Canine Issue II

Danshui 淡水 • Taipei 台北

Taipei Dog Signboard


Singapore Dog Signboard 1

Singapore Dog Signboard 1


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Spring Blossom in Japan

Although visiting Japan had been in my mind for sometime, it was quite an impromptu decision when I booked the return flights from Singapore (SIN) to Osaka (KIX) with AirAsiaX via Kuala Lumpur (KUL). The promotional airfare by the low cost carrier was SGD396.40 (~GBP200) and the ~6hour flight between KUL-KIX was a breeze despite the no-frill service. My first visit to Japan was an intense cultural experience that covered four cities in the Kansai area, namely Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Nara in four full days. It was also perfectly timed with the full bloom of cherry blossom in spring (満開日), best experienced at the Philosopher's Walk (哲学の道) in Kyoto and Osaka Castle (大阪城).

Philosopher's walk (哲学の道) in spring (04/2012)

Osaka Castle (大阪城) from Nishinomaru Garden (西の丸庭園) (04/2012)


Old and New in Delhi

The trip to India last year was definitely one of the highlights in 2011. My first visit to the South Asian country was not timed with the best weather. In fact, I arrived in the midst of Indian summer with soaring daytime temperature of 40-45°C. Thus, the incredibly cheap airfare, Kuala Lumpur-New Delhi by AirAsiaX (MYR266 = GBP55 = SGD100 return per person, booked about 9 months in advance). India is a country of great contrast. Like many other cities in India, Delhi boasts a wealth of spectacular monuments and buildings. On the other extreme, houses in dilapidated condition are evident, especially in the older part of the city. Visitors arrive by air are greeted by the modern Indira Gandhi International Airport connected by the sparkling new Airport Express line to the city. Travel options within the city can be an interesting mix of Delhi Metro, tuk-tuks and cycle rickshaws.

Delhi rickshaw
Cyclo rickshaw in Old Delhi (05/2011)

Delhi tuk-tuk
The iconic yellow and green tuk-tuk in Delhi (05/2011)

Delhi airport
Decorative sculpture in the Indira Gandhi International Airport terminal (05/2011)

Old Colonial Jakarta at Kota Tua

The "Big Durian" Jakarta was my third destination in Indonesia after Lake Toba and Bali. Travelling to somewhere new was thrilling enough to me although I had the feeling that the capital of Indonesia did not rank high on the itinerary of most travelers and had little idea on what to expect. I was lucky to have an insightful introduction to the city thanks to a friend who lived and worked there. Kota Tua (Old Town) topped the list of attractions that I visited and was truly a gem in the city to me. It was a happening place. Buskers, cultural performers and street vendors filled the square with old colonial era buildings in the backdrop. The Jakarta History Museum, housed in the former Dutch-build Town Hall, was a great place to pick up some histories. The whole Kota Tua experience should be completed with a visit to Cafe Batavia at the other side of the square.

Old Town Hall in Jakarta
Dutch-build Town Hall (now housed the Jakarta History Museum) at Kota Tua Jakarta


Snapshots from Jaipur, India

Tourists & Vendor
Food vending and family outing near the Jal Mahal (Water Palace) (05/2011)


Camel & Pepsi
Shade and Pepsi are what you need at 40°C (05/2011)