SINGAPORE, Nov 8 — Having presented travel shows such as “The Rail World”, 25-year-old Henry Golding is definitely no stranger to waking up in a strange, foreign country. And it looks like the Sarawak native is going around the region yet again, this time as the host of the “reality community support project show”, “Driving Change With Caltex”.
The project spans Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore, and Golding is tasked with missions such as building a school library, or converting a dump site into a football field for youths.
“I only found out what my charity mission in each country was going to be on the morning of, so not being able to do any research like I usually would was scary for me,” said the self-professed control freak. “However, my co-hosts, including Irene Ang and Andrea Fonseka, saved me by guiding me around and rallying local support through social media.”
What was the most touching example of community spirit you experienced on this project?
I was most touched in Thailand. The mission there was to build a new library for a school that had been hard-hit by a flood. It was really heart-warming when so many people responded to our efforts through social media to turn up and help despite the location being in this rural area four hours from Bangkok.
What is your favourite Asian destination?
I visited India for the first time a few months ago — a place I’ve dreamed of going to since I was a kid. We visited the beautiful desert fortress of Jaisalmer. It lies in the middle of the Thar Desert so we got to play around the sand dunes. I’ve been living in Asia for a while but this trip really opened my eyes because it was a completely new culture. It’s a very old city, and it was beautiful to see its entire heritage. It was an amazing trip.
What are your favourite activities to do in Sarawak and what would you recommend for travellers to do?
My favourite thing to do there is to just lounge around and have a picnic among the natural rivers and waterfalls, but if I was bringing a tourist around, I’d take them to Bako National Park. It’s a nature reserve where you can take a boat around and see herds of wild boar and poisonous snakes among the mangroves. It’s a pretty cool place to go.
What are some travel tips you’ve picked up from being on the road?
I’ve had a few passport scares and I’ve learnt to always have a specific pocket for your passport and return it to that same place every single time. Also, keep an open mind. Don’t stay on a concrete path. Be open to veer off it because you never know what might pop up and the great adventures you may get to experience.
What do you think are some essentials every traveller needs?
Bring a universal plug and a multi-socket extension. It may sound like a hassle but it’s very useful if you have multiple devices to charge. Also, bring a very large supply of vitamin C, especially when you’re on a long trip. It keeps you going. — Today