myanmar pickled tea leaves salad

TIL: Tea is eaten in Myanmar

Today I learned that tea is not just consumed as a beverage in Myanmar, but it is also served as a food. Tea is massive across all Asian cultures; and it is interesting to see that I can never stop learning about the differences in Asian cultures from one country to another.

Lahpet is the Burmese word for ‘pickled tea leafs’ and Lahpet thohk is a very common dish in Myanmar that is made from pickled tea leaves. The picture for this blog post is an example of lahpet thohk.

Of interest

In ancient Myanmar, pickled tea leaves were used as a symbol of peace and given as an offering to rival kingdoms. It would usually be eaten after a dispute. It was still used even in colonial times in the civil courts to signify acceptance of a verdict.

Some more information about Lahpet can be found here:

How not to piss off a Malaysian girl on a date

Excuse the language in the title, but with Valentines day around the corner, you’d better make sure you don’t make your date angry. If you’re a Malaysian guy hoping to take things further with your girlfriend on valentines day, here’s how not to ruin it for the two of you.

If you’re not a Malaysian guy and you’re taking a Malaysian girl on a date, well lucky you! Malaysian girls can be picky when dating foreigners because of foreigners’ bad reputation. (I’m looking at you – every angmoh banker guy that’s ever thought he was God’s gift to women ever).

Based on interviewing some Malaysian girls, here’s what really pisses them off on a date. (Names have been omitted for privacy, but these are real quotes from real Malaysian girls)

“Please try not to stare at your phone the whole date”

“In fact. Just turn it off.”

“Be polite to wait-staff”

“I’ve seen it countless times across Asia where the guy has tried to pretend he’s a big-shot by treating wait-staff like they don’t exist or are idiots. Some people are horrifyingly rude to the people serving them – and that kinda indicates how you’ll be other people in future. Rudeness never impresses anyone ever.”

“For the love of God – DON’T BE LATE”

“I’m ready to be picked up at the time you’ve given me and have to wait another 30 minutes for you to arrive, I’d prefer you didn’t pick me up at all.”

“If you’re going to be late, say so!”

“Preferably get there BEFORE the time given, not 10 minutes after. Maybe Malaysians should probably just stop being late by default.”

“Leave your bad manners at home”

“I went on a date with a guy who kept on spitting into the street. That was the first and last date.”

“Don’t use that Godforsaken ‘mouse kissing’ noise to call waiters”

“‘Waiter’ probably not also, because only snobbish characters calling ‘waiter!’ What’s wrong with a politely requested ‘Excuse Me?’”

“Don’t call me too ‘aggressive’ or ‘too independent’”

“I can lend you some of my balls if you like”

“Shower and deodorant please”

“The kids in my school stunk of body odour. I don’t want to date a school kid.”

“Don’t talk about yourself the whole time”

“This annoys the crap out of girls”
(I think that applies in any country)

“Do not brag about what you do for a living or where you went to school”

“It means nothing to me about where you went to school or what you do for a living. Especially don’t talk about how much you earn – blergh! It really doesn’t mean a whole lot to the other person if they already like you.”

“Don’t try to over impress the girl”

“Don’t try to over impress the girl or lie to the girl to impress her it will just make you look like a douche.”

Go easy on the ‘Product’

“I can’t stand guys who use too much hair product, and are fixing their hair constantly.”

“It’s a turn off to go out with a guy that I can’t put my hands anywhere near to for fear of tetanus.”

Don’t drop the “I love you” bomb on your crush.

“Seriously lah. I freak out when people suddenly say they love me, and then ask for a date.”

“OMG not another mall date”

“The mall date is dead boring to my taste. Go bowling, or ice skating, or boat ride. Treat your first date as a ‘date trying to guarantee you for another date’ date. If she wants a repeat, you win.”

“Make sure she gets home safe”

“If she’s driving there, always walk the girl to her car.”

“If you are the one who picked her up, make sure she gets back to her front door or lift up to her apartment before you drive off. It is one of my biggest pet peeve when going out with guys.”

“Let her hear, not see, you leave.”

And most importantly…

“Get to know her, let her know you better. Ask about her family and dreams and future and whatever in her mind. Enjoy your date with her. She’s already chosen to go on a date with you, which means she must like you a little bit already.”

Robert Parker Wine Critic - Asia

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate Grand World Tour 2014 in Asia

We are excited when we saw news of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate Grand World Tour Makes Singapore Stop on WardrobeTrendsFashion.

The inaugural Wine Advocate’s Grand World Tour will make a five-city stop from February through March with Singapore as the final stop from 13 – 16 March. The world tour will begin in Beijing from 27 – 27 February followed by Shanghai (1 – 2 March), Hong Kong (4 – 6 March), Kuala Lumpur (8 – 9 March).

Featuring wines from Italy, there will be a series of events during the period, also featuring critics Ms. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW and Ms. Monica Larner.

American Express Card holders get early booking privileges starting from now until 23rd January, before ticket sales go public.

For more information on the events and ticket sales, go to

We’re definitely going to be there. How about you?


Some useful telephone numbers in Singapore

The featured image for this post is a set of Singtel telephone booths on Orchard Road in Singapore. Who uses a telephone booth these days? Well if you catch yourself stranded with no mobile phone, no connection, or no battery you can either buy a SIM card from any of the nearby 7-11 shops or use the telephone booths to call any of these useful numbers for travellers in Singapore:

Singapore Emergency Numbers

Ambulance/Civil Defence (Fire): 995
Police: 999
Police Hotline: 1800 255 0000
Traffic Police: 6547 1818

Hospital and A&E Numbers

National University Hospital (Full general hospital with Emergency Department)
6227 5555

Singapore General Hospital
6222 3322

Changi General Hospital
6788 8833

Taxi Numbers in Singapore

For some reason, taxis don’t take VISA cards anymore in Singapore. They do take others such as American Express and MasterCard though. Taxi drivers usually prefer cash, as you’d imagine, and all fares are metered so you don’t need to worry about getting ripped off.

Comfort Taxi (The largest taxi company): 6552 1111
SMRT Taxi: 6555 8888
Prime Taxi: 6778 0808

Telephone Food Ordering in Singapore

If your stomach has taken a turn for the worst, because you’ve been eating too much of the spicy food in Singapore, you can get a delivery of some food you recognize to your hotel by just calling one of these numbers:

McDonalds Delivery (Yes, they deliver in Singapore)
6777 3777

KFC Delivery
6222 6111

Subway Delivery
6278 2929

Pizza Hut
6235 3535

Canadian Pizza
6241 0241


Print this list out before traveling to Singapore. You know: Just in case.

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Puerto Princesa underground river in Palawan Philippines

While visiting Palawan in the Philippines, you may be tempted to spend your days tanning and relaxing at the beach. However, make sure to set aside some time to enjoy the natural wonders of the island province. Our favorite spot: the amazing Underground River near Puerto Princesa.

Just an hour and a half drive from downtown Puerto Princesa brings you to one of the recently awarded New 7 Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Underground River- a 5 mile long stretch of the Cabayugan River running through a cave and straight into the South China Sea. Once you reach the small town of Sabang, it’s a short 20 minute ferry ride over to the beach near the cave entrance where you can take a kayak tour on the river inside the cave.

When you first arrive to the beach, you are grouped up in the welcome center and fitted for life vests and helmets. Once you’re ready, you are boarded onto a kayak with your group to start your tour through the Underground River.

When you begin to enter the cave, the darkness starts to creep in and the brilliant light from outside disappears, but don’t fret. All of the boats are equipped with a spotlight to view all of the rock formations. stalactites and stalagmites. Once your eyes adjust, you really get a chance to appreciate the vastness and beauty of the cave within.

As the Underground River Tour progresses, the tour guide points out specific rock formations and structures that resemble everything from religious figures to exotic foods. There are wonderful sights to see and having a small flashlight can help you look around in areas where the spotlight isn’t focused. A word of advice though- When looking up, keep your mouth closed! Those little black dots on the ceiling are bats!

Before you know it, your tour is done. After riding through the cool cave, you’ll have an even better appreciation of the hot and beautiful white sand beaches of Palawan.

Get more information about Palawan and the Philippines at

Ami Chang



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