A stack of DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. YUMMY!
My favorite travel guidebooks are the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides.
I don’t care how popular Lonely Planet is, DK Eyewitness are the only travel guides I will travel with.
The X factor: full-colored, intricate detailed drawings of precincts, gardens, museums, palaces and etc.
They are now running a contest and the prize is an entire collection of DK Eyewitness Travel Guides — 112 guides worth!!
I am proud to be a Singaporean but there are times when I wish I live in the US. This is one of them. You have a US address, don’t miss this contest. It ends 15 March 2011.
If you don’t care for the books, GIVE THEM TO ME!!
The following is a thoughtful post written by my sister after she visited Seoul.
I was in Seoul early this year and was a little disappointed. Not that the city was not a vibrant fun place, but I was looking for something with a starker contrast to Singapore – you know, getting out of the urban setting for some fresh air. I was looking for something that reveals a bit of the soul of a place.
It was on the last day of my trip that I spotted this beautiful colonial train station next to the modern bustling Seoul Station. It was actually the original Seoul Station before a newer and bigger train station took over its role.
I walked towards the old station and realized it was abandoned. All the gates were locked but what I didnt expect was that it has become a much needed shelter for the homeless of this big metropolis.
The first sign was a homeless man sleeping in the midst of a bustling walkway and passing pedestrians.
It was a sunny Sunday and there was a mobile van turned into temporary sanctuary for a church service. There was a makeshift projector and even sound system with some church workers holding a service for the homeless or anyone who is willing to stop to listen. The church workers wore bright yellow vests and were singing in Korean, but I felt a sense of peace floating through the air even though I didn’t understand a word!
As I crossed the main atrium and walked behind the building, there was a bridge where you could see the railway tracks, but the first thing that hits you is the smell of urine.
There was an old man wrapped in thick blanket sleeping in the corner, and I guess a bottle of beer next to him.
There were more homeless men sleeping at the corners and along the bridge. There were make shift beds using cardboards, plastic sheets and I guess any materials they can find.
It was a very different face of Seoul that I stumbled upon. Life can be harsh for those left behind in the relentless quest for globalization. Strangely sad but ubiquitous by-product of urbanization it seemed. I left wondering who these people are, how they ended up on the streets, what would happen to them when the weather turns too cold to stay outdoors…
I’m finally back in Singapore after nearly 3 weeks in China.
It is strange that although we look alike and share the same language, there can be so many differences between a Chinese and me. A lot of the differences may be traveller’s shock, but I believe some differences definitely run deeper.
I am not a feminist, but I can easily become one if I reside in China.
I’m for choice. I believe it is a woman’s decision to choose her role in the world, society, workplace and family. If she wants to be a career woman, she should be. If she wants to stay at home and look after the kids, that’s a good choice too. But I realised that there must be a certain amount of freedom to exercise that choice. In a more limiting environment, women may need to be more forceful in order to secure the freedom to exercise choice. And the theoretical grounds for more forcefulness is provided by feminism.
I’m beginning to appreciate Singaporean men more.
I am at Changi Airport now, waiting for my flight to Beijing on Air China.
I am going to Wuhan University for a 2-week exchange programme with the Wuhan University Library. I could have flew to Wuhan via Guangzhou but the travel agent recommended via Beijing.
It is my maiden flight with Air China. I hope I don’t regret my decision to go with whatever the travel agent has arranged for me.
It is rare, I usually have to dash to the gate and have people stare at me for being the last passenger boarding the plane.
Today, I’m early. So early that the gate hasn’t even opened yet. So early that I have time to log in to a computer at the airport to post this.
As I type this, a long queue is already forming in front of the gate. I already know that the flight is very full at the check-in counter. I had to queue quite long to check in my luggage. I hate a full flight.
Looks like I got to queue to board the plane too.
Hmm, I might still be the last passenger.
One of the things I really liked about my stay in Melbourne was the discovery of old cars.
It is very hard to find old cars in Singapore because the government penalize people who have old cars. It is very expensive to own and drive cars that are more than 10 years old.
The Certificate of Entitlement (COE) for cars more than 10 years old is more expensive. Road tax is also higher. Insurance for old cars is also higher. Most people wouldn’t bother keeping the cars after 10 years.
As a result, we almost always only see fairly new cars on the road in Singapore.
So, when I see old cars like this:
I take pictures of them.
I’m starting to see old volkswagens in Singapore recently. Does this mean that Singaporeans are getting affluent?
The Baba House hotel is actually an old Peranakan house that has been refurbished.
We explored the courtyards, gardens, staircases and stairwells during our 1-day stay. The room is way below average, but the surroundings and the cafe, I like.
This picture always puts a smile on my face. That is what travel pictures should do.
In the foreground is the beverage table. See the coffee and tea pots placed neatly side by side? The coffee cups and saucers are also neatly stacked at the side. Plus the blue and white checkered table cloth. Quite quaint.
You want coffee or tea, get it yourself. It is free flow. Drink all you want.
The guy behind the counter should be the chef. Anyway, he took our breakfast orders. He has a nice friendly smile, just a bit shy and quiet. As i order my food, I started looked at the little items displayed on the rack at the back. Nothing valuable and in fact the items seem quite trivial. All I can think of is, random but neat.
Breakfast is simple but quite good. I like the kaya toast and the coffee. We were even enquiring about the source of the coffee powder so that we may buy a bit for home. Alas, it came straight from the factory.
The Baba House
125-127 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
75200 Malacca, Malaysia
I am not much of a hiker. A hiking trip would not be something that I would deliberately plan. So when my friends wanted to visit Grampians, I thought it was just a simple easy trip into nature.
We were ill-prepared for the hike. We didn’t bring enough water. Thank God nothing disastrous happened during our time out there.
Ill-preparedness aside, I think I can understand the fascination that hikers have for hiking. It is not just the physical exertion, it is also the “serendipitous” finds along the way.
I caught eye of this solitary head of grass while hiking in the Grampians. I am not a very good photographer but this photo came out so well. I was pleasantly surprised.