Linda Tan enjoys travel, great food and tripping the life fantastic. Alistair Speirs spoke to her about her favourite destinations and restaurant recommendations around the world.
You are a very frequent traveller. Can you tell us where you’ve been over the last two years?
I have travelled a lot, exploring destinations within & outside the country. Some of the interesting destinations in the country that I visited include snorkeling with whalesharks in Gorontalo and staying at the Pulo Cinta Eco Resort, staying at Nihiwatu resort in Sumba. Overseas, I visited Iceland, Iran, the south of Italy, Lapland, California, Hanoi, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Barcelona, Auckland, Maldives and Whistler.
What made you choose these destinations? Some are well off the beaten track!
Yes, but there is always something worth seeing or doing in those well off the beaten track places. I travelled to Kiruna, Sweden to experience staying in an ice hotel for a night, then we drove to Kemi, Finland to board the famous Sampo Icebreaker cruise and we experienced ice swimming in the cold Arctic sea in a survival suit. It’s a really unique & once-in- a lifetime experience, definitely worth the travel all the way to Lapland!
As for Iran, it is a very misunderstood country. Whenever we turn on the TV and there is discussion about Iran’s nuclear issue, all we see is parched desert, missiles testing, demolished buildings. In reality, contrary to what the media portrays, I am amazed by the warm hospitality, the rich Persian culture, and the glorious architectures. I can assure you, Iran is a beautiful country worth visiting.
Do you travel with a purpose or just for enjoyment?
Both! I have a serious case of wanderlust. I travel for work, sport events, culinary delights, or simply just ticking off my bucket list. In fact I always look for good reasons to travel. There is a quote that I hold dearly “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Of these destinations what were your favourites and why?
I really enjoyed our holidays in Croatia last summer. We hired a yacht and a skipper and we sailed the islands in Croatia for one week. It was the most relaxing holiday and great bonding time with the children. Not to mention, my husband is a big fan of “Game of Thrones”, so it was high time for him we did the movie tour in Dubrovnik!
Budapest is the little Paris of Central Europe. I am fascinated by how beautiful the city is with its majestic Buda Castle, Matthias Church, and the exquisite fisherman’s bastion overlooking the Danube river. Budapest at night is breathtakingly magnificent. Nothing compares to a night walk in Budapest when thousands of lights illuminate the city with a glorious golden glow after dark.
Did you have any disappointments?
I rarely have any disappointments because I always do extensive research beforehand so I know where to set my expectation when I visit a new country. In the event when things don’t work out as expected, I try to make the best out of it by enjoying my time traveling, away from work and my hectic routine.
You are a great fan of good food. Which venues stick out in your mind?
Ultraviolet in Shanghai, The Fat Duck in the UK, L’Astrance in Paris, Saison in San Francisco, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Atera in New York, The wagyu tomahawk at Chicago Chop House in Chicago.
How do you plan your travel? Do you do it all your self? Or do you use a travel agent or planner?
I always plan my travel myself. I don’t usually stay long in one place. Once I have visited all the major attractions in that place, I will move on to the next city. I try to visit as many cities as possible during my trip. Since I don’t have much time to spare, I have to plan my itinerary thoroughly to make it compact and time efficient.
Of all the places you have ever been choose your favourite and please tell us what made it so memorable.
This is a tough one. But if I were to choose one, I think I’ll choose the Maldives. I usually try my best not to repeat destinations. It’s a big, big world out there, I always try to find a new destination to explore. However when we plan an island getaway, somehow I am always tempted to go back to the Maldives. The whole family loves the Maldives so much that we’d like to make it our ritual destination every other year.
The Maldives is so memorable for us because of the flawless and finest indulgent experience of staying in ultra-luxurious resorts nestled in secluded decadence with turquoise blue water and pristine white sand. Virtually a paradise.
Favourite destination in Indonesia: Bali
Favourite Airline: Singapore Airlines
Favourite Airport: Singapore
Least Favourite Airport: Charles de Gaulle
This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine November 2018 issue“Travel Issue”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.