Unique Cultural Experiences You Need To Try When Touring Asia | Clozette

There’s no point in travelling if you don’t immerse yourself into other cultures. While visiting attractions can be good enough for short trips, sometimes these mainstream travel activities leave much to be desired. If you have a bit more time in your hands, why don’t you sign up for some cultural experiences unique to the country you’re visiting? Asia is home to a myriad of interesting cultures, so there’s surely something different to try wherever you go.

Tokyo: Washi Paper-making

If you’re obsessed over paper crafts and stationery, you’ll find a unique cultural experience right in the capital that’s just for you. Ozu Washi, a paper shop that's been operating since the 1600s, has a Handmade Washi Experience Studio where you could try your hand at making your own sheet of washi. Washi paper-making is a treasured tradition that has now become a UNESCO Intanglible Cultural Heritage. The textured paper produced from this arduous process is said to be thicker and more durable so it’s perfect to take home as a souvenir. 

Hong Kong: Tea Tasting and Pairing

For foodies out there looking for an enriching experience in Hong Kong, why not book a workshop on tea tasting? Tea houses around the city like Ming Cha offer workshops and tea ceremonies where guests can have a sip of different sorts of warm aromatic teas. This unique cultural experience is not just for the tastebuds, though. By reserving a slot in these sessions, you can learn more about the production processes, proper tea brewing, and food pairing.

Singapore: Peranakan Beading Class

Learn more about the colourful Peranakan heritage by taking a workshop on Peranakan beading, a dying art practised by Nyonya (women) in the early 20th century. Stitch tiny vibrant beads into a spectacular embroidery, which could be used in traditional Peranakan slippers or other fashionable accessories for every day. Gain the basic skills for this intricate craft by booking sessions offered by a number of local boutiques like Rumah Bebe and more. 

Kuala Lumpur: Batik Workshop

Batik-dyed fabrics are famous for their one-of-a-kind vivid patterns. Each country has its own version of the technique and print as influenced by their local cultures. Though Indonesian batik may be the best known, you can also try out the craft if you ever find yourself in Malaysia. Discover the complex art behind the production of these textiles by enlisting one of Batik Boutique’s workshops in Kuala Lumpur. Enjoy the unique cultural experience of designing and dyeing your very own fabric, which you can take home as a keepsake.  

Manila: Filipino Cooking Classes

Enlisting in cooking classes to learn how to cook local dishes like these Filipino barbequed chicken is a unique cultural experience everyone should try in Asia

There’s no better way to experience the Philippines than through its food. But aside from just munching on the exotic street food, why don’t you take it up a notch and book a cooking class during your stay? Filipino cuisine is a mouth-watering treasure trove, with local flavours having Spanish and Chinese influences. A ton of local chefs are offering to teach you home-cooked favourites through sites like AirBnb and Traveling Spoon. For a more professional approach, you can also book a one-day cooking session hosted by PACE CFT, a culinary school in the metro. 

(Cover photo from: @_smarkies_)

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There's a rise in music festivals on our side of the world — think Ultra Music Festival and We The Fest — but we’re not complaining. If you're contemplating your next festival ensemble, then why not borrow some inspiration from the Clozette Community?

Cheeky Tube Top

Festive Outfits

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Summer Cropped Top

Festive Outfits

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Move over, hair clips and bedazzled barrettes — another ‘90s hair trend is making its comeback this year: the scrunchies. That’s right. Your go-to childhood accessory is taking over Instagram, bigger and better than ever. Surprisingly, this new wave of colourful cloudlike hair accessories didn’t come from the more popular fashion brands that instantly draw hype. Instead, it all started with a humble store called Room Shop Vintage based in Philadelphia. Aside from selling vintage pieces, the shop creates sustainable products like these oversized hair ties made from recycled fabrics. Luckily for us, Room Shop Vintage ships internationally, so we in Asia can get our hands on their products, too. If not, DIY-ing is an option if you’re into crafts

Want to ride on this nostalgic giant scrunchie trend? You won’t go wrong with these vintage chic styles.

A classic tail

You can never go wrong with wearing a basic ponytail. Wherever you go, and no matter the occasion, this look would perfectly give your outfit some girly sophistication. Not to mention, having your hair up gives quite the relief from the heat.

Roll it in a bun

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Want to inject a little elegance to your evening out? If you think the giant scrunchie trend can be too overwhelming, try using it to tie your hair in a bun for an understated look. Pair it with a simple monochromatic dress so your hair becomes the star of your ensemble.

Braid it up

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Don’t think that the giant scrunchie trend is good enough in a simple style, however. Try to experiment at times, too. For days when you’re feeling a bit fancier, have fun and try braiding your hair a dozen ways to mix things up. 

Bubbly ‘do

If you’re not a braids person but want to switch up your usual ponytail anyway, opt to wear your locks in a Bubble ponytail instead. It’s fancier yet easier, as you just have to tie another elastic every few inches to create a new section. No need to tug your strands in between for volume, because the giant scrunchies give it that already. 

Cut it in half

Have short hair? Don’t worry — you can still work the giant scrunchie trend. Separate the upper half portion of your hair and tie it in a knot at the back. The oversized hair tie makes for a completely whimsical look.

Colour code

So as to not make your statement hair accessory clash with your whole outfit, opt to coordinate the colours of your ensemble. Keep it a bit more minimalist by wearing exactly the same muted shade, or at least choose within the same colour family.

Hand it over

There are times when our scalp feels tired and suffocated from having our tresses pulled in a tie. But at the same time, we also want to keep our hair tied to feel fresh all day long. For those days, the best option is to keep our hair ties accessible when we absolutely need them. What’s great about these supersized scrunchies is that they make good accessories for our wrist as well. Talk about multi-tasking and eye-catching! 

(Cover photo from: @roomshopvintage)

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