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

The Menjangan Part 2: Underwater Gardens

He plunged into the water and darted in front of us, the effortless movements of his slender body a telltale of his affinity to the ocean. He looked around, scanning the corals beneath… Continue reading

The Menjangan Part 1: Sweet Air & Birdsong

The intense sweet and faintly zesty redolence of lush forest instantly permeated the air as I opened the car window. The deep, earthy scent of the dirt road augmented the complex chemicals in… Continue reading

An Unlikely Urban Sanctuary

Tiny palm-sized winged creatures hopped gleefully among curious visitors. Each bearing a navy blue mask around the eyes, a contrasting ribbon amid its cotton white feathers. Bedazzled eyes followed them as they tweeted… Continue reading

Paris of Java, Past and Present

Asia, late 19th century. The long-contending British and Dutch colonial forces have by now settled on their respective colonies. The British realm in this part of the world was unrivaled, straddling vast swathes… Continue reading

An Epic Love Story, Retold

The sun starts to slip into the horizon, slowly giving way for night to crawl in. The blue skies turn orange, then red, and purple before darkness takes over. Meanwhile under the velvet… Continue reading

Building A Multicultural Singapore

Multi-tiered pastel-colored shophouses lined the narrow alleys of Singapore’s Chinatown. Every turn revealed a lively street culinary scene with food carts and restaurants serving a wide array of Chinese dishes, occupying the muggy pedestrian-only… Continue reading

Tastes of the Island of Gods

Bali lures people from all over the world to come and see its prolific rice terraces, turquoise beaches, rich marine life, and active volcanoes. Also for its unique cultural scenes mostly exclusive to… Continue reading

Behind the Scenes at What an Amazing World!

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of my blog, and over the years this blog has evolved in many ways, most notably its visual appearance and writing style. Many of you, dear readers,… Continue reading

Pura Singapadu: Beauty in Details

We only had 3 hours left before we had to be at the airport in Bali to catch the flight back to Jakarta. But after watching the Barong performance at Batubulan and having… Continue reading

A Day of Retreat at Stanley

From Hong Kong Island’s heavily-indented southern coastline a sleepy town called us in on a chilly winter night. The double-decker bus that we took meandered through winding, narrow roads, dimly lit by street… Continue reading

2014, A Year of Islands

Tempus fugit, where has the time gone? It feels to me that my second trip to Hong Kong was just a month ago. But the truth is it was back in late January,… Continue reading

Revitalizing A Haunted Building

A woman with long black hair wearing plain, white long cloth appeared, but her eyes looked menacing, her skin so pale, and her feet not visible. A man waved to the infrared camera,… Continue reading