10 Reasons Why Expats (You) Should Consider A Move To Australia

As I’ve mentioned before, I was considering a permanent move to Australia. Aside from the sentimental value it brings to me, Australia is many other things. Every year, there’s a growing number of expats who consider Australia their ultimate destination…

25 Things You Can (And Should) Do In KL

Spending a good part of my teenage years growing up in KL, I know a bit about it. Here are some of the things you have to do if you’re in town for the first time.

1. Marvel at the iconic PETRONAS Towers that’s built using a postmodern architectural style with Islamic designs due to the Muslim majority in Malaysia.

2. Travel back to the past to experience the rich culture of the city through the Sri Mahamariamman Temple.

3. Indulge in a delicious meal by sampling the flavors of Malaysia through the famed Nasi Kandar.

4. Gain new feathery friends as you identify the various species. And feel free as a bird as you enjoy the environment at The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park.

5. Immerse yourself in the rich culture of Malaysia through the works of art and the various artifacts in the National Museum.

6. Enjoy the cool waters and have fun with your family or friends when you visit the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park.

7. Explore the depths and the diverse species of sea creatures at the Aquaria KLCC.

8. Get souvenirs such as T-shirts, keychains, wallets, and hunt for valuable bargains when you shop at Central Market.

9. Visit the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station to learn about rail transport and how it has helped make lives more comfortable.

10. When you want to experience how it is to dine like a local, you can try out some street food at Hutong.

11. Discover how jewelries are made by visiting a working pewter museum which is known as the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre.

12. Feast your eyes on the breathtaking view of the city through the Kuala Lumpur Tower.

13. Relax and unwind while surrounded by nature and lots of pretty butterflies at the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park.

14. From luxurious items to your everyday needs, you can shop and find them all at Suria KLCC.

15. Alor Street is the place to be when you want to try out new food or just want to satisfy your hunger.

16. Experience the diversity of faith by visiting the Jamek Mosque and learning about the rituals and beliefs that other religions follow.

17. Interact and have fun with the animals in the National Zoo of Malaysia.

18. If you want to experience the Chinese culture while in Kuala Lumpur, you can wander through Chinatown and see the locals there.

19. Istana Negara is the place to be if you want to learn about the history of royal families and how they have helped build the Malaysian culture.

20. Learn about currency and view different coin collections at Maybank Numismatic Museum.

21. Be amazed and learn about the uniqueness of the Islamic architecture through the National Mosque.

22. When you’re more on the adventurous side and would want to reconnect with nature, you can go on climbing the Batu Caves.

23. Whether you want to engage in meaningful conversations or just want to take an afternoon stroll, you can do that in KLCC Park.

24. Discover the wonders of a Buddhist Temple by visiting the Thean Hou Temple.

25. See the city come to life at night-time by going out with friends or family at the Golden Triangle.

Stuff to do in Melbourne

I was in Melbourne for 5 years, for university and the first couple years of my career. This was more than a decade ago. I recently went back for 5 weeks to reconnect with the place. In some ways, the city has remained the same, but in many ways, the city has changed. I do miss the place dearly. Here I’ve compiled a list of things to do and places to visit. I might consider moving permanently.

Experience The Rich Culture Through The National Gallery Of Victoria – With 73,000 works of art, it is the oldest, largest and most popular art museum in Australia. View pieces from Cézanne, Picasso, and Rembrandt, as well as the famed Australian pieces such as Tom Roberts‘ Shearing the Rams.

Visit ACMI’s Screen Worlds – Located within the Federation Square, explore the interactive exhibits for free about the evolution of the moving image. See the props, memorabilia, and other items including the original clock from Play School, Cate Blanchett’s Oscar Award, even costumes worn by Kylie Minogue, Dame Edna, and Heath Ledger.

Indulge in A Book or Two At The State Library Of Victoria – As Australia’s oldest public library it holds over 2 million books including many historical documents and artifacts – even the diaries of Melbourne founders: John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, and the original armor worn by Victorian outlaw Ned Kelly.

Discover Fresh Produce In The Queen Victoria Market – Cook up delicious meals from the freshest ingredients, see hot donuts, souvenirs, homewares and more all throughout the market’s diverse sections. Food stalls, late-night shopping, and live music can also be experienced here.

Move To The Beat With Live Music – Take advantage of the free entrance in the Esplanade in St. Kilda to see rock acts and check out the Cherry Bar while you’re at it for awesome after-parties and see rock stars in action.

Don’t Forget To Take A Selfie When You See Public Sculptures – From Bruce Armstrong’s Bunjil in the Docklands, Simon Perry’s Public Purse outside the GPO building, Deborah Halpern’s Angel in Birrarung Marr, Ophelia on Southbank, Petrus Spronk’s sinking building, the Architectural Fragment outside the State Library of Victoria, and John Kelly’s Cow Up a Tree, you’ll never run out of wonders to explore even on the streets.

Be One With Nature Through The Royal Botanic Gardens – Experience tranquility by exploring a sanctuary with a collection of 10,000 plants, both native and exotic, in 11 spacious lawns where you can easily relax and unwind. Take a brisk walk on the 3.8-kilometer walking track (The Tan) that surrounds the garden.

Discover Southbank – From Princes Bridge to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, the Southbank entertainment precinct is home to Melbourne’s top restaurants, high-end retailers, and the Crown Casino. Stroll along the shore or gaze upon the starry skyline, and be amazed at the Gas Brigades which send fireballs into the sky every hour.

Climb Aboard The City Circle Tram – Both tourists and locals can readily enjoy the free ride from the historical W-class trams that travel through La Trobe Street, Flinders Street, Spring Street, Nicholson and Victoria Street, which covers Melbourne’s central business district.

See The Wonders Of The City’s Churches – Marvel on the Gothic transitional style of St. Paul’s Cathedral, see the medieval look of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, explore St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, as well as St. Michael’s Uniting Church. These places of worship are not only worth the look but will give you spiritual upliftment.

Enjoy The Bay At St. Kilda – Stroll down the shoreline to St. Kilda Pier for some penguin spotting and watch as cruise ships drift in and out. Or you can grab a bite at the nearby Acland street.

Relax And See The View Through Rooftop Bars  – The best spots to see the sunset and watch the lights flicker across the cityscape can be seen at Siglo, Rooftop Bar, Madame Brussels, and Naked in the Sky. Treat yourself to a drink or two in bars with amazing views.

Feel Like A Writer In The Wheeler Centre – Join programs, listen to talks, or catch the free Lunchbox/Soapbox series to satisfy your curiosity in writing, sharing stories and expressing your ideas.

Feast Your Eyes On The Colorful Street Art – Filled with bright colors, the amazing murals of Hosier, Union, ACDC and Duckboard Lanes are open to artistic expression as well as for Instagram-worthy backgrounds.

Take A Glimpse of History At The Shrine Of Remembrance – The Shrine of Remembrance stands as a memorial to all Australians who served in wars. Explore on your own or join a guided tour through the many rooms and exhibits containing over 800 objects, photos, uniforms from the 1850’s, and a lot more.

Be in Awe of Melbourne’s Architectural Gems – You just have to look up and gaze at the buildings and structures such as the Eureka Tower, Federation Square, the Manchester Unity Building, and the Melbourne Theatre Company, in order to see Melbourne’s architectural masterpieces.

Engage and Immerse in Indigenous Culture At Koorie Heritage Trust – Showcasing the work of contemporary artists, the Koorie Heritage Trust is free for all and is open seven days a week.

Visit The Parliament Of Victoria – The public can view the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly from the public galleries or go on a free public tour when the parliament is not in session.

Join A Festival – Enjoy free entertainment through the Moomba Festival (March), Comedy Festival (April), Melbourne Film Festival (July), Writers’ Festival (August), The Fringe Festival (September), and the Melbourne Festival (October).

Learn About The Aviation History At The RAAF Museum – Tour the hangars and see the exhibits and displays, including the interactive Flying Displays to see the heritage aircraft take the flight to relive history.

Locate The Spots of Your Favourite Shows – If you’re a fan of TV shows & series such as Neighbours, Offspring, and Kath and Kim. You may see familiar scenes in Pin Oak Court, Vermont South. Kath and Kim shows are at 4 Lagoon Place, Patterson Lakes, Victoria. While Brunswick Street is where you can see the exterior of Dr. Noonan’s surgery and Emma Street, Collingwood is where you can find the Proudman home.

Stuff to do in KL at night (A Beginner’s Guide)

Kuala Lumpur, commonly known as KL, is the economic capital of Malaysia. It is also my adoptive hometown, having finished highschool in this bustling metropolis.

One of my favourite things about KL is it’s vibrant nightlife. From rooftop restaurants, bars in five-star hotels, pubs, and bars which have a friendly ambience, a wide range of choices of alcoholic beverages, and talented DJs to bustling night markets that remain open until the morning, these are just some of the many attractions that KL offer. One must also try Jalan Alor’s bustling stalls and seafood restaurants and Changkat Bukit Bintang’s chic see-and-be-seen nightclubs with hip-hop and house tracks. Below I’ve compiled a beginners guide to KL’s nightlife.

  1. Changkat Bukit Bintang

Known as the “it” party venue, this street is lined with various international two-storey restobars, classy nightclubs and cocktail lounges with international DJs and live band performances. There are also stand-up comedy, gay parties and foreign film screenings which you also find in this area which is one of the city’s most energetic places.

  1. Rooftop Bars

For people who love to party, rooftop bars are the most popular since they offer great ambience and breathtaking views of the city through their high-rise structures. A few of the many best rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur are Marini’s on 57, Sky Bar at KLCC and Luna Bar.

  1. Petaling Street

Petaling street in Chinatown is a famous shopping district with a lively night market with stalls selling clothes, souvenirs, and accessories at very cheap prices. There are also a few nightlife spots in this area such as hostels and cocktail bars which are located in narrow alleyways.

  1. Jalan Alor

Jalan Alor is one of the most well-knows roads in Kuala Lumpur when it comes to food because there are numerous seafood restaurants that close late. Jalan Alor is famous for the air-conditioned Chinese seafood restaurants which can be easily spotted through their signage lightings and Chinese lanterns.

  1. Nightclubs

Nightclubs in Kuala Lumpur vary from classy and chic rooftop bars with amazing views to underground venues. The most famous nightclub in Kuala Lumpur is Zouk KL. However, if you are finding a more affordable and less mainstream type of songs, Under9 KL is the place to be in Friday and Saturday nights.

  1. Bangsar

Bangsar is a place for nightlife since it has cool pubs, mini night clubs and unique cafes. This place is usually visited by college students, tourists, and the younger ones. The famous places in Bangsar are SIX Cocktail Lounge, Ril’s, The Social, and La Bodega.

  1. Ampang

Ampang is the place to be for high-end socialites since the five-star hotels and award-winning rooftop bars are here. This area connects straight to the Petronas Twin Towers with locals who love to dress up. Ampang’s most famous areas are Como Bar Kuala Lumpur, Zouk KL and Omakase + Appreciate lounge.

  1. The Row Kuala Lumpur

If you are looking for a European ambience with unique ambience that offers local cuisine, The Row Kuala Lumpur is the perfect place. There are chic cafes, bistros and restaurants in this area.

  1. Night Markets

Locally called “pasar malam”, night markets open as early as 18:00 which sells almost anything you can think of which allow both locals and tourists to shop for cheap goods.

  1. Jalan Bukit Bintang

Jalan Bukit Bintang is one of Kuala Lumpur’s best nightlife places since there are a number of unique resto-bars, trendy nightclubs and Karaoke lounges which are open any day of the week starting at 21:00.
Do bear in mind though that alcohol in Malaysia can get quite pricey, as it’s heavily taxed. For house parties, I usually source my drinks from this online liquor shop. I haven’t found another source that can beat its price for authentic drinks.

  • Bart

Some of my favourite drinking holes in Perth

As some of you may or may not know, I spent a significant amount of time in Australia during my more youthful days. After having completed my Bachelors degree in Melbourne, I found a job in Perth working at a boutique investment bank. This was in the early ’00s when the Backstreet Boys were trying to make a comeback. I was there for 5 years before heading back to ASEAN for warmer waters.

In the 15 odd years since then, I’ve often visited Perth. The city’s changed a lot. It’s benefitted from an influx of capital via real estate and mining investors. As I approach my 42nd birthday, I’m faced with a decision; to move back to Perth, or not to. But that’s a topic for another time.

This post is about some of my favourite bars in Perth. Those that know me know that I’m a bit of an alcoholic. Unfortunately for my wallet, alcohol is heavily taxed in Malaysia. If it weren’t for this Malaysian online liquor shop, I’d probably be a lot more sober. However, the same can’t be said of Australia. Booze is cheap and it’s quality is world-beating. Which is why I always look forward to travelling back to my old haunt(s). I always find solace in binge drinking in the company of friends and/or strangers at these spots.

Here are some of the best places where you can get your drinks in Perth.

 Mechanics Institute

This bar’s name is derived from 19th century institutions where you can study. The Mechanics Institute offers a modern feel with a relaxing rooftop where you can enjoy your drinks. If you’re hungry, you might want to try their specialty burgers to satisfy your craving. They also offer one of the most exquisite Australian wines and craft beers in the state.

The Aviary

As the name suggests, this is a very nice rooftop bar where you and your mates can chill in the afternoon or at night. If you’re out to bar hop, this is the place to start with its casual vibes. Aside from its superb cocktails, they also offer a great view of the city’s skyline. Enjoy the scenery while listening to beats by great DJs and musicians.

Northbridge Brewing Company

For beer lovers, this is the place to be. They offer a wide-array of beers from all over the world including Australian craft beers. The drinks are served on tap which adds to its authentic appeal. If you’re in the mood for some beer-tasting activity, try their tasting paddle to sample four of their home brews.


The name of this bar hails from Switzerland’s Latin name. Specializing in whiskey, Helvetica is definitely a place for those who are looking for a sophisticated atmosphere. Check out their menu to see different spirits from all over the globe. If you are a beginner at drinking whiskey, you can also join their whiskey tasting activities.

 Belgian Beer Care

This is a great bar to spend the rest of your night listening to music while drinking your favorite European beer. Its interior design will surely take you back with its traditional 1930’s Belgian bar motif. If you’re looking to get some cocktails for your date, you will definitely enjoy their long list of in-house cocktails which uses succulent liqueurs and world-renowned spirits.


This is one of Perth’s most famous restaurants that offers fine dining to its guests. However, if you feel like having a drink, you will find that just below its dining room is a vibrant bar that will satisfy your drinking needs. The 1907 bar offers spirits from all over the world mixed by professionally-trained bartenders that can mix any kind of drink that you desire.

It’s time to make an experience that you won’t forget when you visit Perth. Go to one of these bars and you are sure to drink and enjoy your night away with your friends and family.

If and when you’re next in Perth, do give these a try. I promise you won’t regret it! And give me a shoutout if you’d like to know more about stuff to do in Perth.

  • -Bart