Siewch's Guestbook



13th November 2022

Helsinki and Layovers
Gosh, I would never have thought of looking to travel to Singapore from Hawaii by going eastwards! It looks like you bagged some good deals, but they were some seriously long flights and layovers! Well done on being able to do so many long journey legs, and great to hear you were able to take advantage of your times in Helsinki. I love the city's architecture in your photos, and I have a feeling the underground hillocks in the fortress would have been where they would have stored ammunition. English fortresses have these, so in case there was an accident and they caught fire, the exploding damage would be limited being underground. Nice to see you have seen some more insouciant birds, and I've also tried and failed to make a joke out of the SIN to HEL flight - there must be one, surely!
13th November 2022

Taking The Long Way
Hi Alex. I would not have done this trip in Economy Class… just thinking about it makes my back hurt LOL. I really enjoyed Helsinki and this was a fun introduction to a new country.
6th November 2022

Amazing Angkor
Great to read about your time in Angkor, Siewch. You certainly got to fit in a lot of temples! I was there in 2007, also on a short trip to Cambodia from Singapore. I remember the steep steps vividly, and the Lara Croft temple in particular - I loved the idea of nature reclaiming the land! I imagine it was amazing to be free of the tourist hordes, though I feel sad for the locals reliant on the tourist trade. I also much prefer touring without guides, just to contemplate and appreciate in my own time.
6th November 2022

No Tourists!
Angkor certainly was great without the tourists. As I had mentioned in the blog, this side trip was a bit of an afterthought and I bit off more than I could chew. I also didn’t connect with Cambodia as deeply as I wanted to, so I’ll have to do another trip to explore more of this country.
30th October 2022

Singapore
What a lovely read, Siewch. I enjoyed reading about your reconnections to your childhood home, and also being able to explore on a deeper level. I shall look into the Atlas Obscura, it sounds very interesting. I imagine that with its fast pace of change, Singapore is continually different each time you return. I hope to also return some day. I remember visiting Pulau Ubin, and although we saw many signs for the German Girl Shrine, I don't recall that we actually found it! You've given me a few ideas for what to visit should I return to Singapore at some point, thank you for this 😊
30th October 2022

Reconnecting
Wow, you’re the second commenter who knows about the German Girl Shrine - it certainly encapsulates the best of Singapore: multiracial identities converging over time. Atlas Obscura was a godsend. I will likely use Atlas Obscura for my future layovers in Tokyo. After three visits and nine long layovers, I’m running out of sights to explore there!
8th October 2022

With new eyes...
I love that you found a new way to experience a place so well known to you. I remember reading a friend writing about the German Girl Shrine, and I think he wrote that there were bottles of perfume… I just googled it and the suggestion is that they are bottles of Florida Water (which I’ve never heard of – apparently a close cousin of eau de cologne popular back then). The last time we were at the Botanical Gardens (in 2012), people were lining up to take a photo with the Princess Diana orchid! :)
8th October 2022

New Perspectives
Thanks Ren! Atlas Obscura has been a godsend. I really wish I’d thought about this years ago. I love that you, too, have somehow heard of the German Girl Shrine. Thanks for helping me figure out it was Florida Water.
7th October 2022

Business Class
We've never flown business class but it is on our bucket list. If the price was right I'd go to Helsinki also. Looks like you made the best of your short visit.
7th October 2022

Do it!
The trouble with flying premium classes - especially the ones with lie flat seats - is that you’ll never want to fly economy class again! But, you have to try it at least once :-)
7th October 2022

Siem Reap
Thanks for the memories. Your blog and photos reminded of us the pleasant times we had there in 2007.
7th October 2022

You’re Welcome
Glad I could help bring you down memory lane. I’m so grateful I got to experience this place without the tourist hordes.
4th October 2022

Credit Due to You!
Wow, I give you a lot of credit for venturing out of the airport during your layovers! You certainly saw and experienced quite a bit of the city between both layovers. It's been quite a few years since I visited Helsinki for a day as a port call, but I do recall ambling around the area at the waterfront, the long park near by, having lunch there and doing a tiny bit of shopping. Unfortunately I did not see the Suomenlinna Fortress but thankfully visited the Uspenski Cathedral, and a few other places you saw. Thanks for sharing your interesting photos and descriptions of what you were able to see --- I probably wouldn't even be able to understand the train schedule there!
4th October 2022

Thanks!
Thanks for complimenting my labeling of photos. Thanks to computers and mobile devices, many of us nowadays are visual learners, so the people who take the time to label their photos are the ones who get my clicks!
29th September 2022

Back home
I love blogs written by people returning to a location they know well and all the interesting things that find. Thanks for taking us along.
29th September 2022

Navigating Different Worlds
Thanks for your kind words. As an immigrant, it has certainly been a learning experience trying to manage multiple identities - it is in equal part exhilarating, confusing, and alienating. I think I am finally getting the hang of it!
28th September 2022

Back in Singapore
Happy to see you are writing again; travel has been curtailed for far too long. I will visit the Ford Factory, for some reason I thought it was on Sentosa Island, and I haven't gone to Sentosa since it was taken over by a theme park.
28th September 2022

Sentosa
I’m with you on the Disneyfication of Sentosa. It was once a pleasant little island to explore, even if it has a dark history. “Sentosa” itself is a marketing ploy; the original name of the island was Palau Blakang Mati, or the Island With Death Behind It. It also once housed a longtime political prisoner who was held without trial for decades and confined to the island. I do plan to visit the island on my next trip, though, as it has an entry in Atlas Obscura.
11th September 2022

Insouciant
I must admit, I had to look up the meaning of that word! Good to see the pigeons just casually going about their business! Amazing diving, well done Jeff on all those medals! I think I would also have liked Rijeka, I like gritty. And the Computer Museum and Bistro with 80s music would also have been right up my street! Looks like you had an amazing time in Croatia Siewch, good to read about it 😊
11th September 2022

Gritty
I suspect you would like Rijeka. I definitely enjoy cities that are a little rough around the edges… they just seem more real. Thanks for following my travels.
4th September 2022

Cold War Imagination
I too grew up fearing communism and nuclear annihilation, and can understand your interest in visiting such an iconic Cold War-related city. I also love visiting places which I have imagined through various books and films. I imagine your visit to Berlin very much hit this spot. You packed so much into such a short space of time, and I enjoyed reading about it! Thanks Siewch 😊
5th September 2022

Cold War Imagination
Thanks Alex. We certainly packed a lot in, and I loved immersing myself in the vibe of the city. I also realized how much I miss Europe.
17th August 2022
The Good: Our Victorious Masters Diver

Master Diver
I've enjoyed reading this blog. What a great diving center.
17th August 2022
The Good: Our Victorious Masters Diver

Great Waterfront
Thanks for your comment. What impressed me about Rijeka and the surrounding area is that much of their waterfront is taken up by public space… much more than what we see here in the US.

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