Kyushu 2014.

Oct/Nov 2014

Although backdated for some time, I really need to start writing about Kyushu and stop procrastinating already.

We took a package tour and went on a red eye flight from SG to Fukuoka and so spent our first night on the plane. Flight was pretty comfortable because it is Singapore Airlines and i managed to catch a few movies on the flight. Hehehe!

We started off from Yanagawa where we took the traditional wooden boat from one end to the other admiring the spring-autumn foliage by the riverside. And then, we had a really awesome eel meat rice bento for lunch for the very first time as I will never try eel meat in Singapore because I never trust that the fishy smell of it will be masked off completely. yanagawariver

#0 Yanagawa river

Then we were off to Nagasaki’s Atomic Bomb Museum and the nearby Peace Park for sight seeing. Some of the atomic bomb survivors lived to pen down testimonials and it did indeed send chills down my spine when they describe how the impact of the atomic bomb affected them both mentally and physically. Some of the stories were really heart-wrenching!

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#1 Peace Park Statue

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#2 Nagasaki Peace Park

Very soon it was time for dinner and we were chaffeured off to somewhere for some good ‘mochi’ rice cake set meal. IKR, japanese meals can be that interesting! And yes, i did not remember to take a photo with the lid opened so had to googled for it. This is exactly the set meal we had at the same restaurant as I’d recognised the restaurant name imprinted on the disposable chopsticks holder. After the dinner, we were directed by the tour guide to take a city tram in the city of Nagasaki to our first check in at the Crowne Plaza GloverHill Nagasaki Hotel.

Guzouni (Picture courtesy of Google Images)

Day 2 started off with us getting on board a cruise boat for some dolphin watch! Excited excited excited.. although I am never happy with humans disturbing marine animals like the harmless dolphins and whales. I was so much more well informed after catching the documentary “The Cove” and if you guys are interested, go google about it. Next off, we were send to take a car ferry across Ariake Sea to Kumamoto pier. What’s a car ferry?? It’s a damn huge ferry that takes vehicles across the big ocean! Again, this is my first time… and i could not believe my eyes when i saw how our whole tour bus went into the ferry. I was dumbfounded and in awe of it… hahaha

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#3 Wild dolphins

SO.. we landed on Kumamoto soil. We were headed off to Kumamoto Castle. As you know, castles are almost everywhere in Japan because of their rich castle history in the past. It was almost dark and so we postpone the last activity on the itinerary to the next morning because it is very near to the Kirishima Royal Hotel that we stayed in on the 2nd night. It was also the first night where we started our onsen addiction going on…

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#4 Kirishima castle?

Day 3 morning as planned, we went to Kirishima Shrine and yes.. it is just a temple where all the devotees will walk up the slope of steps to reach the shrine. Camho a bit there as we had nothing much to do besides waiting…

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#5 that’s me lah.. posing with one of the shrine’s lamp post. SG where got such design leh..

Credit: Courtesy of Google Images

#6 Kirishima Shrine

After the shrine visit, we reached this observation platform that requires us to walk a bit distance uphill to the deck itself and then it was overlooking the Nagasaki city scape and the magnificent Sakurajima Volcano.

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#7 Shiroyama Observation Platform overlooking the Nagasaki cityscape

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#8 Volcano Sakurajima captured in the background which is still very active and can be seen from the observation deck.

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#9 Sekino-o waterfall, this is further into the forest where the streams lead to the waterfall

Quickly after the shopping & lunch at Tenmonkan area in the city of Kagoshima and the sightseeing, we were headed off to Miyazaki before the sun sets. It was a pretty long bus journey and I just keep dozing off and waking up to check the time. Our third night was spent at Miyazaki Kanko Hotel which overlooks a very nice lake view.

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#10 Teruha Suspension Bridge

Day 4 was to this Teruha Suspension Bridge at a height of 142m above a valley where this Aya Minami river flows.

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#11 Pretty enjoyed taking shots like that.. hehe

After all the walking, another 2 hours of bus journey to Mt. Aso which is also an even more active volcano. Unfortunately when we were there, the volcano was already erupting and we weren’t allowed up to the observation deck. Sad…

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#12 Mt aso erupting and the emergency alert was everywhere nearby..

That pretty much ends for the day and we were sent to our next 1 night stay hotel at Aso Farm Village. This resort style hotel was much interesting because of the dome shaped rooms we stayed in. And the weather that got much cooler at night became even cooler that night because we were at a pretty higher land in that area hence the temperatures can get lower as you ascend higher.

Day 5 –  After the buffet breakfast at Aso Farm Village, we headed to this old town village in Yufuin. If i’m not wrong, it’s usually called Yufuin Town or Yufuin Floral Village. I just simply adore countries like Japan because of the vast landscapes and natural places like that. Look at the lush aww-mazing landscape that I have captured!

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#13 Yufuin

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#14 Reflection of the morning sun at Yufuin’s lake 😀

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#15 The other side of Yufuin

We left the old town with perfect memories captured of the lake and the amazing landscape, and were told that we will also be going to this safari zoo park. It did not sound as interesting as it should be when the tour guide explained to us. But it was a pretty good experience since we can have such a close encounter with this animals!

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# Feeding the animal KING his food

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# this beast blocking our roads is the …!

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# Giraffe walked towards our safari vehicle and started licking the side mirrors!

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# Never had I seen so many cheetahs this near, even SG Mandai Zoo only had 1 or 2 at one single time and they were not as wild as these four musketeers!

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#16 After the zoo visit, I was almost quite tired already probably due to the sun shining brightly less the cold. We then headed off to the Beppu Death Valley which I remembered is the area where the highest concentration of the onsen spring is found!

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#17 Crystal blue waters at boiling temperatures. I guessed thats why its called a death valley. So before the skies turn dark, we quickly hopped on the tour bus and left for our dinner and the next 1 night stay at Beppu Wan Royal Hotel. After all the unpacking and packing of luggages every night, I must say that joining tours are indeed quite tiring so to speak and I am really not the kind who loves doing that. This is also why this blog is still existent because documenting these journeys down will helped me to recall the times we had and the places we had visited.

So the last day has finally arrived and we were heading back to the city. I can’t wait to try hakata ramen!! The only regret of this trip was not having a taste of the original Ippudo ramen that originated from hakata a.k.a fukuoka. 😥

We were so in a rush back to the last check in at Canal City Washington Hotel probably due to the long road distances. Kudos, new-found respect for the bus driver who kept us safe and sound throughout this journey. Not forgetting also, thank God for the blessings and protection we have received during this trip.

Hotels that we have stayed during the trip:

crowne plaza gloverhill nagasaki

kirishima royal hotel

miyazaki kanko hotel

aso farm village

beppu wan royal hotel

canal city washington hotel

cheers,

thedarktraveler

Melbourne 2012.

the last week of winter was still really cold..


Hello mate!

For the past 1 week i spent in Melbourne, the most common word/phrase I have heard among conversations between a local and anybody is, “Hi mate!”, “Thanks mate!”. And so… i managed to catch the last week of winter in chilly melbourne this year before it fades away. If you’d know my instagram handle, you will be seeing some of them in this post later on!

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#1 just woke up from an evening flight..

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#2 Had a quick brunch because by the time we pass the immigration etc it was 11am already!
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#3 the cabbie who drove us to our hotel..

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#4 alot of interesting graffiti art displayed on the streets.


#5 another back alley that is so art-driven :O


#6 i had randomly tried panning shots with the occasional taxi that came by the st kilda stretch..


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#8 jump shots at st kilda beach.. the beach that day really did not do justice to the gd weather days!


#9 ♡♡♡


#10 my sister and her friend who had stayed here for quite some time due to studies commitment, she showed us around the university of Melbourne which was said to look very harry potter castle-like!

#11 ♡ the bare willow trees.. they always have this awfully romantic feeling to it.. 😛


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#14 I really dunno who hung their shoes up there.. but we had fun getting to know all those funny street names! I guess the only confusing part of moving around there was all the  street names on every little or long streets.


#15 group photo with A whom we had to got befriend during the day tour to Mr. Buller. We thought she was pretty brave to be traveling alone by herself here for 10 days.

#16 quite liking this picture that my sis took for me. 🙂


#17 before the tobogganing begins..


#18 very old vintage Volkswagen van we saw along the Esplanade market at St Kilda’s.


#19 the awesome jetty view at St Kilda beach


#20 finale pix to end this post.. this is the awesome view from our hotel room. Just in case you have not heard of, the night ends very early at about 5pm at this part of the globe and the streets became very quiet and empty especially in this part of the Preston suburb.

Just sharing: Winter Swimming – The Often Overlooked Health Benefits

Winter Swimming: The Often Overlooked Health Benefits – Yahoo! Voices – voices.yahoo.com.

I was reading this one night and was surprised to find out that there really is such a thing called winter swimming observed in some countries. However, it doesn’t occur in all the countries that has four seasons in a year!

For safety reasons, no one should ever try that without any supervision or medical advice. And even the members of this “Polar bear clubs” have to declare that the organization will not be responsible if anything were to happen to them in an event of hypothermia or worse.

There is no reason why I should share this considering that I am living in sunny singapore 😛 but it was interesting to know that such an activity existed. And I bet some of you dunno right! XD

ciaoz.

Yunnan☃ China 2011.

in lovely sweet november.

This awesome entry will be divided into 2 sections.
The first are random shots from my iphone camera. And the second part are shots from my dslr.

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#1 3.30am flight (ーー;)

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#2 First hotel and first night of the entire trip

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#3 read the chinese captions haha.

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#4 lifesavers

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#5 Passing by in the midst of a rocky mountain. Am in awe of nature’s beauty

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#6 again as captioned

Second section begins from here. Forget all the yucky smelly doorless toilets I have come across and visited. Forget me looking at your moon and vice versa. HAHAHA.
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#1 This is a yak – a very common sight in this region.

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#2 Looks like some aussie farmland but tis not.

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#3 This shot was taken at Lijiang. Much ♥s \(^o^)/

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#4 Jade dragon mountain; isn’t it cool to know that it snows all year round?

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#5 i felt like i had just been to paradise.

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#6 Black dragon pool in old town of Lijiang; looks so much better than our chinese garden…
Ps: This is one of the UNESCO World heritage site

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#7 A lake with an awesome view.

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#8 Tis the season where maple leaves turn yellow/red. ❥

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#9 This shot was taken above sea level of 4499 metres!


#10 This pix looks romantic to me…

Fantasies of Seoul

That was Christmas 2007..

I’d remember this as the first overseas holiday trip we made together as a family if you don’t count the road trips into JB or any part of Malaysia 🙂

#1 front entrance view into the theme park

#2 some palace park that we had visited in the itinerary.. really had all the traditional Kdrama feel~

#3 Korea zoos are amazing! We were in a minibus and it just went past this animals which were like really close to us! There weren’t any man made river or lake between us so u can imagine the distance we are between one another @.@

#4 very nice array of trees, i think it was the one in that very popular Kdrama of that star-crossed couple. There was even a stone statue of them looking at each other in the park!

#5 this was the first time i had such a close encounter with snow! Was really damn stoked about it and i was wearing like 5 layers thick..

#6 Best part about every holiday trip is to check out the streets at night. That’s ofcos you must be prepared for pickpockets as well who are very good at picking out tourists from locals. So when you are ready for that… 🙂 🙂 🙂