9 times Toggle’s Family Wanders gave us major travel lust

Moments that made us want to pack up and get on the next plane overseas
Moments that made us want to pack up and get on the next plane overseas
11 Mar 2015

Moments that made us want to pack up and get on the next plane overseas

Travel shows and celebrity family reality serials are a dime a dozen in today’s day and age, which is why Toggle Original Production Family Wanders, which combines both worlds, provides a breath of fresh air.

The twelve-part programme follows the adventures of six MediaCorp artistes and their family members (or, in Felicia Chin’s case, her coach) as they traipse around different countries taking in the sights, sounds, crowds and cuisines of the place. At the same time, their getaway presents valuable opportunities for them to learn more about each other, and to bond (or break?) over a variety of personal topics.

As the episode featuring Zhang Zhen Huan playing tour guide for his father around Singapore airs today, we look back on the other times his globetrotting colleagues, who visited Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea, struck us with severe wanderlust thanks to the myriad of fun activities they engaged in overseas.

And be warned: we will not be held responsible for any spontaneously booked flights to any of the awesome holiday destinations presented in the show.

Catch new episodes of Family Wanders every Thursday on Toggle for free.

When Ian Fang had authentic sashimi and Japanese stew
When Ian Fang had authentic sashimi and Japanese stew
11 Mar 2015

When Ian Fang had authentic sashimi and Japanese stew

We could’ve sworn we caught the tantalising aroma of fresh fish and piping hot soup wafting through our screen when Ian and his mum sat down for a traditional Japanese dinner (on the floor, surrounded by paper screens and tatami mats and all) of sumptuous sashimi and mouth-watering chankonabe, a Japanese stew commonly consumed by sumo wrestlers.

Sure, Singapore has nowhere near a shortage of restaurants that serve up dishes from the Land of the Rising Sun, but to indulge in grub right in its country of origin is another experience altogether.

When Ian Fang enjoyed bento outside a Japanese train station
When Ian Fang enjoyed bento outside a Japanese train station
11 Mar 2015

When Ian Fang enjoyed bento outside a Japanese train station

This could be a case of familiarity breeding contempt, but the thought of wolfing down chicken rice from a Styrofoam box outside the MRT station pales in comparison to indulging in a bento dish by the tracks of a quaint train stop in a small town part of Japan. Seriously, do Ian and his mum not look like they’re sitting in the scene of a Studio Ghibli production? Take us with you…

When Ben Yeo snacked by Jiufen’s stunning mountainous view
When Ben Yeo snacked by Jiufen’s stunning mountainous view
11 Mar 2015

When Ben Yeo snacked by Jiufen’s stunning mountainous view

After a bout of city slicker activities (manicures, shopping, night market trawling) in Taiwan’s capital city, Ben brought his mama up north to the ridiculously scenic Jiufen, where they spent time navigating the mazes of quaint little stores selling all kinds of fascinating novelties.

The part that really made our eyes widen in longing, however, was when they indulged in a syrupy local snack on a balcony overlooking a sprawling view of mountains, valleys and the small town’s charmingly kampong­-like structures. If that doesn’t give you the urge to teleport to a high-up location where you can take in such a breath-taking view, we don’t know what will.

But, if you’re the kind whose heart lies with the sands and shores instead, then his next destination will definitely make you turn sea green with envy…

When Ben Yeo embarked on a Yilan seaside retreat
When Ben Yeo embarked on a Yilan seaside retreat
11 Mar 2015

When Ben Yeo embarked on a Yilan seaside retreat

The next destination on Ben and mum’s list was picturesque Yilan, where they stayed at the delightful Play Hotel, home to rooms with different themes and décor but with one thing in common: gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows boasting unobstructed views of the surrounding skies and waters. We could live in a place like that forever.

And as if their accommodation wasn’t enough to elevate our travel bug to feverish heights, the duo had to go and end their episode by taking a stroll along the nearby beach at sunset. (Longing sigh)

When Lee Teng had seafood on a boat in Hong Kong
When Lee Teng had seafood on a boat in Hong Kong
11 Mar 2015

When Lee Teng had seafood on a boat in Hong Kong

After the usual must-see and must-do stuff in Hong Kong (from retail therapy to checking out celebrity-frequented dessert houses), Lee Teng and his mum climbed into a small boat that took them to a bigger boat, where they indulged in some extremely tempting-looking seafood on the floating restaurant. Needless to say, we were also left fantasising about digging into a mouth-watering spread of crab and shellfish out at sea.

If you’re the kind who gets seasick easily, then the following water-related sport should appeal more to you:

When Lee Teng went “funny hookless fishing” on Lamma Island
When Lee Teng went “funny hookless fishing” on Lamma Island
11 Mar 2015

When Lee Teng went “funny hookless fishing” on Lamma Island

We’re not quite sure what’s so “funny” about this activity (which it really is called, according to a wooden sign by the fishing venue), unless it refers to the hilarious reactions of first-time partakers trying to reel in finned game with naught but a string on a stick and, instead of a hook and worm, a small dead fish.

As ghetto as that sounds, we couldn’t help but be thoroughly amused by Lee Teng and his mum’s antics as they tried to succeed in the seemingly simple task – or not: from the looks of it, trying to pull huge, protesting fish out of the water is a lot harder than it looks, but it also seems like a ton of fun. If anyone’s been looking for a way to level up from prawning, this would be it.

When Felicia Chin led an Australian farm life (for a while)
When Felicia Chin led an Australian farm life (for a while)
11 Mar 2015

When Felicia Chin led an Australian farm life (for a while)

Fellow critter lovers will no doubt squeal in delight when they see Felicia and her mentor Coach Jo in the company of a bevy of furry friends at Mowbray Park Farm in New South Wales. Besides meeting and petting the darlings, the Mama Shop lady boss also had the chance to feed them and even milk a cow, which she aced on her first try. Why bother with Farmville when you can really live the life of the caretaker of cute creatures?

That wasn’t the only time Felicia and Coach Jo got up close with animals. Later on, they also dropped by the Koala Hospital, which, as its name suggests, is a sanctuary that tends to the injured and sick marsupials before releasing them back into the wild. Cue the touched tears (and the sudden urge to cuddle one).

When Felicia Chin rode a quad bike across the Worimi sand dunes
When Felicia Chin rode a quad bike across the Worimi sand dunes
11 Mar 2015

When Felicia Chin rode a quad bike across the Worimi sand dunes

Felicia unleashed her inner biker babe (well, sort of) when she traversed across the Sahara-like Worimi Conservation sand dunes on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle), and golly if that doesn’t look like a truckload of fun. Just the thought of riding up and down small hills as high as 40m out in a wide open space is enough to get our adrenaline junkies raring for some action. In the meantime, we probably have to settle on a rollercoaster in the south of the island…

When Jayley & Hayley Woo tried skiing in snowy Seoul
When Jayley & Hayley Woo tried skiing in snowy Seoul
11 Mar 2015

When Jayley & Hayley Woo tried skiing in snowy Seoul

To anyone who has grown weary of Singapore’s harrowing heat and humidity (although we must admit that the weather has been much more forgiving these past few weeks), scenes of snow are like a glimpse into paradise, which is why the doe-eyed twins’ visit to the home of the Hallyu Wave made us long to be in the midst of Winter Sonata-worthy flurries. Plus, we’d love the excuse to put on some extremely adorable winter wear and accessories – scarves and earmuffs and mittens, oh my! (Or, as Jayley and Hayley kept exclaiming as they zoomed down the slope in their skis, “Jinjja daebak!”, or “Really awesome!”)

Special mention: When Zhang Zhen Huan did touristy things in Singapore
Special mention: When Zhang Zhen Huan did touristy things in Singapore
11 Mar 2015

Special mention: When Zhang Zhen Huan did touristy things in Singapore

Instead of visiting another country, China-born  Zhen Huan’s dad came to the Lion City from Sichuan and they covered almost every touristy thing you would think of doing here, from visiting the Merlion to ooh­-ing and ahh­-ing at Gardens by the Bay to shopping on Orchard Road to enjoying local delights – and we must say, it did make us feel like going out there and exploring the island a little more. 

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