If you have been following this space, you will notice a long hiatus. That’s because I am busy being pregnant! Hehe. But thank God it has been a relatively easy pregnancy so far, good for a first time mum. :) With this baby and new house coming up (tips and lessons at joogostyle.com), hubby and I were planning to save some moolah and not go for babymoon. BUT BUT BUT… wanderlust got the better of me, and so we decided to book a flight few days before we flew. Off we went on my 29th week of pregnancy and returned on my 30th. We had our babymoon in Asia!
Can you guess where I went?
Word of advice for pregnant ladies: plan early to fly during your second trimester. This is to avoid the trouble of having to get “updated” medical certificate for flying after 28 weeks. And do remember to do some leg and hand exercise during flights, make multiple trips to the toilet so you can walk about and avoid DVT, something that pregnant lady is more susceptible. And drink lots of water!
1. Sri Lanka
If you love Bali but want a more exotic destination this time, you might want to consider Sri Lanka. It’s similar to Bali, but less crowded or touristy. Moreover, the flight cost and hours from Singapore to Sri Lanka is about the same as Bali, with the expenses in Sri Lanka purportedly cheaper. I have also read accounts of travellers who didn’t expect much from Sri Lanka but loving the destination in the end!
Sri Lanka is known as “the teardrop of India” because it has a shape of a teardrop and on the map it looks like it is falling off from a face, that is India. Near to India and Maldives, Sri Lanka is a beautiful island country with tea plantations, lush forests, golden beaches and even gushing waterfalls. Other than reveling in the nature, you can also soak in Sri Lanka’s rich and diverse culture. With 70 percent of its population being Buddhist, Sri Lanka is home to many Buddhist Temples. And you wouldn’t be bored with the numerous festivals celebrated throughout the year.
Image Credit: Srilanka.travel
Moreover, there are eight UNESCO World Heritage sites for you to explore. The most famous site would be Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress which is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. The name Sigiriya comes from this massive rock that stands 201m (660 ft) tall in this ancient city. A king used to build his palace with colourful frescoes upon this rock. Later, it was used as a Buddhist monastery.
Being one of the largest tea producers in the world, you might be tempted to drink their popular Ceylon Tea. For soon to be mummies, if you cannot help but drink, make sure you keep to the caffeine limit of 2 cups per day. :)
Want to go Japan but afraid of the rumours of radiation? You can still have a slice of Japan at Okinawa! It is Japan’s southernmost prefecture and far from mainland Japan, in fact, it’s nearer to Taiwan. So get to enjoy Japan while having a peace of mind for your bump.
However, Okinawa has a unique culture that differs considerably from mainland Japan. For one, do not expect to find Tokyo’s fast paced and bustling atmosphere over here. With 160 islands of various sizes scattered across Okinawa prefecture, get to island hop and enjoy the slow island pace. Do check out JAL’s Okinawa Island Pass which allows overseas visitors to fly between Okinawa’s five main islands.
And because of Okinawa’s subtropical nature, the weather is warm and comfortable throughout the year (good news when packing your luggage!). Its winter temperature is similar to Tokyo’s spring. Moreover, you get to enjoy the first bloom of cherry blossom before mainland Japan, or other beautiful flowers in the different seasons. There are also various traditional festivals and events, such as Hari Dragon Boat Race, held throughout the year.
Image Credit: JNTO
Be sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites that are spread across Okinawa island. The five castles and four related sites are collectively designated under the title of “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu”. Ryukyu Kingdom once unified and ruled over the islands of Okinawa, and existed as a separate country from Japan. It was the invasion by Japan’s Satsuma Domain (present day Kagoshima Prefecture) in 1609 that Ryukyu Kingdom served as a tributary state to Japan. It was in 1879, a few years after the Meiji Restoration, that the kingdom came under Japan as Okinawa Prefecture.
Notable regions of Okinawa:
- Naha is the capital of Okinawa Prefecture and the first place to visit because it is where Naha Airport is located. You can simply walk or take the public transportation within Naha.
- Northern Okinawa (“Yanbaru”) is 2 hours drive from Naha. Here, you get to enjoy the beautiful nature and delicious gourmet. The most popular attraction you can find here is the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
- Central Okinawa. This is a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling. But since you wouldn’t be able to do so with your pregnancy bump, spend some time at the Ryukyu Mura in Yomitan Village (theme park). A place to experience the Okinawan culture such as traditional arts and crafts.
And if you haven’t guess by now, we went to Taiwan for our babymoon! It turned out to be a very popular babymoon destination for many Singaporeans. We chose Taiwan because of a few factors – the weather, sanitary level, language, travel cost and our familiarity with the place. Because it was a last minute travel decision, we didn’t have much time to plan. And since we have been to Taiwan a few times, we decided that we could roam aimlessly around, at least in Taipei.
In Taiwan, there’s also the choice of being in a city (Taipei) which my hubby loves, and also the option to venture a little further to sightsee and enjoy the nature, which I prefer. :) In Taipei, we simply eat and eat, because we have been to the touristy areas before.
Personally, I prefer the areas we went outside of Taipei to Taipei itself. Taipei feels like another Singapore. Oh, but I did enjoy the theater show 《情人哏裡出西施》舞台剧 by 全民大劇團! If you follow Taiwan’s entertainment circle, you will know that 王偉忠 founded this company. I saw him in person and another Taiwan artiste before the show started. :)
Anyway, let’s see if I have time to blog about the various places we went to before I pop. There’s the day trip from Taipei to Wulai and the various highlights of our trip in Taichung. For Taichung, we enjoyed the fresh air and cooling weather in Cingjing, the chauffeured whole day tour of flowers and scenic views in the outskirts of Taichung and the interesting museum in Taichung city! Would have loved to visit Yilan if I had more time to plan.