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❤️ Mel's Food & Travel log

🌏 Eating my way around the world #⃣ Tag 💌 (don't DM if important) 📷 iPhone XS Max Latest Travel Guide ⬇️

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Tokyo Disneyland

Yet another item I squealed when I saw it in person at Tokyo Disneyland. On the menu, it's pretty average-sounding: A grilled chicken and scrambled eggs sandwich. The kicker? It's served inside a Chinese bun that is perfectly shaped like Mickey Mouse's gloves! You can get this sandwich at Huey, Dewey and Louie’s Good Time Cafe in Toontown. The food in Tokyo Disneyland kicks major ass in SO many ways – The reasonable price, the delicious taste, and the super creative concept! I really appreciate the folks at Tokyo Disneyland for making food such a delightful experience. I've written a blog post on how to maximize your visit to Tokyo Disneyland. See the link on my profile!

Hội An

🥖 Throwback to the one food that stood out the most while I was in Hoi An. I ate plenty of other stuff too (you can find my Hoi An food blog in the profile above ⏫). But this Banh Mi Thap Cam from Banh Mi Madam Khanh? No shame, ate it literally everyday for breakfast. It's a crime to visit Vietnam and not have any Banh Mi. Banh Mi is a Vietnamese-style sandwich with various fillings – minced meat, liver pate, and fresh vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, and pickled carrots. What's interesting about Banh Mi is that the bread is very similar to the French baguette – strong evidence of French influence on the region during the colonial period. However, unlike baguette which tends to be long, Banh Mi is noticeably shorter and fits just right in your hands. You'll hear the word "Banh" used a lot in Vietnamese food, and you might wonder why. Apparently, "Banh" is used to describe anything made from flour! The word "Banh Mi" itself in Vietnamese actually just means "bread". So, you cannot just order Banh Mi – you’d just be ordering bread. There are different types of Bahn Mi – sometimes with chicken, with vegetables, or a combination of meat and vegetables. My favorite is Bánh Mì Thập Cẩm, which is the combination bread – it's got a little bit of everything! I loved the contrasting textures on each bite. The bread that is crunchy outside yet soft inside, the juicy meat, and then the combination of fresh and pickled vegetables. #🥖 🇻🇳

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

**GIVEAWAY ALERT** 🍍 Did you know that the pineapple is the international emblem of hospitality? This is a Pineapple in front of the iconic Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. I am excited to announce a very sweet partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand with over 750 hotel members worldwide, to celebrate . Take a chance to win $500 worth of I Prefer points (or 'Pineapple Points') to spend on your next hotel break. Simply tag a friend in the comments who you’d like to bring along and follow @girleatworld and @preferredhotels. For a special bonus entry, sign-up to Preferred Hotels' I Prefer loyalty program through the link in my bio! 🔼 Contest ends on June 9 and is open worldwide. If you've been to Singapore, you'll notice the Fullerton Hotel as one of the most prominent landmarks in the waterfront, right across the street from the Merlion statue. The Fullerton was originally built in 1928, and had been used for many purposes - the General Post Office, a hospital during the World War II, and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (tax) headquarters, before finally being restored into a five-star luxury hotel in 2001. Aside of being a symbol of hospitality, Pineapples are a symbol of luck and prosperity in Singapore. A popular ritual for moving into a new home is to roll a pineapple into the house which is thought to bring in prosperity and good luck into the new home. Good luck! #🍍

Tokyo Disneyland

The cute eats of Tokyo continues! Disneyland is the most magical place on earth, but Disneyland in Tokyo? 1000x better. They have super cute food and merchandise that you can only find exclusively in Tokyo Disneyland. One example is the Green Alien mochis from Toy Story. This is seriously THE CUTEST! I squealed when I saw this in person. They are basically three mochis (rice cake) balls shaped like the little green men in Toy Story. Each mochi has different fillings – strawberry, chocolate, and custard. Such a genius concept! I've written a blog post on how to maximize your visit to Tokyo Disneyland. See the link on my profile!

Tokyo, Japan

Back in Tokyo again for the annual pilgrimage to my favorite city in the world! This time I finally got to stop by the place I've been wanting to visit. Does anyone NOT love Totoro? This is a Totoro-shaped cream puff from Shiro-hige Creampuff Factory. They come in four flavors (custard, chocolate, strawberry and green tea) but I personally think the regular custard one is the best. The shop is located just a short walk away from Shimokitazawa station, which I totally recommend to visit if you're ever in Tokyo. It's just a few station away from Shibuya but it's a totally different vibe. Very quiet and residential, perfect for a slow afternoon stroll. The creampuff costs 420 yen each. I recommend to have the creampuffs to go bc there is an extra fee for having it at the cafe (it becomes 465 yen).

Phuket Old Town ย่านเมืองเก่าภูเก็ต

I just got back from Phuket! I saw this cool-looking Mangosteen Gelato in the hashtag by @eiffelyoo and I just *had* to go find it myself! Mangosteen, the national fruit of Thailand, is often referred to as "Queen of Fruits" and prized for its sweet and sour juicy flesh. And if you ever eat the real Mangosteen fruit, be careful of the purple juice that comes out from the thick skin! It contains tannin and can permanently stain clothes. When we think of Phuket, the immediate picture that came to mind is the island with blue water and white sand beach. But I found a different side of Phuket in the old town. I didn’t expect to learn so much history, thai-chinese culture and the colorful shophouses. I've written about my Old Town Phuket experience in my blog, which you can find the link to in my profile above 👆🏼🆙🔼 More from Phuket to come soon! PS: you can find this Gelato at China Inn - along with other super cool realistically shaped fruit gelatos by @thongdeegelato

Gili Trawangan

Hi everyone!!! I'm back with a little... 4 year challenge. I managed to find the same Bakso push cart in Gili Trawangan that @singasongjess and I visited 4 years ago! I swear it wasn't planned - I was just biking down the road, spotted a bakso cart and of course I had to stop. It was only after taking the photo and comparing it with the one I took 4 years ago that I realized I was actually standing at the same spot! He was still charging the same amount per bowl. The island has changed quite a bit though. The first image was taken in 2019 and the second image is the one I took in 2015. Swipe right/left and spot the difference. What is Bakso? Ask any Indonesian about Bakso and i'm sure you would be met with excitement. It's a small bowl of yellow noodles, meatballs and fresh beansprouts in clear beef broth, served with fried shallots, chili and kecap (sweet soy sauce). Bakso is traditionally sold on the street in a small push cart (called "gerobak" in Indonesian) that would go around the neighborhood during supper time and you have to catch the bakso guy at the right time. Because of its small portion, we normally eat it as snacks for supper or midday between meals. Nowadays you can also get them at restaurants for a meal-sized bowl. We got this off a push cart in Gili for less than $2 and proceeded to eat it on the side of the street.

Around The-World

I almost didn't post my . I was put off by the result because it didn't represent my year... but "Instagram likes" was never a representation of real world. So I cheated and made my own grid! 😂 These are my favorite photos from last year, and here are my nine personal milestones, in no particular order: 1. I crossed off a MAJOR bucket list: New Zealand! We did some incredible hikes and witnessed beautiful nature. Thank you @fromneo for making it happen. 2. I made it down to Tasmania, the Southern-most state of Australia, thanks to @cheapticketssg. Did some amazing hikes there too! 3. I went back to the states after almost ten years. I visited my old stomping ground LA for some nostalgia feels with @op.118. I also visited NYC before that to hang out with @serenaslenses! 4. I went back to Paris and stuffed my face with their amazing pastries. The last time I was in Paris was in 2011... it has been awhile. Lots of thanks to @hotelsdotcom for this trip! 5. I spent a lot of time in Bali. My bf and I visited Bali in the beginning of the year. Little did we know, the island became our second home in 2018. 6. I attended a festive North Indian wedding in Rajashtan. And when I say festive, I mean FESTIVE. I learned a lot of Indian wedding culture, and most importantly lots of Paneer and chai were had. 7. I started eating less meat this year for lots of reasons but mostly environmental one. This is the biggest surprise of the year for me, but turns out eating less meat is not difficult. If anything, it has made me thoughtful about what I eat. I'm looking forward to learn vegetarian recipes in 2019! 8. I took a step back from Instagram. I posted a lot less this year. I'm still thankful you find me interesting enough to follow, but I just feel Instagram isn't the same space at it used to be. There is more to this that I elaborated more on my blog that's too long to put into this caption. 9. Instead, I started putting more thoughts into growing my travel blog! After intial uncertainty, it's finally going ok. I feel optimistic. And that's my 2018! You can see more of my story and thoughts at 😘

The Gilis - Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan

Coconut at Gili Air to close out the year. I loved how they decorated a simple drink with hibiscus and frangipani flowers! The Gili Islands are a group of 3 tiny islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – in Indonesia, near the coast of northwest Lombok Island. I've been staying at Gili Trawangan for the past four days but took a half day trip to Gili Air. The islands have been really quiet even though it's peak season, because of the devastating earthquake back in August. Every local we've met here told us they have lost family members in Lombok from that earthquake. Despite that, I think recovery is going really well. Hotels, restaurants and amenities are all open for business again. If I didn't know about it, I wouldn't have suspected the earthquake and chaotic evacuation happened only four months ago. 2018 has not been a good year for Indonesia - there had been earthquakes, fatal airplane accident, tsunami and volcano eruptions. The country is sitting on top of the ring of fire after all. Obviously, I cannot predict future disasters but I hope people will consider coming to Lombok and Gili again. We tend to view increasing tourism with negativity, but to this village, it is such a huge source of their livelihood. If you are curious about Gilis, you can find a link to my blog post in my profile above . #🥥 #🌴 #🌺

Alwar Bagh by Aamod

🇮🇳 A cup of chai while waiting for the henna on my hands to dry off. Downstairs, Mehendi (henna body art) ceremony was on full force - there was music, drums, tons of colorful decors, and people were dancing, getting mehendi designs applied to their hands, while others are sipping on a cup of chai. Chai is a spiced tea beverage originated from India. The base is usually a strong black tea mixed with various indian spices - usually cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and black peppercorn. Despite the Indian origin, the name Chai likely originated from Mandarin word for tea, which is "cha". Chai is often served in a "cutting" portion (half a cup) and in most part of North India, it's usually served in an unglazed clay cup called Bhar. These clay cups are only to be used once - I was quite surprised when I saw people throwing away their clay cups into the bin, but these cups are actually environmentally friendly. The clay would return back into soil once disposed, unlike plastic cups. Clay also has tons of health benefits compared to using plastic cups. I'm totally a fan! I was in India last week for a friend's wedding in Rajashtan which was just the most insane wedding celebration I've been a part of thus far (if you missed my stories on it, you can view the highlight on my profile!). The wedding lasted an ENTIRE weekend and consisted of multiple cultural ceremonies. I was on sensory overload and learning tons about Indian culture and food. My favorite food discoveries? Chai (of course), Paneer (in anything) and Pani Puri. They're not exactly new to me - I've had them in Singapore but they just seem to taste a thousand times better in India. Thank you Akanksha and Aditya for having us! ❤️ Definitely a memorable weekend for me.

Santa Monica Pier

🌴🎡🎢 Churros at Santa Monica Pier. Honestly I wasn't even ready for an instagram photo as evidenced by my bare nails... but this is yet another special place in my heart. As poor students in LA, @op.118 and I didn't have a car. Yeah... the struggle was real. But that didn't stop us from exploring. We would brave the public transport, take Bus 8 or 12 to 3rd street promenade and walk down to the pier. Santa Monica Pier was declared as the official end point of the legendary highway Route 66 on the highway's 83rd birthday. Nowadays you can see a road sign that marks the end of the trail at the Pacific Ocean. On my visit to LA two months ago, @op.118 and I revisited the place and sat on a bench until sunset. It was truly the most beautiful sunset I've seen in a long while. Sadly today California is fighting horrible wildfires and the sky probably doesn't look this clear for now. My thoughts are with those affected by Camp and Woolsey fire 😔

Venice Beach

🌴🍦🍼 Milk & Cereal Ice Cream while waiting for sunset at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. That moment where every little corner and palm trees were bathed in warm golden sun rays - I wouldn't have it any other way. The cereal ice cream, which I chose to top with fruity pebbles, was a great nostalgic childhood flavor to pair with this perfect moment. I used to live in LA. I went to high school in a suburban city an hour away from here, before spending time for my undergrad at @ucla. You could say this is where most of my formative years were spent. I left LA ten years ago and haven't been back since - until last month. Coming back to a place you used to know was a strange feeling. The time I spent here had a strong influence of the person I've become, but so much has changed that LA felt so foreign to me. And yet, there are little bits and pieces that stays the same - Nostalgia is such a bittersweet feeling. I may not live in LA anymore, and I may have changed as a person, but this place will forever have a special place in my heart ❤️ . How about you? What's your special nostalgic place? #🍦 #🌴

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