Travel: Langkawi

Langkawi, also known as the Jewel of Kedah, is probably one of the most frequently visited islands by KLites. It’s fairly near, there’s lots to see and do, and most importantly, it’s duty free (I can almost see my alcohol-friendly friends in the background nodding in approval) 😉

Nothing provides me a pick me up like the beach does, so Langkawi was a perfect place for me to escape to, to recharge and get my thoughts back on track. If you’re planning on heading to Langkawi to recharge and spend some quality time with yourself, like I did, here’s some things you absolutely need to do.

I went there in December but was stuck in my room the entire time due to rainy weather, but I had to revisit Pia’s the Padi, It’s located fairly near the airport and is definitely worth trying. Their menu consists of Malaysian fusion food but their Beef Rendang & Butter Chicken is out of this world and comes highly recommended.. Make room for dessert as well, the mango kulfi is a real treat!

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Besides the food being great and the customer service being on point, I love that the view is of the paddy fields. The food is served fresh and takes a while to prepare so it gives you ample time to walk around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. 

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A friend recommended Sunset Beach Resort for me to stay at, and I’ll forever be thankful to this human being! It’s located in the busy area of Cenang but has a feel of its own. Carefully designed with tropical plants, water features, and stone statues, it immediately sets you up for a peaceful holiday mode. 

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The rooms are basic, clean and well kept – definitely worth the price you pay. But why would you be in the room if the private beach is a 3 minutes walk away & looks like this? 

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I had the entire beach to myself! Best. feeling. ever. I spent my entire first day in Langkawi just being at the beach. There’s nothing quite like self reflection with the salt water cleansing you, the salty breeze kissing your skin, the soft sand beneath your feet and the sound of crashing waves against the shore.

I also have a habit of collecting shells when I walk on the beach. It never fails to amaze me, the kind of mermaid treasures you find. 

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The busy streets of Cenang is a 5 minute walk from where I stayed, Red Tomato (where I had breakfast because yum!)  was right across the road and the duty free zone was about 7 minutes away. Tons of food place, souvenir and beach clothes shops around. 

Say hello to my RM30 dress & random cat I tried to steal; 
35724597_10155780050867058_2559138108494839808_n35804800_10155780058412058_292849574823854080_n35628380_10155780051007058_4067424060416458752_nWith so many places to pick from to eat at, Palm View Restaurant was a random decision & thankfully a great one! The special fried king prawns, Kam Heong squid and three flavoured fish was ace. 

35741642_10155780290772058_2558595031355097088_nOn day two, I went to visit some friends (40 minutes away from where I stayed) at The Andaman Langkawi, a luxury resort that’s surrounded by the rainforest. It was so incredibly gorgeous, I can’t even. 

The water was cleaner (obviously) from where I was staying and the view was stunning but what truly made the entire visit was seeing a sea otter run from the shore into the water to catch fish. I may or may not have ran towards it screaming “Sea dog!” like a crazy person. 

35773158_10155780050217058_8573861892370464768_n35687102_10155780051082058_3617796338063769600_n35804800_10155780058412058_292849574823854080_nAfter watching the sunset and basking in all it’s beauty, we headed out to eat at this place the resort staff had recommended called Kapal Layar Restaurant. Everything was yum, but what stood out was their house special white pepper crab. If you end up going, ask for extra sauce! (one of my biggest regrets is not having extra sauce!) 

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it again;

35522442_10155780058352058_1441022344544911360_nI didn’t do the regular touristy stuff this round but then again, I went purely to relax and get my head (& heart) back on track. 

35628246_10155780051107058_3310234537451061248_nLangkawi, you’ve been a lifesaver. I can’t wait to go back again. 

PS: If you haven’t signed up to Booking.com yet, use my referral to get 10% back from your first stay ; HERE! 

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KL Staycay – 188 Private Suites

Running my own businesses and juggling a bunch of freelance work basically means I don’t get to escape for holidays as much as I’d like to. Due to this reason, I’ve made a pact with myself to make an effort to take days off and indulge in staycays in KL city. & since I got so many inquiries on this one on my Instagram, here are the details of my first KL staycay of the year 🙂

188 Private Suites is nestled in the heart of KL and provides all the features anyone travelling in the city needs. The unit was super spacious which was great and provided me & the homegirl ample room to dance around;

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There’s something about hotel beds and their gorgeous white sheets (that my makeup and cat would destroy in minutes) that really makes it feel like luxury. Top it off with fluffy, cuddle worthy pillows and I’m set for some perfect relaxed slumber.
Let’s also take a second and appreciate the minimalistic decor that was so chic and tastefully done using only monochromatic greyscale tones that give it a modern yet classic aesthetic as a whole. 28584318_10155514880242058_1377405282_oScreen Shot 2018-03-06 at 6.26.40 PM.png
Here’s my favourite part about any hotel/vacay room – the bathroom. It’s almost a sin to not have a bathtub. There’s nothing like soaking in a bubble filled bath, while letting the warm water (or hot in my case) wash away the stress of the day, whilst getting lost in your own thoughts.
28641381_10155514879877058_1971442291_o    28640694_10155514880267058_2094330238_oThe basic amenities are provided but that doesn’t include a toothbrush and toothpaste so keep in mind that you should bring those along. Oh, and bubble bath soap because necessary, of course 🙂

 

There’s a walk in wardrobe that almost gave me Sarah Jessica Parker vibes (minus actually having designer or couture clothes to fill it & I’d like my very own Mr.Big too please. Kthxbye ). Did I mention the huge vanity that I absolutely need at home;28583920_10155514880137058_396792899_o

No holiday vibe is complete without a water feature of some sort, and this swimming pool doesn’t disappoint. The (self proclaimed) mermaid approved pool has these beautiful dark chrome blue tiles that makes for Instagram-worthy picture taking.
28641096_10155514879972058_825352635_o26219799_10155509542982058_6491551852786169525_n28580364_10155514879962058_1368951633_o28579712_10155514879892058_1450132731_oThe icing on top of this KL staycay is this amazing view from the sky-deck that makes me fall in love with the city all over again;
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If you want a break and still want to enjoy the beauty and comfort KL city has to offer, you can check this place out HERE!
& to top if off, you can get RM120 off your first trip from AirBnB if you sign up using my link HERE

2017. Thank you.

I’m happy to say that I at least have the discipline required to do a wrap up of the year when it comes to an end. I’ve neglected this space more than I should have and I have no excuses except that I’m an Instagram addict and have devoted most of my picture-taking, caption writing and ranting on that space instead. I’m sorry, WordPress, it’s not you. It’s me.

2017 like every other year had its massive ups and downs, but instead of focusing on the downs, I’m taking a walk down the yearly memory lane with the good. There’s so much of positives that I so easily look past when the negatives come to play but I’m honestly so blessed and should truly focus on that instead.

This was the year I moved out from the family home into my own rented space & I couldn’t be happier or more proud of this. I remember calling my sister and freaking out about how expensive bedsheets were. Basic things, but always being taken care of by my parents who provided me with so much I took for granted. I learnt to appreciate them so much more & vice versa. 16708482_10154405265372058_657732109491017225_n

Being in my own space also meant I could finally have a cat! & this little fur-bundle of joy is everything to me. I genuinely look forward to waking up to cuddle up with her.

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The surreal moment I met Superwoman, Lilly Singh & just being able to bask in her positivity and presence even for just a bit made me want to be better, work harder and be a better human being. Her vibes are contagious and the girl-love was oh-so real.

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Speaking of YouTube sensation, Superwoman, I started my YouTube channel as well after years (I kid you not) of procrastinating. I was even more privileged to have my first video be an interview with the amazingly talented, Sid Sriram.

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I ventured into a new business that I have always been so passionate about, makeup & thus, Dusky Rose was born. I can’t even explain how overwhelmed, nervous and ecstatic I am for all the things I’ve learnt through this progression of this brand.

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There’s so much more I am thankful for that pictures can’t do justice to. I’m thankful for a fantastic family and my newborn nephew, my Geng Unicorn who’ve always been my main pillars of strength who always have my back, to that special person who taught me that love has no gender, race and labels, to everyone who’ve made an effort to be a part of my 2017 including my online family who’ve followed me through my progress. You made my year (and life) complete.

Thank you for the continuous love and support. I couldn’t have done this without you. Here’s to a beautiful 2018. Stay blessed.

 

Love & light. Always,

Harmini Asokumar

Faux Saree Stylin’

Attended the Indian Fashion Agora event at Publika that showcased 7 designers and their collections with the theme ‘Pop India’. Rushed over from a meeting which I didnt want to wear a traditional Indian costume for, so I decided to wear my standard ‘faux saree’ style outfit.

I’m sharing this only because it’s super easy and convenient for those who want to create a contemporary Indian look, without much fuss.

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A turtle neck black sleeveless top, paired with jeans and gladiator sandals for my meeting. Switched it up for the fashion show by using a depot to wrap around from hip, one turn and shawl over shoulder for pallu effect.

It really is that easy;

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Added on some chunky gold jewellery. I love the classic kaasu-malai (long coin necklace) and plain gold bangles on one hand. To give it more of a wow factor, the anklets were added on.

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Simple, fuss free and easy to transform. Absolutely love easy styles like this and hope this inspired you 🙂

Contemporary stylin’
Harmini Asokumar

SetiaMurni AirBnB

With my 7th anniversary of running Deeper Than Fashion coming up, I decided to throw a pool party with a group of close friends a month early because October was going to be intense. Lucky me, I have a group of friends who do such intensive research and managed to find this gorgeous AirBnB in Bukit Damansara that was everything I wanted and more.

It’s such a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city without actually having to leave the comfort of knowing that everything is right around the corner (literally a stone throw away from restaurants, convenience store and pubs). Hidden, tranquil and with lots of greenery, it truly felt like I was at a resort.

& here’s how perfect it was; 22199296_10155118273172058_159843719_o.jpg

Imagine that being the view you woke up to every morning. It’s even more calming thanks to the sounds of water flowing because of the side water features. Bliss!

The room was a spacious, has a cozy king sized bed and an attached bathroom with all the basic necessitates you’ll need for a stay away from home. 22197883_10155118273227058_1407098165_o.jpg

The hosts were friendly, easy to communicate with and so very accommodating. They made the entire process smooth which I appreciate because customer service was on point throughout.

They even set up a table for me along with chairs so that I could entertain my guests comfortably. I went for a summer pool party theme that required almost no decorations thanks to the atmosphere and feel of the place. 22219459_10155118273142058_212738153_o.jpg22198945_10155118273597058_102714856_o22197621_10155118273442058_1932053708_o

Special thank you to PooLampung for the floats & Kreme and Crumbs for the super yummy, cute cupcakes that look like watermelons and pineapples. It really made the whole thing feel festive.

Being the self proclaimed mermaid I am, my favourite part of it all was the private swimming pool. Pictures truly can’t do this place enough justice, but I’ll try all the same;

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If you want a break from it all without having to fuss about the travel out of KL, this place is highly recommended. You can check it out HERE

& to top if off, you can get RM105 off your first trip from AirBnB if you sign up using my link HERE.

You can thank me later 😉

Malaysian Independent Live Fusion Festival

If you haven’t heard of the Malaysian Independent Live Fusion Festival, its about time you do! Its basically a music festival with some really amazing local and international Indian acts. If you love untainted mash up of carnatic, fusion as well as more modern vibes, then MILFF is definitely a must for you. Get ready for a night of pure musical bliss!

Last year’s line up was really good but they’ve taken it up a notch this year (in my opinion) featuring rising swoon worthy star Sid Sriram, unswerving veteran Vijay Prakash, the always-out-to-surprise-you Sooraj Santosh, rocking melancholic Agam and idealistic Aalaap Raju, this year’s festival promises six hours of wholesome entertainment.

It’s no surprise who I can’t wait to watch! ; KK9A1160

The event will be help at StarXpo Centre in KWC Fashion Mall, MILFF (as the festival has come to be known as) on the 9th of September at 5.30pm onwards. It’ll definitely be a night of amazing music, good vibes and goosebumps all around.

For details, visit www.mojoprojects.asia or get your tickets at www.airasiaredtix.com. Alternatively, you can contact this number 016-3271557.20814928_10154979763367058_45266096_n

Travel: Penang

There’s something about Penang and it’s charm that keeps you going back for more. The classic heritage and architecture is in tact yet there’s a modern touch to it to keep up with the times. I genuinely love Penang for it’s amazing food and even more amazing art.

I stayed at Spices Hotel for three days and two night, and let me just say, it was such a fantastic pick. It was secluded enough from the hustle and bustle but close enough to be able to walk down to Armenian Street. There’s a temple and a mosque nearby which means you can hear the sounds of the prayers but then again, it’s part of the Malaysian charm to embrace all cultures.

The room was clean and furnished with the basics needed. The receptionist was helpful when we asked for recommendations, which is great because I appreciate good customer service.

The reception area (as shown below) provided some nice photo ops;

1100The downer though was the free breakfast but hey, you’re in Penang! Good food is so easily accessible 🙂

Speaking of good food, let’s start off with the things I ate that are worth mentioning before I move on to things to do.

I stumbled upon this little cafe while mural hunting called The Book and the sandwich I had there was ah-may-zing! I had the crispy chicken sandwich and the raspberry mint cooler (also super yummy!). Worth checking out if you like sandwiches or want a break from hawker style food.

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What’s a trip to Penang without indulging in some local food, right? Teochew Chendul is one the most famous cendol stalls in Penang and definitely worth the queue. Absolutely loved the chendol and kuey teow.

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I saved the best for last. ChinaHouse is my favourite place in Penang thus far. The place itself is such a cool concept of a traditional compound of 3 heritage buildings, linked by an open air courtyard that has been converted into 14 existing spaces with shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries and theatre. There’s also a live band every night which makes it great for a chilled night out and some drinks.

It gets pretty packed so if you’re going in a big group, call and make reservations. The display of cakes was really a feast to the eyes and the glutton in me wanted to take a bite of everything!

The tiramisu is highly recommended and this coming from someone who isn’t even a fan of tiramisu to begin with. I can’t even begin to explain how delicious it was. 91 38The whole place is also Instagram worthy. I went there twice so here’s the different of the outdoor area during day and night;

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Most of time spent in Penang was to check out the street art which is truly a famous tourist attraction. There really is some form of art in every corner, you just need to look for it 🙂 1516682327262034

For those who are into local arts and crafts, a visit to the Hin Bus Depot during their bazaar days is definitely worth it. Once an abandoned bus depot, Hin has evolved into an unlikely art space that also showcases work from various artists.

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There’s definitely so much more to Penang and I’ll probably do more touristy things when I go the next time. This time called for some R&R, which was very well achieved.

Any suggestions on what else is worth checking out? Let me know and I’ll make a list for my next trip 🙂

Rested and relaxed;
Harmini Asokumar

Travel: Singapore

There’s always a good reason to visit Singapore and Coldplay was one of them. Watching them live was absolutely phenomenal and by far the best concert I’ve been to so far. I’d call it magic! The band really did a stellar job with the performance, from the quality of sound, the visuals and effects, to engaging the crowd. Everything was just right.

The organiser did such a great job too, but honestly, that was expected from Singapore either way. Completely mind blown by the whole experience!
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A trip to Universal Studios is a must if you like amusement parks and rollercoasters. I’m not big on rollercoasters because I legit don’t have the stomach for it. I’ve been there once prior to this trip, so I pretty much knew what to expect. But what I wasn’t expecting was the rain 😦

My favourite part of Universal is how the whole thing is built and walking from one set to another makes you feel like your travelling to different places. If you want to grab a bite, the street food vendors that sell the roasted turkey leg (so juicy and yummers!) and the soft serve ice cream with cookies are ace.

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If you’re a fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S the sitcom (then we can be friends!), there’s the Central Perk cafe that looks exactly like it is in the show. From the setup of the living room, to the coffee place itself and so much more, it was a great way down memory lane for any fan. Here’s some picture proof of just how amazing it is!;

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The night life in Singapore is pretty nice. A walk around Clarke Quay is a must to crowd watch, have some food and drinks, or even try some of the activities they have. 8788

My favourite thing about the whole trip was the Art & Science Museum. Having heard so much about it, my expectations were really high, and it truly did not disappoint in a any way. Check out beforehand what exhibitions are going on so you have a rough idea if you’d be interested. It was something truly unique, especially the interactive installations which also provided tons of photo opportunities.

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Garden by The Bay is a pretty cool attraction to check out if you want to do the usually touristy things.

110117122124125In all honesty though, there’s always so much to do and see in Singapore. They have broadways and concerts, museums and art exhibitions, its all a matter of when you happen to go.

ArtScience Museum tops my list for must visit in Singapore. If there’s any places I should check out, do ket me know and I’ll be sure to add it to my list for my next trip.

A Head Full Of Dreams;
Harmini Asokumar

Hey 2016, Thanks For The Lessons

I started the year on the happiest note, ready to take on the world and life by storm, ready to accept what life would bring me. Or so I thought until I actually had to handle what life threw my way. I really wish it was lemons.

This year I’ve managed to disappoint myself on numerous occasions, to not be the best version of myself I promised myself to be, and I allowed myself to go through a major downward spiral of blame, guilt, anger and days of being unable to get out of bed.

As much as I hate to admit it, I let it get the best of me.

2016 was also a year I learnt that no matter how much you think you have your life planned out, things change, people change and there’s always three sides to every story. 

I’m thankful for the beautiful people I have around me, my Geng Unicorn who’ve always without a doubt have my back and love me unconditionally through my flaws, my fam bam and especially my niece who still refuses to say Chitti even though she can.

Here’s what happens when you hit rock bottom, you can only pick yourself up and work on being the best version of you that you want to be. 2017, I’m ready to take you on; fall in love with life, try new things, find a sense of purpose and find pieces of myself.

Sending love and light to everyone for the year to come.

Rainbow Waterfalls & Time Capsule Retreat, Sungai Lembing

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With so much going on and an endless hustle, I decided to take a trip down to Sungai Lembing, Pahang for a little rejuvenation and relaxation whilst enjoying nature. Since the Time Capsule retreat was much raved about online, that was the pick for accommodation. It’s a 3 hour drive from Petaling Jaya.

IMG_9825Time Capsule Retreat: Booking the place was fairly easy as the whole process was done via Whatsapp. Thanks to Waze, the place was easy to find as well. Opted for the most expensive room; Parallel Discovery as it was the only one that didn’t have a shared bathroom, and was equipped with a queen sized bed, a sofa bed, fridge, TV, wifi (because I still had to work), a deck and a jacuzzi. Visually, especially in pictures, it looked really cool; IMG_9826IMG_9827IMG_9828To be honest, it was disappointing. Yes, I was aware that it was glamping and wouldn’t be some 5 star hotel, but it wasn’t worth the price I paid. The room is fairly tiny with an even smaller bathroom. The downer was definitely the toilet itself not having enough leg room, so if you happen to be tall, good luck figuring out how you’ll sit. The things that were not seen photographed was how small the room actually was, the stained curtains that cover the glass windows & how gross the jacuzzi looked when we first saw it or how insects (including worms) fell in mid jacuzzi session as it was located directly under a tree.

To top it off, there’s no signage saying that there are guests staying or its a restricted area, I actually had a group of girls come peep into the glass (yes, into the room) as I was napping.  My expectations were high due to all the websites stating its a must stay at place but I guess the hype is purely for picture purposes. If you don’t mind paying for the experience, go for it!

Sungai Lembing town: Small town with majority Chinese population. I loved how nice people were and how peaceful and safe it felt too. Food places are fairly limited (probably because it was a weekday) but I had the best bak kut teh at Sg Lembing Mining restaurant. Totally recommend it for non halal food. The meat was soft and tender, the oil rice was fragrant and tasty. So much yum!IMG_9830IMG_9839IMG_9832Rainbow Waterfalls: The highlight of my entire trip and definitely something I highly recommend. The day started early, as we were told to gather at the front area of where we stayed at 5.30am. The pick up was only at around 6am so we wasted what could have been an extra half hour of sleep (& I really like my sleep!). This tour costs Rm50 per head, and we were picked up in a four wheel drive; IMG_9833 It fits about 14 people, so lucky for me, I was  asked to follow another tour group that only had 6 people (more space to sit and actually be comfortable). First off, a pit stop for breakfast at a food court area to get energised for the hike ahead. Once breakfast was done, it was about an hour drive to the waterfall itself. The road was a bumpy one so I had to hold on tight; IMG_9835Once you reach the place, you’ll be asked to change into the extra rubber Crocs like slippers the guides have or alternatively wear your own slippers. Sport shoes are not advised as you’ll need to walk across in a river. There’ll also be a rope you can hold onto as you cross. Take tiny steps as the rocks in the water can be really slippery.  IMG_9838IMG_9816

Don’t believe the guide when he says your Havaiiana flip flops are good to go. They’re so used to it they can practically run up with those old school Bata slippers. Be prepared with actual good sturdy slippers that have good grip.

It’s an easy hike and coming from me, you should believe it since I hardly do any sort of exercise to begin with. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to hike to the top, it’s partly jungle and later on rocks as you hike up towards the waterfall itself. The view even halfway through as you reach the rocky area, is so pretty;
IMG_9817Start praying the the weather gods are in your favour as you hike up as some people have actually made it to the top without being lucky enough to see the rainbow. I was one of those lucky people who actually got to see it; IMG_9694IMG_9847Its based on how the water flows down from the top and how the light hits, so from time to time the rainbow changes its spot. Sometimes you get half a rainbow, a faded one, double rainbow, a full one. I managed to experience quite a few types.

The water was really clean, super cold (which you get used to after prancing around in it) and shallow enough for you to stand and walk around. IMG_9716There are also huge slabs of rocks which work great as a place to sit back, relax and enjoy the magical view. Or in my case, get my mermaid game on; IMG_9821The view from the rocks to the top, is equally magical; IMG_9848IMG_9846At this area we were all served maggie in a cup & hot milo to help us get warm again. As everyone helped themselves, I spent most of the time soaking in all the beauty and taking the opportunity for some major photo ops; IMG_9841
All in all, the hike to Rainbow Waterfall was definitely an experience and something I’d do all over again in a heartbeat. 
Seriously though, words will never do this place justice;

Chasing waterfalls,
Harmini Asokumar