PEr FYI

December 8, 2018

International Red Cross Museum, Geneva…a moving and humbling experience

Geneva is also the hub for a number of NGOs and International organisations, such as United Nations and Red Cross. This museum highlights how the Red Cross helps families separated by war or genocide; and the third details its work during and after natural disasters.

The sculpture right outside the museum –  of people with their heads covered (because International Committee of the Red Cross- ICRC supports all the war victims equally, irrespective of their religion and faith),  tied and hands are held at the back (showcasing their helplessness). There’s the museum’s extraordinary collection of six million record cards containing the fate of prisoners of war during World War I. There’s the platform game- Hurricane where it delivers a strong message of reserving the resources for an unpredictable natural disaster

A moving and humbling experience. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 30, 2018

Saigon Vespa Tours, Ho Chi Minh City…enjoy the thrill of living life like the Saigonese

Getting on a scooter in one of the busiest cities in the world with a stranger seemed like a sensible idea. Walking is not popular in Ho Chi Minh City – a city with 7.43 million motorbikes – so being on one is the ideal way to see the buzzing centre of Ho Chi Minh City.

My heart was in my mouth as scooters, taxis, buses and bikes came at me from every angle. Though it sounds scary, the fact is that negotiating Ho Chi Minh City’s night traffic on the back of a vintage Vespa turned out to be exhilarating. Strangely, the breeze on my face; the exotic smells of spices; the people watching; the bustling night markets and the neon lights of the bars and massage parlours, all began to have a hypnotic effect. In accordance to our request, the first pit stop was at Lesbian Sisters bahn mi. They had bought the bahn mi and that saved us waiting time. We devoured them within 20 minutes on the roadside. Before we can digest all this, we were off to a trendy skybar – Glow. After a quick drink and soaking in the view, we were drive to a restaurant of our choice.

While you don’t ride around in luxury, that was never part of the deal, the tour gives you a chance to experience life as a local, being exposed to the thick smog emitted from the scooters. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 22, 2018

Jucker Farm, Zurich…honestly fascinating & relaxing

There is one thing that will catch your attention the moment you make your way to Jucker Farm: The magnificent view over the turquoise lake and the rolling hills. In the background, you might even see the snowy Alps.

The food in the canteen style restaurant is not fancy but quite tasty. There are piles of cake, waffles, pancakes… fresh salads, müesli, smoothies… and also, hearty meals like rösti with fried eggs, quiches and on the nostalgic black stove simmer two different types of soup. There are amusement areas for kids – a dwarf goat petting zoo, a rabbit pen (including baby bunnies), and old tractors for the children to explore – including an apple garden – an accessible labyrinth made up of 5,900 apple trees that provide apples for the table and for producing cider.

Juckerhof in Seegraben, located on the picturesque Pfäffikersee is about a 30 minutes drive from Zurich.

Nothing spells relaxation more than having lunch on a table overlooking the tranquil Lake Pfäffikon. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 17, 2018

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Hua Hin…Uber-touristy.

The idea of eating at a tourist hotspot in our hometown is laughable. On holiday we endure plastic croque monsieurs under the Eiffel Tower, misshapen bratwurst by the Berlin Wall and food and fruits on the floating markets in Thailand, like Damnoen Saduak.

Damnoen Saduak has been Thailand’s best known floating market for a very long time but it is also the most touristy one. It’s lively, full of boats selling food and fruits, and it’s colourful. But you can’t turn your head without being sold something. Everything is expensive.

In sum – don’t go here if you hate cliches, and don’t eat here unless you like paying three times more for your food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 11, 2018

FIFA World Football Museum, Zurich…I have mixed emotions

This is the brainchild of FIFA’s disgraced former president, Sepp Blatter, who was banned from football after an ethics committee found him guilty of  abusing his position.

It tells the story of “the beautiful game” through artefacts, archival collections and memorabilia. Take a journey through every World Cup in history or learn the origin of FIFA. On the top floor there is an interactive area to kick footballs around and test your skills.  There is a referee game too, to check, if you would be a good referee or not

Not going to tell you whether it’s worth it or not. You can be the judge afterwards. I have mixed emotions. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 7, 2018

Bain Des Paquis, Geneva…cheese heaven and a great place to people-watch

A truly authentic cheese fondue meal – the much loved Swiss staple – is best relished away from the stress and bustle of city life. Bain Des Paquis is a great place to lay-back and hang out in the sun right next to Lake Geneva. The on-site café, La Buvette des Bains serves affordable yet tasty meals – especially the cheese fondue.

The house specialty, Fondue au Cremant is made with sparkling wine similar to champagne rather than white wine, for a more delicate flavour. This is the real fondue deal.

If rich, creamy cheeses a sound like your kind of scene, grab a few friends and meet for conversation, people watch in laid-back atmosphere and some of the most spectacular sceneries you’ve ever seen. Bain Des Paquis is just for people like you. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 13, 2018

Cambridge Chauffeur Punts, Cambridge…enjoyed the views but not the narration

Punting is the most elegant and romantic way to navigate Cambridge’s River Cam. Who could visit Cambridge trying getting a punting experience.

A punt is a traditional square-ended, flat-bottomed boat, usually propelled using a long pole. What’s punting like?  It’s a calm, soothing boat ride on a river, something like riding in a gondola in Venice, except that gondolas are propelled by oars instead of poles.

The boats are kitted out with blankets for the colder months and especially after the sun goes down. The chauffeured punting took us on a 45 minute tour through the College Backs – a great way to see the river and experience the history of Cambridge. Though the guide was informative, telling us about the beautiful university buildings that line the river, he didn’t speak loud enough for us to hear him clearly.

This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful stretches of river in England. The views are unmatched! his is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 30, 2018

Warner Bros Studio The Making of Harry Potter, London…an absolute must-see for Potter fans

A movie fanatic would always enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at how the films were made. Unlike the theme parks at Universal, this is the actual studio where they filmed the movies, and actual props. And there’s no doubting that Potter aficionados will love what they see here, because it is the real deal. Potterheads rejoice!!

You’ll see things like the Great Hall (yes it was as dramatic as it appears in the movies!), #4 Privet Drive, The Hogwarts Express, the Knight Bus and the forbidden forest. If you’re really big on details, get the audio guide, note there is a cost but you can book it advance with your ticket. This is 100% worth the price. The highlight – which drew gasps from me – is the model of Hogwarts. Built to 1:24 scale, it was used in the exterior shots for the first six films. The attention to detail is incredible. Even if you are just a mild fan of Harry Potter like me, you will love this place. It’s incredible! Definitely allow a lot of time for this excursion but it’s truly worth the trip. I binge-watched all 8 episodes after visiting this studio.

If you want to book a tour, you should be looking to schedule a time slot about two months out, otherwise there is a good chance it will be sold out. There is also a large shop at the end where you can buy all kinds of Harry Potter and Hogwarts swag. Definitely don’t forget to get some butterbeer or butterbeer ice cream.

The tour is a must-see for Potter fans. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 10, 2018

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London…100% worth a visit

If you are already planning your year end holidays, here’s how you can make your Christmas extra special and magical.

If you fancy some festive atmosphere, Winter Wonderland is an annual event in London’s Hyde park with fairground rides, Christmas stalls, markets and entertainment for all ages. Entry is free. This is truly a wonderful wonderland thanks to the sheer volume of what’s on offer. There are pre-bookable attractions that you can book online.

Wrap up warm for The Magical Ice Kingdom as it’s -8C in there! Last year the Magical Ice Kingdom presents an ‘Deep Sea Adventure’ – an immersive walk through experience filled with ice, snow sculptures and a bubble wall. Bar Ice is next to the Magical Ice Kingdom and this time it’s about -10C. Here, you’ll be given a winter cloak and gloves. That’s because the seats, tables, walls and even your glass are made of ice.

As it gets really dark the whole place seems to shimmer with light and it does indeed feel very festive. The food on offer looked tempting – including the usual bratwurst and German beer, to fish and chips, hog roast, minced pies and mulled wine.

They’ve got every kind of ride imaginable… Christmas coasters, carousels, waltzers and dodgems. They’ve got a Fun House which is four storeys tall! The Haunted Mansion is actually a mansion. Of all the thrill rides, highlight for me was Air Maxx. G’s all the way. My inner adrenalin junkie was truly satiated.

The Grinch would have a real challenge stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 3, 2017

ATV Tour, Phuket…escape the boring 9-5

Filed under: Activities, ATV, Flying fox, Thailand, Tour, Travel — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 5:06 pm

Visiting a Thai massage barely sounds like the place to grab a quick adrenaline fix – but there are still plenty of knuckle-shredding activities to indulge in within Phuket.

August is the rainy season in Phuket and the ATV was a muddy ride for sure! They provide crocs sandals and I definitely recommend using them. They provided ponchos to wear over your clothes when it started raining , but expect to be sweaty under than poncho. A couple of colleagues purposely wore old clothes  that they were willing to throw away.

With the flying fox, you can let out your inner baboon and go through the 100m Adventure bridge comprising various obstacles. Clamber up two flights of steps and whizz along 110m zipwires.

The crew were friendly and informative.  Everyone in our group felt so safe, even those who were not huge adrenaline junkies.

A great way to escape the boring 9-5. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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