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
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.
Dome shaped hotels in Aso Farm Village. They also have Dom shaped onsen Continue reading Fukuoka, Aso, and Sea Hell in Beppu
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
And Live Rome it did. Despite its tumulous and rich history, Rome continues to exist today with lots of historical moments intact, or at least, conceivable enough to recognise what it could have been.
This will again be a photo blog. Will feature the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, FOOOD, Trevi Fountain, and lots of artwork and statues. Continue reading Viva Roma!
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
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
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
Seriously, bravo to anyone who has driven the Amalfi Coast. That place is no easy drive and from the reviews I’ve read online, so many people have expressed the same sentiment. I felt really horrible since I wasn’t the best driver in the world and I had a difficult time driving Amalfi Coast, only to realise that even people like an ex military pilot expressed their trouble when driving that route.
This post will allow me to share my tips and strategies that I’ve learned after my recent trip to Naples, Amalfi Coast and Milan.
Continue reading Bravo to Anyone Who Has Driven the Amalfi Coast and Other Useful Tips For Italy
Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, rightfully deserves its name. With multiple shopping streets such as Via Montenapoleone and Corso Venezia rivalling that of Paris’ Champs Elysses, it’s no wonder everyone dresses so elegantly and differently in Milan, despite being in a country notable for being impeccably fashionable.
But fashion isn’t the only thing that makes the city stylish; it’s the entirety of its environment. The architectural design, its presentation of food, and even Milanese mannerisms are all very classy. Yes, Milan is a stark contrast from Naples, a city that is just one hour away by plane.
I love Milan. This trip, I definitely put Milan and Capri Island as two of my favorite cities, no doubt. Despite how people tell me how dismayed they are about how “old” Milan is, I don’t really agree. Sure, it’s not Barcelona, but Milan has its own charm and beauty. It sort of reminds me of New York, but without the hectic, hustle and bustle, and much cleaner.
Continue reading We’re Here Milan, Fashionably
On our return trip from Amalfi Coast to Naples, we were ahead of our itinerary and decided to stop by Pompeii since it was sort of along the path from Sorrento. Pompeii is about a 30 minute drive away from Naples.
Pompeii is famous as it is a city that was decimated and buried due to a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Many of the inhabitants living there were not able to escape this disastrous event. Because of this history, it has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy to this day.
For your information, we went to park our car at Porta Marina in Pompeii since while researching, it said that it was a parking lot more likely to have spaces. Once we stepped outside the parking lot, there was a local telling us to step inside their office to purchase admission tickets for €17 each and you get to skip the line. Unfortunately, the line they meant wasn’t for the entrance; it was for queuing the line to BUY the ticket, which wasn’t even that long! Again, we felt scammed in Italy. Fortunately, the original admission ticket is €15 each, so we didn’t feel too ripped off. Continue reading Pompeii, the City Buried Under by Volcanic Ashes