The Top 20 Coconuts Food, Lifestyle, and Travel Stories of 2018

One of our main editorial initiatives at Coconuts in 2018 was to diversify our content mix by publishing more food, lifestyle, and travel stories.

We aspire to be more than just a resource for local news and virality in the eight cities we cover – we wanna dish on the best places to eat, drink, and be merry, too!

As part of this initiative, we took the following steps:
1. Hired a new Managing Editor for Food, Lifestyle, and Travel.
2. Launched the Coco Food and Coco Travel pages.
3. Revamped the Food & Drink and Lifestyle pages on our eight city sections.

Most importantly, we gave our writers one primary directive: Keep it real. We only recommend something if we truly like it and think it’s worth the dough. And if something sucks, then we call it as it is.

From nominating the best brunches in KL to debunking the allure of horrible Instagram trap “hotels” in Bali – we ate, drank, schmoozed, slept, and schlepped our way through the region to write up trendy, notable restaurants and clubs, as well as under-the-radar food stalls and local artsy hotspots.

That, plus hotels, cocktail bars, microbreweries, cafes, clubs, hostels, tourist attractions, malls – we covered it all and more as part of our mission to inform YOU, dear reader, on the best places to spend your hard-earned leisure budget.

Without further ado, let’s review – in no particular order – the best Coconuts food, lifestyle, and travel stories of 2018!

#20: Cryotherapy me a river: Freezing our aches, pains, and fat away with whole-body cryotherapy at REV (KL)

Photo: Coconuts KL

In which our Coconuts KL editor gets put on ice in the name of a good story.

#19: We lined up for almost 4 hours at a MAXI Mango pop-up to see what the hype is all about (Manila)

Frozen mango goodness had folks from throughout Metro Manila lining up for hours. Was it worth the hype?

18#: Best hidden bars in Hong Kong: Speakeasies, gin parlors, and jazz clubs

Photo via Le Boudoir/ Facebook.

Take a walk on the wild side and explore our guide to the best hidden watering holes in Hong Kong.

17#: Mahanakhon Skywalk: We tried Bangkok’s highest glass skywalk, and it’s a terrifying thrill

Photo: Prae Sakaowan/ Coconuts Media

This is as high as you can get in Bangkok.

#16: The Blue Mansion: Inside Penang’s majestic heritage hotel, where scenes from ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ were filmed (Coco Travel)

Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion

Marvel at the real-life setting of that infamous mahjong scene in “Crazy Rich Asians.”

15#: This is what six days on a nutritionist-designed meal plan diet looks like in Bali

Meals from Motion Bali’s Skinny Protein and Shredding diets meal plans. Photos: Coconuts Bali

Chia seeds, egg-white omelettes, and meticulously-portioned servings of almonds left our writer hankering for a few more calories.

14#: Burrow Café: This almost inaccessible cafe is the place to escape the chaos of Manila

Inside Burrow. Photo by Rachel Malaguit

Two hours outside Manila, there exists a hidden, soul-replenishing oasis of food and drink called Burrow Café.

#13: Best museums in Jakarta: Where to find exhibitions on history, art, finance, crafts, and textiles

Jakarta History Museum at Fatahillah Square. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Indonesia’s capital city is brimming with amazing museums, culture, and art. Here are some of the best.

#12: Babes Imbibing: Best Ladies Nights in Bangkok for free bubbly, beer, and cocktails

Photo: W Hotel Bangkok/Facebook

From bubbly to beer to bad cocktails, Coconuts Bangkok dishes on the best places for ladies to get lit without spending a satang.

#11: Glamping in Southeast Asia: 7 gorgeous spots overlooking mountains, beaches, and rainforests (Coco Travel)

Photo: Sandat Glamping Tents/Facebook

Coco Travel broke down some of the most amazing locations in Southeast Asia to rough it in style.

#10: The Nasi Lemak burger at Mickey D’s: Succulent sandwich, or gimmicky garbage? (KL)

Was this McDonald’s special an appalling affront or tasty tribute to Malaysia’s national dish? Coconuts KL found out.

#9: Disrupting the vegan scene: Locavore opens premium ‘nose-to-tail’ butcher shop in Ubud (Bali)

Meat on meat. Photo: Coconuts Bali

In Bali’s vegan/yogi hamlet of Ubud, one meat-centric restaurant elicited groans of horror from some and joy from others.

#8: Durian drinks taste test: Durian coffee and tea, plus pandan, avocado, and red bean oddities (Singapore)

Photo: Coconuts Media

Driven by the potential glee of bombarding her durian-hating colleagues with the stench of the King of Fruits, our writer rounded up five bizarre concoctions from across Singapore for a taste test.

#7: Brunch in KL: 10 best buzzy cafes for pancakes, pastries, pastas, and poached eggs

Photo: VCR/Facebook

Coconuts KL rounds up a list of eateries that serve all-day brunch, for those who want pancakes, waffles, toasts, and eggs in all forms any damn time they please.

#6: We tried Homeburg, the viral burger spot that only makes four burgers daily and has a wait list of 1,000 (Bangkok)

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

This monumental Bangkok burger was enough for our non-meat-eating writer to break 15 years of vegetarianism.

#5: Not just another cheesy love story: The offbeat couple behind the all natural cheese brand giving Bali’s dairy industry life

Photo: Coconuts Media

Getting cheese in Bali isn’t easy. There aren’t many choices and what’s readily available is either processed… well, crap — or mere slivers of the good stuff, made unreasonably expensive thanks to drastic import markups. This couple is hell bent on changing that.

#4: Best date ideas in Singapore: Unique and creative ways to romance your partner with a night out

Photo: Picneeds/Facebook

This comprehensive list kept readers coming back in search of creative ideas for a romantic rendezvous  in Singapore.

#3: The Most Essential Jakarta Restaurants: The Best Places for Visitors to Find the True Flavors of the Indonesian Capital


From street food to fast food to fine dining, these are the restaurants you must try when you come to Jakarta. Selamat makan!

#2: The Coconuts guide to visiting Golden Rock, one of Myanmar’s famed Buddhist pilgrimage sites (Yangon)

Coconuts Yangon breaks down everything you need to know to visit one of Myanmar’s most beautiful Buddhist monuments, complete with beautiful and handy photos.

#1: Insta vs. Reality: Here’s what you need to know about what it’s *actually* like to stay at the Bali Bubble Hotel

Guess they save the white sheets for the bloggers? Photo: Coconuts Bali

Our writer had a lot of questions about the Bali Bubble Hotel that was appearing with alarming frequency in her Instagram feeds. How hot did it get in that bubble? Could you even breathe comfortably in there? How private was the space? Did passersby just stare at you? What was the bathroom situation? Where did you get food? What if it rained? 

So she booked a stay and got to the bottom of them.