Yesterday, TravelerFolio was featured on Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报 – the highest circulating Chinese daily in Singapore and the region.

I was interviewed by Marcus Yeo from Zaobao. The article is about how I started my travel blog, memorable travel experiences and blogging tips. The coverage continued on the second page (not shown here). Click on the image to enlarge. Happy reading! If you can’t read Chinese, please scroll down to read some of the content in English.

Some of the questions asked during the interview:

Why did you start TravelerFolio?

•    Before I started to blog 3 years ago (2008), I used to keep a travel journal for my trips and took lots of photos that ended up being stored on CDs. At that time I thought it would be good to write a travel blog to record my travel experiences online.
•    Over time, my blog has reached out to readers from all over the world. I have never imagined I’ve got the chance to make so many friends with the same interest.
•    Eventually, I put in more efforts into my blog so that I can share more travel insights to my readers. As a result, I have to do in-depth research for the travel articles and learn more about travel photography.
•    Now I get the opportunities to work with tourism offices and travel service providers to feed my blog with the latest travel updates.

What do you hope to achieve through the blog?

I hope to take captivating photos and share interesting travel insights on my travel blog to inspire people to travel to the places that I’ve been to, and they would really love it like what they read from my blog.
I’d like to focus on the people, traditions and cultures, landscape scenery, places of interest, heritage sites and intriguing places all around the world, including my own country Singapore.

Your most interesting travel experience?

Recently (May 2011) we travelled around India by train for the first time. While in a hurry to disembark the train in Agra (the city of Taj Mahal), I left a very beautiful souvenir of Hawa Mahal (famous landmark in Jaipur) given by an important friend from Jaipur in the train compartment. I only realized that when we already left the busy train station and got into our hotel transfer. Both me and my husband were pretty upset about it. Indian railway stations have always been very crowded so we thought we would never get back the souvenir anymore. I thought I shouldn’t give up and check with the hotel staff. She called the train station and tried to trace it from the next station that’s 115km away. In the evening, to our surprise, we got back the souvenir and it’s still in one piece! We were very impressed with people and their efficiency!

Some years back, when I was at Mount Huangshan 黄山, China, I encountered terrible altitude sickness and was literally vomiting every five to ten mins. Our guide also couldn’t help and didn’t bother me. Then, a group of Korean nuns walked down the peak toward us. One saw me vomiting and came to help me. She took out a needle, borrowed our guide’s lighter, ignited the lighter and heated her needle with the flame to sterilize it (I guess!). Then she held my hand, and poked my fingers with the needle! However, I didn’t really feel any pain and blood oozed out. She massaged my hands for a while and left. Miraculously, my vomiting had relieved and I was able to climb up to the famous Bright Summit Peak.

I would say, on both occasions, I was really lucky to meet the right people who could help me when I encountered such problems even though we did not know each other and we might have language barrier. Travelling is not just about sightseeing and having fun, being touched by kind gestures/people will etch into the memory for life.

In your opinion, how do you carve a good travel blog?

I think the important elements in a travel blog are engaging and picturesque photos that can motivate the readers to visit the places. Sharing travel experiences like what to see, travel tips, where to eat and stay are useful as well. Besides, it’s good to make use of various social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to interact with the readers and exchange travel ideas and information such as recommendations on hotels, restaurants and places to visit.

Pointers for readers who want to start their own travel blogs.

I guess it isn’t difficult to maintain a travel blog if you have the passion to blog and share what you’ve seen and learnt as you travel. It’s simply recording interesting travel moments online. To me, I enjoy blogging my travels so I have the drive to learn how to improve my blog, like designing my own blog while my husband programs it, brushing up on my photography skills for better travel shots and reading travel articles to learn how to better express our travel experiences through TravelerFolio.com

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