Travel to Maldives - Guide & Tips

"Tropical oasis," "paradise on earth," "bucket-list destination": When it comes to the Maldives every one of them is accurate. The sheer beauty of the coral reefs, the translucent ever-changing colors of the Indian Ocean, the isolation, indigenous vegetation and friendly people are legendary, and rightly so—the Maldives lives up to the hype.

The turquoise lagoons are crystal clear. Strange to think that the idyllic Maldives have only been a holiday destination for 40 years or so.

When to go

The Maldives has a benign climate, with year-round temperatures between 26C-30C. It never suffers from tornadoes though it does have a monsoon season in November which is best avoided and unsettled weather can persist well into December, though then the rain tends to be in short, afternoon bursts only.

The high season stretches from November to April, with Christmas and New Year being the most expensive time to travel. The perfect months are January, February and March when the sky is blue and the water so calm it could be glass.

As April is a 'shoulder’ period, the prices are lower; then May sees the start of the low season when the weather is less predictable but rarely bad enough to disturb a holiday.


The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa but tourists have no need of it. Resort bills are best paid at the end of the stay and other expenses, such as tips and purchases when on excursion, are best paid in US dollars.

Tips Before travel to Maldives:
1) Do get your US dollars ready before you travel to Maldives, as their money changer's rates are super low.
2) Plan your purpose and go with who, so you can get the best resort/stay best match your budget.
3) Flight & Boat ride is expensive from island to island. Find your best stay and you'll not pay extra to travel to another island during your trip.
4) Get all your electronic stuffs and cables ready and best to have backup, as you will be in the island for your whole trip. Only simple convenient store is available.

Things to Do in Maldives:

1) Sea of stars
The biological light, or bioluminescence, in the waves is the product of marine microbes called phytoplankton—and now scientists think they know how some of these life-forms create their brilliant blue glow. Make sure you book your stay with the possibility to see sea of stars, as this is only available in certain places in Maldives.

2) Diving
Maldive is one of the premier Scuba Diving Destination and it's known for its stingrays, whale shark migration and sea turtles. The crystal clear blue waters offer incredible visibility and there’s no need for a wetsuit here, the water’s warm and inviting. There's also whale shark watching which will be remarkable for your trip.

3) Snorkelling
If scuba diving isn’t your thing, snorkeling is a great option. The reefs are so pristine in the Maldives that you don’t have to go deep to see a lot! You can easily see little sharks or sea turtle by snorkelling.

4) Dolpin Spotting
This is one of the best thing to do during your Maldives trip. It is usually a half day tour out to the middle of the sea for dolphin spotting and you will also get a chance to witness the beauty of sunset on your way back to your hotel or resort.

5) Sunset Romantic Dinner
This is definitely the place for it! Enjoy your dinner with your loved one with the beauty of sunset paired with that relaxing sound of waves right beside you.

Travel to Melbourne with AirAsiaX: Sovereign Hill & Ballarat Day Tour from Melbourne

Australia’s foremost outdoor museum, Sovereign Hill re-creates Ballarat’s first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851 when thousands of international adventurers rushed to the Australian goldfields in search of fortune.

By day, Sovereign Hill is where Australia’s history comes to life! It’s just like stepping back in time - from the hustle and bustle of Main Street where costumed ladies and gents parade their new-found wealth, to the excitement of the Red Hill Gully Diggings where you can pan for real gold and it’s yours to keep!

At Sovereign Hill, you can see a spectacular $160,000 gold pour, venture underground on a fully-guided gold mine tour or catch a horse-drawn coach and tour the town.

There was many people during my visit.

I love the way they keep the culture and the stores here.
The shops that line the town streets are real shops selling old-fashioned wares and authentic souvenirs, such as metal worked in the workshop. There is building after building of replica hotels, banks, a theatre, shops, foundry’s, bakeries.

Redcoat soldiers marched about the town, and had a special musket-firing ceremony. After that, it’s photo opportunity time with the Redcoats, so don’t miss that!

We had our lunch in one of the restaurant before our tour.

This is something you can do in Sovereign Hill, to take a photo in traditional Ballarat's wear. You'll need to book your slot first as it always fully booked. One of my favourite activity on that day!

I've picked my look - the lady!
I had never realised just how much fun this can be! We got all dressed up

Super lovely and I've my photo printed after two hours.

Our tour-guide of the day is really knowledgeable, she explained almost everything to us about Sovereign Hill. It's fun walking in here.

We were very excited when the time came for the underground gold mine tour and they boarded us on the small train to descend to 60 metres below the ground!Down, down into the dark the train descended in pitch-black – we all chatted nervously, excitedly until a minute later we saw a tiny light ahead – a lantern! The train stopped and It was time to get out for our guided tour and walk the passageways of the recreated mine below the town, where we would learn all about miner’s conditions and gold digging.
Look at this! It's real gold! We learnt about the history and how they mine during the Ballarat Day with the underground tour.

Here comes the Winter Christmas celebration! 
I love their creativity on this.

Definitely need to be there from opening time to make sure you see everything as it's a full day, love Sovereign Hill and will always go back.

Sovereign Hill is located on Main Road, Ballarat, Victoria. For information and bookings you can go to the official Sovereign Hill website.

You can easily get your flights as they fly to Melbourne daily. You have a choice to pick your premium services and enjoy a complimentary 40KG baggage allowance, inflight meal, pillow and duvet, special check in counter and the AirAsia Premium Red Lounge in KLIA 2.

One of my favourite in Airasia is their award winning Santan menu! In-flight food is a must for me when it comes to a flight over 4 hours.

Guess what? I can't wait to try their Premium FlatBed on the next flight! It looks more comfort while traveling!

Plane was on time and clean, staff were really friendly, price is always affordable. 
Now everyone can fly.

Thanks again to Airasia X for this trip! I've really enjoyed myself and see Melbourne from a different view. 

Thanks to AirasiaX and VisitVictoria for this trip.

No.1 on AMAZON JAPAN! ALOBABY outdoor spray & Milk Lotion Review

I'm always a fan of Japan's skincare range and I would love to share something I love and it ranked No.1 on Amazon Japan!

 I've received these before CNY and used it almost everyday on myself and my nephew who is just 2 months old. As ALOBABY made of 99%+ naturally-derived ingredients with Non-toxic: Additive-free, Coloring-free, Synthetic Perfume-free. I feel safe every time when I use them because it is so gentle and effective.

ALOBABY products are developed based on the opinions of experienced mothers who have used organic skin-care products during pregnancy. They aim to deliver reliable products with premium quality to both you and your babies. It's effective for newborn baby to adults, even for those with sensitive skin. ALOBABY uses natural fragrance from Lavender & Rose & Lemongrass to make you feel relax and their products are 100% made in Japan.

In Japan, there is actually a fast growing trend of adults coveting baby skincare products. Some of us who is having sensitive skin like me, are falling in love with baby range like ALOBABY.

Alobaby Outdoor Mist
This Outdoor Mist is one of Alobaby's top sellers and I can easily tell why. The bottle is a convenient size, and its DEET-Free - which is safe for the babies, and us. The scent is soothing lemongrass and rosemary oil, and the spray function is both convenient and economical. I spray freely on myself and on my nephew who is just 2-month-old. It's an organic Outdoor Spray repels insects with natural derived aroma so it keeps us safe from insects like mosquitos especially in Asia country.

It is made from Orange Fruit Water, Lemongrass Oil and Rosemary Oil. Ideal DEET-free formula protects baby's skin gently. Not only for baby, it's also safe for pregnant mummies. One thing I love the most -  it protects our skin from the sun too with SPF 15 UVA & UVB. Insects repellent and Sunscreen two in one bottle, easy peasy!

Alobaby Milk Lotion
Made-in-Japan organic Milky Lotion is ALOBABY's signature item. It provides high moisturizing effect and is certified by the world-known ECOCERT. Contains natural moisturizing ingredients, such as Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter.

I've let Kai tried this and this definitely works like magic to calm down and to moisture his skin even he has a Eczema condition on his arms and legs. I love it's lavender and rose scents that subtle in it to make me feel so relax and pampered every time I applied this milk lotion.

ALOBABY products are super lightweight. It's suitable for us in Asia. Non-sticky texture but moisturizes my skin very effectively! Baby skincare products are gentle so good for adults as well.

And now you know what to buy for yourself or maybe as gift to others easily! ALOBABY it is!

Say no to dots! My Elsa Bright Laser Review

There are many types of laser in the market and personally I've tried two of them so far - Carbon Peel & Elsa Bright Laser. I like the Elsa Bright Laser better and here I am sharing my experience on this treatment to you lovely people.
I did my Elsa Bright Laser in ME Clinic @Time square KL with Dr David. The ambience of the clinic is cozy and Dr David and the staffs are very friendly. These factors make me feel confident and comfortable throughout my treatments.

What does Elsa Bright Laser do? 
  • Rejuvenate skin texture
  • Get rid of uneven skin tone
  • Diminish pigmentation 
  • Stimulates collagen
  • Brighten the skin & scars
  • Minimize pores 

The best part of this laser is - NO downtime. I can see my skin brightened and glow immediately right after my first Elsa Bright Laser session. Especially the forehead part and this makes me very happy and satisfied with the result. I've been using sunscreen and brightening product for my face but it doesn't really helps much in my uneven skin problem.

This is the result after my first Laser. I'm so happy finally I've found something works so well on my skin problem. Besides of brightening the skin tone, it also helps to lighten the pimple scars like mine on my cheek.

What's the procedure?
After the consultation with Dr David, the beauty assistant applied numb cream on my face. Waited for 15 minutes, then removed the numb cream on my face and started with Elsa Bright Laser. It took around 10-15 minutes for the laser and the treatment ended with a cooling aloe vera hydrating face massage with machine. I love the end part so so much!

What I like about Elsa Bright Laser?
First of all, it works perfectly for my uneven skin tone even on the first treatment. Secondly, I realised my skin is getting smoother and pores are getting smaller after two treatments. I would say this is something I would love to recommend to my friends. Oh ya, and No Downtime too.

Quote "charlene" and get a better price.

For more information on ME Aesthetic Clinic:
Contact: +603 2143 3866 // +60 18 222 8122
Address: LG-18 Lower Ground Floor, Berjaya Times Square.

10 Best Destinations to Travel in 2018

Sure, we all know the world is getting smaller and we’re more hyper-connected than ever before. On the flip side however, there are now ever more destinations – and experiences – for those willing to go for it. As thrilling as it may be to seek all of these out, sadly we only have a finite amount of time and money. So here are the 10 best places to travel in 2018, in no particular order.

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1. Porto, Portugal
Set in the picturesque Douro Valley, Portugal’s second largest city (after Lisbon) combines ancient heritage, a laid back demeanour and contemporary European cool. Its historic core, a UNESCO World Heritage site, curves uphill from the Douro River and upstream to the vineyards that produce Porto’s legendary tipple, port wine. Like most medieval cities, its narrow cobbled streets are crammed with tiny shops and cafés, with a food culture as rich as any other in Europe.
With the recent rise in wine tourism, Porto’s most famous export, port wine, is firmly in the spotlight. Many of the major port houses have warehouses at Vila Nova de Gaia along the riverbank. However, to truly appreciate this fortified wine, visitors to Porto need to trek uphill to the port lodges, where guided tours are offered by the port houses. The complete wine experience may be had here, including food pairings and port tastings available in a charming lodge setting, with stunning views over the city of Porto.

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2. Pyeongchang, South Korea
Nicknamed ‘the Alps of Korea’, mountainous Pyeongchang is easily accessible from Seoul and is a favourite winter retreat for Seoulites. However, the spotlight is on Pyeongchang in 2018 as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics. With a new high-speed rail line connecting it to Seoul, more visitors than ever can experience a Korean-style ski resort. Located at 700 metres above sea level, it is claimed that this is the optimal elevation for health and longevity, hence the area’s slogan of ‘Happy700 Pyeongchang’.
Aside from winter sports, visitors to Pyeongchang can enjoy some of South Korea’s most scenic mountain spots. The temples and waterfalls of Odaesan National Park come alive in the summer and autumn, though they can also be visited in the winter. As a prime destination for wellness and outdoors activities, Pyeongchang has much to offer should one tire of Seoul’s frenetic pace.

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3. Almaty, Kazakhstan
Former Soviet republics may not be one’s first choice when it comes to sophisticated travel destinations. However, Almaty in Kazakhstan offers exactly that – an urbane city that blends with the charm of the Silk Road. The city centre is an amalgam of traditional and modern, with Orthodox cathedral spires towering beside glitzy shopping malls, Western-style coffee lounges and expensive restaurants. A crossroads between East and West for millennia, the Kazakh people are an eclectic mix, with some of the best looking people anywhere in the world.
As Almaty lies at the foot of the Tian Shan, some jaw-dropping scenery may be had at the city’s doorstep. Snow-capped mountains, crystal clear lakes and the endless plains of the Central Asian steppe are only minutes away from the city centre. The ski resort of Chymbulak is especially well-known – Prince Harry once visited for a spin on the slopes.

Photo by architectural

4. Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Great manners never goes out of style, and there is no better place to experience that than Charleston, the oldest and friendliest city in the state of South Carolina. It may not be as well-known as other destinations in the United States, but historic Charleston retains much of the legendary Southern hospitality and proudly shows it off to visitors. Horse-drawn carriages, antebellum estates and cannon-lined forts dot the city, a reminder of the state’s role in the American Civil War.
Yet the most compelling reason to visit would be to sample Charleston’s fabled culinary scene, which emphasises fresh seafood caught off the Atlantic seaboard. Local chefs revere the fresh produce, which can be prepared either in a rustic Southern style or elevated to haute cuisine by the city’s French influence. American classics like barbeque, grits and pork chops are transformed by creative and contemporary restauranteurs, and many of the ingredients used are sourced within an hour’s drive from the city. Nowhere else in the world would one also find the farm-to-table philosophy so proudly maintained than in Charleston.

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5. Gili Islands, Indonesia
Looking for an alternative to tourist-ravaged Bali? Fear not – the Indonesian archipelago is home to over 17,000 islands, and the Gili Islands make for an ideal getaway far from the maddening crowd. The three islands in the chain, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and tiny Gili Meno are located close to Lombok and easily accessible by ferry. Each island has its own charm and attraction: Gili Trawangan has been well known for years as a party and backpacker haven, Gili Air makes a quiet, romantic getaway, and Gili Meno retains the most local flavor as the least developed island.
No motorcycles or cars are allowed on the Gili Islands, and the only way to get around are bicycles or horse-drawn carriages. This makes for a unique getaway experience, especially for honeymooning couples or those that just want to escape the city. Another main attraction of the Gili Islands is scuba diving amongst the tropical coral reefs and marine life of the Lombok Strait. A popular place to relax and get your diving license at the same time, the languid atmosphere of the Gili Islands is far from the (comparatively) feverish pace of Bali, ideal for those seeking peace and quiet.

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6. Saint Petersburg, Russia
The city of Pushkin and Dostoyevsky, of Swan Lake and Anna Karenina, of imperial palaces and grand cathedrals, St Petersburg is Russia’s cultural epicentre and monument to its triumph and ambition. Built by the Tsars and witness to revolution, the ‘Venice of the North’ is a showcase of Russian art, culture and beauty. Located on the River Neva and lined with elegant canals, Russia’s gateway to the West rivals all of Europe in fashion, nightlife and contemporary art. In the evening, couples strolling down the banks of the Neva mingle with patrons of the renowned Maryinsky Ballet and a raucous clubbing scene.
Being one of the host cities of the FIFA World Cup held in the summer of 2018, a brand new stadium resembling a spaceship has been constructed on Krestovsky Island facing the Baltic Sea. Summer also brings a unique phenomenon to St Petersburg, the ‘White Nights’ where the sun doesn’t set due to the city’s extreme northerly location. Inhabitants of St Petersburg take this opportunity to indulge in revelry, sunbathing by the Neva and staying up all night. The highlight of the White Nights is the Scarlet Sails, a public event with fireworks and a water show on the Neva featuring, of course, a ship with blood-red sails. 

Photo by business

7. Cairo, Egypt
Since the tumultuous events of 2011, Cairo has recovered a semblance of calm. Tourist numbers are rising again, though not to pre-revolutionary levels. This has created an opportunity for unique experiences of Cairo's and Egypt's cultural treasures without the crowds. With a history spanning two millennia, Old Cairo’s Egyptian, Coptic and Islamic history is on full display amongst the chaos, humour and energy of everyday Cairene life.
Gateway to the pharaohs, Cairo is the hub for exploring the Great Pyramid and other ancient Egyptian monuments. The brand new Grand Egyptian Museum is opening in 2018, exhibiting the full Tutankhamun collection for the first time. But don’t let that be the only reason to visit Cairo. Centuries-old bookshops, coffee houses and souks litter Cairo’s anarchic streets, with Coptic Christian churches and Fatimid mosques existing cheek-by-jowl in close quarters. Go with Cairo’s energy flow and explore the nation once ruled by pharaohs, Roman emperors and sultans.

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8. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bursting with Latin passion, the birthplace of tango is as captivating and seductive as the dance it spawned. Faded Italo-Spanish glamour mixes headily with romantic restaurants and pulsating nightlife in a city that almost defines Latin insouciance. Dinner doesn’t start until 9pm, bars start serving at 12am, and the hardcore clubbing set doesn’t show until 4am. Football competes with Catholicism as Buenos Aires’ official religion, climaxing when local rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate play each other in the Superclásico, amidst colourful banners, chanting and nonstop fireworks.
The wide boulevards of Buenos Aires, reminiscent of its European heritage, offer visitors everything from retail therapy to picturesque sidewalk cafés and landscaped parks. Steakhouses sit on virtually every corner, serving up perfectly-grilled portions of beef in this carnivore’s paradise of a city. Washed down with a fruity Argentinean red, Buenos Aires invites even the dowdiest shrinking violet to cut loose and party the night away.

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9. Mandalay, Myanmar
Evoking the splendours of old royal Burma, Mandalay is the economic and cultural centre of Upper Myanmar. As the last royal capital before British conquest in the 19th century, Mandalay contains some of Myanmar finest Buddhist temples and traditional artisans working silk, gold and jewels. Although the Royal Palace and Atumashi monastery are modern reconstructions (the originals were bombed in World War II), many original shrines and pagodas dot the hills around Mandalay. The city centre itself is undergoing a messy construction boom, but hidden gems such as gold workshops, traditional tea houses and the occasional sight of a Buddhist novitiation ceremony make it worth exploring.
Mandalay is also the unlikely trading centre for two of the most sought after luxury goods: rubies and silk. The legendary pigeon’s blood rubies, from the fabled mines of Mogok north of the city are long prized for their intense red colour. These rubies command the highest prices per carat of any gemstone in the world. On the other hand, silk from the township of Amarapura has clad generations of Burmese royalty for special and ceremonial occasions. Silk weaving is still largely handmade where ladies manipulate over a hundred looms to create intricate designs, which are then coloured using vivid natural dyes. 

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10. Sabah, Malaysia
Legions of visitors have been drawn to the natural wonders of Sabah, the land below the wind. From mountain jungles to the crystal waters of the Celebes Sea, the varied landscape of Sabah keeps on unfolding as one travels through the state. Although Sabah’s more famous landmarks like Mount Kinabalu and Pulau Sipadan are as captivating as ever, the less well-known corners of Sabah make for an interesting destination as well for 2018.

Semporna is probably more well-known as a jumping-off point to the diving havens of Mabul and Sipadan etc, but the town in itself is also worth a visit. The annual Regatta Lepa is a unique boat race organized by the Bajau community in Semporna, culminating in the crowning of a ‘Ratu Lepa’ in a beauty pageant. Another destination off the beaten track is Pulau Layang-Layang, a reef in the middle of the South China Sea that is only accessible by chartered flight from Kota Kinabalu. Its remoteness and permanent presence of the Royal Malaysian Navy has ensured a pristine and untouched marine ecosystem surpassing that in Sipadan. The interior of Sabah is also the location of the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, an untouched wilderness protected by a basin of impenetrable hills, home to one of the world’s hottest biodiversity spots that, for now, is still being charted and explored.

Thanks to our guest writter, 
XH Ong. 
You can find him through his channel: