Blogs from Asia - page 6


Asia » Singapore » Orchard Road May 17th 2015

Saturday, 22nd November 2014 I always wanted to do a blog of this wonderful place at the heart of Orchard Road. Having visited Ion Sky since last November, this entry came half a year late. I remembered vividly when the observatory was first opened, it charged a fee of $15 for the admission to Level 55. This was however waived and I was able to get in for free when I visited. I chit-chatted with the friendly concierge who informed me that the observatory is opened to the public everyday except when it is closed for private events. Getting to the top of Ion Sky is straight forward. Access is provided via a pair of fast moving elevators at level 4 of the shopping mall where the Ion Art Gallery is located. Once at level 55, ... read more
With a great view of the City
The sky's the limit
Bright and spacious interiors

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Saraj Valley May 17th 2015

Shoja, Inner Seraj Valley, Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh May 15, 2015 “....the path ...... must eventually be abandoned, just as you abandon a boat when you reach the other shore. You must disembark once you have arrived. At the point of total realisation, you must abandon . The spiritual path is a temporary solution, a placebo to be used until emptiness is understood.” Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse The plan mooted a week ahead was to trek up to the nearby mountain sacred site of Skiran with a friend (Ved) to witness the huge local religious ceremony held there in May each year. This particular ceremonial festival is where the Shringi Rishi god statue is carried to Skiran (where there is a small wooden Shringi Rishi temple) from his usual temple abode below Chehni (four hours by foot) ... read more
The team.... Ved and mates
The tartch... temple at back right
Shringi Rishi arriving at Sirthi tartch

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana May 17th 2015

Day 17 - Astana sights The morning after the night before. We had asked for breakfast at 8am, but sheepishly slunk into the Americana lounge at 1pm, still feeling the effects. After scoffing some sausage and eggs we walked a short way to the Hazrat Sultan mosque and the start of what John called The Zone of Awesomeness. Shortly after seeing the nation into a new era of independence from Russia, the Republic of Kazakhstan's first president - Nursultan Nazarbayev - decided to move the capital and administrative centre from Almaty in the south to the town of Akmola in the north central steppes. Renamed 'Astana' and funded by Kazakhstan's substantial natural resources, the city has been planned and built almost from scratch. It is home to some of the most extraordinary futuristic architecture to be ... read more
Mosque interior
Pyramid- The Palace of Peace and Accord
Kazakh Ely monument

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj May 17th 2015

My last blog got quite long and frankly, I lost interest in continuing it…possibly why I would make a horrible author. I would most likely publish the book half written! So I will clarify now, that the reason I was able to write that blog was because all these months later, I could access the sadness and pain I felt over the last year with detachment. I no longer feel sad about those events. But I also want to remember and learn from them. It is new for me to acknowledge my feelings and I am working hard at seeing them honestly and letting them go…I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet, but I hope before my next life to at least make some progress! So that was my intention with my last ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Jeollanam-do May 17th 2015

We arrived at Jirisan about 3:45 am. The bus journey up to the pass was pretty hairy. Normally, the driving skills of the bus driver don't bother me, but this time I was scared. We got out at the parking lot and were treated to a sky full of stars. It was so beautiful. There is so much light pollution where I live, I haven't seen the stars like this in years. The car park was quite busy for this time in the morning, there were about 5 other buses parked up. This isn't the normal trail that people do when coming to Jirisan, most people do the hike that goes to the biggest peak in the park. We started hiking at 4 am. It was pitch black. I love hiking in the dark like this. ... read more
Still A Long Way To Go

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng May 16th 2015

After reading up a little bit on Vang Vieng and the surrounding caves we decided to go and see a few. So after breakfast Kate and i wandered down the road to hire a couple of pushbikes, as each of the caves was only a few kilometres out from town - and the exercise would do us good! For just over £1 for the day we rode off with a map on a couple of ok looking mountain bikes. Heading firstly in the direction of the blue lagoon cave. We turned off the main road and crossed a couple of bridges before joining a very off road road - More akin to a dusty, dirt track on the south downs way! After cycling for only 7km - but on those tracks and in the relentless 35 ... read more

Asia » Singapore May 16th 2015

Saturday, 16th May 2015 A visit to the Punggol Settlement followed by a hearty dinner at the House of Seafood. This was our belated Mother's Day gift for we refused to pay for the hi-jacked prices last weekend. Ever since daddy retired from his work, he had not been to Punggol Point for the last 10 years. I could see that he was very excited about this trip including the bus service 84 journey from the interchange. Memories surfaced as he was quick to point out the various spots that evoked his deep memories of this place. Punggol Point is popular with families and it is not difficult to see why. It is virtually next to the sea with stunning sunset views overlooking the state of Johor. We arrived early and had some picture-taking time at ... read more
Overlooking the Straits of Johor
At our regular stop
The White Bee Hoon

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana May 16th 2015

Day 16 - Kostanay to Astana Kazakhstan is big, around 12 times the size of the UK, or equivalent to the whole of western Europe. A country of huge contrasts, it's vast steppe landscapes have seen the passing of the nomadic Scythian people, the warring hoards of Genghis Khan, unparalleled cereal production, annexation by the Russian empire, horrific gulags and latterly the birth of a truly stunning new capital city. Nuclear weapons have been tested on these plains, whilst the Baikonur Cosmodrome is the worlds first and largest space launch site. The Sputnik satellite was launched from there, as are the current soyuz rockets that service the ISS. The snow-capped mountains in the south are intrinsically linked to the northern silk road route, and cradle the old capital Almaty in their green rolling foothills. Day 16 ... read more
......and to the right
ready for action
Kazakh cowboy

Asia » Vietnam May 16th 2015

Well we arrived after two short flights, one with Bangkok Airways and the other with Vietnam Airlines, both flights were just over an hour each and having not heard of either airline we were a little apprehensive. What a very pleasant surprise, new planes, service and food lovely and a woman pilot. I wanted to add that she did a handbrake turn into the parking bay but I thought that might be a bit OTT!! Bangkok airport is like a city in itself, it's huge, modern and full of designer shops that we could only afford to look in the windows of. You could probably spend a full day there just shopping! Met up with a couple at the airport who are on our tour, they are from Surrey and seem very nice. The tour we ... read more
Typical Vietnamese shop front
On board ship in Halong Bay
Halong Bay

Asia » Taiwan May 16th 2015

A continuation from the previous Taiwan post: Day 6: 花蓮 (Hualien) Today, we planned to bike up to Taroko National Park. Unfortunately, it poured heavily on our journey, and we decided since it will be unsafe in the heavy rain to bike, we sought shelter at a Family Mart convenience store instead. One good thing about Taiwan's convenience store (as opposed to SG) is the provision of seats for customers to enjoy their quick bites in store. However, even after waiting for close to an hour, the rain didn't look like stopping, and so we decided to head back to our hostel altogether. And by then, half a day was gone! hah. We stayed in, chatted with the lady boss of the hostel and had our cup noodles takeaway lunch! It was a cosy and ... read more
From the top of Maple Trail
Shifen Station
May ur wishes come true!

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