While Bali is one of Southeast Asia's top tourist destinations, so much of it remains virgin tourist territory. Why is this so? Let’s just say, Bali isn’t exactly known for its excellent public transportation. Trying to catch a bus on the island paradise is a stressful chore most tourists tend to avoid. As an alternative, a Bali road trip is a popular option for those with the gusto and the courage to give it a go on their own – just you, your friends, a roadmap, and a trusty rental car.
Extreme sport can sound like a recipe for getting drowned, shot or generally mangled. In a sense, it is – I know, I've explored the field in depth, deployed by past editors gleefully keen to see a reporter suffer. But the stress serves a purpose: it tests your limits and the theory that what cannot destroy you makes you stronger. For a lightning immersion in 'controlled edge' extreme sport culture, visit Chiang Mai, the Thai town 700 kilometres north of Bangkok.
Bangkok’s Chatuchak weekend market is not for the faint of heart. With the number of visitors to the market potentially as high as 200,000 a day, even the market’s 35 acres isn’t enough to alleviate crowds, so expect to spend a lot of time squeezing awkwardly past your fellow shoppers in the narrow walkways. But it's all part of the fun.
Melaka is a feast for the senses in general. But the strongest draw of the incense-laced old Malaysian spice port down the road from Kuala Lumpur may well be its food. Melaka hosts an array of low-price, high-quality catering outlets.
You just can't have a peaceful lunch in Hong Kong, especially in a Yum Cha restaurant where it's always cluttered with people – there are no decent Wedgwood teapots, no superior services, and no bossa nova radiating from all corners of the restaurant.
As if being in a city flanked by beaches (from two different oceans, no less) and based around an anomaly of a mountain isn’t enough of a treat, here are some ways to go that extra hedonistic mile:
Not sure if you know this or not, but there are a lot of people in China. And I mean A LOT! Beijing is a great city; very modern, tonnes of history, good food and an impressive layer of thick smog.
Leave out the rainforest and you can do tiny Brunei in a day. Just hopping over the border and back makes sense for those on a budget because overnighting in the resource-rich Bornean kingdom run by one of the world's wealthiest men costs a lot.
So you haven't heard of Miri? How shocking. What ignorance. Actually, that's half the point of this post; hardly anyone has heard of Miri. Miri can be found in Borneo, the world's third biggest island, which lies off the coast of peninsular Malaysia.
Girls, I’d like to let you in on a secret. I’ve discovered a city bursting at the seams with heart-pumping, adrenaline-inducing action. It’s a city that rarely sleeps, and that never lets you say ‘no’ to a good time. It’s a city where it’s inexpensive to be fashionable, and therefore everyone always looks fabulous. It’s a city so friendly, so welcoming, and so inviting, that it’s a wonder it’s not packed full of city girls like me thriving on the non-stop lifestyle.