Travel black book: Seattle and Portland

Travel black book: Seattle and Portland

Who: Ms Gan Guo Yi, 29, general manager of cocktail bar Jigger & Pony in Amoy Street. The Singaporean, a former air stewardess with Singapore Airlines, co-owns the bar with her fiance, Mr Indra Kantono, 30.

Favourite places: Seattle and Portland

Why: The Pacific Northwest of the United States is a place with a lot of young people, and everyone there was really friendly and genuine.

I was introduced to "locavore" for the first time there - it's a trend in restaurants in the Pacific Northwest - where they source all the ingredients for their food within the vicinity of their restaurant. It's a cool idea. I went there with my fiance to unwind after the Manhattan Cocktail Classic conference in New York in May, and immediately fell in love with the place.

Seattle and Portland are about a 21/2-hour drive apart. They are similar in terms of culture and the food and drink scene, so I have to talk about them together.

Must-do activity

Visit Pike Place Market (85 Pike Street, Seattle, tel: +1-206-682-7453, open daily from 6am to 1.30am) at least twice while you're in Seattle.

The most famous part of the market is the fish market, which was featured in the book Fish! by authors Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen because of its fun atmosphere and excellent customer service.

I tried to bring my book along to get one of the fishmongers to sign it, but they were all so busy.

They really are as crazy and fun as portrayed in the book. One of them had attached a string to a fish that was on the ice, and whenever a little boy tried to touch it, the fishmonger would pull the fish back with the string, which really confused the boy. It's a place that proves that any job - including that of a fishmonger - can be fun.

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