What I Did In…Queenstown, New Zealand & Around

 Queenstown, New Zealand & Around


Doll Poupee’s New Zealand Guides have stunning photographs and videos, and itineraries.

Official Queenstown, New Zeland site’s walks and hikes.

The NZ Tourism Vineyard directory. There are some beautiful vineyards a few minutes outside of Queenstown. Even if you don’t drink, they’re great for hiking.


View from the Airbnb.

A beautiful apartment with big glass windows and a balcony overlooking the town and the Wakatipu Lake. Find out what other apartments are available for rent in Queenstown here.


Beespoke Kitchen (9 Isle street, Queenstown)
Awarded the best café in New Zealand. Healthy, chic and innovative modern Australian/New Zealand fusions. Excellent hot drinks. We thought it a bit overrated, however. Try the pumpkin soup.

Fergburger (42 Shotover St, Queenstown)
Lines out the door for these hamburgers. Order takeaway or get there extremely early to avoid the crowds. Extremely overrated.

So famous it’s bad. Literally, it wasn’t a good burger.

Patagonia Chocolates (50 Beach St, Queenstown)
Insanely expensive, but insanely delicious-looking desserts created by two Argentines. Find your alfajors and Argentine backpackers here (to my delight).

Too bad I didn’t want to spend $5 on a cookie!

Cookie Time (18 Camp Street, Queenstown)
You can’t walk past here with the urge to be ten years old and eat the bowl of cookie dough before it gets put into the oven. But those are just the smells. The finished product was, most depressingly, not as inspiring. My homemade Tollhouse cookies are much more delicious.

What I did

Milford Sound
Took a day trip with Real Journeys from Queenstown. With its impressive waterfalls and piercing colors, this is a must-see. The only downside was being in a tour bus for five hours and our anal guide wouldn’t stop to go to the bathroom.

Around Queenstown

Ate at The Chop Shop Food Merchants (Arrow Ln, Arrowtown), another healthy modern fusion restaurant. Saw the Lake Country Museum, but only the free ANZAC exhibit. Drank local craft beers and met locals at Fork and Tap (51 Buckingham St, Arrowtown).

Yummy meal at The Chop Shop in Arrowtown.

That’s pronounced Du-need-in, not Dun-a-din, for all the confused out there. We made a brief stop in Dunedin to see architecture. Spent time in the extensive and impressive Botanic Gardens. Ate at The Reef (333 George Street, Dunedin) a seafood restaurant. Walked up the Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world and subsequently couldn’t stop looking at my step and stair count on my health app. Stayed at The Sahara Guest House (619 George Street, Dunedin), a refurbished Victorian house that might have been the filming location for multiple murder films. Great staff, though.

Ate at 26 on Ross (26 Ross Place, Dunedin) for an insanely good chorizo and bacon melt. Beautifully presented and top quality brunch items.


& more…

My dad really loved these donuts (pictured below) and he wouldn’t stop talking about them during our road trip.

naptimewithyasmine-qt22Also ate at The Wobbly Goat Cafe (17 Holyhead St, Outram, Dunedin) on our drive to Dunedin, where we got a glimpse of small town New Zeland life. Alexandra had a fish and chips shop on the main street that my father was a great fan of (I didn’t try it) and we got the chance to see their local and organic foods and crafts markets.


My sister admires the view in Milford Sound.

Featured photo: the official photo of the “What I did in…” series. Taken at Sunshine Juice in Tokyo, Japan.

“What I did in…,” is a new series where I aim to detail some of the most fun (or worst, if I want to warn you) activities, eateries and places to stay. I might also give helpful resources I used to prepare, if applicable. This isn’t meant to serve as a an all-encompassing travel guide, but merely an example of some of the possibilities for that destination. 


What I Did In…Guangzhou, China

This is the first post of my new series, “What I did in…,” where I aim to detail some of the most fun (or worst, if I want to warn you) activities, eateries and places to stay. I might also give helpful resources I used to prepare, if applicable. This isn’t meant to serve as a an all-encompassing travel guide, but merely an example of some of the possibilities for that destination. 

Guangzhou, China


Sunset near Liwan Lake Park

In this Pink Pangea article, I give advice for those stopping by on a 72-Hour Free Visa on how to most easily enjoy their time. This guide is a resource for those who don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese.

This Photo Friday post, I aim to show you some of my favorite images I took while I was there. I show the people, some of the food and interesting sights.


Grand Continental Services Apartment – Nomo Beijing Road
A moderately priced hotel just two blocks from Beijing Lu, one of the busiest pedestrian-only shopping and eating districts. The room had WiFi, multiple plugs and comfortable beds. The staff spoke English well, but a warning: be careful with the staff you trust for directions. I was told wrong directions multiple times, and once spent two hours at a bank trying to find my way to where I was meant to be going.

Haizhu Square, Guangzhou.


Dim Dou Dak 點都德(聚福楼)
I got this suggestion from Thanis Slim and was not disappointed. Go to the location near Beijing Road (470 Hui Fu Dong Lu  惠福东路470号). According to those in positions of authority, one of the best places for dim sum in the city. I ate Har Gow (shrimp dumplings), mango and coconut sweet dim sum, and herbal tea.

Coffee Corner
This Korean-owned cafe has spectacular machine espresso, pastries to accompany and delectable Korean desserts. The WiFi works great and the rustic chic decor is pleasant. Location: right across from the Haizhu Square metro stop.

Cafe de Coral
This chain has disgusting instant coffee, but it was a great place to people watch and journal. I went to the Haizhu Square location, but there are several throughout the city. Plus, who doesn’t love the positive affirmations written on the wall? Examples: “Best of THE best/A Beautiful Day/Time of Your Life.”

Unknown Dim Sum place
Right down the street from Huangbian metro station, the third shop along Huangbian N. Road, is a place with delicious dim sum. I was here by accident after being told wrongly how to reach a museum.

Tao Tao Ju
Excellent traditional restaurant near Shangxia Jiu Lu, another pedestrian-only street near Beijing Lu, whose specialty was apparently ginger chicken, until the waitress laughed and told me they don’t serve it. I got the goose. That was interesting. Location: DiShi Fu Road 22.

PanXi Restaurant
Location in the heart of old Guangzhou, Liwan, this traditional restaurant had great food, fast service and an intricately decorated decor and gardens. I tried black fungus, sweet and sour fried fish, taro with blueberry sauce and savory min quiches, among other Guangzhou specialties. Well known by tourists and locals alike, it is definitely a must-eat!

Bubble tea chain from Taiwan. They say they’re the best. Find them in shopping areas.

Hot Pizza
For when you’re really down and out and want some western food. The margarita pizza wasn’t very good. Near the Central Business District (CBD). Location: 1/F, Tianyu Garden, No.136 Linhe Zhong Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, 天河区林和中路136号天誉花园首层

Old HK Cafe
Located a few feet away from Beijing Lu, this eatery is open late night. There were lots of youths around. I tried the taro filled buns, Congee and pork dumplings.

Grand Hyatt
I spent way too much money on bomb-ass high tea high up overlooking the CBD. Excellent service, the kind that makes you feel like you’re not a broke traveler. Need I say more.

High tea with my friend Carina. We did, however, get massive sugar headaches. We brought it upon ourselves, most obviously.

What I did (that wasn’t eating)

Disclaimer: There is so much to do in Guangzhou, even culturally even though it doesn’t have as much fame for it as other Chinese cities. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up doing much between catching up on sleep from jet lag and getting lost. I did do some cool stuff, though.

Walk, walk, walk
I walked around Haizhu Square, Liwan district, the CBD district, Beijing Lu and Sh. angxia Jiu Lu. It was great for people watching, observations, shopping and eating random dim sum. In Liwan, we saw the elderly playing games, street musicians, local markets and even a Peking Opera performance.

Redtory Arts and Design Factory
I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved this space. This abandonded factory compound has been reappropriated to create a space for museums, galleries, design and offices. The various exhibits in various buildings featured artists from China and other parts of Asia, Europe and North America, among others. As the old buildings remain, the eerie and tragically beautiful space is ideal for photography.I saw the videography exhibit “Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition” that left me speechless.
Location: No. 128, Yuancun Si Heng Rd., Tianhe District, Guangzhou City Tel: +86 20 8557 4417;

Massages at Fu Yuan Tang
I read about these massages on this page. I had a lot of stress in my back from my heavy purse and this traditional Chinese massage forced it out of me. Address available on the link.

High buildings in the CBD.

Featured photo: this will be the offical photo of the “What I did in…” series. Taken at Sunshine Juice in Tokyo, Japan.