Epilogue – 2013 冬の北陸旅行記

We are back from our tour of Western-Central Japan! It was cold, but we had fun! And brought home 3,400 worth of pictures to prove it. Admittedly, I would not have planned for… Continue reading

Nagoya, in a Nutshell

It used to be that Nagoya (名古屋) could not evoke any sort of interest in us. That would have totally explained why despite it being one of the five SIA Japan destinations (the… Continue reading

10 Things about Shanghai

Shanghai is also known as Hu (沪), the official abbreviation. It is this chinese character 沪 that one sees on motor vehicle licence plates registered in Shanghai. It is a port city on Huangpu… Continue reading

Epilogue – 匆匆沪之行

Observations on Shanghai The trip was essentially our very first to China. We both had been to Hong Kong a couple of times and I to Shenzhen for a couple of days too,… Continue reading

CHAR Grill: A Photo Gallery

I did wrap up all the posts on our trip to Shanghai last Dec in Jan this year, but something was nagging in the back of my mind. To be specific, I really… Continue reading

Resplendent Pudong

Shanghai is divided into the East and West segments with the Huangpu River (黄浦江) flowing through it. As such, the area to the east is called Pudong (浦东) and the area to the… Continue reading

Oh, What a View!

This short trip to Shanghai started out as a need to get away from it all for a while; it was last-minute, and completely unplanned for. That would have explained why we chose… Continue reading

The Quintessential Shanghai Xiaolongbao

Because we have eaten at 3 separate restaurants serving superb Shanghai Xiaolongbao (上海小笼包) on this trip, the mister mandated that I must write about our experiences (despite the fact that he does not eat… Continue reading

Shanghai Faves: 田子坊 and 朱家角

Two of my favourite places that we visited during this Shanghai Trip must be Tianzifang (田子坊) and Zhujiajiao (朱家角). The former is a small, renovated residential enclave in the French Concession now stuffed… Continue reading

West Lake, the Heaven on Earth

上有天堂,下有苏杭 This is a very famous Chinese saying that most speakers of the language, no matter how inept, would have heard before. The literal translation is, ‘Heaven up there, Suzhou and Hangzhou down… Continue reading

Romanticising The Bund

The Bund requires no introduction. Without a doubt, I am referring to The Bund in Shanghai, a waterfront area found in central Shanghai and is singularly the most famous tourist attraction of Shanghai.… Continue reading

Planning – 2013 冬の北陸旅行記

Planning for 2013 冬の北陸旅行記 (Winter in West-Central Japan) commenced way earlier than expected, a little more than 7 months ahead. It may even appear to be needlessly excessive (as it did initially, to… Continue reading

Walking the Town Wall and More

We slept our jet lag away by going to bed early the night before. Wise decision it was; we were bright and alert the next morning to explore more of Rothenburg ob der… Continue reading

The Red Fortress above the Tauber

In German, it translates to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This well-preserved medieval old town is situated within Bavaria Germany and earned itself such a name due to its location upon a plateau overlooking… Continue reading

Planning II – 2011 White Christmas

There have been further changes made to the trip route, in less than a week since I last posted the last draft route. I discussed some more with several people, including the mister… Continue reading

Planning I – 2011 White Christmas

I’m not entirely certain why this is so, but oddly enough we’ve never been to Germany (though we’d been to many other parts of Europe). I mean, Germany is in central Europe and… Continue reading

10 Things about Italy

Italy, or Italia in Italian, has an official name called the Italian Republic and is shaped like a boot. Rome, the capital, has a population of 3 million and is nicknamed the ‘Eternal City’. It… Continue reading

Romancing Our Love, Venezia

Venezia (or ‘Venice‘ in English) was suitably the first stop of our 18-day grand tour of Italia given how much we loved this enchanting little city (and had vowed to return with the… Continue reading

Beautiful Spring Blooms of Central Japan

[2009.05.03] It was unfortunate that we chose to make this short trip to Tokyo during Japan’s Golden Week, notorious for crowds everywhere one turns. Incidentally it was also a great time to make… Continue reading

10 Things About Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. There are about 12 million people in the official metropolitan area alone. 2 airports serve Tokyo – Narita Airport… Continue reading

Tokyo Extravaganza D6: Yokohama, Revisited

It was a Monday, and very likely a public holiday in Japan because E didn’t need to report for work (can’t remember it now, it being almost 5 years later). Instead he gamely… Continue reading

Tokyo Extravaganza D4+5: A Walk in the Park, Mostly

And the park in question here? Yoyogi Park (代々木公園), one of Tokyo’s largests parks located adjacent to Harajuku Station (原宿駅) and Meiji Shrine (明治神宮). The discovery of how interesting a mere park could be… Continue reading

Tokyo Extravaganza D3: Asakusa & Odaiba

Asakusa (浅草) is located on the north-eastern side of central Tokyo and is most famous for Senso-ji (金龍山浅草寺), an ancient Buddhist temple. Senso-ji is dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon, is apparently the oldest… Continue reading

Tokyo Extravaganza D2: Imperial Palace & Tokyo Tower

Not many tourists to Japan know this little snippet but with some prior planning, anyone could apply to attend a free tour of the Tokyo Imperial Palace (皇居). This is also the only… Continue reading

Tokyo Extravaganza D1: Harajuku & Shibuya

Finally, we were properly according some time to explore Japan. Apart from this being our first time together to the Land of the Rising Sun, it was also landmark in it being our… Continue reading

How It All Began

We never used to believe in planning for our own vacations. To us, a planned vacation is… somewhat like an oxymoron. Simply put, we would gladly pay a premium to travel agencies, and… Continue reading

Phuket: The Sights and Sounds

Phuket has changed a lot since we last visited. Several large shopping malls now replace the low-rise shophouses of the past. One of these mega shopping complexes is Jungceylon, which I’m fairly certain… Continue reading

Resilient Phuket and Its Seafood

The last time we visited Phuket was 4-5 years ago, before the tsunami tragedy struck the lovely island off the South-West coast of Thailand. We had wanted to visit earlier but the opportunity… Continue reading

First Permanent Capital and City of Vitality

Without a doubt, the cities I am referring to are Nara (奈良市) and Osaka (大阪) respectively. Nara, formerly known as Heijo (平城), was Japan’s first permanent capital, established in 710. Due to its… Continue reading

Kyoto and Its Rich Cultural Heritage

And Kyoto, the old Imperial Capital of Japan, was up next. Resources (from books to reviews from friends) reveal that Kyoto is one of the most, if not the most beautiful city in… Continue reading