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Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia. January 2013.
I’ve always hopped straight over to Penang. Hardly ever touched Butterworth. We were looking for somewhere nice to camp overnight, though I didn’t have much hope because we will be in urban areas already. Sure enough, the park is extremely urban and extremely popular. There is a unofficial track that winds along the coast through pine trees and the backend of naval bases. It was a pleasant discovery. And so was this sunset. This was a Penang that I’ve never seen before.

Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia. January 2013.

I’ve always hopped straight over to Penang. Hardly ever touched Butterworth. We were looking for somewhere nice to camp overnight, though I didn’t have much hope because we will be in urban areas already. Sure enough, the park is extremely urban and extremely popular. There is a unofficial track that winds along the coast through pine trees and the backend of naval bases. It was a pleasant discovery. And so was this sunset. This was a Penang that I’ve never seen before.

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Cai Be Floating Market, Mekong, Vietnam. April 2009.
Memories of my explorations around the Mekong feels like a blur. There were many towns along the delta, that are quite similar and yet quite distinct. I can remember the distinctive features of the three towns I visited, and yet I can’t really remember their names. This was taken on a boat tour that I took out of a homestay I did somewhere near Ben Tre. I remember the grandfather of the homestay that looked like Ho Chi Minh, I remember the two Chileans staying together at the same homestay, and I remember this boat tour that I took with them, up the river, saw the Cai Be market, stopped by a handicraft factory on stilts, and then a Confucius temple in some backwater river. The memories swirl around, like the flowing waters of the Mekong.

Cai Be Floating Market, Mekong, Vietnam. April 2009.

Memories of my explorations around the Mekong feels like a blur. There were many towns along the delta, that are quite similar and yet quite distinct. I can remember the distinctive features of the three towns I visited, and yet I can’t really remember their names. This was taken on a boat tour that I took out of a homestay I did somewhere near Ben Tre. I remember the grandfather of the homestay that looked like Ho Chi Minh, I remember the two Chileans staying together at the same homestay, and I remember this boat tour that I took with them, up the river, saw the Cai Be market, stopped by a handicraft factory on stilts, and then a Confucius temple in some backwater river. The memories swirl around, like the flowing waters of the Mekong.

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Pantai Segari, Perak, Malaysia. March 2013.
I chanced upon this beach. Pure chance. it was clean. quiet. it stretched for miles. I couldn’t believe such a place existed in this part of the country. We then drove around some more and found campsites which are shady and two steps from this beach. How is that possible. And I knew I had to be back. Then came a period of time where I needed to be away and mend things that only nature can help me with. So I came back here. I didn’t end up much alone time, except for an hour’s morning walk along the beach. That was good enough.

Pantai Segari, Perak, Malaysia. March 2013.

I chanced upon this beach. Pure chance. it was clean. quiet. it stretched for miles. I couldn’t believe such a place existed in this part of the country. We then drove around some more and found campsites which are shady and two steps from this beach. How is that possible. And I knew I had to be back. Then came a period of time where I needed to be away and mend things that only nature can help me with. So I came back here. I didn’t end up much alone time, except for an hour’s morning walk along the beach. That was good enough.

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Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, USA. May 2012.
For an island with such a short history, there sure has been a lot of destruction and rebirths happening within its lifetime. At the far end of the island where not many tourists ventured to, I found this wall façade with four different stages of modification going on. The island is small, but she sure does hide many faces, waiting to be unveiled.

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, USA. May 2012.

For an island with such a short history, there sure has been a lot of destruction and rebirths happening within its lifetime. At the far end of the island where not many tourists ventured to, I found this wall façade with four different stages of modification going on. The island is small, but she sure does hide many faces, waiting to be unveiled.

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Tatry Mountains, Slovakia. September 2008.
This was dubbed the Alps of Eastern Europe. We were intrigued. Then we read that you could hike OVER the mountains to get from Slovakia into Poland. We were even more intrigued. We arrived on the train to the town of Vysoke Tatry in the rain. We woke up the next morning with more rain and gloom. We looked at our supplies for the full day hike to the midway shelter. We’re not so sure anymore. But still we went, and see where we could get to. We got to 1600m, to a blanket of snow and fog. I have never walked in snow in my life, I had on just trail shoes, not boots, and on my left side is the cliff for me to slide and tumble down should I slip. We turned around at some point. It was exciting, it was indeed beautiful. We didn’t hike to Poland. But now we know. 

Tatry Mountains, Slovakia. September 2008.

This was dubbed the Alps of Eastern Europe. We were intrigued. Then we read that you could hike OVER the mountains to get from Slovakia into Poland. We were even more intrigued. We arrived on the train to the town of Vysoke Tatry in the rain. We woke up the next morning with more rain and gloom. We looked at our supplies for the full day hike to the midway shelter. We’re not so sure anymore. But still we went, and see where we could get to. We got to 1600m, to a blanket of snow and fog. I have never walked in snow in my life, I had on just trail shoes, not boots, and on my left side is the cliff for me to slide and tumble down should I slip. We turned around at some point. It was exciting, it was indeed beautiful. We didn’t hike to Poland. But now we know. 

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Chilling Waterfalls, Selangor, Malaysia. February 2013.
There’s plenty of waterfalls that can be found in Malaysia, but this is one of my favourites. It has all the wonderful characteristics that makes up a great waterfall - an impressive drop, a pool to swim in, some rocks to climb, a jump off point, fishes, lots of picnic area, and most importantly, a 45 minute hike in that requires 5 river crossings. It’s a beautiful hike in itself, not at all strenuous, and the crossings makes it fun. This last criterion makes the trip into Chilling even more rewarding. And reserves the falls for those who are actively seeking it with time and effort. 

Chilling Waterfalls, Selangor, Malaysia. February 2013.

There’s plenty of waterfalls that can be found in Malaysia, but this is one of my favourites. It has all the wonderful characteristics that makes up a great waterfall - an impressive drop, a pool to swim in, some rocks to climb, a jump off point, fishes, lots of picnic area, and most importantly, a 45 minute hike in that requires 5 river crossings. It’s a beautiful hike in itself, not at all strenuous, and the crossings makes it fun. This last criterion makes the trip into Chilling even more rewarding. And reserves the falls for those who are actively seeking it with time and effort. 

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Chenderiang, Perak, Malaysia. February 2011.
Yu Sheng is a Chinese New Year dish typically found in Malaysia. For a long time I took for granted that this is a traditionally Chinese dish. Turns out it doesn’t exist in China. It’s purely a Malaysia/Singapore Chinese thing. which i think is kinda cool. Yu Sheng literally translate to mean raw fish. It’s like a massive dish of salad, with strips of carrots, ginger, cucumber among others, as well as slices of raw fish like salmon. The main act of this dish is in the mixing, whereby everyone around the table will have their chopsticks ready, and on the word go everyone digs in and tosses the salad as high as you can go. together. while reciting four letter wishes and cheers for the year. and then you eat it. I guess this one dish really encapsulates the spirit of Chinese New Year. It’s colourful, it’s loud, and it involves everyone at your table, be it family or friends. Huat Ah!

Chenderiang, Perak, Malaysia. February 2011.

Yu Sheng is a Chinese New Year dish typically found in Malaysia. For a long time I took for granted that this is a traditionally Chinese dish. Turns out it doesn’t exist in China. It’s purely a Malaysia/Singapore Chinese thing. which i think is kinda cool. Yu Sheng literally translate to mean raw fish. It’s like a massive dish of salad, with strips of carrots, ginger, cucumber among others, as well as slices of raw fish like salmon. The main act of this dish is in the mixing, whereby everyone around the table will have their chopsticks ready, and on the word go everyone digs in and tosses the salad as high as you can go. together. while reciting four letter wishes and cheers for the year. and then you eat it. I guess this one dish really encapsulates the spirit of Chinese New Year. It’s colourful, it’s loud, and it involves everyone at your table, be it family or friends. Huat Ah!

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Kowloon  Peak, Hong Kong. November 2011.
Camping on Kowloon Peak is like sleeping overnight on the front row seat in a theatre with the production of “Hong Kong” going on all night. Here you are at the end of a craggy spur, which took you an hour to traverse on a narrow trail as wide as one human width, pushing through thick wild shrub and wild grass swaying in the night wind outside your tent. But outside there is a steady hum, a mash up of urban noises from traffic and construction and city movements. But then you remain at one of the highest points of Hong Kong, breathing in fresh natural air. And the lightshow, the perpetual night lights of the Hong Kong cityscape. Who needs to be a CEO sitting in a office of a skyscaper? I feel quite superior, and yet humble, right here right now, thank you very much.

Kowloon  Peak, Hong Kong. November 2011.

Camping on Kowloon Peak is like sleeping overnight on the front row seat in a theatre with the production of “Hong Kong” going on all night. Here you are at the end of a craggy spur, which took you an hour to traverse on a narrow trail as wide as one human width, pushing through thick wild shrub and wild grass swaying in the night wind outside your tent. But outside there is a steady hum, a mash up of urban noises from traffic and construction and city movements. But then you remain at one of the highest points of Hong Kong, breathing in fresh natural air. And the lightshow, the perpetual night lights of the Hong Kong cityscape. Who needs to be a CEO sitting in a office of a skyscaper? I feel quite superior, and yet humble, right here right now, thank you very much.

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Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia.
One of the greatest things with the Overland Track is the variety of terrain and vegetation you go through. For the first parts of the track, starting at Cradle Mountain National park, you go through alpine like low level vegetation, and up and up and up you go. Low wildflower bushes, glacial lakes, granite outcrops, and wind, ferocious wind, whipping through and cutting through layers. But if you get to a high point, and find a sheltered corner, and munch on some banana chips m&ms macadamia nuts trailmix, there’s no better place to be. A place apart. 

Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia.

One of the greatest things with the Overland Track is the variety of terrain and vegetation you go through. For the first parts of the track, starting at Cradle Mountain National park, you go through alpine like low level vegetation, and up and up and up you go. Low wildflower bushes, glacial lakes, granite outcrops, and wind, ferocious wind, whipping through and cutting through layers. But if you get to a high point, and find a sheltered corner, and munch on some banana chips m&ms macadamia nuts trailmix, there’s no better place to be. A place apart. 

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King’s Church, Cambridge, UK. October 2008.
Once upon a time I harboured a distant dream of attending Cambridge. It’s a long shot for me to get there, but I think I was attracted to the image of prestige, intellectual, and excellence of the place. And some anti-establishment part of me disliked this notion. Well, I did get to there eventually, but only as a traveller and visitor of a friend. And I enjoyed it immensely. Of all the places I visited in England, this was the most English of them all. The architecture, the cobblestone streets, the walks in the prairie, men in cloaks and gowns and trench coats. I felt like being transplanted into a chapter of history, walking along the same footways as legendary great names. I didn’t necessary feel smarter being there, but I did feel much more English than anywhere.

King’s Church, Cambridge, UK. October 2008.

Once upon a time I harboured a distant dream of attending Cambridge. It’s a long shot for me to get there, but I think I was attracted to the image of prestige, intellectual, and excellence of the place. And some anti-establishment part of me disliked this notion. Well, I did get to there eventually, but only as a traveller and visitor of a friend. And I enjoyed it immensely. Of all the places I visited in England, this was the most English of them all. The architecture, the cobblestone streets, the walks in the prairie, men in cloaks and gowns and trench coats. I felt like being transplanted into a chapter of history, walking along the same footways as legendary great names. I didn’t necessary feel smarter being there, but I did feel much more English than anywhere.

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