There are many reasons to love Southeast Asia, but Irish traveler Siobhan (@agirlwhoblooms) has a particular way of shining a light on this corner of the world. Literally. With a feed full of bright, colorful photos, she showcases some of the most vibrant destinations in Asia, skipping from sandy beaches to tropical rainforests to rainbow temples.
Tell us about yourself!
I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but I’m Irish. I’m from a town called Dungarvan in County Waterford, Ireland.
My husband and I travel constantly, which we absolutely love, so we don’t spend as much time enjoying the city as we’d like, but we do enjoy finding all the best coffee shops, hanging out and working in these creative environments.
I’ve always been the type of person who plans out every detail of a trip, to the point where I would do itineraries. My husband would also ask me what we would be doing that day, so it just seemed easier to write it all down! I always find planning trips fun, trying to decide where our next adventure will be.
How did you decide to make Kuala Lumpur your base? What is your favorite part of the city?
I spent some time in Kuala Lumpur years ago, when I worked in PR for a luxury hospitality company there. I returned to Kuala Lumpur when I began travelling full time as it’s truly the best city in Asia to travel from. It has all the flight connections to Asia, Europe and Australia and it’s a really great city. Such a mix of cultures, amazing food and a very nice place to live!
We made this city our home for more than two years and had such fond memories, that it was the obvious choice for us when we decided to travel again earlier this year.
In the next two months we will be looking for a place we can rent all to ourselves to continue doing what we love from a more permanent base.
What is your favorite place to visit in Southeast Asia?
Vietnam is a really incredible place to visit. It’s such a big country, with so much variety in terms of what you can see. The beaches are beautiful, the nature and views are completely breathtaking and we just loved the food and coffee scene. However, I’m travelling Sri Lanka as we speak and I’ve never encountered a country with so much nature and diversity. So I would have to say it’s a tie between both.
What’s the craziest food you’ve eaten?
I’m a little fussy about what I eat, so you won’t find me trying snakes or bugs or anything like that! I did have a crocodile and kangaroo pizza before in Australia. A friend ordered it for me and told me after. I felt a little bad after, I must admit!
You visit a lot of gorgeous beaches. What’s the most beautiful beach you’ve ever been to?
That’s a tough call. I have been to quite a few places that really have that desktop screensaver quality. Hong Island in Thailand was probably the most perfect beach I ever saw. It had the clearest waters, soft white sand and the views were beautiful. In terms of resorts, I would have to say Fushifaru in the Maldives had the most beautiful beach, and Bawah Reserve. The lagoons and water colour at both properties were a thing of dreams. After that I would say Delawella beach, Unawatuna in Sri Lanka. I wouldn’t swim there but visually it was beautiful with the tall palm trees leaning over the sand. Stunning!
What’s the most underrated destination you’ve visited?
Thats a toughie as in this world, it’s very hard to find anything that is underrated. I would say I loved Bologna in Italy. It’s not far from Florence but has a totally different vibe. The food there is fantastic and we loved the architecture of the city with its never ending corridors. Verona too was a beautiful city, cobblestoned streets, picture perfect piazzas and great shopping!
How do you meet people when visiting a city for the first time?
We don’t meet people in the same way as budget travellers as we stay in hotels rather than hostels and there isn’t the same community feel with a hotel. People keep to themselves to a certain degree. We do love meeting our followers though and always enjoy going for a coffee and a chat with those we’ve gotten to know over Instagram.