13 October 2015

Nominated for the Liebster Award!

Another blog award; my third!  Sincere thanks to the very lovely Jet Set Brunette, Ms Courtney Jones for taking the time to visit "Between Lattes" and nominating me for the Liebster Award.  For the unenlightened, the Liebster Award is a blog award that's passed around the blogging community to acknowledge and support the work of other like-minded bloggers, especially the newer ones.


1.  Post your award to your blog.
2.  Answer the questions you were given by the blogger who nominated you.
3.  Nominate a small group of other bloggers whom you deem are worthy of the award.
4.  Create 11 questions for your nominees.
5.  Thank the blogger who nominated you and link their blog.


Q1.  How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

I actually started blogging out of curiosity, i.e. to see what this fad called blogging was all about.  I published my first post on December 4, 2011 and never looked back since.

Q2.  What's your favourite travel app or gadget and what's so great about it?

I'm from Malaysia and, because I live in this part of the world, it has to be AirAsia's mobile app.  It works great, the large fonts help (I'm presbyopic, you see) and there are no hidden costs.
  It's never been easier to book a flight!

Q3.  Hotels, resorts, hostels or tents?

I'm a simple guy and have been a life member of Hostelling International since 2000.  So, yeah, definitely hostels.  They're clean, safe and great value-for-money.

Q4.  What was one of your most surreal or unusual experience?

Finally realising my lifelong dream of watching my beloved Liverpool FC play at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England back in the spring of 2010.  That has to be the most surreal.  I did it a second time in April this year.

Q5.  What are your travel plans for the rest of the year?

With the Malaysian Ringgit at these levels?  I'm staying put at least until the end of the year.

Q6.  How much time per week do you generally spend on your blog?

I spend 14 hours a day, 6 days a week running my coffee shop.  Hence, I only get to blog between lattes.  Literally.  But I'd say an hour - two max - a day.

Q7.  Which country/city/location has positively surprised you?

Vietnam; but that's only because, prior to my first visit to Hanoi in 2012, I was foolishly stereotypical about it being a Third World communist country and all.  I found Vietnam to be modern, vibrant and economically-thriving with extremely open-minded and warm people who, despite the modernisation going on around them, are staunchly-proud of their rich cultural heritage.  I made a return visit last year.

Q8.  Where is your hometown and how often are you able to get back to it?

Sandakan on the East Coast of Malaysian Borneo.  I live here.  By the way, here's a map.

Q9.  Who are a few bloggers you're following right now?

See my Liebster Award nominees below.

Q10.  If you could revisit one place, where would you go?

Tough one, but I'd say Argentina.  Or more specifically, northern Patagonia.  It's a lovely, lovely place with stunning scenery, great treks, friendly people and good food.  No llores por mi, Argentina...

Q11.  What is one of the best travel lessons you've learnt so far?

When travelling to a foreign country where the local currency is neither US Dollars nor that of your own country, it doesn't pay to charge your payments to your debit/credit card(s).  This is because, when billing you, all card issuers will first convert the sum (say, Euro) to US Dollars before finally converting the sum to your own currency.  You'll incur exchange losses twice over and, in the process, pay anything between 6% and 10% more.  Hence, I tend to exchange my notes prior to departure and leave the swiping for contingency purposes only.


For this purpose, I have selected a few blogs which I personally like as well as some which I feel carry content worth sharing.  You'll notice that most of these are Malaysian blogs; I have nominated as such to recognise the work of some of my very talented compatriots.  So if you're nominated and have absolutely NO idea who I am, cool; you know you're doing something right with your blog.  Here they are:

1.  Calista Leah Liew of "Travelling On A Dream!" (Malaysia).  
Calista's a fun, bubbly girl who blogs about all sorts - from her travel experiences to restaurant reviews to fashion sense to tips on how to throw awesome house parties.  Loves to shop and change her hair colour.... and write about them!  Comes across as a wee bit looney but, honestly, I think Calista rocks!

2.  Hazel Ureta of "Stay Bookish" (Philippines).  Hazel hails from Manila and is an incurable bookworm.  Prolific and eloquent, she mainly writes book reviews and is well-known in her home country in that regard - not bad for a 20 year-old.  Too young to be eccentric, Hazel has an uncommon penchant for vintage cameras and cloud-gazing.  By a mile, my favourite Filipino blogger.

3.  Lee Mei Tzeu of "Online Journal Of A Bornean Lefty" (Malaysia).  Mei Tzeu is a food and travel blogger and writes a lot about the local cuisines found in her hometown of Kota Kinabalu.  Be it coffee, local dim sum or noodles to die for, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive resource than Mei Tzeu's blog.

4.  Purujeet Parida of "SFSCIENT" (India).  Like me, sci-fi geek Puru was one of the 16 winners of the Big Blog Exchange 2014 (he got Canada; I got Argentina).  With uncommon eloquence and excellent penmanship, he cleverly writes short stories, travel adventures and intelligent musings.  Put all these together and what you get is a package that's a joy to read.

5.  Cheryl Lam of "Lam Lam's Gourmet Journey" (Malaysia).  Cheryl writes very good food and restaurant reviews, especially those found in her hometown of Penang, Malaysia.  Combining good photography with detailed write-ups of her subjects, visiting her blog is like going on a virtual food trail through Malaysia.  Well done, Cheryl.

6.  Maple Shuh Hong from "Maple's Diary" (Malaysia).  Initially using Maple's Diary as a medium to document her daily life, Maple has since moved on to writing about local food/restaurants and event launches.  What I particularly like about this blog is the simplicity and straight-forwardness of the blogger's style of writing.  Always a good read on a lazy Sunday.

7.  Nana from "Princessly BwincessNana" (Malaysia).  In a country where the command of the English Language has drastically declined (particularly among the Gen-Y populace), I find this young Malaysian blogger's articles refreshingly well-written.  Nana - who is no stranger to the local blogging community - writes about food, photography and her occasional overseas sojourns.


1.  How do you feel being nominated for the Liebster Award?
2.  What are your top three essential travel items (passport aside)?
3.  Your travel plans for the next 18 months.
4.  Money no object; which is the ONE place you would visit and why?
5.  Of the places you've visited, which is your favourite and why?
6.  On a scale of 1 (very poor) to 10 (very good), how would you rate the level of environmental awareness in your city?
7.  On a bad hair day, what is the one thing that never fails to cheer you up?
8.  What is your favourite form of exercise?
9.  What's the strangest food you've ever had while travelling?
10.  When and why did you start blogging?
11.  How do you usually overcome writer's block?

Nominees, should you choose to accept this challenge, please know that I thoroughly enjoy reading your work and, whilst I may not get to read them as much as I'd like to, I do try not to miss any of your posts.  However, as I've chosen all of you with utmost care, I would be honoured if you did accept the award.  But if for whatever reason you choose to decline, no worries; this is more of a fun, motivational exercise than it is a burden. 

Important: Once you’ve posted your answers, please add the link in the "Comments" field below or on any one of my social media so that I get notified.

Many thanks to all of you who've taken the time to read to end of this longish post; your support and comments are like treasures to me.  Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Vincent for nominating me! It was great to meet you in person while traveled to Sandakan!