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, 431 cities and 511,269km 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 May 23rd 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. I decided to start a log in case contact tracers knocked on my door. Here are some key events documented over the past couple of months :- 23rdJanuary 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 bare in no time. ... read more
Mask wearing made compulsory on 14th April 2020
Singapore under lockdown during the Circuit Breaker (CB) Period, 23rd May 2020
Zoom became a part of our life in 2020!

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 » Punakha January 13th 2020

Monday, 13th January 2020 After concluding our sight-seeing plans for Thimphu in the earlier part of the day, it was time to embark on a somewhat winding journey to Punakha, about three hours away from the capital city. The beautiful Punakha Valley was going to be my home for the next two nights. Halfway through our journey, the driver made a pit-stop at the gorgeous Dochula Pass located some 3100m above sea level. This was where we were rewarded with great views of the Himalayas on a clear day. Next to it, stands the neat 108 Memorial Chortens perched on top of a small hill where plenty of photo-taking opportunities were possible. Before reaching the Punakha Valley, we paid a visit to the Chimi Lhakhang Temple where the deity, "Mad Saint" or the "Divine Madman" was ... read more
Paradise found - Zhingkham Resort

Asia » Bhutan » Thimphu January 13th 2020

Monday, 13th January 2020 After spending a night at Osel Hotel, it was time for me to check-out in the morning and continue with our journey to Punakha, about 85km away. By 9am, my guide U had arrived and the plan was to cover some sights in the city centre before proceeding with the long drive to Punakha in the afternoon. Barely 10 minutes into our journey, we reached our first stopping point for the morning - the National Memorial Chorten (Stupa). This was built in memory of the Third Druk of Bhutan, Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1974. Together with my guide, we made three clockwise loops around the structure as this is the rule for any religious structures in Bhutan which I learned over the course of my stay in the country. On our ... read more
Bhutanese Lunch at Simply Bhutan
National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu
Buddha Point, Thimphu

Asia » Bhutan » Thimphu January 12th 2020

Sunday, 12th January 2020 From the time I first touch-based with Druk Asia on 8th November 2019 to the time I set foot to Bhutan took slightly more than two months. Travelling to Bhutan required engaging a travel agent who would take care of all the logistics on my behalf - air tickets, visa, accommodation, meals, a guide, a driver and admission fees. This was a fuss-free experience dealing with Druk Asia who would arrange all that. Two months on, I was ready at Changi Airport Terminal 1 to begin my six-hour flight to Paro, where the country's sole international airport was located. Given the limited capacity, my Druk Air flight did not come in cheap even after the 25 percent off-peak discount considering that I would be able to snatch a return economy to Europe ... read more
My room
Osel Hotel Thimphu

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching August 9th 2019

Friday, 9th August 2019 And so here we are on our annual MC retreat to the state capital of Sarawak with some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. About 40 of us assembled at the airport on National Day 2019 for our flight to Kuching. In fact, some of us had met earlier for an exclusive tour of Jewel Changi Airport as well as complimentary admission to the Canopy Park. Our plane departed from Terminal 4 and it was already quite late by the time we reached our accommodation at M Hotels in the city. After checking-in and feeling a little bit peckish, a group of us decided to walk to the nearby ICOM Square for some bubble tea and supper before heading to bed. It was quite late by the ... read more
Welcome to Kuching

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima June 30th 2019

Sunday, 30th June 2019 Breakfast was a happy affair at Royal Host, one of the nicer restaurants in the city that opens early in the day and closes late into the night. I liked how well my scrambled egg turned out to be - creamy, soft and full of flavour. Unfortunately, the toast on my plate was slightly browned even though the coffee tasted great as usual. Armed with a One Day Ticket, I proceeded to the Peace Memorial Park after breakfast and the loop bus dropped me a couple of stops later in front of the Orizu Tower, Hiroshima's newest icon. Admission to the wooden observatory at level 12 cost a whopping 1,700 Yen which should provide a clear vantage view of the Peace Memorial Park surrounds even though I had rather part my Yen ... read more
Desserts at SOGO
Onsen facilities at APA Hotel Hiroshima
Early breakfast

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima June 29th 2019

Saturday, 29th June 2019 Before heading to Hiroshima in the afternoon, I made a brief stop at the town of Tatsuno. This is home to Japan's only Soy Sauce Museum. Access to Tatsuno is relatively straight forward with frequent trains departing from Himeji throughout the day. Getting to the museum from the train station included a brief 25 minutes walk along the old town thoroughfare complete with a bridge crossing. Housed within an atmospheric brick building dating back from the previous century, the museum charged a symbolic 10 yen entry fee and it was manned by a really friendly elderly lady. I probably spent about 30 minutes in the cosy museum and there were some English translations available for non-Japanese speakers like me. The weather was unforgiving when my train pulled into JR Hiroshima Station for ... read more
Lunch before heading to Hiroshima
My stay in Hiroshima
Okonomiyaki Hiroshima

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