I am back in sunny Dubai after a whirlwind trip back home to New Zealand. Where did the past two weeks disappear?

I flew via Singapore to Auckland, New Zealand and on the return path, I had an 8 hour transit in Changi Airport, Singapore.

As I was travelling alone, the thought of dwindling away 8 hours in Singapore all by myself seemed all too daunting and I was looking up Google on airport rooms and transit lounges.

Much has changed in Palmerston North, the little township of New Zealand I fondly call home. The bustling Broadway Ave is a ghost of its former self with big retail giants like Farmers moving into the grotesquely expanding mall, The Plaza. About a decade ago, the city center of Palmerston North spread beyond The Plaza, and I quite miss the charm of walking about town for my weekly dose of retail therapy.

Although the town looks shuffled with old favorites gone, and newbies playing trumps with bigger, brighter and newer signage, a few of my favorite foodie haunts have managed to survive the tests of time.

Here are 3 must-try places for foodies visiting Palmerston North:

palmerston north new zealand food restaurant review thai indian cafe cuba silk cake

Sunday morning was gloomy grey. The skies were dim with a hint of drizzle, and I would have continued nesting in my warm bed had my sister not announced she was heading to the weekly Palmy Farmer’s Market.

The Palmy Farmer’s Market sets up in Palmerston North every Saturday and Sunday morning from as early as 7 am till noon. It is a collection of stalls set up by local farmers from the neighboring towns, and Palmerston North residents flock here every weekend for great deals on fresh, organic farm produce.

Palmy Farmers Market flea market palmerston north new  zealand organic farm produce vegetables health maori samoan pacific island (3)

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A daffodil from my father’s garden.

28th August, 2015: Today marks the 25th anniversary of Daffodil Day in New Zealand.

Daffodil Day is Cancer Society New Zealand’s annual fundraising event. It was created to raise cancer awareness, as well as encourage donations for cancer research and funding the care of cancer patients in New Zealand.

Daffodils symbolize rebirth and new beginnings, and is therefore the perfect icon for Cancer Society New Zealand.

I landed in Auckland, New Zealand late into the night after a 20 hour flight from Dubai via Singapore.

My brother lives in Auckland, and as soon as I got to his bachelor pad I hit the snooze button.

I had a mid-morning flight to catch to our hometown Palmerston North the next morning, and we decided to make use of the earlier half of the day by visiting the Fo Guang Shan Temple.

Fo Guang Shan Temple (Auckland, New Zealand) (11)

Flying into Sharjah? A stay at Centro Sharjah might be just what you are looking for.

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The stylishly contemporary lifestyle business hotel is a stone’s throw away from Sharjah International Airport (we could even see the airport from our window!), and my family and I had the pleasure of being invited to try it out for ourselves last weekend.