Vancouver: Japan of North America

Between the peaceful Zen gardens and blossoming cherry trees, Vancouver often reminds me of Japan not only because their climates are almost the same, but also because the sights, sounds, smell, tastes and feel are very similar.

Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson

Vancouver has an abundance of sushi bars

Vancouver has an abundance of sushi bars

Vancouver: a Canadian coastal city right by the Pacific Ocean, which means an abundance of fresh seafood for the taking. Now, combine this with a large Japanese population and what do you get?

Between its peaceful Zen gardens and blossoming cherry trees, you get a spate of sushi bars which, together with Starbucks, are popping at every street corner in this city.

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New York: Eat & Run in the City

Move over Jamie Oliver and Wolfgang Puck, for here comes New York’s elite street food cart vendors to give the celebrity chefs a run for their money.

Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson | Additional photos by Zach Brooks
(Originally published in Food & Travel Singapore)

Photos courtesy of Zach Brooks.

Who says the finest food is only served à la carte? In New York City, some of the best foods are served from the cart.

Think of Manhattan and the image of the fast-paced Wall St. and bustling Fifth Ave. sure comes to mind. With the frenzied hustle-and-bustle of city life, a typical lunch hour scenario involves hurried suits and worn-out tourists scurrying to the streets in search of a quick chow that appeals to both their bellies and their pockets. Long queues are not an option, hence, the popularity of street food carts and hotdog vendors that line the streets of Manhattan.

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Montreal, c’est magnifique!

It’s very easy to fall in love with Montreal. The city has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi charm to it. Its joie-de-vivre is contagious and ooh-la-la captivating.

Text by Jennifer Ellson I Photos by Amorvida Muyrong &Tourisme Montréal
 
(Originally published in Food & Travel Singapore)

Montreal’s natural beauty is a sure turn on for both locals and visitors. Some call it la belle ville, the beautiful metropolis, while others describe it as the Paris of North America. It is not surprising that this Canadian city, in the province of Quebec, has been compared over and over to the illustrious French capital. But what sets Montreal apart from the famous European city is its culinary landscape. Montreal gastronomy, from home-cooked to highfalutin, is as varied, genuine and endearing as the city itself.

Indeed, Montreal’s heart and soul can be found in its cuisine, influenced by the multinational fabric of its immigrant communities. It is not only renowned for its exceptional French-Canadian fare refined by generations of Québécois, but also for the Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Jewish, Middle Eastern and Asian cookery that have contributed to the making up of Montreal’s delicatessens.

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The other side of Cebu Island, Philippines

You probably know the glitzy side with its swanky beaches and immaculate golf courses. Now, meet the other side of this Philippine island with its stunning views of coconut groves, corn plantations and private beach coves.

Text by Jennifer Ellson I Photos by Amorvida Muyrong
(Originally published in the Maple Leaf Times)  

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I caught the travel bug early on – the strain that makes one go to off-the-beaten-path destinations. Whether it be Poipet, Cambodia, or Samut Prakarn in Thailand, I’ll surely find a way to go there and discover the unexplored.

So why the Island of Cebu in the Philippines, you ask, when it probably ties with Boracay Island as the most popular destination in the archipelago? The answer lies on the other side of the island. A good hour and a half away from the hustles of Cebu City is the charming town of Sogod,  on the north-eastern coast of the province. Locals say only the ‘travel pros’ stay at this clandestine destination, while the amateurs stay at the integrated resorts in Cebu City.

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