EXCLUSIVE: Gok Wan, the fashion consultant and TV presenter, tells us about his favourite destinations, his most memorable holiday and the best cities for shopping.
My most memorable holiday was when I surprised my parents at the airport. They thought I was just going to see them off but I had taken a suitcase and booked a flight. We went out to Hong Kong and stayed in Kowloon and spent a week seeing the sights together – Hong Kong Harbour, the Peak and Hong Kong Island. We then went up to my father’s village where we did the traditional prayer offering to my ancestors, which is called Bisan. We ate incredible dumplings and noodles, and the shopping was great. We experienced all the amazing things that Hong Kong has to offer, all of it sweltering in 35c with 100% humidity – it was a sweaty but fun holiday!
I have never been on a cruise before, but I am about to go on my first one in July. Cruises appeal to me because they offer the chance to relax and get some much-needed downtime, but if you have a short attention span, like I do, there is always something to do. It will be very exciting to stop every couple of days in a new port and see a different city or country.
The places I like to visit tend to be very busy and are usually cities as I’m not a beach-boy kind of person. I love the whole of Asia, whether it’s Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand or Hong Kong. If I had to choose my last-ever holiday it would be somewhere in Asia where I could eat incredible Peranakan food and enjoy the culture – there is something about going home that is very fitting for a holiday.
My last holiday was a four-day city break in Warsaw. I have worked in Poland for the last nine years, but have never really been there on holiday. I love the city – there is so much to do, and I love the food and the culture. It was lots of fun discovering the city as a tourist. We went out on electric scooters and covered 62km in three days – the old town is very beautiful and there are lots of great new bars, restaurants and clubs. Notable places to visit are Bar Beirut as they do a mean cocktail and you can try lots of Polish dumplings at Zapiecek. We also went to Sakana and had some great Japanese food followed by Club Sen for cocktails by the river. One day we even scooted down the river and stopped at every single bar along the way – and there are lots of them in Warsaw!!
For my next holiday, I would like to go to the Caribbean as I have never been before and loads of my friends say it’s incredible. Cruising around the islands would be a great experience, and as I love West Indian food and reggae music I think it would be right up my street.
One of my favourite shopping destinations is New York – I love SoHo and all the little boutiques, and the US also does a great department store. Paris is another favourite with its high-end designer pieces, leather goods and boutiques – I like the city’s flea markets, too.
While I’m on holiday, I mainly listen to three types of music. I like opera and classical when I’m relaxing, but if I’m away with friends, I have an abundance of ambient house music which I put on in the background. And thirdly, reggae and lovers rock. But it depends on who I am with and where I am, of course.
I always over-pack; I have a trusty bag that has absolutely everything in it, from spare chargers to medicines and plasters. It travels with me all the time, and I also never go away without my travel steamer – it’s always needed.
The food in Singapore appeals to every single one of my taste buds. It’s a mecca for Asian food – I love the spice, the complex flavours and it does great vegetarian food, too.
Gok Wan will be a guest speaker on board Sapphire Princess on 6 July as he sails to the Norwegian Fjords as part of Princess’ celebrity speaker series.
For more information visit, princess.com.