ITE – The Lesser Visited Places in Japan

As iterated from the previous post, I went to an International Travel Expo in Hong Kong just one week ago.  Took a lot of pamphlets and brochures, and wanted to share some resources that I got.

 

Niigata in Japan (70 minutes from Tokyo)

50 years ago Niigata was an important trade hub with the highest levels of culture and the largest population in Japan.  The resonance of Jomon era pottery from 5000 years ago and modern day art.

Accommodations – Akakura Onsen Ski Resort, Akakura Kanko Resort Ski, Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort, Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort, Sekionsen Ski Resort, Lotte Arai Resort, Qupidvalley Ski Resort, Charmant Hiuchi Ski Resort, Naeba Ski Resort, Kagura Ski Resort, Kandatsu Kogen Ski Resort, Iwappara Ski Resort, Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort, Joetsu Kokusai Ski Resort, NASPA Ski Garden, Okutadami Maruyama Ski Resort, New Greenpia Tsunan Ski Resort Continue reading ITE – The Lesser Visited Places in Japan

International Travel Expo: Chiang Mai, Saipan, Sabah, Switzerland, Almaty, Nordic

 

Just one week ago, I attended the International Travel Expo in Hong Kong.  Due to my passion in travel, I pretty much grabbed every single brochure and pamphlet there was.  Now I wanted to share some of the resources I got from this expo.  We won’t go into details, just some websites and some references of different activities you can be doing at each place.  Besides the cities in Switzerland, I hope the below cities are places that are less major cities and less visited by tourists.

 

Thailand

(Activity) Ran-Tong Elephant Save & Rescue Elephant Centrewww.bestelephantsanctuarychiangmai.com and email at rantong_cm@hotmail.com; different programs for you to interact with elephants

Continue reading International Travel Expo: Chiang Mai, Saipan, Sabah, Switzerland, Almaty, Nordic

Serendipity Moments in Taipei

Just an hour away from Hong Kong, Taipei makes for an excellent weekend getaway for anyone who wants to escape from the materialistic, modern, and hectic culture of Hong Kong.  Although they typically share the same weather, with horrid humidity and typhoons during the summer, their cultures are actually quite different.  You will experience this just from listening to how each of them speak their languages.  Hong Kong people when they speak Cantonese are much more rough and aggressive, whereas Taiwanese speak their Mandarin in a very gentle and polite manner.  Their mannerisms and the way they walk reflect this too.

This trip around, I made it a point not to do any research on what to do or what to eat in Taipei.  Influenced by my cousin in law’s quote about how we don’t get lost and discover anymore, and that we all end up doing the same thing as covered by blogs and Instagram, I decided to just go with the flow and discover any restaurants by chance. Continue reading Serendipity Moments in Taipei

Fukuoka, Aso, and Sea Hell in Beppu

It’s been a couple years since I went to Fukuoka, Aso and Beppu.  We joined one of those tour groups so I didn’t prepare any itinerary.  As with most tour groups, there were a lot of bus riding, a lot of mediocre restaurants, and some OK hotels that we stayed in (so clearly this wasn’t my decision).

This will be purely a photo blog.

 

FukuokaDome shaped hotels in Aso Farm Village.  They also have Dom shaped onsen Continue reading Fukuoka, Aso, and Sea Hell in Beppu

One Night in Guangzhou

With plane ticket prices jacked up during Christmas period but still wanting to travel, we decided, “Why not try the new High Speed Railway in Hong Kong?” and go somewhere in China, like Guangzhou?  So two days before our trip, we decided to book our hotels and train tickets, leaving on a Thursday, and coming back to Hong Kong the following night.  So yeah, one night in Guangzhou.

One look at the people from Guangzhou and you can see the huge resemblance, in fact I would say just a mirror copy, of people from Hong Kong.  Compared with other Asians such as Japanese, Taiwanese, Koreans, even other provinces from China, you could still see some sort of difference between them and Hong Kong people.  But with Guangzhou, you could literally swap these two populations and they wouldn’t differ in terms of their physical appearances.

In fact, I could quickly imagine how Hong Kong would have been if it wasn’t occupied by the British but instead was governed by China all this time… it may have been very identical to the city of Guangzhou. Continue reading One Night in Guangzhou

One of the Best Places to Eat in the World is in Florence, Italy

Florence to me is such a beautiful city.  She has a marvelous and striking appearance – her natural beauty is apparent in the morning, but after putting on her “makeup” at night, she becomes radiant.

Notable famous people who were born in Florence included Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.  Things you have to visit include the Uffizi Gallery, Galleria dell’Accademia and the Florence Cathedral.

People have suggested that the word Florence is derived from the Latin word, florere, which means blooming, which is pretty close to the Italian word for flower which is fiore. Continue reading One of the Best Places to Eat in the World is in Florence, Italy

Artsy Venice

Before coming to Venice, you would have this romantic image of the city in your mind – gondolas with strong masculine men with baritone voices singing while the gondola tours around the city, buildings floating magically on water, and an abundant number of celebrities being spotted here and there.

Unfortunately, this blog post isn’t going to continue on with this illusion, but rather I will paint you the proper picture of what Venice is.

Despite its water canals that you see on its postcards, you get quite used to it within a couple hours while reaching there.  Instead, you’ll see these water canals very soon as similar to roads, whereby they are sort of “hurdles” you have to get through.  You get water taxis that bring you to different places.  Maybe it’s the murky weather I got when I was there, but Venice was definitely much more romantic hearing about it than actually seeing it. Continue reading Artsy Venice

Inspirational Role Models

Here on this post, I will write the names of persons that I am inspired by, motivated by, or have learned a lot from.  I will continue updating this post due to new role models, or perhaps any role models that I have forgotten to include that just suddenly spring to my mind.  This post is more for myself, but feel free to see if any of these role models also inspire you.

By the way, just because I put them on this list doesn’t necessarily mean I adore them, respect them, or like what they do (so I guess perhaps Role Models may not be the most appropriate term, but whatever).  Instead, it’s more that they shaped who I am, or intrigued me.  For example nowadays a notable controversial figure, Donald Trump, is on my list, because all these years I’ve been taught to raise people’s potential, don’t bash on other people, yet he has these abrasive demeanours that serve him well, abolishing everything I learned.  Someone like Trump makes me revise what I’ve learned, like perhaps being polarising is more important in influencing audience than being just nice and kind to everyone.  He therefore intrigues me.  Another one is Gordon Ramsay.  I have no intention to be an extraordinary cook, but his passion in cooking is contagious.

And by the way, this post will mainly comprise of well known persons. Continue reading Inspirational Role Models

Mount Kilimanjaro and Tanzania Safari

Kilimanjaro just happened to be the place where, for the first time, I felt as if I was brought out of the bubble I was living in and realised just how different and large the world was.

Just before we delve deeper into this blog post, I must warn you that a majority of this post will be mainly a photo blog post just because… this trip was taken more than 12 years ago!  We’re talking about a time when smartphones didn’t exist, and I was using my digital camera to take the pictures below, printed these photos from long time ago, and then I had to scan them to my computer one by one just for this post.  That said, there are aspects of the trip, the emotions I carried with me, that linger within me that I will do my best to express them in this blog.

Mount Kilimanjaro is famous for being the tallest mountain on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.  You would think that such a description was the reason why it allured me to sign up to partake in this school trip, but rather, it was my own naiveness and my own bubble that I was living in that really made me participate.

You see, I had just switched schools and I guess was consuming too much information at once at the new location.  When a trip to Kilimanjaro was announced, I imagined in my mind to be a Cross Country race instead in Hong Kong, which having been participating in Cross Country school teams, I was like, “Yeah, sure, I could do this.”  They even mandated that there would be two extra-curricular sessions per week a month before setting off to raise our fitness levels. Continue reading Mount Kilimanjaro and Tanzania Safari