The secret ingredient of the best Filipino pork and chicken

Northwest on Mindoro island is Puerto Galera, a scuba destination in the Philippines with picture-perfect blue skies, a soft sea breeze, spotless beaches, cheap drinks and friendly locals. Just a few of the many reasons why I love this place. However, there is one thing that bothers me in the Philippines. Its food. Before you start shouting at me, […]

Dynasty Paradise signature Xiao Long Bao

Paradise Dynasty eight colours of Xiao Long Bao

For many weeks I evaded Causeway Bay but in the end I was persuaded to try Xiao Long Bao at Paradise Dynasty. It took me surprisingly long especially because Causeway Bay was only 15 minutes from my place in Sai Ying Pun. So what took me so long to try Paradise Dynasty’s signature dish? Dynasty’s […]

A lazy day at Gili Meno

Gili Meno is boring. There is hardly anything to do. But that is exactly the reason why we decided to travel to this tiny sanctuary with a population of just 400 habitants. The island is so small that it takes less than 90 minutes to walk around the entire island at a very leisurely pace. […]

The unfortunate truth of Trawangan

Trawangan is one of the three Gili Islands next to Bali in Indonesia. After a two hour foetal position on an enclosed plastic boat without air conditioning, the sight of its crystal clear beach was a welcome relief. The local Trawangans were hospitable and our boutique hotel, Les Villas Ottallia, had everything we needed from […]

Kecak dancers

Kecak and the hundred swaying men

Kecak was something completely new to me until hotel staff of Maya Ubud explained it to me. At first I thought it was a local dish but soon discovered Kecak is a Indonesian performance accompanied by music and human voice (gamelan suara). Kecak is a choir of hundred men sitting in concentric circles, swaying, standing up and lying […]

Maya Ubud resort Bali

Maya Ubud spa resort

Maya Ubud is a Herculean resort compared with the modest Kenanga boutique hotel we just came from. I arrived on my rented Scoopy, a scooter brand in Bali, followed by the taxi with our luggage. Two smartly dressed security guards saluted and we entered the private kingdom of Maya Ubud, a land of plenty and perfection. The asphalt between the gate and the reception […]

Tegalalang rice terraces

The rice paddies of Tegalalang

What can I say about Tegalalang in Indonesia? It is very, very, very green with a many, many, many trees. I had seen photos of Tegalalang before and imagined it to be a place of indescribable beauty and lush tropical vegetation. The reviews were promising and we added this place to our Indonesia sightseeing list. […]

Blanco interior

Blanco 13-course dinner

I don’t know what happened at Christmas but my mind went Blanco. Seriously, why would anyone sensible finish a 13-course dinner? Well, I did. Blanco is not your typical local Balinese eatery. It has only eight seats and two time slots per evening. Blanco offered three options; 7, 9, and 13 courses. Not that we […]

Kenanga boutique hotel

Kenanga boutique hotel

Far away from the bustle of Bali beach is Kenanga, a sleepy boutique hotel with quacking ducks, slow moving snails, and the loudest geckos I have ever heard. The trip to Kenanga was a pleasant break from the agonising six hour taxi journey we endured the previous day to Bromo Tennger. It took just over a hour from Bali’s Denpasar […]

Tengger Caldera

Bromo Tennger National Park

Avoid Bromo Tennger if you are asthmatic or sensitive to altitude sickness. If you enjoy volcanic ash and Jurassic landscapes, visit it. Located in East Java, Bromo Tennger is a magnificent national park but be prepared for a long taxi ride. Bring books or something else to entertain yourself because it took us almost six hours from […]

Peta Borobudur

Peta Borobudur in Central Java

Built in the 9th century in Indonesia, Peta Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple. The monument was designed to show the Buddhist concept of achieving Nirvana. We started our journey at 5.45am from our hotel Ruman Boedi hoping to catch the sunrise. To my surprise it was already light outside when we got up. We took the tuk-tuk but […]

Pentai Timang gondola

Pentai Timang gondola

A flimsy hand-made wooden cage supposed to carry me across the ocean. The Pentai Timang crossing takes people from the rocky coastline to the remote island of Watu Panjang – that is the big ocean rock you see on the picture below. The nylon ropes were battered and worn out but our driver told us that local lobster […]

Rumah Boedi open air reception

Rumah Boedi in Borobudur

From Jogjakarta airport it is a two hour taxi drive to Rumah Boedi, a private residence villa in Borobudur hidden away in the ancient kingdom’s rainforest of Wanurejo in Central Java and surrounded by local farmers, craftsmen and artists. That is the nice part. The nasty one is that this area was infested with hungry blood-sucking mosquitos, and the […]

Happy Valley skyline

My favourite Hong Kong skyline photos

The awe-inspiring Hong Kong skyline is the most exhilarating feature that makes this city so different than any other place I have been to. Over the years I have taken, and lost, many photos which is one of the reasons why I started my blog. Hong Kong has many amazing faces but here are my top […]

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo

I could tell you how awesome and amazing the Tsukiji Fish Market is but in all honestly I was an itsy bitsy underwhelmed by the experience. Despite getting up at 5am we miscalculated the travel time from our hotel to the market so we missed the morning tuna trade. That was really unfortunate because that seemed to have been the […]

Ryokan hot spring

What the bleep is a ryokan?! It is not something I visit every day and I can try to explain what a Ryokan is but Wikipedia explains it well so I am just going to quote them “Ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period (1603–1868), serving travelers along Japan’s highways. They […]

recovering from the Ryokan dinner

The Hakone aftermath

Akinori Matsuki, our Hakone ryokan executive chef, had designed an eight-course evening menu that fitted exactly, from top to bottom, on an A4 sheet. I hear you thinking. Eight bite-size Japanese snacks, is that all? I heard a gentle knock. Not really sure where the sound came from I stumbled to the front door. An […]

Mutianyu Valley in China

Mutianyu valley in China

You may not be familiar with the mountains of Mutianyu (慕田峪). It is a about 70 kilometres from Beijing or about  1.5 hours by car. Mutianyu is popular with tourists visiting one of the world wonders called the Great Wall of China. The Mutianyu section is the longest and best restored part of the Great […]

National Centre for the Performance Arts is also knows as The Egg

The Egg in Beijing

Designed by French architect Paul Andreu the National Centre for the Performance Arts (NCPA) in Beijing is also locally knows at the Egg. The titanium-glass dome exterior looks like an egg floating on water, or a water drop, and is completely surrounded by a man-made lake. The dome measures 212 meters in east–west direction, 144 […]

Tiananmen square celebration

There is something new at Tiananmen Square

I always thought that the Tiananmen Square was the largest square in China but I just figured out it is the 6th largest in the world. The largest square is the Xinghai Square in Dairen, China. But who cares. The square is big and boring. I don’t find it a particularly exciting square because it […]

People resting at the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City in Beijing

The Forbidden City is right in the middle of Beijing city. It is not randomly somewhere in the city but exactly in the centre. The rest of today’s metropolis was carefully built around it. Other UNESCO world heritage sites I visited such as the Great Wall, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, and Peta Borobudur are far away from the centre. Another fun fact […]

The big Buddha of Tsz Shan Monastery

Tsz Shan Monastery in Hong Kong

Tsz Shan is a Chinese Buddhist monastery that practices the Dharma preached by Sakyamuni Buddha. Mr. Li Ka-shing, the richest man in Asia, started the Tsz Shan Monastery project in 2003 and to date has donated over HK$1.7 billion to this institute of Buddhist studies. Completed in 2013, the centrepiece of the monastery is the 76 […]

The Beer Bay crew

The best kept secret in Hong Kong

The Beer Bay at Central pier 3 is was the best kept secret in Hong Kong. I am not sure if it is a coincidence that this unassuming bar is next to Discovery Bay because it is not hard to find. Beer Bay is an unpretentious al fresco place without a website but with the […]

Escalator heaven in Lee Theatre Plaze in Causeway Bay

Escalators in Hong Kong

Escalators in Hong Kong? For some it may not be the most exciting subject but my interest in escalators started when I moved to Hong Kong. People seem to love them here. Life in Hong Kong would be completely different and impossible without escalators. In fact, Hong Kong would be the fittest city on the planet if […]

Queen's Road Central Thin Building

The thinnest building on Queen’s Road Central

Where Queen’s Road Central bends towards Sheung Wan is one of the thinnest buildings in Hong Kong. Only recently I noticed how narrow this building really is. I haven not measured it but it is not wider than 3 meters, probably closer to 2 meters. I am talking about the dark building in the middle of this […]

Groningen at sunrise

Why Groningen is so special

Here is a Dutch tongue twister. The Groninger Reitdiep water flows into the larger Vanstarkenborghkanaal that ends in the Wadden Sea and IJsselmeer. Besides the fact that Groningen was the place I spent most of childhood what makes it so special? Groningen is the capital city of the province of Groningen. The city has a population of 200,000 with […]

Amber Fort

The palace of Amber Fort in Amer

Amber Fort in Jaipur is another UNESCO World Heritage site in India’s Golden Triangle. The palace of the Rajput rulers is also known as Amer Fort and Amber Palace. Along with Jaigarh Fort the palace is located immediately above on the Hill of Eagles. The Amber Fort is a vast complex with so many rooms and areas that I forgot the names of […]

The central pillar of Diwan-i-khas at Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri in Agra

Fatehpur Sikri in the Agra district was once the capital city of the Mughal empire (1571 to 1585) in India. The imperial complex is one of the best preserved collections of Indian Mughal architecture but after it was completed in 1585 the palace was abandoned because of the lack of water and the increased turmoil […]

Entrance Agra Fort

Agra Fort

Agra Fort is next to another UNESCO world heritage site, the Taj Mahal. When emperor Akbar arrived in Agra in 1558 he recognised the strategic importance of this fort but it was in a ruined condition. For eight years more than 4,000 builders worked daily to rebuilt and restore the fort with red sandstones from the Barauli […]

Alsisar Haveli Hotel

Alsisar Haveli Heritage Hotel

The Alsisar Haveli heritage hotel in the heart of the Pink City in Jaipur is grandiose. Alsisar is an exception to the boring corporate 5-star luxury hotels. Five star hotels are like Michelin stars in Hong Kong. Great for business but boring and uninteresting. Imagine waking up and not being able to tell where you are […]

Taj Mahal at sunrise

We have arrived at the Taj Mahal

The crown of palaces, or the Taj Mahal, is an extraordinary masterpiece of Persian and Mughal architecture. Describing a building of this grandeur is very difficult but I’ll give it a go. What I find most fascinating are the minarets on each corner. They aren’t very decorative and in fact very bland compared with the intricate […]

Tomb of Akbar the Great

Tomb of Akbar the Great

I didn’t realise the true significance of the tomb of Akbar the Great (1555–1605) until I visited Fatehpur Sikri in Agra. Akbar was the third Mughal emperor and according to Tartary tradition he planned his own tomb and selected this site in Jaipur. Unfortunately the Akbar was unable to finish it so his son Jahangir completed the […]

Western Street in Sai Ying Pun

Sunday at Western Street

What is happening at Western Street? Nothing much today, which makes it so great. As you can see from the photo it is ordinary day. In fact it will never make it on the front cover of a luxury travel magazine. Locals pushing garbage uphill, the Hong Kong skyline, panoramic peak views, the ding ding (tram), the hedonistic lifestyle […]

Former Central Police Station in Hong Kong

The Former Central Police Station in Hong Kong

There are several areas on Wyndham Street with a panoramic view over the former Central Police Station and Mid-Levels in Hong Kong. I took this photo while waiting on the 6th floor at the Parekh House, an office building in Central. It is not the first time I have seen this view but the low […]

Olive tree at Episkopi Bay

The olive tree of Episkopi Bay

Episkopi Bay is a popular shore area southwest of Episkopi and west of Limassol. On top of this limestone promontory is the acropolis of Kourion, an ancient Greek city of considerable importance within Cyprus. If you do a quick online search there is an abundance of photos of the Kourion. What is less documented is the sea view next to the Kourion acropolis. When […]

The clearest blue sea water at Cape Greco in Cyprus

Cape Greco and the sea caves

According to local legend Cape Greco or Cavo Greco’s sea cave is the home of the Aiya Napa sea monster. Maybe, I did not see any monsters crawling around. One thing is certain. The sea has the clearest turquoise colour my eyes have ever seen. The Cape Greco area is a protected nature park at the southern end of Famagusta Bay near […]

Chapel of Ayia Thekla

Ayia Thekla chapel in Cyprus

A few kilometers west of Ayia Napa is Ayia Thekla or a 10min drive from Sotira, the village where my sister Nina lives. When I think of Cyprus this is the epitomy of the Mediterranean, the chapel at Ayia Thekla. I have seen this chapel many times and I admit it is not an architectural master piece. But what draws […]

Sotira sunrise in Cyprus

Sotira is waking up very slowly

Sotira wakes up to a beautiful array of soft gold and deep orange shades. The sunrise is an captivating sight, especially if you’re jet legged. I am visiting my sister Nina and her husband Tasos, owners of 4 weddings and a caricature, and their three kids Emilio, Julia, and Sofia. They live in a teeny municipal with a few houses on a […]

Admiralty skyline with the Conrad hotel at Pacific Place

The Admiralty skyline

The Admiralty skyline, or it is better to say the urban landscape of Hong Kong, is an ongoing source of inspiration. I posted skyline photos before but if you love perspective and grids as much as I do this city offers endless photogenic opportunities. Visit the rooftop of the Asia Society in Hong Kong, which has the […]

The fun begins at Ocean Park

Armageddon at Ocean Park

More than 10 years it has taken me to finally visit Ocean Park in Hong Kong. The prospect of large crowds and lines of people waiting have stopped me from going. I know. It is a bad excuse because I really love aquaria; for hours on end I can watch fish gliding around in an aquarium. Do not ask me […]

Kam Shan Country Park wild monkeys

The Three Monkeys at Kam Shan Country Park

Kam Shan Park, or Monkey Hill to most Hong Kong locals, is famous for its macaques. I have only seen these three in the wild but apparently there are about 1,800 macaques in the park. According to Wikipedia the macaques are likely to be descendants of monkeys released by pet owners in the 1920s. Wild macaques […]

Security at the Art Basel After Party

The best of Art Basel is not the art

Once a year Hong Kong is the epicentre of the arts. It is a much needed cultural boost for a city that is not known for its artistic activities. Art Basel is the annual highlight when suddenly every Hong Kong local is an art lover. While the number of visitors to galleries are typically underwhelming […]

Bird's eye view over Hong Kong

Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

So far I refrained myself to post pictures of the Victoria Peak in Hong Kong because there are already so many photos available. Then again without the most famous landmark I would offer an incomplete picture of Hong Kong on this blog. Victoria Peak is slightly higher than the ICC skyscraper but it is not the highest peak, that is Tai Mo […]

The Peak Galleria Hong Kong

The Peak Galleria on Hong Kong island

The Peak Galleria in Hong Kong is an architectural disaster. If Hong Kong had not enough shops, the Peak Galleria offers more shopping opportunities for those who want to take it to another peak level. There is nothing wrong with commercialisation but there was really no need to put together such a monstrous complex on Hong Kong’s finest picturesque […]

Sheung Wan harbourfront

Hong Kong at daybreak

My favourite time is Hong Kong at daybreak, at 6am when the city is in an equilibrium and slows down for a few hours. The pier next to the Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan offers an unobstructed view over Victoria Harbour and Kowloon side. The early morning haze softens the harsh contours of Hong […]

Sunset at Lamma Island

The great escape to Lamma Island

Take a short ferry ride from Central in Hong Hong and you end up at Lamma Island, the third largest island with around 6,000+ villagers. To put that number in context. The Citibank Plaza building on Hong Kong island has a capacity of 10,000 office workers. What I love about Hong Kong is its colourful history. How Lamma got its name […]

Kadoorie botanic garden

Kadoorie botanic garden – hidden jewel in Hong Kong

Kadoorie botanic garden in Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, is one of Hong Kong’s little known green secrets with organic farming terraces, botanic gardens with cobbled paths, pavilions, bridges, waterfalls, picnic spots, and native forest to the summit of the mountain, Kwun Yum Shan, at over 1800ft above sea level. What I really like about Kadoorie botanic garden, […]

The Tai O village comeback

Tai O Village used to be a thriving fishing community on the western side of Lantau Island. Previously known as Tanka because the Tankas – the boat people – are an ethnic group who lived on junks in the coastal areas of Southern China. The stilt houses on the water are still the main attraction […]

Mid Autumn Festival in Victoria Park

Mid-Autumn Festival in Victoria Park

Mid-Autumn Festival in Victoria Park is one of the annual celebrations when it seems everyone has decided simultaneously to gather in one place in Hong Kong. On a normal day Hong Kong is crowded enough. During the Mid-Autumn season the horde of people is insane. I should have gotten used by the concretion of residents, but […]

Connaught Road Central footbridge

A new perspective of Connaught Road Central

The Connaught Road Central bridge to the IFC was never a place I considered as a significance place in Hong Kong. I use the bridge almost everyday but never stood still to admire it. I was on my way to a meeting in the IFC building. To avoid the crowd I decided to take the right […]

The dome of the Hong Kong Space Museum

Hong Kong Space Museum

The Hong Kong Space Museum is one of my favourite landmarks still standing in Hong Kong. This magnificent building is only a few minutes walk from the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). The museum stands out because nowadays curved lines are a rarity and straight lines have taken over Hong Kong’s skyline. Most interestingly is […]

Hong Kong Museum Of Art Entrance

Who designed the Hong Kong Museum of Art?

The Hong Kong Museum of Art sits between the Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Cultural Centre on Tsim Tsa Tsui’s harbour front. I have visited the Hong Kong Museum of Art several times. To my surprise Hong Kong classic or contemporary art was completely missing. Ok, that was not entirely true. There were a few sticky-taped calligraphy pieces […]