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Sunday, December 9, 2012

HK Trip - Wong Tai Sin Temple (黃大仙祠) Part 4

Location: Wong Tai Sin (黃大仙), S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

To me, the real treasures of Wong Tai Sin temple are what lies behind the temple cloister, an area which rarely gets the attention of most travel guides and websites. The temple cloister may lent a visitor his chance to pray to the deity, but it was the yard at the back which grant one a peaceful mind.

While circling around the temple cloister to reach the backyard, this was the first peaceful area which I encountered - the Nine Dragons Wall. Any koi presence, be it in a statue sprouting water or living swimming entities, holds an important place in East Asian culture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Changi Budget Terminal - Before the End of Days

Location: Changi, Singapore

The news of Changi's budget terminal closure on 25th September 2012 should have been known to all frequent travelers of budget airlines, which incidentally does not include Air Asia in its ranks. I traveled through Air Asia more often than other airlines, but I did peruse the service of Tiger Airways once in a while, so I was still well acquainted with this wayward terminal situated at the fringe of its 3 larger cousins.

The announcement of the end of Changi's budget terminal service on 25th Sept 2012.

Monday, November 12, 2012

HK Trip - Wong Tai Sin Temple (黃大仙祠) Part 3

Location: Wong Tai Sin (黃大仙), S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

Sometimes it is worth a visit to popular areas just to get to know the people there. Wong Tai Sin temple's fame for granting wishes drew huge crowds from all over Hong Kong and China, and tourists like me also like to join into the crowd to enjoy the experience.

In the fenced off area in the cloister facing the main altar were a small score of believers who prayed hard for answers in the form of kau cim, where they shook a cylindrical container filled with fortune telling sticks until one fell out. The stick contained a numeral which need to be decoded by a fortune telling master to know the answer to your question.

Monday, October 8, 2012

HK Trip - Wong Tai Sin Temple (黃大仙祠) Part 2

Location: Wong Tai Sin (黃大仙), S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

Images of the main altar were what I saw the most as I researched materials on Wong Tai Sin temple, although I had not an inkling of that. The upturned curve of a majestic roof which is familiar with most Buddhist temples of South-East Asia emulated that of the Imperial Palace, and I felt a kinship to this unfamiliar land with a recognizable slice that was parallel to the place where I originated from.

Wong Tai Sin temple is one of the major tourist attraction of Hong Kong, drawing multitudes of people from various walks of life as well as different part of the world to visit, asking for wishes to be granted.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

HK Trip - Wong Tai Sin Temple (黃大仙祠) Part 1

Location: Wong Tai Sin (黃大仙), S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

The temple of Wong Tai Sin is synonymous to Hong Kong, much more so than the Big Buddha despite the fame and sheer size of the latter. All Hong Kongers know about the temple, famed for being able to grant any wish that is requested (有求必應), and no trip to Hong Kong should skip it, if only to just experience the crowd it draws.

Traditional Chinese: 黃大仙祠
Simplified Chinese: 黄大仙祠
Cantonese Jyutping: wong4 daai6 sin1 ci4
Pin Yin: Huáng Dà Xiān Cì
Pronounced as: wong dai sin cee

Standing in front of the main gates to the temple, it was obvious that that was another crowded day despite it being a weekday. The gate itself is a preview of the Chinese temple architecture expected from my visit. This can be referred to the marking #1 in the map at the end of this article.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

MATTA Fair 2012

Are you aware of MATTA (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents) Fair being one of the most sought after travel exhibitions in Malaysia? If not, it is still not too late to head over to either Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur or Ipoh Parade of Ipoh from 7th - 9th Sep to get a sense of how popular the exhibition is.

Anyone who will miss this has no fear, as the state of Pahang will be the next stop of the fair, with Kuantan Parade hosting the exhibition from 14th - 16th Sep.

Running a 3-day marathon to showcase whatever travel packages or deals travel agents of different popularity could offer, this is where most traveling Malaysians prefer to buy their tour packages from, what with discounts and offers of all sorts to be chosen from. 

But as SaveMoney.my mentioned in its blog, one should plan his budget properly when it comes to matters of seeing the world. Their website outlined some information about the fair as well as tips of purchasing in the exhibition, advises which are sound and solid, and should be heeded.

Date:            7th Sep (Fri) - 9th Sep (Sun) 2012
Admission:    10 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily
Entry fee:     Free
Location:       PWTC, Kuala Lumpur; Ipoh Parade, Ipoh, Perak

Date:            14th Sep (Fri) - 16th Sep (Sun) 2012
Admission:    10 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily
Entry fee:     Free
Location:       Kuantan Parade, Kuantan, Pahang


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kinetic Rain @ Terminal 1 (T1), Changi International Airport

Location: Changi, Singapore

Kinetic Rain is now the latest addition to Singapore's Changi International Airport, delighting travelers and visitors with its fluid dances.

It is usual for frequent travelers by plane to feel bored by the unchanging scenes of an airport save for the ever shifting bulk of pedestrian traffic. Having to wait for my Air Asia flight in Changi International Airport's Terminal 1 (T1) did not prepare me for a new sight within the departure hall's check in counters.

Travelers who frequented T1, including fellow travelers of Air Asia, could now spend their spare waiting time by feasting their eyes on the latest addition to the departure hall - Kinetic Rain. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ibis Singapore Novena Hotel Part 3 - OOpen

Location: Novena, Singapore

Note: This is an article continuing from Ibis Singapore Novena Hotel Part 2 - Entering the Room

As is the norm for hotels, Ibis Singapore Novena Hotel comes with its own restaurant cum cafe with the curious name of OOpen. Guests of the hotel for the night could enjoy 2 complimentary breakfasts, so off we went to grab our breakfast in the cafe situated at a side off the lobby.

Fact is that I do not know what is the name of the cafe until I browsed the web. Fancy as it is, sometimes a design just doesn't get a point across to the user.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ibis Singapore Novena Hotel Part 2 - Entering the Room

Location: Novena, Singapore
I was particularly impressed by how the room was designed. The first point I bring forth is one against Ibis Singapore Novena Hotel though - the available floor space. At first glance, the room looked spacious, with high ceilings as well as tall window panes. But the fact is that taking a circuit around the room and placing your luggage open will tell you how much space you really had.

Ibis Singapore Novena Hotel greets you!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ibis Singapore Novena Hotel Part 1 - Getting There & Experience with A Cab


Location: Novena, Singapore

With a long break from this blog and without any new edited photos ready, I dug out some of my past photos for learning new Photoshop tricks. I vividly recalled my accommodation in Singapore during my initial days of arrival - Ibis Novena Hotel of Singapore.

The hotel itself is not particularly easy to find, and it was for this hotel that I experienced my first difficulties. I was careless in my preparation in not looking carefully at the direction to the hotel, and couldn't find the hotel when I arrived in Novena MRT station. Even so, I thought that the cab drivers would know of the place. How wrong was I. 

This became my first lesson for traveling in Singapore - cab drivers aren't aware of the major buildings around the area they queued for passengers. Despite the fact that Singapore being a small island nation, the buildings are still numerous enough that the cab drivers aren't aware of every nook and cranny available. So be advised - always bring the detailed address, down to the street name and nearby landmarks, with you while traveling in Singapore. This will aid the cab driver in getting his bearing around.

And not all cab drivers are friendly by the way. But at least they aren't rude. Not all of them anyway.

The usual expected room rate for Ibis Novena Hotel. Price will fluctuate according to season but still affordable for a couple or a family spending a few days in Singapore.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Knowing Hong Kong through MTR Stations Part 3

Location: S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

Note: This is an article continuing from Knowing Hong Kong through MTR Stations Part 2.

New Territories ( 新界 )

Traditional Chinese: 新界
Simplified Chinese: 新界
Cantonese Jyutping: san1 gaai3
Pin Yin: Xīn Jiè
Pronounced as: saan gaai

The New Territories are, interestingly, the least interesting in the minds of most tourists. But the fact that it makes up over 80% of Hong Kong's territory crowns it as the largest region within the island S.A.R. If one  is unsure of what this region could offer, it should be reminded that Lantau Island (大嶼山), which served as the base for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and Hong Kong Disneyland, is also a part of this region.

Sunny Bay
Traditional Chinese:
Cantonese Jyutping:
 jan1 ou3
Pin Yin:
 Xīn ào

Pronounced as:
yaan ou

If you were to visit Hong Kong Disneyland, then you will need to transit between MTR on this station. Basically there isn't anything around this station.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Snoopy's World (史諾比開心世界) Part 2

Location: Sha Tin (沙田), S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

Snoopy's World in Sha Tin is no mere playground - every section of the playground is fun-filled with different type of interactive adventure for kids. Even adults are drawn to the playground to have snapshots with their favorite characters in different poses.

If the visitor cares to look up when he is within the doghouse at Snoopy's World's entrance, he will be rewarded with pictures of the adorable beagle in its different poses.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Snoopy's World (史諾比開心世界) Part 1

Location: Sha Tin (沙田), S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

Located beyond the hustle of financial districts and aging Kowloon is a park filled with adorable characters from Peanuts. Welcome to Snoopy's World, where Chralie Brown and co. awaits in every corner of the playground situated on New Town Plaza's 3rd floor open plaza!

Surprised that few of my friends who visited Hong Kong knew of its existence, I decided to skip other more notable locations in favor of this park. The open playground is spacious enough to accommodate an army of families and running kids, with a few smaller sections dedicated to different ways of interacting with the gang from Peanuts.

Welcome to Snoopy's World, a paradise where the famed canine and the Peanuts gang awaits!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Flight to Hong Kong

Location: Penang isle; S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

Even after experiencing my fair share of flights, I am still unnerved during takeoffs and landings, and especially so when I could feel the vibrations of the plane right through my bones during turbulence encounters.

Still, I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy the clear blue sky or starry nights during the uneventful leg of my journey. Capturing the moment of exhilaration I experienced whenever a picturesque cloudy vista floated past had proven daunting for my meager Sony TX-5, especially with the reflective panes showing myself clearly within the shot.

I had somehow, through luck, captured some of the best shots during my flight from Penang isle to Hong Kong and with a little retouch, obtained a few memorable images of my awe when I stared out the window ports.

A slightly cloudy sky bade us farewell in Penang isle.  As hot as the weather is, I missed it terribly when I was subjected to the much cooler Hong Kong weather.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Week in Hong Kong

Location: S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

When I laid out my plans for this trip, I didn't know that I will land in a politically defining moment for that foreign piece of land. Hong Kong was set to vote for its new Chief Executive and I was there on the first day to witness through news report the selection of Leung Chun-Ying as the new Chief.

Chief Executive of Hong Kong

The coveted position is both important and unusual to the people of Hong Kong. When Hong Kong reverted from British to Chinese rule, the position of governor was replaced by Chief Executive as the head of the government. Although an election is performed to obtain a new Chief Executive, what differs the system from the usual democratic election is that the candidate is elected by an electoral college (currently stands at 1,200 strong) consisting of private citizens and bodies instead of by the population of Hong Kong. In other words, as was reported in some medium, this is a "small-circle election".