What’s in his bag: Richie Koh the unprepared traveller

Being on the road for 6 weeks is no mean feat, especially if you under-packed for it like Richie Koh. So, how did he survive Australia’s winter?

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Photos: Joanna Goh
Video: Philip Ang, Charlene Chong


DIRECT FROM AUSTRALIA: The cast and crew of Toggle web series The Distance Between embarked on the ‘road trip’ of their lives when they had to travel across three states in Australia within a span of six weeks to film the 13-episode series.

They battled all sorts of weather elements during their time Down Under, from strong winds and hailstorms in winter to sudden torrential rain. And when the weather turned less chilly, they had to deal with the presence of a giant fireball i.e. the harsh Australian sun.

Being constantly on the move (they rarely spent more than three nights at a single location) meant they had to live out of their suitcases too. While Richie had the least problems with his baggage allowance (he had the smallest luggage out of the trio), he was also the least prepared for the trip. 

Case in point: the 25-year-old had to buy a new jacket when he was in Australia and a dozen packets of masks from local beauty stores because his skin was “breaking out” due to the harsh weather.

Don’t even get us started on how he brought summer (think: thin cotton) pyjama pants for the trip, thinking it’d be okay to wear it at night…

Just for fun, we checked in (or rather, sprung surprise room visits) on the three unsuspecting actors Chantalle Ng, Richie Koh and Shane Pow for an impromptu bag check after work hours to find out what are their must-have travelling essentials—or companions (yes, you read that right.)

In the hot seat this week, we have Richie and what he brought, or rather, bought in Australia. Watch the video below and read on for more!



#1 Sunglasses
“I must always have my shades with me ‘cos it’s a part of my style. No matter how badly dressed you are, if you add a pair of shades [to your outfit], you own the fashion game. I brought eight pairs of shades and I’ve got more in my carry-on bag. This is very important [for me] because the sun [in Australia] is harsh.

“I got this pair of shades before I flew to Australia – my younger sister bought it for me. I think you might see my character wearing it quite often, it’s my favourite.”

#2 Chilli sauce
“There’s no chilli sauce [served during mealtimes] in Australia so I bought this essential item here. This is the spiciest of the lot – extra hot sauce, sambal, extra pedas (spicy). Chilli sauce is hard to find in Australia and we bought this in the mini-mart. We’ve had this with us for about 38 days and this is my fourth bottle so far. I share this with everyone.

#3 Torch light
“There’s a story behind this – this is not something I brought from Singapore but brought along from one of our accommodation stops in Australia. We’ve been to a few places where we experienced a shortage of electricity. We went to a place called Drummond Cove Holiday Park – there was no electricity from 10pm at night to the next morning [because of a thunderstorm the night before and the town was out of electricity], so there was no electricity when we checked in.

“The owner bought us these torches – everyone else had LED torches but this was the biggest, uses the biggest batteries and is the brightest. So I brought this along with me without telling the boss when we left (laughs). This is a piece of memory I have of Adelaide.”

#4 Book
“I have a book called ‘The Human Stain’. The bookstores here are very pretty and gives off the Harry Potter feels. You feel very educated when you step into them and when you step out and realise that you spent money on books…

“I don’t really have a favourite author, I read books based on the story content.

#5 “Elephant pants”

“A lot of people are impressed by my pants – we call it the ‘elephant pants’… I also have it in another colour and I wear this to sleep [because] it’s very comfortable. My younger sister bought it for me when she went overseas, it’s very comfy and thin. But I can’t wear it here because it gets too cold. [Ed: We heard from the director that you sleep in the nude] Just joking! I have to wear clothes ‘cos it’s too cold, and I definitely have to use a mask before I sleep. My skin had a breakout one or two weeks ago and I forgot to bring masks so I had to buy these here. I spent a good amount of money on them.

Watch The Distance Between on Toggle now!

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