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

Colonial Splendor of the Lion City

A whitewashed spire emerged from the greenery amid a bevy of sleek and modern skyscrapers. Its Gothic-inspired windows were each fitted with wooden shutters, letting just enough tropical sun light penetrate into its… Continue reading

From Mei Ho House to the World

China, 1946. The World War II ended just a few months earlier, ending the brutal Japanese occupation on China. For decades the armed forces of the Republic of China and the Chinese Communist… Continue reading

A Mother’s Trouble

A big family were walking down the outer courtyard, each donning bright-colored traditional costume with some of the family members carrying ceremonial paraphernalia: small umbrellas with very long wooden handles and baskets made… Continue reading

Candidasa: A Lesson for All

Palm trees fill both sides of Bali’s eastern coast road, with small puras – Balinese Hindu temples – occasionally popping out amid modest houses, a scenic setting for a juxtaposition of bucolic scenes… Continue reading

The People Who Stayed

China and India today are two of the most populous countries on Earth with a combined population of more than two billion people. In a planet where people live in more than 200… Continue reading