We sat down at Mediacorp and had a casual chat with Ria 89.7FM radio personality, Nity Baizura who shared with us about her personal travel experiences and preferences. Aside from being a radio DJ, Nity Baizura is also known for her work in front of the camera as a host for Suria’s Pesta Perdana, Jus and Anugerah.
Read on to find out more about her most recent trip, favourite destination and her must-have travel essentials. Don’t miss her on Instagram (@nitybaizura) too, where she shares snippets of her travels and life as a mother and wife.
Can you recall where was your last vacay trip to?
Oh yes! In September, I went on a short trip to Malacca with my husband and two boys. It was the school holidays so we went on a family road trip and spent three nights there. It was all good until the last night when my husband was unfortunately down with an upset stomach.
Do you usually map out everything prior to your trip?
I am not really a “planner” because my husband will usually do all the research and make the bookings. But I will often share recommendations with him based on information that my friends and colleagues provide. As the trip approaches, I already start packing and I take it very seriously. I hate packing last-minute, it makes me angry especially when it comes to the kids’ stuff!
What are some travel essentials that you can’t travel without? (besides documents, clothes and toiletries)
My medicine kit, you name it and I’ll have it — charcoal pills, Panadol, flu medication, ibuprofen, ointments, peppermint oil. It will fill up an entire Tupperware! Well, make-up is a must so that my photos and Insta-stories will be on point too! I take all my Instagram posts very seriously [laughter].
Which countries have you been to so far?
I tend to go around Southeast Asia, mostly Malaysia (Kelantan, Pahang, almost everywhere except Perlis!), Indonesia (Bali, Jakarta, Bandung) and Thailand (Phuket, Bangkok).
What’s your go-to destination if you need to take a break?
BANGKOK, and I’ve been there for more than five times. In fact, I’ll be heading there again at the end of this month for my first ever girls trip (at the age of 35, yes)! We’ve been planning this since we were 13 so just imagine… Fun Fact: At the age of 21, I took my first flight ever on SIA to Bangkok and it was for a work retreat.
How about your favourite destination?
Turkey! (Well, minus the migraine on board the 11-hour Turkish Airlines flight). I love Turkey, it’s totally different from Singapore and I feel like I’m in another world with the mountains and all. I went there six months after my wedding so it was still pretty much the honeymoon period [laughter]. I covered Istanbul, Cappadocia (hot air balloon ride – checked) and Pamukkale.
What do you usually buy when you’re on vacation?
I love to shop for souvenirs for my loved ones. When I was in Turkey, I bought this hand-stitched bedspread that cost almost S$200 for my mother. It was so beautiful and she still uses it every Hari Raya!
What’s the most memorable activity that you did when travelling?
The hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia, hands-down.
What’s the most exhilarating activity that you attempted?
Para-sailing in Langkawi! It was so scenic and beautiful from the top of Cenang Beach. That was one of the best beach holidays we’ve ever had. We hopped on a Banana Boat, rode a jet ski and went island-hopping. I don’t know how to swim but I just went for it with my lifejacket on. That trip was actually quite crazy because we ended up trying a lot of things even with the kids.
Who is your favourite travel buddy?
I have to say, my husband! He is so easy-going, does all the planning and takes lovely photos of me (heh!).
Was there any trip that you didn’t quite enjoy? Does that make you NOT want to travel?
When we went to Hong Kong in 2013, we were there for about five days and ended up eating Indian food all the time since we couldn’t find any other local halal food. We went to this particular shopping centre, there was halal food but it was so expensive! Perhaps we were also at fault for not doing enough research… Hotels also didn’t serve breakfast and that was quite a bummer.
Have you faced any stigma when travelling due to your religion?
Not quite,maybe it’s due to the fact that I don’t wear the hijab and I usually don’t travel that far. In fact, when we were in Hong Kong, the locals were actually nice. They even came up to play with my son in the MTR. They are pretty open-minded and modern. This doesn’t apply to their taxi drivers though…
What has been the most exotic food you’ve tasted?
I’m not that adventurous when it comes to food, especially because I have a pretty weak stomach. So, I’m always super careful. Those fried crickets and cockroaches… nope! Poppy seed yoghurt paired with apple and pomegranate tea! Ohmygod, it was so good.
Are you the sort who always updates your social media as you go about your travels?
I prefer to immerse myself in the experience and spend quality time with my husband and kids so I won’t really be on my phone until I get back to the hotel. Once everything is settled, that’s when I whip up my phone and choose a couple of photos to upload. If I can’t think of a suitable caption there and then, I’ll do a #throwback instead when I’m back in Singapore.
Any destinations that you plan to visit soon?
Sabah with my extended family! We’ll be going in December for five nights, mainly trekking and exploring Kundasang. Wish me luck.
Name a destination that you would love to visit!
Dubai, for sure.
Window or aisle seat? WINDOW!
Do you prefer summer vacations or winter vacations? Winter vacations.
Tea or Coffee? In your opinion, which country makes the best Tea or Coffee? Coffee, the best one is in Turkey!
If you could swim with dolphins or go shark diving, which would you pick? Definitely, dolphins.
Oceans or Mountains? Ohhh this is a tough one… oceans?
If you must choose one place to live in, where would it be? (besides Singapore) Switzerland! It’s so calming and full of nature. The chocolates are a HUGE bonus.
If you had to sum up travelling in a sentence, what would it be? Travel is escapism and freedom for you to try out new things and experience them.
Catch Nity Baizura live on RIA 89.7FM from Monday to Friday (6 – 10 am) on #2budaknakal!
If you’re visiting Japan for the first time, you should definitely head to Muslim-friendly Tokyo. Tokyo is not only filled with exciting culture and sights but is also convenient to take day trips to nearby cities like Hakone. Start planning your next Muslim-friendly holiday with this itinerary!