long weekend so when my friends suggested to go Van Gough museum, I have no objections to see his masterpieces with my own pair of eyes. Which I certainly enjoyed seeing, reading up on how he started, his history and how he got into painting landscape and his study of flowers which lead to his famous piece Sunflowers. I didn’t really admire his style of work when I was doing my art studies but yet, when you get to understand more of his background and how his work forms, I begin to appreciate his work a lot more than I used to.

The museum itself are divided into a few sections and levels, pretty big for one artist I would say. The museum were full of tourists, not surprised weren’t we, I guess the local would have probably visited this museum already. Though, what more can you ask for on a sunny day in Amsterdam, visiting art museum, came out and chill at the nearby park with a can of Coke. I would dearly recommend you to visit this gallery, very rare that I would buy an art catalogue but I did for Van Gough and I have said to myself from now on, I will build an art book collection of the museum or exhibitions that I have visited.

Oh and don’t forgot Musee d’Orsay has some pieces of Van Gough’s work too, if you like this artist, make sure you visit it too!

 

Museu Picasso, Barcelona
Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

When I was there, I stayed at the Jaume I area where its nearest station is Jaume I, walk along the Carrer de la Princesa to reach it on your right hand side. Or like us, we did a little wander around the area before walking past it. This area has a lot of restaurants too, so its worth to plan your gallery visit along side with a meal after or before your art tour of Piccassso.

You know, I am not going to bored you, but Piccasso is again another artist that I have studied before, I guess when you have studied art for such a long period of time, it wouldn’t be a surprised with the amount of artists that I would have studied. Even when you visit art museum, you definitely would have take note of his work. Visiting to his museum has allow me to view his amazing pieces, transition from Classicism and Surrealism to Cublism. With the help of the audio guide, I have got to understand how his works were formed and what has influenced his transition from one type of work to another. I somehow lost a bit of my concentration with some of the sections within the gallery but nevertheless, I would recommend you to visit this gallery and understand his lifetime work and background.

Of course, Barcelona is not only home to Museu Picasso but nearby has Joan Miro, MACBA & MNAC etc. I need to go back and visit the contemporary art museum one day.

 

Royal Academy of Arts, London
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD

Quickest access is either via Station Green Park (Jubliee line) or Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly Circus), after a short walk from either station, you will reach to an building with loads of exhibition flag/banners display. There is it you have reach to RAA. One of my favourite art museum in London.

I didn’t know this art museum until when my A-level art tutor suggested to the whole class that we should visit its annual Summer Exhibition. When I did made that visit, I was overwhelmed by the wide range of art work that the exhibition has to offered and through that I have identified some RA artists like Allen Jones, David Hockney, Ken Howard etc. I would definitely recommend you to visit its Summer Exhibtion, if you are around in the Summer. With the price of one ticket, you get to see a vast quality of work from all categories. I remember I have fallen in love with Allen Jones’ painting when I first saw it there; the vibrant colour that he uses on his work; how neat this painting was.. Yet, with Ken Howard’s work, I love his landscape painting of London. How his brush stroke has created that blurred but yet enable you to know that scene.

I still remember the exhibition that RA has held for David Hockney – “A Bigger picture” (in 2012) was one of the best exhibitions I have seen in recent year and really glad that I have went to see it, even though I felt the ticket price was pretty steep.

And recently, there’s a really good quality exhibition called “Painting the Modern Garden : From Monet to Matisse”, yet again, I felt so happy to be able to visit this exhibition, to see the famous piece of Monet’s Water lilies. Can’t imagine which other art gallery be able to pull all these good works together to form a quality exhibition. The interior of the exhibtion hall have changed to fit different floral theme or type of work. It was brilliant!

street snacks that you must try in Seoul, South Korea

I have to be frank how Asia countries have more street snacks than European countries. While I was on a solo trip in South Korea a little while ago, I have come across the following that its definitely worth trying while you’re out there!

Every time I am on a trip I will try everything I can, thinking that there’s no chance to eat them back home. So be brave with your choices and eating the local foods is the first step to know the country better!

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BBQ chicken Skewer with Leek
Found this at the side road in Cheongdam-dong where there was loads of small boutique and foodie shops. I wasn’t hungry considering I have just had a Churro icecream, but I cannot help not to have one of these when I saw it. It wasn’t expensive and you get to choose spicy or not spicy in BBQ favour. It was funny how the stall owner  asks me straight away in Mandarin for “Spicy or not spicy?” as soon i show no signs of Korean speaking! The skewer was basically chicken and leek pieces, coated in bbq sauce and grill on fire. Yummy in freezing cold Seoul street.

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Ddukbokkie Tteokbokki
This is something that I have been wanting to do in Korea, is to stand in the street food stall eating ddukbokkie. As I was going towards the station from Insa-Dong, I cannot stop myself but to walk towards this food stall and pointing at the rice cake. You eat directly using the skewer and if its too spicy of you needed water, pour some broth from the ladle on the pot where it has fishcakes/intestine. Cheap and local snack foods that you must not missed! And this is now the local eat too, extra point for the experience.

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Mandu Mandu
While staying near Myeong-Dong, the shopping district of Seoul. At night, the main street of this shopping area get filled with loads of food stall carts. You can skip dinner and walk along stall by stall filling your belly with the local street foods. Don’t get alarm with the hygiene etc I have not had any problems! And mandu in Korea is such a signature food, like Cantonese wonton or Chinese jiaozi, similar items but this time it was pan fried served with cabbage salad over some chilly sauce! Wish I have got more belly space to eat another plate!

IMG_7964Coffee flavoured milk
I have seen this before my arrival to Seoul online but I never thought I will really go and give it a try, considering I would prefer proper coffee. Never say never. This reminds me of Japanese canned coffee alike, in fact, it taste pretty yummy. It was really milky and on the sweet side. If you don’t go and compare it with proper coffee, then this should not disappoint you! I like it myself just I prefer the banana milk drink a lot more! ha~~~~

IMG_8858Ppopgi (Traditional Korean toffee candy)
If you have watched Running Man you would have seen the cast showing some traditional toffee candy game, which is the same thing as you. They came in either flat disk form or like this one that I found in a Sunday market stall, in rose form. The stall owner even made the sweet into teddy bear etc. All for 1000 won only. I cannot help not to buy one! It feels like hard boil sweets…

IMG_8845Issac Sandwich
This is definitely cannot be missed while you’re in Seoul, I am not too sure why such simple sandwich is so addictive, I am trying to figure  out if the spread she used was sandwich spread… a bit of ham, egg, cheese, cabbage, gerkins etc voila, a perfecto sandwich! I waited one day for it to open before my bus to airport. Its a very famous sandwich stall which no tourist will missed so make sure this is on your list!

IMG_8283Binggrae’s Banana Flavored Milk & Grilled Squid
I knew about the banana milk before I fly off, I brought a bottle as soon as I landed just to see what it taste nice, pretty yummy and I have been repeating purchase everytime I see it in stall. While the grilled squid was indeed of a local delicacy, I found this in the Art Wall area. Its totally different to the Hong Kong dried squid. It was rather chewy and fresh squid taste.

IMG_6875Bungeoppang
Similar to the japanese cake with red bean filling. This is identical, fish shaped pancake with red bean fillings. I just cannot miss buying this when I walk pass one of these stalls. however, this snack are located anywhere and everywhere.. easy to find and don’t need to trek your way out for it.

IMG_8859Bite-sized mayak gimbap from Gwangjang Market
I must have got into the Gwangjang Market at the wrong time when it was ultra packed. After having my mung bean pancake, I wanted to have this as well but cannot fit my belly at the time so I brought a take away and after some exercise of walking along the stream, I decided to sat down by the side and enjoy a bit of the stream view while eating this. Apparently, this gimbap is famous and to the fact that people jokes that it has drugs in them. *Laughs* One of the famous items in this market, make sure you don’t miss this!

IMG_8837Macaroon Ice cream, Insa-dong main street
Not having enough time to hunt for the macaroon ice cream on list. I randomly walked past this stand on Insa-dong. Although I think it’s a little expensive (maybe I was broke after all the masks I have brought!) but I still went for it. This is new to me, I have never had a macaroon ice cream before beside homemade choux puff with homemade ice cream! I can assure you the texture is different but indeed worth the money you have paid. The only downside of this is probably the ice cream was too hard to bite into in comparison to the crunchy macaroon!
Other must visits includes Antique in Hongdae, Macameron, A la papa Cafe in Ehwa Woman Uni.

Don’t forget to have a look at my Top ice-cream spots in Seoul 

IMG_8009Egg cake
As the name says it, I first saw this was on some korean drama where the female lead wanted egg cake and the male lead drove and got her some. It interests me at the time until I really tried it, It actually has an egg inside!!!! The cake texture its pretty light and when you have it with an egg in it, you might find it weird at first but when you chew it somehow the texture comes pretty matching. I really want to eat one right now in the cold British winter!

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Korean Strawberries
I know what you’re thinking here, Strawberries!? you are joking? Nope, I am not, recently Korean strawberries has become a hit for locals and tourists. I have seen some tourist purchase boxes of them back via hand carry luggage space!? My word of advice is, I do think Waitrose ones are nicer….

IMG_7973Bindaetteok pancakes from Gwangjang Market
As soon as I’ve entered the market, I was aiming for this pancake straight away, my research was telling me that there’s specific shop with a mama’s logo on, is the one you should go for! The queue was long and yet, you might get confuse with the location as there are many other mung beans pancake stalls too! I don’t remember how I have managed to order without knowing the language but the lady knew what i wanted. They give you free sides and unlimited water to drink. A kind next door neighbour gave me some local soft alcohol drinks. Appreciated.

I reckon this is only a small fraction of street snacks that is available to eat, the belly are way too small for the amount of foods that’s available in Seoul. And for western tourist whom are not really feel street foods are reliable, trust me, this is all good to consume and I have no belly issue.

Vernazza to Monterosso Hike, Italy

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I have had a very fulfilling 2015 with many travels opportunity solo or with friends. I have managed to ticked off my to do bucket list of travelling solo in Japan and South Korea. Yet, I can never have enough of group travel, be it being exploring in the UK or going away with my travel buddy to Cinque Terre.

This is one of the two hikes that I have hiked in Cinque Terre region. The first one that we decided to do was the route from Vernazza to Monterosso route. We quickly went hiking as soon as have dropped our baggage and got myself ready. Grabbed some water on the way to the start of the route, following our host’s advice we opt to start from the end of the town centre, walking up staircases between the green doors and off we go….!

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There wasn’t any signs once we have reached the top of the staircase, using our instinct, we opt to go for left hand side.. and luckily, our instinct was correct, we are at the back of these residential area and walking up the unpaved path towards the start of the hike…

be aware that when you want to go hiking, you will need to buy Cinque Terre hiking pass. There’s option for 1 to 5 days pass to suit your needs. You can either get this pass at the train station or from the start of the route where there will be someone checking if your pass is valid.

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The weather was absolutely amazing on my arrival day!

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I guess, you rather have the photo under expose than over exposed? which one is best?

After you have walked passed the forever long alike staircase, you will reach to a path with wooden fence. As a dare devil person (aka “don’t know how dangerous things are” person) I jumped off the fence and opt to have a photo taken closer to overseeing Vernazza town.

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Hey, there are  love locks everywhere! Can I find someone that’s wiling to hike around the world with me?

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Being able to see it real life than images on the google search, its pretty amazing!

It once again, make me realised how amazing this mother nature is!

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I didn’t find this hike difficult to hike  at all, even for an irregular hiker like myself. And what I really suggest hiker to do if you don’t hike often, its take it slow and breathe deep as you can. No point rushing the hike but run out of breathe where you will end up lightheaded.

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Have to share this scene in horizontal view. Amazing colour building forms this amazing town!

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And then we have reached another photo spot… but another devil in me told me to walk to the edge and have a photo. er…. I didn’t know I was so closed to the edge until I have had my photo taken. That was close…. scarier than the previous one!

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Every time when you reach to such photogenic scene, all the pains you have on this hike are totally worth it.

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We walk kind of mid way and there were some area to have a pit stop, where you begin to see some landscape of Monterosso.

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Not to mention that the hikes in Italy are differentiated by colour coding on the walk of the path. This hike are represented by red and white signs, like the photo above.

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As we reach to this area, we are going more down hill hike and guessing we are almost to the end of the time or maybe just a quarter of distance left until the end of the hike.

Yet, we have reached to an area that doesn’t look like is a path with no protective fence, yet again I won’t say its dangerous but rather be more careful when walking across it.

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And we have reach to downward staircases, met an American couple that told us to walk past them. However, we still decide to take it slowly… and walk down at a similar pace to them, slow!

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The hike near the end seem a bit dark and the path seems rough, but yet you wouldn’t feel unsafe hiking down hill.

Likewise, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The end of the hike will lead you overlooking into the Monterosso beach; by then you can the walk down the stair case and jump into the beach. Be aware that this is not the main Monterosso outside the main station, this beach is further away to the main Monterosso beach.

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Look at how pretty Monterosoo town is! This is it, the hike is complete. What an amazing journey that I have had over the last 1.5 to 2 hours. We didn’t keep track of time while hiking but I know we have spent quite sometime on the hike.. what’s the rush? Enjoy every single moment on the trail while you can right? You never know when you will return to this piece of mother nature in the future.

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Hike Information
Vernazza to Monterosso
Duration is approximately 1 hour 30 mins
Trail mark: red and white stripe
Start of the trail: From end of the Vernazza town next to a pizza shop, between the two green doors. Walk up, once you have reach to the end, turn left and follow on the path.

top five gelatorias of Cinque Terre and Pisa

There are times that you would feel really guilty regarding what you’ve eaten into your belly! We all to some extent tends to be really cautious of what we eat during our daily meals, however, when we are away from home and on holiday, your cautious mind relaxes and think this is he time to indulge in foods that you cannot get back home..

…and this is the same with Italy. What they are famous for?? GELATO!!!

My 5 lists of gelato places in Cinque Terre and Pisa region. Its always so good to be back to Italy and explore different area.

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La Bottega del Gelato, Pisa
We had a very satisfied meal on our arrival night and googled the nearest gelato place that are still opened and found this little gem across the bridge. It’s roughly about 10 mins walk from Pisa Centrale Station and it is super easy to get to, just walk down through the main road of all the shops, cross the bridge and you will see it by the little square full of locals/tourists.
I’ve got mine in a waffle cone with hazelnut and pistachio flavour gelato for 2.50E and from then onwards, I was shocked at the price that I have to pay in London!! The gelato texture in La Bottega was on the soft side but the flavour was awesome!!

Love Italy once again OVER a gelato!

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Gelatoria Vernazza, Vernazza
Next up, its the famous Gelatoria Vernazza, the name says it all. Its located in Vernazza the town that I called home for the 4 days while I was there. Pretty amazingly it was only diagonally opposite my studio flat, I had to control myself every on my way back to the flat. It was super tempting….. honestly!
Once again, I had the same flavours as the last location, hazelnut and pistachio flavour, oh la la.. I thought the previous one was good. This one is even better! Not only the gelato was more dense in terms of texture so were their flavours too!

The only downside of this place is, they use an icecream scoop on me? whyyyyyy not the traditional gelato scoop?

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Gelatoria Il Porticciolo, Vernazza
After getting back into Vernazza from the afternoon hike, I said to myself I need to this gelatoria by the dock, else I would not have enough time to fit them all in. I am glad I choose to try it on the spot, because the following few days this gelatoria closes early or I wasn’t in town early enough before their shop closes. Definitely a great gelatoria, I tried Pistachio and Mango sorbet, another classic combo of mine! I can tell you not only the pistachio flavour taste so great, real smooth and not artificial taste. The mango sorbet was really greatly made, love the texture..! Definitely on my recommendation list for you.

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Gelatoria Alberto, Cognilia
This was already on our list even before we depart for our trip, their infamous signature Nutella gelato was waiting to be tried… We instantly noticed his gelato shop as we walk into the centre, you cannot miss it, at the entrance to the center of the town. We decided to try the gelato after our lunch instead… and I have to say do not missed this place, I went for nutella and coconut flavour, I wanted something lighter to balance the richest of nutella, I was right! Their nutella gelato was so rich in flavour and really smooth in texture that it was good to pair it with something light.. Definitely worth giving a try!

Forget about the calories you are taking, you’re on holiday!

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Bar Centrale, Riomaggioire
I really was trying to hold myself back from eating another one but as we wander around Riomaggioire, we got a little bored after our lunch by the pier, thinking shall we go back to vernazza or wander around a little more? In the end, we went to get ourselves a gelato before chilling by the benches and start people watching activities (Saw two cool oriental bikers in their motorbike!). Can’t fault much but yet I find their gelato a little lack of flavour and generally on the bland side. Texture wise was pretty smooth but melts relatively fast.

Think I have absolutely nailed it with my accommodation location!  I do think my top two choices are within Vernazza, so make sure they are on your list to visit!

must see and to do in Malta

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How was your summer?? Did you enjoy the breezy UK summer, it didn’t last long did it?? The summer feel a little longer for me and I did not wore my long coat once (apart from in my South Korea trip!) but that’s because I was in Asia… this will probably not repeat again unless I move back home.

The most surprising trip I have ever encounter would probably be Malta. Malta was never a place on top of my list, until the moment that we all try to visit a country that four of us have never been before. That said, after all the cross checking and flight checking, Malta is it!  One friend did the flight, another did the car rental and I did the apartment so the person flying from HK will just board the flight with us…  and the next thing was the memorable journey to the airport where we have missed our flight… then arrived to this amazing country that I have never imagine it to be before!

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Gozo

A separate island of Malta; there’s an extensive list of places to visit. I would suggest you to wake up pretty early to get a good day out of this island, otherwise returning back and forth not only will cost you more time and monies.  We drove to Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal in the main Malta island side. As you drive, follow the road signs and line up at the ferry terminal area (loads of parking lanes on the ground), you don’t need to pay for going into Gozo Island, just drive through into the ferry and park as they instruct you to. Enjoy your chillax moments on the deck and admire the sea scenic views; watch it as the ferry approaches the Gozo island it feels like you’re approaching a real size island model.

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Azure Window was the first sight that we drove to as we arrive to Gozo. I had a bit of funniest moment of my life where my cannot wear contact lenses due to red eye infection, instead I had to wear my optical frame on top of my sunny! Crazy!

Had a few snaps in front of this Azure window we decided to go for some fun and see if we can walk closer to the window itself. I risked my shoes from getting wet and step on those rocks…. only made it to half way though!!

Sad to say, we did not have any swim wears with us, else I am sure we can have some water-playing moments by the Azure window too. Not to mention, Inland Sea was actually behind the Azure window though it looks nothing like what Google images tells me…

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We drive around and led ourselfes to the Xlendi Bay. Drove among the coast side and found a car park right next to a restaurant, as our bellies are screaming hunger. We parked up and enjoy our lunch admiring this view above! The views, the sun and relax moods that set us yes, we are holidaying in Malta…

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Feeling sleepy after lunch and from the warm sun. We decided to have a little wonder around the hilly area near the restaurant, overlooking groups of tourist lying by the coast area sunbathing…

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Our trip could not go without any back shots… I don’t think I will ever jump down this height though!

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We drove our way to the next destination Qbajjar Bay but we cannot see many tourists which is good if you want some quiet time alone however the location or the to chill seating area wasn’t as pleasant as I would like and we decided to drive off among the coast to find something a little more interesting! And to our surprise, we saw a family working on these salt pans. I am curious how long will it take the sea water to dry up before they can harvest the salt… it must be a long and patient process!

We then drove off to the other side of the island and found ourselves to arrive at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu, it was late and we did not manage to go in for an exploration, only being able to admire the building from far! ohh.. there’s a public toilet opposite this basilica.

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It was almost the end of the day, we drove to Mgarr Ix-Xinl Bay for sunset in Gozo. The drive to this bay was pretty dangerous, it was right next to the cliff and I can see the edge by the passenger seat and to make it more difficult there was an income car and that we have to stop aside. Can’t imagine if there wasn’t that space, what can you do if not??

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The effort of the drive wasn’t worth it as we found ourselves in a bay that the sunset doesn’t come through and you will never guessed we drove all the way back to the other side of the island back to our first sight, the Azure Window for this amazing sunset. We watch it until the egg yolk disappeared into the sea level before we set ourselves back to the Mgarr Habour/terminal for our ferry to the main Malta island. A note, you have to pay for your ferry ticket this time!

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Mdina

After a day of exploring Gozo, we thought the wise thing to do was to explore one area of the main Malta island and for the sake of driving journey etc we decided to explore the centre of Mdina before heading down to cover the coastal area.

Mdina which is known as a quiet city as soon as you step through the small gate from the car park area, straight away you will notice these sand colour walls and building. Its like another world within the country side of Malta and how quiet this city is,its probably we started from the back because as soon as you walk to the front gate, loads of tourist flooding through…

While exploring around this quiet city, make sure you stand by the observatory area to admire the green lands of Malta and go to a nearby cafe to enjoy a cold smoothie with their strawberries meringue gateaux. Refreshing and surprisingly light texture!

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You certainly cannot leave Mdina before some “modelling” shots in these alley ways !

We continue our drive down to look for Dingli cliffs. First glance it doesn’t look much special until we found a view where we can admire this Dingli Cliff. It was pretty scary when you try to stand there and take a photo… we tried standing as closed to the edge as we can and of course, being a bit safety conscious, I can only reach to as this far!

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And we went a little extreme with this modelling photo shot by standing outside the cliffs! What was I thinking with my friends? Thinking back its really dare devil attitude…

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Thinking its probably the most unbelievable things I ever do while on trip….

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While on this Dingli cliffs, we saw this bench so obviously its designed for us to admire how beautiful landscape that you can see from Malta right?? We say this is such a lonely granny post!!!

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Following our roughly planned route, we decided to go Blue Grotto and luckily we got there before we missed the tour time, I wouldn’t say its the most amazing cave scenes I seen before (Hvar’s Blue cave was the most amazing one!) nevertheless, it was still amazing to go there and see the rock/cave formation in Malta is like. And of course, don’t forget to bring your swimwear to enjoy a bit of bay scene and bathing….

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We went on a boat tour for about 8 euro; the tour guide wasn’t the best and drove super fast around the cave and doesn’t give you enough time to have a proper look at the caves….  though, I’ve got a bit fascinated by how these cave were formed.

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After the boat tour, we stayed around and chill a bit under the sun. Posing for any photography moment. We stood to overlook whether those guys opposite us will jump of that 5m jump board, that must be nerve wrecking!!

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As time goes by it was late afternoon, we decide to drive to the nearby Gnerja Bay for some chilling time and see if  we could get some late lunch. And by the time we finish our late lunch it was almost time for sunset where we walked across to the empty area to wait for the sunset.

I have to say, every time you are on holiday, do make sure you have tried your best to catch the sunset… it have been an unforgettable memories of every single sunsets that I watched while aboard….

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Comino Island – Swimming/ Snorkeling

We decided to have a little sleep in before we have a Mi-goreng with an egg before we head to Comino Island via Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal for the lovely blue lagoon and sun. Make sure you keep your ticket for the return ferry. This was a bad mistake as my belly was sticking out (Not that it was any flatter…!) all the time while I was there. However, we quickly got over this thinking and enjoyed the lovely blue sky and clear water while we can.

Make sure you rent a sunbathing deck so you don’t need to sit on these bum-hurting rocks and people step over your possessions! We tried snorkeling with our gears but there weren’t much to see… while you’re swimming down under; make sure you are preventive with jelly fishes they seems to be swimming around this clear blue sea with us! My friend got stung by them and got pour vinegar over it….

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We certainly took a waterproof camera with us so that we can do all sorts of photos on the sea.. look at how amazing this sea is, huh?? We tried doing those flipping hair post but failed!!! And also we tried taking photo under the sea.. it was so fun!

By Don’t forget to fill your belly up by the foods stall near the entrance to the island, my personal favourite being the kebab stall! Perfect snacks to end this Comino Island part of our trip.

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Valletta

We ended the last day of our trip in the cities before we head to the airport for our flight home. Sad to say so! However, since we only have a limited time in Valletta before riding off to Airport including a lunch in Valletta, certainly it was a bit of a rush, just in case of traffic etc. I cannot emphasis how identical each building/houses looks like and how this gives it a unique atmosphere of Malta.

Not to mention, before you go off make sure you pop by Xpadrilles AATMalta and grab yourself a few pairs of this authentic hand made espadrilles. I love them to bits. I would suggest to get a size down as the material get loosen once you have wore it a few times! I had countless embarrassing moments where mine kept on falling off while walking! In fact, I have counted…14 times within an hour!!!

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We also drove to Vittorosia, one of infamous fish towns of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua; with our limited time, we choose to visit Vittoriosa due to this picturesque view. The sun was at its peak when we was walking about this small town, my lordy, it really burns your skin!

Tips for Malta trip

We find having a car really help with this trip, like any other city we preferred to travel by train and public transportation but with Malta, a must will get you going a lot faster and easier. Of course, the additional benefits will be you can just throw your swimwear bags in the boot for any last minute on sea activities!

Make sure you plan and map well to the area that you’re interested in visiting; jot down the places of sights that you want to go, if one doesn’t suit your visual liking you can always drive to the next one. Don’t waste time driving from one sight of one direction to the other sight of the opposite direction. Group the sights together and visit them together…

Of course, don’t forget to wear sun protections with you. And as mention above, don’t forget to bring your swim wears, flip flop and towel in your boot for any last minute beach lying activities.

I have had a wonderful time in Malta and I would recommend you to visit it at least once in your lifetime!