Taipei (Taiwan)


Note: Just before the fasting month last year, we managed a short trip to Taipei. I have been delaying my blog for this trip because I do not have the photos with me right now, and I’ve forgotten where they are kept 🙁 ). I  however want to clear the backlogs of blog entries, so, here you are, hahaha!!!


1 July 2013

We took the Air asia flight, and arrived in Teipei in the late afternoon


A stroll along the busy street near Ximending:


That night DH came across a HALAL beef noodle outlet. He said we should try it the following night (since we salready had dinner by then)


2 July 2013

We walked to the Taipei, took the underground and went to the IT area



In the afternoon, we went to Yongle fabric market.

3 July 2013

Took the bus to The Palace Museum

Went to the cable car, but it was raining with lightning, so the cable car service was halted.


4 July 2013

took a 1-day tour to the northern part of Taiwan.

Visited the night spot


5 July

Went back to the fabric market very early in the morning.

checked out in the afternoon and took a cab to the airport for our flight back to Kuala Lumpur

South Africa Trip – the blog entry is still in progress….

I recently had a chance to visit South Africa with DH.

The travel itinerary was something like this:

Saturday 11 May 2013:

Departed LCCT for Singapore Changi Airport early in the morning, to catch a Saudi Airlines flight to Johannesburg, stopping at Riyadh and transiting at Jeddah. By the time we arrived in Johannesburg/Joburg it was Sunday afternoon local time, 30 hours after we left home!


Sunday 12 May 2013

Apartheid Museum


Monday 13 May 2013

Joburg to Kruger National Park 

Our Safari Lodge – Africa On Foot 

Our first game – we spotted the lions and elephants 



Tuesday 14 May 2013

Afternoon Game Outing – we spotted some leopards!

Wednesday 15 May 2013


Thursday 16 May 2013


Friday 17 May 2013


Saturday 18 May 2013


Sunday 19 May 2013

Left Cape Town early in the morning to catch afternoon flight to Singapore, transiting at Jeddah. Arrived in Singapore late Monday afternoon, and took a Firefly flight back to Subang (Kuala Lumpur).




Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto

Previous post: Kyoto Imperial Palace

Date: 21 December 2012


After visiting the palace, we took the underground train to Gion, the Geisha area. We had a nice walk around the neighbourhood, though I don’t have any picture to show 🙁


We then went back to Kyoto Station to have lunch, after which we took a train to this place:



There’s a famous shrine here, where you can see so many Tori gates!

The suburb is so peaceful;


Even the walk was very enjoyable:


As we entered the Fushimi Inari Shrine complex:


Ablution corner:


Very orange, indeed!


As we climbed the steps up the hill:



While DH captured this image down at the temple:


We were up the stairs, but still needed to climb further:


At the higher part of the hill we were greeted but tori gates arranged in a row:


So many of them:


The walk up was a long one:


These are gates donated by worshippers:


At certain points, the gates branch out!


Tired from previous walk, I decided to walk back:


and came across the prayer papers tied to the fence:


A counter selling prayer items and souvenirs:



Little torii gates for sale:


Aina found a friendly cat:


I have never seen so many torii gates in my life, huge ones at the entrance/exit:


Waiting for our train back to Kyoto:


I think we just managed to beat the peak time 🙂


Happy to be able to rest our tired feet:


We got back to our hotel rooms, and I continued to watch the bullet trains from my hotel window 🙂


The following morning we took the train to Osaka Airport to catch our flight home.



Kyoto Imperial Palace


Previous entry: Kyoto: A Night Out 

Date: 21 December 2012 

I first visited Kyoto in the middle of summer in 2004. Now I return to this place in winter!

The first destination for the day was The Kyoto Imperial Palace.


Just outside the palace;


Entering the main palace block:



Shoes off, please;

The floors of the palace were purposely built to produce “nightingale”  squeaking sound as you step, to warn of any intruder!


The white walls were later put up to protect the interior:


A serene (Japanese!) garden nearby:


The palace has 2 layers of moats, with inner walls as well as outer walls. Here’s the inner wall:


The “inner” moat:


Another palace block inside the complex:


We climbed up to one of the guarding towers, and had a nice view of part of the palace complex:


Tired of walking, we were greeted (in the quietness of the park at the edge of the palace ground!) by the friendly vending machines:


Who needs a cafe here, when the machine can provide both hot and cold drinks? The red labels mark the the hot drinks!


As we walked back, we found the signage towards the real “man-managed” cafe (lounge) and souvenir shop, near the entrance/exit.


My son, Nafis and I decided to jump together 🙂 :


and acknowledged that this palace is a World Heritage Site 🙂











Akihabara, Tokyo

Previous post: Hiroshima to Tokyo

Date: 18 December 2012


The night before, when we arrived at Ueno Station, Tokyo:


That morning we came back to Ueno Station:


Our first destination was Akihabara Station:


At the square outside the station, we realised that there’s free wi-fi, courtesy of JR East, so we did some updating on Facebook 🙂


While Aina posed in front of the AKB48 Cafe & Shop. Her cousin is a fan of AKB48’s 🙂 :


It was not the station that we were interested in. We wanted to take the kids to the “IT Heaven” of Tokyo, Akihabara 🙂


Most of the time DH and I just waited and enjoyed “people-watching” while the kids surveyed what’s on offer along this famous road:


It was a clear morning, and still very autumn-ish here:


It sure brought a lot of memories of when I spent 7 weeks in Aug-Sept 2004 here. At least twice or trice a week my fellow trainees and I would come here on our way back from our training centre to our accomodation in Tokyo Kenshu Centre in Kita-Senju 🙂


A lot of secondhand shops for cameras & gears:


as well as brand new ones too:


Akihabara is also a heaven for computers, handphones & other IT gadgets:


For game lovers too!


We came across a halal joint:


and decided to have our lunch (before we adjourned to the next destination) 🙂



Day 3 in Nepal – Lakeside, Pokhara

Date: 15 September 2012

Previous post: Getting to Pokhara


After we checked in, and a bit of rest, we decided to stroll along the famous Lake Side area of Pokhara.

It was a cool afternoon, and September being the low season for tourists, the main street was pretty deserted:


We walked to the famous lake Fewa Lake. The tip (beginning) of the lake:


It’s quite a huge lake. We saw some colorful paddle boats:


DH was happily clicking his camera and got this shot:


and this:


Me caught doing “people watching” 🙂


This shot is shows an old man doing his cleansing ritual, I guess:


I got tired of waiting (and the walking earlier, to reach here) and decided to rest for a while:



We then continued our walk along the main street. The most popular merchandise on sale at most (tourist/souvenir) shops were pashmina shawls and the like:


The phrase “Just please me, dear human” was all over the places 🙂


I was somehow not interested in them, because I was hungry. We looked for a halal eatery but with vain (we knew from Internet search that there was no halal joint in Lake side area), so we settled for one that doesn’t serve pork. we ordered seafood and vegetarian dishes:


Surprisingly they were quite delicious (or we must have been very hungry)!


After the came across a shopping mall, and I do think this one is the one of the biggest if not the biggest mall there:



Despite resisting, curiosity ended me in this shop:


I really was not into such shopping spree, simply because the very nice and of high quality ones are just too expensive for me and the cheaper ones are readily available in Kuala Lumpur, at about  just the same prices!


I however ended up buying some silk scarves 🙂 (difficult to find back home, and surely value for money)




Next post: International Mountain Museum and Devi’s Fall










Day 3 in Nepal – Getting to Pokhara

Date: 15 September 2012

Previous post: Kathmandu Day 2 Part II


Very early in the morning we took a cab back to the airport. This is one of the main roads in Kathmandu!


We were taking the Buddha Air flight that morning to Pokhara.


Pokhara is about 200km from Kathmandu, but if we were to take an express bus there it would take us 7 hours, while the flight was only 25 mins in this little  plane:




It was a cloudy day (actually it remained cloudy until we left the country a few days later 🙁 )


Finally landed at Pokhara airport



and this is THE arrival Hall!


a nice poster greeted us:


We had a cab waiting for us 🙂


And here’s the little hotel where we were to spend a couple of nights in:


The view from our corridor down towards the courtyard:


We were told that if the weather is good we could see the Himalayas from our bedroom window.

Next post: Lake Side, Pokhara




Day 2 in Nepal – Kathmandu Part II

Date: 14 September 2012

Previous post: Day 2 in Nepal – Kathmandu Part I


We had done quite a lot of walking (more than 5kms for sure) and we needed a break. By then, the shops that participated in the half-day strike started to open for business again.

We stopped at a cafe to have some drinks, and momo (Nepali snack), which happened to be Niva’s favourite food!


DH and I opted for vegetarian ones.

After a good rest, esp to our tired feet, we took a cab to the hill top, to visit a famous temple there. At the entrance we saw coconut (not the young ones, just those that we would normally use to extract milk fro, for cooking)  for sale as snacks:


The view from the temple was breath-taking:


What a crowded city Kathmandu is:


Another side:


The sky didn’t look good:


The iconic image of Nepali Buddhism:


We decided to decent on foot, and chanced upon an ice-cream guy. “Royal” Everest Ice-cream? (Nepal got rid of their royalties in 2004)



I decided to give Niva a treat 🙂



On the way down, we saw some monkeys. Niva accidentally dropped her cup of ice-cream, which was later snapped by the monkeys 🙁


There’s another praying site down the hill:


but I was too tired by then.


We took a cab, sent Mahes and Niva back home then went back to our hotel for some rest.

Later Mahes rode his bike to our hotel, and guided us (in another cab) to his home:


The ground floor is designated for a shop and to park their bikes  while they live on the first floor: the second floor is being rented by a Muslim family, whose daughter is very close to Niva.

Here are me,  Mahes and his missus, Sumitra,  in their house:


Dhal bhat (dhall with rice) for me specially cooked by Sumitra 🙂


We had very nice vegetarian dinner that night, and a memorable time too. We had to leave when the power cut started (though, like many other houses, Mahes had the the generator on, and hence we had some dim lights on).


Thank you Mahes, Sumitra and Niva for a great day. I hope one day you will visit us in Kuala Lumpur 🙂


Next post: Getting to Pokhara






A Day in Manila – Part I

Previous post: More of Davao


Date: 16th June 2012


At Davao Airport (the day before), waiting to board the flight back to Clark:


Happy to arrive back in Clark:


Date: 17th June 2012

We decided to rent a car (with driver) for a day tripo to Manila.

From our hotel, we passed by the infamous Angeles City:


The main street of Angeles City would be “alive” and look very different at night!


Looking at the signboard, we could be thinking that we are in South America!


At the toll house just before entering Greater Manila:


First stop was at the oldest university in Asia! Yes, University of Santo Tomas, founded in 1611,  is the oldest in Asia!


Some useful information:


And a mandatory jump just before we left:


We passed by another icon, and old church:



I waited in the car while DH went to have a peep:


I used to enter temples and churches before, but after 9-11, I no longer feel good entering them. I feel like I am intruding, esp when there’s a service in progress, like in the above church (it was a Sunday 🙂 ) .


The driver then took us to another church, Saint Augustin Church:


DH went to get a peep too, and here too, there was a service in progress,


I was contented to have a pic of me at the World Heritage sign 🙂