All posts tagged: city

Semarang: My Cherished Hometown

“Semarang is squeezed in the middle,” a pun my father once told me about the Central Javanese provincial capital which is also my hometown. We were discussing about how slowly Semarang developed compared to other major cities in Java – Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and even Yogyakarta. […]


Chennai: An Enduring Charm

Chapter 4, Part 14 A string of light emerged on the horizon – scattered yellow speckles suggestive of an incoherent network of offices, houses, temples and roads – forming a boundary against the darkness beyond. The plane made a turn, and more were presented to […]


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 cleaned up, Singapore River, later cleaned up… The next phase from being […]


Anniversary of the Big Durian

“I don’t want to work in Jakarta. Living there seems very stressful.” Those were the words I said to my friends back when we were still in college in Bandung, a big city with temperate climate surrounded by mountains and hills in West Java. At […]


Places of Worship: Beyond the Structure

A massive man-made structure surrounded by green pastures emerged from afar, in the eastern part of Semarang near the city’s suburban region with a volcano lurking from behind. Four pointy small minarets stood on an elevated platform, flanking a white dome over the terracotta-colored roof […]


Life in A Concrete Jungle: A Photoessay

It was the second week of my visit to Hong Kong earlier this year, the weather was rather gloomy and the temperature dropped significantly. Around the same time the Sochi Games had just started, yet Hong Kong was even colder than the 2014 Summer Olympics […]


Recollections of A Lost Icon

Gangsters running around dark alleys, carrying automatic weapons to shoot any raiding policemen they see. Prostitutes standing under neon signboards, in claustrophobic settlements where the sun hardly penetrates. Meanwhile, residents doing their daily activities, indifferent to the madness around them, carry on with their business […]


An Oasis In The Concrete Jungle

We step out of Diamond Hill MTR station in Kowloon, walking towards a walled area surrounded by tall housing estates and bordered by overlapping flyovers. A gilded pavilion emerges behind the walled enclosure, standing on a small island in a pond, glowing under the midday […]


A Glimpse of Malang

Crisp cool air refreshed my skin, the wind blew on my face, giving me a chilling sensation I have not felt for a long time from big cities in Indonesia. Yet I was in Malang, one of the biggest cities in East Java. Five years […]


Taitung: Aspiring to be Inspirational

Our 5-hour train journey ended at Taitung, one of the biggest cities in the eastern coast of Taiwan. I could only understand the size of the city as our taxi driver navigated his way to our hotel, passing through empty streets. A stark contrast with […]


Beyoğlu: Where Cultures Collide

A cylindrical tower covered in bricks made of stone rises among the dense residential area of Beyoğlu, a historic neighborhood across the Golden Horn from Seraglio Point where Topkapı Palace overlooks the Bosphorus. The 14th century Galata Tower – originally Tower of Christ – was […]