Three Months across Indonesia

If you have been following my blog for a while, you must have noticed that on July 1 this year I embarked on an extended trip – longer than any I had ever done… Continue reading

Taman Ayun: Beauty in Serenity

It appears on many advertisements and campaigns, from tour companies to the national airline. It is comfortably located in central Bali, off the main road connecting Bali’s capital to the western port of… Continue reading

Hollowed Hill and Enclosed Trees: A Photoessay

In 1884 the British colonial government in Hong Kong built a Victorian-style building in Kowloon as the headquarters of the Marine Police, directly facing the Victoria Harbor on Hong Kong Island across the… Continue reading

From Fish Balls to Submarines

Ask any Indonesians about what comes first in their minds when they think of Palembang, quite possibly most of them would answer “pempek”. Also known as empek-empek, the dish comes in a wide… Continue reading

The Burgeoning Pearl of the Musi

September 2004. First time in almost five decades that the Indonesian National Games (PON) were hosted by a city outside the island of Java. A 40,000-seater stadium was built in Palembang, the capital… Continue reading

Bogor at A Glance

Spread over a basin fringed by Mount Gede and Mount Salak, Bogor lies 54 km south of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, which together with the nearby cities of Tangerang, Bekasi and Depok form… Continue reading

Maritime Asia, Past and Present

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana, American-Spanish philosopher and novelist Since the invention of raft which eventually led to the creation of ship, humans have wandered… Continue reading

Batukaru: Sight, Sound, Taste

The silver minibus speeds through the main highway that connects Bali’s cultural heart at Ubud with the volcanic lakes of Bratan as well as Buyan and Tamblingan further north. Short moments after passing… Continue reading

Jakarta’s Focal Points: A Historical Perspective

“The atmosphere and interior of this cafe fit perfectly my imagination of Nanyang.” Dong Mei could not hide her excitement upon learning how well Cafe Batavia met her expectation: the imagination of an… Continue reading

Creating A City in A Garden

“From the beginning, even before Singapore became independent, we sought to build a world-class living environment here through greenery. At first we aimed to be a “Garden City” – parks, reservoirs, Kallang River… Continue reading

Western Hong Kong Island: A Walk Back in Time

History is a subject many people scrutinize with frown on their faces, one that triggers discussions and evoke memories, both good and bad. It also is a terrific means to raise a optimism… Continue reading

The Dutch, the Caretaker, and the Little Girl

Far from the bustling tourism hotspot in Bali’s south is the city of Singaraja, the capital of Buleleng Regency on the island’s northern coast. Founded by the king of Buleleng, Ki Gusti Ngurah… Continue reading

Lai Chi Wo: A Lychee Nest No More

Four centuries ago when China was ruled by the Qing Dynasty a few Hakka people – native to vast lands in southeastern China – searched for a new place to settle down, probably… Continue reading

The Red Dot: A Matter of Being Too Perfect

The tiny island has been serving one of the world’s busiest trade routes for centuries, beckoning people and money, like the Japanese fortune cat, to come to this strategically located piece of land.… Continue reading

In Search of Spices

If every single person on the planet were given the opportunity to travel around the world, I believe they would have answered ‘yes’ without the slightest doubt. Each individual, however, has his/her own… Continue reading