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) and to the WWII victims of Hiroshima (May 2013), Pearl Harbour (Jan 2015) and Nanjing (Jan 2010).

31 countries and 499,625km 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 he could be.

Asia » China » Beijing » Forbidden City April 19th 2019

Friday, 19th April 2019 After breakfast on Friday, I took bus service #8 outside my hotel to Qianmen stop where the Tiananmen Square is located. I'm always slightly nervous whenever I'm in crowded places, more so at Tiananmen when I'm surrounded by strangers and we had to go through the security check-points prior to entering the Square. The crowd was considered orderly this morning but the whole process still took a while. I could not imagine how things would be like during the peak holiday season. Anyway, Tiananmen Square like many of the Communist public squares around the world is huge in size. There is a flag pole that takes centre-stage. Across the road from the Square, is the red Tiananmen where the portrait of Mao Zedong stands proudly on the wall gazing at the people ... read more
Inside the Forbidden City
North Gate, Forbidden City
The Imperial Palace Moat

Asia » China » Beijing » Temple of Heaven April 18th 2019

Thursday, 18th April 2019 It has been five years since my last visit to China. For this trip, I was fortunate to be able to redeem a complimentary ticket to Beijing using my existing air miles. Arrival at the city this afternoon was kind of a cultural shock for me as I soon realised that my Whatsapp and Google Apps were not supported in China. My mistake - I should have done my homework properly. My Singapore Airlines flight was enjoyable as I managed to complete five episodes of the "Yanxi Palace" drama during the flight. I'm now down with the final twenty episodes of the epic drama. Beijing Capital International Airport is connected to the city via the effficient Airport Express (RMB 25). In no time, my train terminated at the Dongzhimen Station where I ... read more
Bus Svc 8 is my saviour
The transport card is a nice investment
Another colorful plate of spaghetti

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur January 20th 2019

Sunday, 20th January 2019 I've requested a visit to the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) this morning. R was pleasantly surprised that I had wanted to pop by to FRIM as part of my tour. This was where he had spent much of his childhood days whenever his family wanted a picnic excursion. We were up by 6.50 am this morning where FRIM was just a short ride away from his home. It was chilly at this time of the day as we proceeded with our walk to the picnic grounds and waterfall. The air smelt fresh and the tranquil surroundings plus the huge trees made it a pleasant visit. After our huge serving of wanton noodles, we went back to his apartment to continue with our rest before heading out for a massage at ... read more
Dessert pit-stop
Vegan Dinner
Night Market in KL

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur January 19th 2019

Saturday, 19th January 2019 My Jetstar flight journey to Kuala Lumpur (KL) did not start as well as I hoped as it was delayed for a good 40 minutes this morning. I was on my way to visit R at his hometown for the weekend. R had recently relocated back to KL for good and we had been talking about this trip for a while now. It was good that we finally managed to put the trip together. My first visit to the city was some 21 years ago back in November 1998. We stayed over for a week at some friend's house in Petaling Jaya and it was during the trip that I took my maiden flight overseas. Arrival at the KLIA 2 terminal today was a breeze. There were no hiccups at the customs ... read more
My first meal in Kuala Lumpur
Dessert pit stop
Mamak supper culture

Asia » Singapore January 5th 2019

Museum@My Queenstown, 我爱女皇镇*生活馆 is a Community Museum that showcases the story of Queenstown as Singapore's first satellite town. Developed by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) in 1953, Queenstown is named after the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Further developments of Queenstown including the town centre took place between 1960s and 1970s. The Inaugural Exhibition, "Our Stories, Do You Remember Them?" celebrates the stories of the common man in Queenstown as this is a place where they work, live and play. The exhibits were collected over a period of 8 years and spanning more than 60 years history of the town. Among the highlights include the iconic "女皇Cinema" signage that was rescued prior to its demolition in 2013 as well as the "SIT Planning Map of Queenstown" dating back to... read more

Asia » Singapore December 22nd 2018

Saturday, 22nd December 2018 This was a final staycation together with my parents for 2018 as we spent a quiet weekend at the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong Hotel. We were given a connecting room where views of the Marine Parade Estate and the sea could be had at the comfort of our beds. Service from the staffs were warm and accommodating and we were really happy that our rooms were ready before 12pm. For lunch, we went over to the original laksa stall located at Roxy Square where we had our fill before heading to Parkway Parade for some grocery shopping. Back at the hotel, we spent most of the afternoon in our rooms before it was time for dinner at Canton Paradise. The complimentary breakfast experience in the morning was nothing to shout about ... read more
The historical Roxy Square
The classic tiled route
Katong Red House

Asia » Singapore » Commonwealth November 3rd 2018

Saturday, 3rd November 2018 What a great way to welcome November with a staycation at Queenstown, an area that is akin to my second home in Singapore for the past year. This is Singapore's first satellite town that is rich in social history and community heritage. We chose to stay at the Crystal Club Room of the Park Hotel Alexandra. This meant that most of our meals were taken care of even though it was easy to supplement our meals from the hawker dishes right at our doorstep. Check-in was a breeze at the Club Lounge and we were given a room at level 18 where it commanded an imposing view of Queenstown and beyond. By all standards, our room was not spacious and we were surprised that the mini-bar refreshments were not complimentary even though ... read more
The inifinity pool overlooking The Interlace
Tanglin Halt, where the trains used to pass by
The Crystal Club Lounge

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai September 17th 2018

Monday, 17th September 2018 Things started to slow down considerably as our 8pm flight to Singapore approached. Nevertheless, I started my early morning routine at the hotel pool. For my final swim in Dubai, I had the whole pool to myself which I appreciated since it wasn't so spacious to accomodate that many people. After the swim, we had breakfast at Shakespeare and Company again. This time, we occupied the table at the quiet upper level thus avoiding the transient office crowds at the busy lower level. After breakfast, it was back to the hotel to rest, to pack and to get ready for checkout at two in the afternoon. And after leaving our luggage with the concierge, we made our way to the Burjuman Centre where the Dome Cafe had a branch. Service was great ... read more
At Dome Cafe

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai September 16th 2018

Sunday, 16th September 2018 Here we are on Day 04 of our vacation in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Sunday is a working day in UAE. After a swim at the hotel pool in the morning, we headed to the Mall of the Emirates for brunch in order to beat the lunch crowds. Since we were rather early, we decided to pop by at the beautiful Carrefour store for some souvenirs shopping before our meals. The goods and fresh produce were so nicely displayed at their flagship store that it would be extremely difficult to go home empty-handed unless you are one determined window shopper. After shopping at Carrefour, it was time for brunch at the Cheesecake Factory located at the other end of the basement that is next to Ski Dubai. Contrary to its name, the ... read more
Ready for Brunch
My Kopi O Kosong
1 soup, 1 salad and 1 mains

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi September 15th 2018

Saturday, 15th September 2018 After breakfast at Burger King this morning, we headed to the Al Ghubaiba Bus Station to embark on our 140km journey to Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. There was a long wait for service E100 when we arrived at the bus stand and it was not a pleasant experience standing and waiting under the hot sun for over 20 minutes. Very soon, we realised that we needed to purchase the silver NOL travel card as it was not possible to pay the AED 25 bus fare by cash. We headed to the ticket window, got our travel cards and rushed back to join the queue again. Not a smooth start for the day! Things however started to pick up soon after we boarded the bus. The journey to Abu Dhabi was ... read more
The Main Prayer Hall
At Lebanese Mill Restaurant
Sunset at Abu Dhabi

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