Eat, Pray, Repeat

A week in Bali for October holiday There’s something to be said for a holiday where the most difficult choices I have to make are pool vs. beach and this cafe or that cafe. We were wondering if this holiday was going to happen, as the tumultuous Mount Agung was roaring to life in the…

Churches and squares everywhere 

Chinese New Year in Macau – Day 2 – A tour of old colonial Macau If you don’t go to Macau to gamble or shop, you go to Macau for history. I’m not a gambler – and I’d probably be a poor one even if I tried – and I don’t particularly go in for…

The Forest of Wisdom

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – Heyri Artist Valley & Paju Book City  If you tell a bibliophile that there’s such a magical place as a “Book City”, then it had better live up to its moniker. Add in 8 m high bookshelves and something called “The Forest of Wisdom”, and just point me in the…

A foot into the hermit kingdom

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – DMZ and JSA tour  When in Seoul, I felt that it was absolutely important that I visit the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and the JSA (Joint Security Area) near the shared border with North Korea. In order to visit inside the DMZ and the JSA, a tour was necessary, and it had…

War, peace, and the surprising beauty of stones

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – Jeju Island Tourist Bus Besides meet up with old friends and colleagues who now work in schools on Jeju Island – and having Mexican food and local Korean BBQ for various meals – there were a few looping tourist buses that run around the island to drop people off…

What to do on Jeju

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – Jeju, South Korea  About a three hour flight from Hong Kong is a small Korean island called Jeju. The island made its living from seafood, and now, tourism – mostly of from China at about 85% of the usual tourist trade. October holiday, a blessed week that we get…

Two days at a desert mirage in Abu Dhabi

When others dream of laying on a beach in a postcard perfect tropical location (not that I don’t – sometimes), I dream mostly of crumbling castles, acres of perfectly mowed green lawns, and the homes of my literary favorites – Austen, Brontes, Wordsworth, and Dickens. Yes, I dream of England. It has become an interesting…

All creatures great and small

When I say I have had a veritable zoo or critter menagerie in my apartment over the year, I swear I am not exaggerating. Such is life in a ground floor apartment, in a village, in the foresty mountain area of Hong Kong. One thing most people don’t realize is that Hong Kong is only about…

An afternoon’s walk through history

Old Saigon <Saigon River hotels to Dong Khoi> – Part 2 I strolled the waterfront for bit, and it took me a good while to find a “safer” spot for me to cross the lane so I could view the hotels away from their curbside location. When I crossed back, I ran like hell before…

A morning’s walk through history

Old Saigon <Tao Dan Park to Saigon River> – Part 1 I began my walk that morning – a continuation of a Lonely Planet city walk in their Vietnam tour guide – down Truong Dihn toward Ben Tranh Market. As I exited my hotel, however, I saw a group of young people kitting up for the Lion and…

Neon lights and Saigon nights

In addition to exploring HCMC during the day time hours, I went back to Dong Khoi and few side streets in the evening to enjoy some of the restaurants and lit up buildings. I’ve included a montage here of nightlife, especially during the Tet holiday. The main streets were packed full of people enjoying the…