Tokyo Is Like A Bento Box

You read that right, Tokyo is like a bento box.  A perfect metaphor as I sat watching my friend struggle to think of a way to eat his bento box… without a spoon.  You’d expect a bento box bought in Family Mart to come with a spoon somewhere in the packaging, but actually you would need to get the spoon individually.  I guess he didn’t double check as we were rushing to take the train to Shinjuku from the airport… trains in Japan are never early, never late, always punctual, and so we wanted to be at least 2 minutes early to the platform. Continue reading Tokyo Is Like A Bento Box

Offseason In Santorini

Don’t go during the very offseason in Santorini.

A lot of amazing accommodations are not opened.  A lot of amazing restaurants are not opened.  The weather can be terrible – frosty and cold while raining, making the cobbled pathways slippery and uncomfortable to walk in.  Sometimes, it hails at night.  It’s pitch black during the night.  A lot of shops aren’t opened.

Yet again, perhaps due to these reasons we had cheaper accommodations and flights.  Perhaps that’s why Santorini seemed like it belonged to us, as there were no other tourists to fight with. Continue reading Offseason In Santorini

Dubai Is Not A Walking City, But A Dining City

I once read a blog saying that there were many cities where you’re supposed to walk and take in the experience of the new travel destination, but Dubai was not one of them.

I concur.

Our final destination was supposed to be Athens, Greece.  However, there were no direct flights available when we went just before Christmas from Hong Kong; there had to be a stopover.  After looking at multiple choices, we settled on Dubai.  Why?  Well, the feedback we’ve gotten from Dubai was that it was a city where you can spend two to three days there and it was enough.  My own opinion on that later.

So, we arrived quite early at 5:35am to the Dubai International Airport.  Contrary to all the lauding and praise of the airport, I was not amused.  Nothing suggested modern, forward, or unique.  Sure it was in light desert colors, giving it of Middle Eastern theme, and sure there were restaurants and shops that were open at 2am when we were on our flights back to Hong Kong, suggesting they were probably opened 24/7, and sure it’s gigantic, but it didn’t stand out.  I mean, I would take the HK Airport or Singapore Changi Airport over Dubai Int’l Airport.

The feel of Dubai was a simple, laid back city.  The restaurant service, the walking pace, everything felt very leisure, in a non-rushed pace, which was quite an annoyance at first just coming from Hong Kong and trying to get out of the airport asap.  Even the metro felt it was driving at a “colloquial” pace.  Not saying it’s casual or unprofessional, just saying it’s the way of life here. Continue reading Dubai Is Not A Walking City, But A Dining City

Okinawa aka All You Can Eat Agu Pork

Just like you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a travel destination by its pictures.  I’ve been to places where the photos are prettier than the location, but Okinawa is the opposite – just when you think the island is just about the beaches and the sea (like Kenting), Okinawa provides a lot more than water activities and tanning.

Even though American military (navy) is based on this island, don’t think that you can speak English anywhere.  In fact, treat it as if you were at anywhere else in Japan – they couldn’t speak English most of the time!  Body and hand signals are vital if you don’t know how to speak Japanese! Continue reading Okinawa aka All You Can Eat Agu Pork

Cote D’Azur with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Yachts, and Bastille Attack

You see all these pictures of the French Riviera and think this area cannot be that nice right?  Right?  When I arrived in Nice, it was everything I expected and more.

I was based mainly in Nice for the week I was at Cote D’Azur… Nice is ideal if you’re traveling to places like Monaco, Antibes, Eze, and Saint Tropez.  Actually, I would recommend staying one night at Saint Tropez as there is no public transportation to go there (well very inconvenient), so usually people either take the boat or drive there themselves.  Besides Saint Tropez (spent a night there), all of my other trips were day trips.  I didn’t go to Marseille, but from what I’ve looked at you will probably need more than a day there plus it is a bit farther.  However, you can definitely go there by public transportation, ideally the SNCF train. Continue reading Cote D’Azur with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Yachts, and Bastille Attack

Shop, Shop, Shop in Paris

My trip to France was split into two parts – one was a few days in Paris at the beginning and one day at the end, and in the middle was my trip to Cote d’Azur.  If you’ve seen my older posts before, you will know that I’ve been to Paris once… although it was just for a two day weekend trying to cramp all the tourist attractions possible.  So if you’re looking for more info on Eiffel Tower, Sacred Coeur, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, the love lock bridge etc., I suggest you read my post C’est Paris!.  The purpose of my visit for Paris this time around is to act a little less touristy. Continue reading Shop, Shop, Shop in Paris

Surfing in Kenting

This is my second time going to Kenting.  The first time was about water activities, food, sightseeing, and chilling.  This time, it was about surfing.

Kenting is a simple, quiet area which offers little of everything else and plentiful of beaches and waves.  Kenting is often visited most by couples, families with children, and high school students, as evident by the people we saw.  Besides the Kenting night market, there is little elsewhere that you would see crowds, particularly at night.  A 15 minute walk from our hostel and not a single sighting of a bar; this place does not have any entertainment after sunset except for the night market.  There’s even one nightclub, the King Night Club, which to be honest from the outside looks nothing like a nightclub – all I see are dart tables, and no trace of a dance floor.  (OK I’m on their Facebook and there are tables and chairs and you watch performances… and sometimes you can dance on the floor).  What can I say, we didn’t go in so maybe I shouldn’t be judging, but Kenting just isn’t a place for nightlife. Continue reading Surfing in Kenting

Living In The Du

Chengdu was everything I expected it to be, and at the same time everything I didn’t expect it to be.

Chengdu, an up and coming Chinese city, was in most areas similar to that of Shenzhen, appearance wise.  Old buildings, dirt, pollution… you could tell Chengdu was a Chinese city.  If anything, Chengdu was a bit scarier than Shenzhen as you can see that many buildings weren’t occupied and there were buildings that were still under construction with no clear indication that these buildings would be completed. Continue reading Living In The Du

A Weekend In Shanghai

Yup you read that right; my friend and I spent a weekend in Shanghai back in Sept. 2011 when I just started having a full time job.  In need of a break, we decided to spend a weekend in Shanghai to destress, be young, and have fun.

Since this is a post that’s done more than 4 years after my trip, the exact stuff I’ve done is a bit hazy.  Instead, I’ll put up pictures and a bit of description of what these pictures represent.

Maybe it’s just me, but I found the Shanghainese people to be direct and aggressive sometimes, at least for the people I met.  Not all of them, maybe a few, some of them were really nice to us of course.

Anyway I am not sure how well their English was since we were speaking mainly Mandarin with them, so of course I suggest going there with someone that speaks Mandarin as well! Continue reading A Weekend In Shanghai

16 Music Festivals To Go To In 2016

It’s 2016 and what better excuse to travel to different places by attending different music festivals around the world?  There are so many different music festivals, with different atmosphere, differente venues, different genres, different people, and of course different artists, that each and every single one of them can bring you a unique experience.  Here are 16 music festivals you should go to for 2016 (in alphabetical order): Continue reading 16 Music Festivals To Go To In 2016