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

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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

I’m So Happy Cause Today

I guess it’s back to square one where I leave this space empty until I felt a nostalgic tug at my heart strings (yes, it’s that emotional on my end) to come back and use this space. Like I did today. No more tugs, but outright feeling of guilt for not being consistent.

I keep making promises to myself, to keep updating this platform but more often than not life gets in the way. I wouldn’t have it any other way to be honest. It’s a pretty great thing to live it to your highest potential. Like today, I watched some chick flicks and spent the whole day lazing. Life really did get in the way.

I’m a self confessed workaholic. I’m constantly updating, creating, uploading, finishing, photographing, everything and anything. A viral fever got the best of me, and it was for the best. I was burning myself out; feeding myself with more negative energy than I’ve consumed in awhile.

It was a great change when I slept through days of worries, of doubts, of anger & waking up to love, to smiles, to someone taking care of me. When I thought I was about to crash, it was nice having a strong person to fall back on. For this wonderful person, I will forever count my blessings. Not just luck – Rabbit foot, birthday candles, shooting stars, four leaved clover. All of it.

I’ve also been yearning for an adventure and failed to realise that I’m currently on one that’s about to change my life for good.

I’ve got this.
Harmini Asokumar

2016, Here I Come.

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As I sit back with a cup of green tea *yum* and reflect on how the year has been, I’m overcome with a sense of gratitude for all the wonderful things the Universe sent my way. I couldn’t have asked for more even if I wanted to.

Every year, I take the end of December to write down my thoughts, plan my next move and see how much I’ve grown. These  past two years have made such a difference in how I see myself and the people around me, I do know for a fact the following year will be the same.

While some may roll their eyes at the very notion of me writing a list of resolutions; it’s not a magical list that will work if you don’t. Here’s me knowing I have a goal to reach and a purpose in life. I can’t wait for 2016 to let me explore all my options and experience new adventures.

2015 was the year I grew completely sure of myself.  The year I fell in love with all over again Deeper Than Fashion and wanted so much more from it, so I took the plunge and worked my ass off on it full time. The year I also fell in love with sarees and more of my culture. The year I learnt so much about taking care of myself and putting my needs as a priority. The year my beautiful niece was born and it was evident that unconditional love worked like magic. The year I learnt that happiness is within my own grasp.

The usual rollercoaster of friendships is something that happens without fail but here’s the catch; some people who walked out, walked back in completely changed and at peace with themselves, which made it so much easier for everything to fall into place. There’s always room for people who bring in good energy.

Starting my 2016 with my 100 days of happy project; where I write about one thing every day that made me happy. Something I can be thankful for. Something I know will make all the difference. I’m pretty sure I’ll find more than one thing I’m happy about on a daily basis.

Here’s to a beautiful year ahead, beautiful people. Looking forward to having you in it, filled with all the positivity and good energy you bring 🙂

Hey 2016, bring it!;
Harmini Asokumar

LOTD: Shiny Disco Ball Of Happy

Today I had a shoot with Tongue In Chic on what I’d wear for New Years Eve & why I picked my outfit. I won’t spoil the fun of why (because they’ll be releasing it soon!) but I will share the look here just because;

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  • Flawless skin: MAC foundation & pro conceal and correct palette in Medium Deep
  • Lips: MAC matte lipstick in Taupe + L.A Girl matte pigment gloss in Dreamy
  • Eyeshadow: Makeup Revolution -Makeup Geek Palette in Silver  + MAC Pigment in Blue Noir
  • Eyeliner: Makeup Forever Ink Liner in Black
  • Eyebrows: NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Black/Gray
  • Lashes: MAC Zoom Waterfast Lash + Maybelline Lash Sensational

As for my outfit of the day; 12316065_10153315527322058_7557410140053133070_nSequin tube top: Times Square at RM5 (Bargain ftw!)
High waisted pants: Cotton On
Heels: Vincci
Accessories: Deeper Than Fashion

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary Trip

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Being a huge ele-fan, I’ve always wanted to be up and close to a real life elephant but my conscience wouldn’t allow me to see those captured and mistreated. So when I stumbled across Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary (thanks to my friends!), I was thrilled to bits!

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is an elephant conservation centre that helps rescue, raise and give shelter to orphaned elephants or the ones that need to be re-homed. Located in Pahang, its a 2 hour journey from Kuala Lumpur.

Things you’ll need to prepare for this trip:
– Wear shorts, casual top and flip-flops (avoid white)
– Bring an extra set of change
– Towel
– Plastic bag for the wet clothes
– Soap & shampoo for a quick shower
– Cash for the activities and food for the elephants (and you!)
– Snacks and music for the long drive

The place is secluded and deep in, so Waze proved itself to be incredibly helpful! There’s handful of activities (click on the picture below to enlarge and read!) starting from 7.45am onwards. 12105966_10153224259167058_9105045008854203208_nTo go visit there aren’t any charges, but you’ll need to pay for the activities which I feel is very reasonable. Besides, how else can you get up close and personal with elephants without causing them any harm? We opted for the elephant shower package – where you get to bath a baby elephant and have a guide take you on a tour! RM75 for two people.

We got there around 12.30pm and had lunch at the place itself. The food was decent (which I was pleasantly surprised about!). At around 1pm there was a video presentation on how the rescue and relocate the elephants, which was a real eye opener and definitely worth watching.

Once done, I was assigned to my guide. There’s four to a group (depending on the crowd), so we were lucky that it was a slow day at the sanctuary which means more one on one time with the elephants.

We were given a brief introduction of the place, what they do and then introduced to the elephants. There was a small stall set up to purchase food to feed them with an option of sugarcane or bananas; IMG_230712144784_10153224259252058_2496280108929033535_nThere were many elephants from different age groups. It was really fascinating to see how they play and react to people, how they reach out and take the food.

I was most fascinated by the oldest one there, Raja;

IMG_2316He was probably the least paid attention to, but my favourite with his gentle demeanour. Grabbing everything fed to him without skipping a beat and shoving it in his mouth, and also being cheeky with the guides.

The other two were the youngest there. As I attempted to selfie with them, the guide warned me against it as these little fellas have a tendency to be playful and pull at everything within their reach. Since I love my hair, I decided against it.
IMG_2323Moving along we were escorted to where the elephant show are. I was pretty put off by the idea but was comforted as soon as the guide explained that these elephants don’t do shows like play tricks, kick balls and stuff but have been trained to assist with rescues of other elephants. IMG_2324You could see the mutual respect that the mahout (the person who trains and works with the elephants) share with the gentle giant. These few were a different batch of elephants from the ones we fed, so there was a feeding session for them too; IMG_233612105811_10153224259732058_1882049452012207433_nIMG_2324IMG_2337Then it was time to prepare to watch them shower! We took a short walk to the area, while walking through the elephant play area ;
IMG_2322It’s a wide green area filled with fruit trees. Apparently the elephants roam free for to enjoy this area when there aren’t any guests. Besides this area, was the river the elephants bath in ;
IMG_2341The river was clean! I was so relieved that the water was clear and you could actually see through. It was fairly clean and I say fairly because the elephants tend to poop in it. However because its flowing water, it wasn’t something we needed to worry about.

Once the guides showered that batch of elephants, they brought in baby elephants to shower. In groups of four, we all took turns to go in and bath them.

The guides splashed us with water (the cold, cold water!) to get us used to it (or probably for their own personal amusement of watching us squeal!). We were instructed to grab the sand from the bottom and give the elephant a scrub ; 12109301_10153225733317058_5541377362800224757_nOnce done we splashed some more and took some pictures before the next group took over. All in all we were in the river for about 10 minutes or so. The picture taking session had the guides in it to, so it took some major cropping skills to get an image like the one below;  That was it – we got out and went to shower before heading back home. There’s a deer park nearby that we didn’t get a chance to visit, but heard such great things about. Until my next time then!

Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I’d definitely do it again. The elephants are gorgeous and healthy, the place is clean and well kept, the guides were friendly and helpful – perfect for every elephant lover!

Fallen in ele-love,
Harmini Asokumar

Rainbow Resurrection

As life gets the best of me because I’m making the best of it, I’m neglected this space and I apologise; running my own empire at my own terms has proven to be a bigger challenge than I thought it would be and the perfectionist in me won’t rest until I’m where I want to be. Where that is, I’m not even quite sure yet, all I know is I’ll get there and when I do I’ll know it.

With so many blessings headed my way, there’s been some downfalls which lead to some dancing in the rain awaiting the rainbow to appear. You know I love my rainbows 🙂

Signing in to send some love, light & good vibes your way. I’ll make it a personal goal to update as much as possible; there’s a pending list of 50+ topics I need to write about. I’ll get to it & hopefully you’ll love it.

Guess who’s back , back again,
Harmini Asokumar (‘s back tell a friend)

Vasa Black – Sudio Sweden Headphones Review

I can’t think of a single person who’d say that they don’t love music. It’s something that is embedded and bred without having to learn it. I’ll be the first to admit that I happen to be tone deaf (but in my head sound like Beyonce) but it doesn’t really matter because of how it makes you feel. I’m all about the good feeling!

Always on the go means my music is too! The thing is, I’ve invested in over 6 earphones, all of which have failed me. Then I found Sudio.

Who knew you could fall in love with a pair of earphones? I know I did! *insert smiley with heart eyes here*Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 1.10.36 AM

This sleek and sexy design of the Vasa black with its gorgeous champagne gold detailing really caught my eye & to be honest, looks better in real than in the pictures.

Not only does it look oh-so good, the sound quality is fantastic. Perfect for when I’m out and wanting to listen to music or take a break and watch movies whilst working. I love that it’s compatible with my Apple products too!

But here’s the good news for you (yes you reading this!)- Use the discount code: “deeperthanfashion“, and enjoy 15% off through the Sudio website till the end of November! Also, it’s free shipping to Malaysia! 🙂

You can thank me later 😉