Travelling to see the world is not only liberating, but it’s also wonderfully therapeutic, and LISA WONG couldn’t agree more as she reveals the destinations closest to her heart
She was a familiar, comforting face on the telly, having hosted numerous shows in an array of genres – current affairs, sports, entertainment, women-related issues, etc – engaging viewers within the country as well as across the region.
Wielding an unpretentious demeanour radiating warmth from the couch of talk shows over the years (think NTV7, Astro, ESPN), Lisa Wong is indeed a master at effortlessly putting guests at complete ease, naturally making her a much sought-after emcee for corporate events and social soirees.
Apart from championing wellness and holistic health, the Kuala Lumpur lass, who now helps elevate one’s mental state and mindset as a life coach, also adores travelling the globe, exploring sights, understanding different cultures. Scoot over closer as Lisa shares with us her favourite holiday destinations and some of her most memorable travel tales.
Share with us some of your favourite holiday destinations, foreign and local.
Lisa Wong (LW): I cannot put my finger down to one in particular but these places have certainly left a mark and for me, have been memorable for various reasons.
Penang and Melaka: I love the drive into the old parts of Georgetown, looking for food that traces back tens of years, where the family recipe has won many hearts! Of course, I also love the nostalgic feel of the pre-war buildings, which is why I also enjoy my visits to Melaka!
Pulau Perhentian: We have some of the most stunning beaches in the world, dare I say!
Draguignan, Provence, Southeastern France: We stayed in a medieval village on top of a hill. I remember loving the strolls along the stony castle grounds and sipping tea in the village town squares. The place is not overflowing with tourists, so you can have many private moments of taking it easy and really enjoying the surroundings.
Provence is beautiful for its picturesque vineyards, lovely wine and olive groves. Not too far away is the French Riviera, where we hired a car and drove along the gorgeous Mediterranean coast, and stopped at St Tropez, Nice and Monaco, all in the same day! The view was simply amazing!
Hokkaido, Japan: I had the loveliest cantaloupe, and a wonderful ‘onsen’ experience! I also found the Japanese hospitality to be genuine … I was touched by their kindness.
Kashmir, India: One of the most beautiful places on earth! Sadly, it’s affected by civil unrest.
Do you have a favourite destination that you never get tired of visiting, even if you have been there numerous times before?
LW: I love Pulau Perhentian, I don’t believe I’ll ever get tired of it. I love most beaches in Malaysia, including Port Dickson, where I do visit this particular resort often, and have found it’s a great weekend vacation spot.
What are the top 3 destinations on your ‘Bucket List’?
LW: The Northern Lights, a safari in Tanzania and Croatia.
What do you love most about travelling? And what do you hate the most?
LW: I love immersing myself in the local culture. I also love just sitting and taking in the sights and sounds of the place. And what do I hate? Touts fleecing you and dishonest traders.
What’s the first thing on your itinerary when you visit a brand new destination?
LW: Get out to walk around and get a feel of the place. I take my time to enjoy.
What are some of the travel essentials that you must have with you during your travels?
LW: Apart from my travel documents and cash, I’ve got to have my phone, drinking water (to always hydrate), my supplements, hand sanitizer. And my sunnies!
Share with us at least ONE of your travel quirks.
LW: I always touch the sides of handle-bars or if possible avoid touching them for fear of catching something.
Holidays are often peppered with funny/interesting/embarrassing/memorable episodes. Share with us ONE such memory – something you still talk about to this day with a glint in your eye.
LW: We were in Dalhousie, a scenic hill station in the north of India. Ninety percent of our experience there had been wonderful.
What was funny was this one experience. The local pamphlet sold us on visiting this place where five rivers meet and it was rated a popular picnic site. We arrived only to be disappointed when we found this multiple river meeting point was under a main road, with pipes jutting out and the place was littered with rubbish.
When we hiked up, we were surprised to find a makeshift type restaurant adorned with Rastafarian décor. We found it all ironic!
At least the mint tea we had wasn’t bad. Haha!
Share with us some of your most memorable culinary experiences.
LW: Locally, I’ve had some of the most delicious Fried Kuey Teow and Nasi Kandar in Penang, the best stuffed tofu and local ‘kopi’ in Bentong, and divine Nyonya cuisine in Melaka. As for abroad, well, I have been warned of the ‘Delhi belly’ but due to filming needs for a travelogue, I had some street food from the ‘chaat’ stalls in Delhi. Thank goodness, they went down well.
I enjoyed the best ‘udon’ I ever had from a small restaurant in Hokkaido, hand-made by the chef in superb tasting broth. Simple but delicious!
What’s your impression of our airports (ie KLIA or klia2)?
LW: I love KLIA! It’s spacious. I also like how the glass walls bring in so much light and view. I do like klia2 for the many choices of restaurants.
What services and facilities do you find most appealing at KLIA or klia2?
LW: I like the fact that the washrooms are clean in both airports. I also find the drinking water facility thoughtful.
How do you keep yourself occupied on long layovers?
LW: I download books and music on my phone to help with long layovers. They are life-savers!
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