A Short Escape to Ambarawa

“Please take me somewhere out of town. I want to see something refreshing.” That was a request my mother made over a phone call prior to my week-long holiday in Semarang back in late May/early June this year. For months until my father’s death in […]

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Memories of Anuradhapura

I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people who like to look at their old travel photos to relive the good memories that might otherwise have been forgotten. Images I took at night around Singapore’s Marina Bay remind me of the […]

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Snippets of Yogyakarta

About one and a half years ago, we were all shocked into disbelief as the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic, and life as we knew it was abruptly turned upside down. In the ensuing months, we adopted new habits so that we could […]

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A Slice of Taiwan in Semarang

Kota Lama. That charming part of my hometown Semarang seems to know how to keep me visiting whenever I’m in town. Despite the haphazard “revitalization” done by the city government (although they will be quick to point the finger at the central government in Jakarta), […]

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Exploring the World, Pandemic Style

When I began exploring places far from home more than ten years ago, cultural sights and performances were always high on my list of things to see and do. I can’t remember exactly when it started, but my interest in cultures that are different from […]

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New Spirit of A Grande Dame

Part 4 of 4 For the longest time, Semarang was known as a place to rekindle one’s nostalgic memories of things from the past. Having traditional snacks that had become increasingly hard to find in other big cities and dining at vintage restaurants serving Dutch […]

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Vestiges of Semarang’s Ethnic Quarters

Part 3 of 4 Jalan Pandanaran is a busy four-lane street in downtown Semarang, a city of 1.6 million people that is also the capital of Indonesia’s Central Java province. Its prime location connecting the city’s main square with a major roundabout to the west […]

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Sunset Peak and 2020 In Retrospect

In December last year, my visit to Hong Kong was not much different from my previous trips to the territory: I spent those days eating a lot of good food (dim sum and Cantonese-style roast duck are always a must), checked out new and interesting […]

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Batujaya: Dawn of an Era

It rises conspicuously amid green rice paddies as far as the eyes can see. Rectangular in shape and made from red bricks that are much older than other structures in its vicinity, Candi Jiwa is a low-rise ruin of a Buddhist sanctuary that was long […]

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