Alicia Boey a.k.a Potato Queen (she loves french fries) was born and raised in Penang, Malaysia. Leaving behind her 8am – 5pm job in a multi-national company, she has explored the world on the money she saved, living on a tight budget, sacrificing things like luxury dining and five-star hotels in order to see more and become a successful travel blogger with Potato Queen Travel & Lifestyle. Here, she tells us all about her experiences, destinations and absolute love for travel.
Name: Alicia Boey
Current Location: Penang
Occupation: Full-time blogger and homemaker
Best place you’ve been to this year: I’ve been traveling locally this year after breaking the wallet on a European tour last winter. However, I was surprised by a sponsored trip to Macau by a local blogging community and also Macau Government Tourist office (MGTO). Though the trip only took 4 days and 3 nights, it was a memorable one because I got to experience Chinese New Year ambiance in a Chinese city. It was also one of the most luxurious trip because I was fine dining all the way and stayed at a prominent classy hotel. Macau has a very strong fusion of the eastern and western culture. Portuguese influence can be clearly seen in their architecture and cuisine. I spent an average of 12 hours per day straining my legs to the max exploring Macau. I even walked all the way up the steep road to Penha Church which is an unlikely tourist spot but when you reached the top you can have a million-dollar panoramic view of Macau peninsula. Another hilltop view would be at Fortaleza do Monte where the Macau Museum is located. For a higher view, Macau Tower is a good idea. If you are feeling adventurous you might want to try some extreme activities like bungee jumping.
Best cold place you’ve ever been to: The best one would be springtime in South Korea. I went in early April so the weather was just nice ranging from 6 – 15°C. You will see cherry blossoms blooming at every sidewalk which is the whole purpose of this trip. On the other hand, Jeju island is slightly warmer but very windy that could reach up to 30km/h. I had to cover my head and face because my hair was flying everywhere. Anyway, Jeju is an indeed must-go and you will never regret visiting such a beautiful romantic island. The coldest place by far was Amsterdam mainly because I visited in December. To add on the cold, I visited Volendam which is a village right next to the sea. Wrong place at the wrong time. It was a beautiful laid back community with pretty houses and can be quite touristy. Volendam is very windy so you can imagine how cold I was with the strong winds at about -2°C.
Best beach you’ve laid on: The softest whitest powdery beach has got to be Pulau Redang situated at the east coast of my homeland Malaysia. You can easily snorkel right outside your resort or marine parks nearby. You also got to visit Pulau Perhentian which has lesser tourist and cleaner beach. It’s a haven for scuba divers. Another cluster of islands I visited last year was Koh Lipe in Thailand. It is a very interesting island despite the tiny size. You can shop and savor on the tastiest Thai seafood and desserts at the Walking Street. It is most recommended to purchase an island hopping tour. You definitely won’t regret spending 8 hours visiting the surrounding nature reserves and floating on the crystal clear sea. My heart is longing for another summer island getaway as I’m writing this. Such a bliss to be laying down on the beach doing nothing but suntanning and forget about the world.
Most dangerous place you’ve been to: I never set foot on any place that is considered dangerous in particular but Hatyai, Thailand can easily make it in the list. To cross the border one has to go through 3 check points and there are armies guarding at the borderline. Well, this is very common but that time when we traveled was a politically critical moment. Random bombings just occurred in the city and the martial law was enforced the next day after we returned to Malaysia. We felt threatened walking down the streets and as you can see in the picture it was about 10am but we were the only tourists strolling around. I cautiously looked for suspicious items and people at every corner. When traveling, you never know what might happen so just take risks and go with the flow in turn you might learn something new along the way.
A place you’re yet to discover: Iceland!!! Less than 5 years ago I had no idea what Iceland was less than 5 years ago then one day I saw an article online about bucket list and chasing the northern lights is the first thing that comes to my mind. I had a list of countries including Norway, Finland, Canada and even New Zealand for southern lights. Iceland came out on top not because of Walter Mitty but because I got so attracted to the landscape and waterfall shots shared by my husband’s network of photographers. Since last year I got the whole thing planned from flights to accommodation to car rental to ice cave and glacier tour and lots more. Now we just have to wait for a sufficient amount of money to execute the ultimate plan. We haven’t planned which year to go, so it can be anytime…for now just praying hard.