Growing up listening to the music of The Carpenters, he decided to name this blog Budokan in remembrance of their Live at Budokan Tour in Tokyo in May 1974. He finally made a trip to the Nippon Budokan in September 2017, 43 years after the Carpenters held their 18 sold-out concerts in Japan!

Hailing from the tropics, Budokan is fortunate to reside in Singapore where jetsetting around have become very affordable. His greatest passion lies in cultivating his lifetime career of travelling, blogging and tour guiding.

A Travel Blogger since May 2005, his constant curiosity for new places have brought him places to the remote mountains of Chiang Mai (Jul 2005), rode on the London Eye (May 2009) & the Death Railway in Kanchanaburi (Dec 2007), skied on the slopes of Hokkaido (Jan 2009), paid homeage to the magnificent Temples of Angkor (Jan 2008), Tiger's Nest of Bhutan (Jan 2020) and to the WWII victims of Hiroshima (May 2013), Pearl Harbour (Jan 2015) and Nanjing (Jan 2010).

33 countries, 451 cities and 509,404km later, he would call it a day when he could no longer muster enough strength to lift his backpack. Until then, he would continue to update his travel tales for as long as possible.

Asia » Singapore December 31st 2020

If I were to look back at my life at some point in time, this was how 2020 meant to me. I remembered that I had just returned from Bhutan when the first COVID-19 case reached the shores of Singapore. Before long, the whole episode unfolded rather quickly. Initially, I started to maintain a log to track my daily movements in case contact tracers knocked on my door. Overtime, I decided to include some of the details below:- 23rd January 2020 - First COVID-19 Case reported in Singapore. The first few cases were imported, predominantly from Wuhan, China. 1st February 2020 – Final edition of My Dawson Heritage Tour. MC annual CNY reunion luncheon. 7th February 2020 - Dorscon Orange declared in Singapore. Panic buy at supermarkets islandwide over the weekend and the shelves were stripped ... read more
5th December 2020 - Xmas festivities @ Park Royal Beach Road
5th December 2020 @ the Singapore Flyer
27th Sep 20 - At the start of our heritage tour

Asia » Singapore » Little India October 19th 2020

Monday, 19th October 2020 We started day 02 of our staycation with a sumptuous breakfast affair at level 6 of the hotel. Gone were the days where a full buffet spread greeted us in the morning. Instead, we were presented with a rather extensive menu where we could order any items that we fancy. The wait-staffs were welcoming and eager to serve which helped to elevate our dining experience at the Garden Pavilion. From our hotel, we decided to explore the surrounding Pek Kio neighbourhood for more food options. Along 130 Owen Road, we chanced upon Bakehaus, an artisan bakery that served really authentic croissants. Having opened their doors for slightly over a year, Bakehaus had gained its own loyal following judging by the number of likes on their FB page and rave Google reviews. What ... read more
Breakfast at Pek Kio neighbourhood centre

Asia » Singapore » Little India October 18th 2020

Sunday, 18th October 2020 It was a rainy day that greeted us this morning. Even so, this did not dampen our mood as we embarked on our staycation at One Farrer Hotel. H was held up with work in the morning so I decided to check-in earlier while waiting for him to arrive in the afternoon. I arrived at the hotel lobby sometime after 1pm today and was amazed at how quiet it was. Times were really bad as a result of Covid-19 pandemic. During check-in, I was informed that we had gotten an upgrade to the Skyline Room at level 18 of the property. Breakfast was served at the Garden Pavilion at level 6 on day one and at the Club Lounge at level 18 on day two of our stay. I believed the hotel ... read more
The bath
And the amazing pool

Asia » Singapore » Bugis Village August 9th 2020

Sunday, 9th August 2020 Hotel G probably ticked most of the items on a Great Staycation Experience. Comfortable, plushy beds, powerful rain-showers, fluffy towels, a contemporary outlook, Metis brand of toiletries (that smelt great) and an efficient check-in experience. Oh yes, my room rate came with a complimentary breakfast thrown in as well. And all these came with a jaw-dropping price tag of SGD 90 over a National Day Weekend! What more could I ask for? Probably a queen-bedding configuration would be a nice touch. Anyway, the staycation experience during the COVID-19 pandemic meant that in-room amenities such as face masks and hand sanitizers were included on top of the usual fare. In addition, the usual Safe Entry and temperature-taking initiatives at the lobby level meant that all guests were thoroughly screened for symptoms even before ... read more
Free breakfast anyone?
Hotel G Staycay
Udon cravings at Itacho Sushi

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pekanbaru March 8th 2020

Sunday, 8th March 2020 We still had sometime to explore the city this morning before our evening flight back to Singapore. After extending our room check-out time to 4pm, we headed back to the town centre for breakfast. Porridge became my staple during this trip to Pekanbaru even though the highlight this morning must be the fish soup and the fried bee hoon from Kian Wee Seafood Soup. After our hearty meal, we walked towards the riverfront where the iconic Rumah Singgah Tuan Kadi is located. This is a historic building located next to the Siak River which is rather posh for its time. The house is elevated by short pillars which perhaps served to prevent it from being flooded by the overflowing river during the rainy season. Back at the hotel in the afternoon, we ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pekanbaru March 7th 2020

Saturday, 7th March 2020 It was awesome to start the day with a swim at the hotel's infinity pool. From where I stood, the morning views of the city was unforgettable. At 8am, this was probably the best time of the day to be at the pool when the majority of the hotel guests were either asleep or having their breakfast. Since we had opted out from the hotel buffet, it was time to check out some breakfast options at Chinatown after the swim. Whether it was local porridge or chicken drumstick hor fun or char kuay teow, there were plenty of delicious options for us. Our gourmet journey continued to the local market where there were options for some kueh kuehs and keropok from one of the many colorful vendors around. Next, no visit to ... read more
Lunch at Pagi Sore
Wedding Bells along the way
Dinner at Pondok Gurih

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pekanbaru March 6th 2020

Friday, 6th March 2020 The trip to Pekanbaru was put together some three weeks ago with H during a friend's gathering. Torn between Kuantan in Malaysia and Pekanbaru in Sumatra, we decided on the latter for a fresh perspective. We flew off on Friday afternoon and it didn't help that I was sick between Monday to Wednesday prior to the trip. Thankfully, I managed to stage a recovery on time and by Friday, we were ready to board the flight from Changi Airport. Touching down at the modern Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport some 50 minutes later, our hotel at the Zuri Pekanbaru was another 20 minutes away by car. Ideally situated closed to shopping facilities, the modern hotel boasts a beautiful infinity pool on level 19 of the property - a very welcoming respite ... read more
Alfresco dining
The drinks, the snacks and the condiments
Carrefour Panda Tea

Asia » Bhutan » Paro January 17th 2020

Friday, 17th January 2020 My last day in Bhutan was spent ascending up Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery. Separating us at the valley floor where we begun our journey to the summit is about 2000 feet or 610m. The climb involved lots of determination to complete especially in the high-altitude environment where W and I were clearly gasping for oxygen along the way. Eventually, we managed to make the hike in about 5 hours (including rest-stops and temple tour) which was quite efficient according to our guide who accompanied us throughout the trek. This was definitely one of the highlights of my Bhutan experience even though my favourite was still the nature hike in Phobjikha Valley. The icing in the cake at Tiger's Nest was that we were greeted by light snow when we approached the ... read more
My guide and driver for the trip

Asia » Bhutan » Paro January 16th 2020

Thursday, 16th January 2020 The drive back to Paro City was long and winding. I had mixed feelings about leaving Gangtey given that this is probably one of the most beautiful places in Bhutan. However, my minor brush with altitude sickness meant that I could only get better when we headed down to the lower elevation. Along the way, we made a couple pit-stops to complete the long journey. By noon, we were back at the beautiful Dochula Pass for lunch before continuing our drive to Paro via Thimphu. It was early evening when we reached downtown Paro where there was some free time for shopping and light snacks. Over coffee at one of the cafes, I had a good chat with my guide and driver who had accompanied me over the last couple of days. ... read more
Lunch at Dochula Pass
Downtown Paro City
My huge bed at Tashi Namgay Resort

Asia » Bhutan » Gangtey January 15th 2020

Wednesday, 15th January 2020 We baded goodbye to Punakha today and made our way to the Gangtey Region, about 75km (3 hours) away. Before commencing on our drive proper, we caught a final glimpse of the Punakha Tzong from the easterly direction for some photo memories of the place. The Gantey Region is located some 3,000m above sea level (keep your pain-killers handy). Right at the heart of it lies the Phobjikha Valley where we would be spending a night at the iconic Dewachen Hotel. This is probably one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. It is also in Phobjikha where the sacred Black-necked Cranes roam during the winter months to escape from the harsh weather conditions in the Tibetan Plateau. On the 11th November of every year, the annual Black-necked Crane Festival is held ... read more
Beautiful Phobjikha Valley
Dewachen Hotel

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