Archive for the Tourism Category

Taiwan 2012 – 2 of 2

Posted in Tourism on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 by Colin Quek

Taiwan is a bustling place, back in Taipei, we took the high speed rail for 8 minutes to this place called Banqiao.


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Taipei Train Station

Of course one must visit Taipei 101 to complete the visit yes?

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Colorful transparent tiles outside Taipei 101.

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Look what we found?

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Taiwan 2012 – Landscapes

Posted in Blogroll, Tourism with tags on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 by Colin Quek

Having spent 8 days around Taiwan and returning with a ton of photos of the simply marvelous island, I decided the best way to showcase the photos of the place is via various categories e.g. Landscape, Food, Recreation, etc.

I will start with Landscape as this is where Taiwan captured me the most. With its numerous mountains, hills and knolls. And of course their beauty as one glance at them. Why the numerous highlands? Because Taiwan is very active geologically. Situated such that the it is on 4 tectonic plates. As they move, they form hills and mountains on the island’s face.

Some shots of the highlands.

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Taken early in the morning as we were up this mountain resort.

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Midday shot

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Certainly looks like we were in Europe isn’t it?

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Different colors start to appear towards evening.

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Beer and sunset. What else is better?

Partly due to the numerous highlands, Taiwan has become home to a number of famous lakes.

 
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The most well known being Sun Moon Lake.

The water is indeed crystal clear even know (http://wikitravel.org/en/Sun_Moon_Lake). Still on the topic of Sun Moon Lake, here are some closer photos.

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Palace of Chiang Kai Shek.

This lake has been home to the aborigines of Taiwan for many of years. It has served as a center of their activities as well.

To top it off, Taiwan has a wonderful view of the sea, and shipping and sea commerce is still a thriving trade.

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Panaromic port view in Tamsui

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A fishing boat heading out, If I am not mistaken, to catch squids.

To close this post now really don’t do justice to the natural beauty of Taiwan, I would really encourage you the reader to pay a visit and take in the other elements that make up the entire human experience of the place.

On a short trip to Bali (Part 2)

Posted in Bali, Blogroll, Food with tags , , , , , , on Sunday, January 1, 2012 by Colin Quek

This part of the series brings us to around the sights and sounds… and of course food of Bali.

In the morning, our driver, Made (whom we hired via http://funwithsila.blogspot.com/), drove us to Kat’s Kitchen. Breakfast was western. With bacon and again my favourite Balinese coffee.

My breakfast set, just the way I like it, meaty!

Close up of my first coffee of the day!

A little note about our driver: Made is a very friendly and honest driver. With excellent command of the English language, he explains in detail the places where we visited. Highly recommended. (*Update: a friend of mine already hired him for their own Bali trip)

First stop of the day, Made drove us to visit a Batik crafts shop. Batik Bali is one of the more popular Batik brand in the whole of Indonesia.

Some of the tools used for making Batik.

Here’s the wax for masking out the areas to avoid by the dye. The pen-like instrument is a Tjanting tool.

The intricate art of Tjanting.

I splurged on myself in the place, buying over $300 (SGD) worth of Batik products.

After that, we went to visit a village. All the households are surrounded by brick walls. Inside the perimeter are several houses, a temple for the household, a mini-farm, a kitchen and of course the loo.

The stove, fire is fuel by firewood.

This is one of the 3 ~ 4 houses typically found in a family. According to Made, this unit is for young married couple.

With the sweltering weather in Bali, you must be wondering where’s the aircon? Well they got better…

The walls are made of mud, accordingly it keeps the heat out.

Thatched roof, this keep the heat out too.

And yes the insides of the houses are sufficiently cooled by the above mentioned techniques.

Parts of the family temple.

The altar.

Each family has its own temple, where they worship the Hindu gods of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. Each temple is handed over to the male child of the family. Together with the style of worship, this forms a vital anchor for each family.

Here’s the the PUB, Private Utilities Board. The well where each family has its water source. That’s Made at the side of the well.

Speaking of religion, Bali is dotted with numerous temples, with Hinduism being the main local religion. Of course the mainstream public temples are huge and very intricately adorned. Just take a look at the following.

Just outside the temple, a towering statue.

I especially like the following 3 carvings. Excellent paint job as well for the first 2.

Part of a pillar.

This is found beside a wall. Examine the details in the stone carving.

The temple we visited is some special cleansing temple. Hence we see groups of devotees washing themselves in the temple’s holy water.

On that note, we headed for dinner, I believe it is the famous flat-chicken rice. Where the chicken has been cooked until the bones are crispy and can be eaten.

Sambal Bali, super spicy chillies of Bali. Mixed with coconut oil and a dash of fried onion. Delicious!