Bali – Indonesia


Pious Hindu Balinese praying


Baby Elephant gracing a restaurant front

Suckling Pig from Ibu Oka - Ubud

Suckling Pig from Ibu Oka – Ubud

Surfing @ Seminyak beach where many surfing schools are located.

Surfing @ Seminyak beach where many surfing schools are located.


Crispy Duck (Bebek Garing)
a Balinese speciality

Think of Bali and probably you imagine all of the above? Well Bali has more to offer.

Royal Cremation Ceremony on 14 May 2013 in Ubud

A tall bade (tower) is used to transport the body from Ubud Palace to the cremation grounds

A tall bade (tower) is used to transport the body from Ubud Palace to the cremation grounds

Lembu will hold the body as it is being cremated.

Lembu will hold the body as it is being cremated.

This royal cremation is for Tjokorda Ngurah Wim Sukawati who died at 90. Prior to the cremation, holy water is obtained from a holy spring at Campuhan. At the Mesiram (bathing ceremony) the body is washed with holy water perfumed with fragrant flowers. Offerings are then made and it is dressed in fine clothes. After blessing by a High Priest, it is transported from the family temple to the Palace inner courtyard with it is guarded by naga banda (dragon).

Since I left on the same day of the ceremony I missed the procession to the cremation grounds.

Shopping and food in Ubud

Shops in Ubud Market

Shops in Ubud Market, more shops stretch from the market to Monkey Forest

Balinese Satay (chicken on a skewer) with peanut sauce

Balinese Satay (chicken on a skewer) with peanut sauce

Crispy Duck - a Balinese speciality

Crispy Duck – a Balinese speciality at Ibu Uma

Largest Crispy Duck Restaurant in Ubud

Largest Crispy Duck Restaurant in Ubud

Jalan Legian stretches fron Legian to Kuta with shops on both sides.

Surfing at Seminyak where most surfing schools are located.

Surfing at Seminyak where most surfing schools are located.

Memorial for those who died during the Bali bombing - located near the site in Kuta

Memorial for those who died during the Bali bombing – located near the site in Kuta

Made’s Warong where Balinese food is adapted to foreign taste



Flight of Fancy display at Garden by the Bay












Bangkok – Thailand

Bangkok is a paradise for shoppers, tourists and others. Each has his/her own interests. We have covered shopping and sight seeing to various places by public transport. Information provided is how to go to various places and what to expect.


Grand Palace is open everyday and ticket is priced at 500 Baht per person. Proper dressing is required otherwise entry is prohibited. Shorts are a definite no no.


Interior of the Palace comprises of many buildings, statutes and an emerald Buddha.


From the Grand Palace you can hire a Tuk Tuk for 60 Baht to see the Tall Buddha and Reclining Buddha and return to the market by Tha Chang Pier. Hire only Tuk Tuk with a yellow plate as they are endorsed by the Government.

Take a BTS skytrain to Saphan Thaksin Station and walk about 80 meters to Central Pier under Santorn Bridge. Express Boat to Tha Chang Pier costs 15 Baht per person. Money is collected by Ticket Seller in uniform. She comes around rattling her coin box to get attention.


This is what Chatuchak looks like from BTS train to Mo Chit Station. It is a collection of zinc roof buildings. Goods are displayed as shown below.


Street stalls stretch from BTS Mo Chit Station all the way to Chatuchak Weekend Market that opens only on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADisplays in Chatuchak Market

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you need spiritual uplifting the place to go is Erawan Shrine, where hopes and good luck may be fulfilled. The continuous crowd seems to testify to this fact.

Public transport from Airport to City 

Take Airport City Line to Makasan or Phaya Thai. From Makasan descend 2 levels to ground level and take the free golf cart to the junction, turn right and walk 50 meters to Phetchaburi MRT Station(Exit 3) to take MRT line to Sukhumvit Station. Walk upstairs to BTS Asok Station, from here you can go to where you book your hotel.

Alternatively take the Airport line all the way to Phaya Thai Station where it is connected to BTS. If you living near the shopping district along Rama 1 or Siam Square, this is the station for you to transit.

The main shopping district stretches from MBK mall at National Stadium Station to Chit Lom Station where you can transit through Central World to Platinum Mall at Petchaburi Road. This is the wholesale fashion mall.

img045Map of Chatuchak (Jatujak in Thai) Market in two halves



Map of Airport Rail Link, trains and MRT system







2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Gardens by the Bay – Singapore

plants in Flower Dome

plants that grow in a cool and dry environment in Flower Dome

Bottle trees

Flower display at Flower Dome

A 300 meter waterfall at Cloud Forest,
environment is cool and moist as at 3,500 meters above sea level

Flowers at Cloud Forest Dome

Layout in Cloud Forest

Flowers in Cloud Forest

Back of waterfall

Looking down from 6 stories

<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=’; width=”290” /></a> Preview:


OCBC Skywalk




Super trees are lighted up at night



Happy Buddha in background is Bell Tower of Tianjin

Fly by Scoot to Tianjin and from there take a High Speed Train to Beijing. Train takes half an hour to reach Beijingnan Station. Here take the metro to Tiananmen or Wangfujing.  For a subway map of Beijing please see my blog on Beijing.

Map of Tianjin City

Although the map is in mandarin (can’t find one in English), I shall provide the relevant places worth visiting. All street signs are bilingual, this is helpful. An additional compass will ease your direction.

The main train station at the curve of Hai River should be a landmark and where you can catch a train to Beijing for RMB 55 one way. At all train stations be prepared to put your bags through the X-ray machine and go through a metal detector.

On the map you will see 2 streets in a lopsided pink color T. Those streets are pedestrian shopping streets where you can buy most things. As the streets are pretty long, golf carts are provided for ferrying shoppers @ 3 RMB a flat rate. Binjiang Ave is the main shopping street and is linked to Heping Lu which is another pedestrian street.

Two huge shopping malls (Robbinz and Youyi New World Plaza) are located on Binjiang Ave. If you think have been large malls try these for size, they will wear you out.  Liaoning Street at Binjiang Ave has snack stalls on both sides. Recommend you try lamp or chicken on skewers @ 2 RMB each.

For Antiques enthusiasts visit 121 stalls starting at the junction of Jinzhou and Shantong Lu to Hami Ave.

Isetan is located 100 meters from the junction of Binjiang Ave and Nanjing Lu, here you can find good eats and items.

Ferrying carts at Binjiang Ave


For the more adventurous you can get Bell Tower or South City Food Street by walking to the end of Heping Street. At the end you will find Parkson Mall and Walmart. Cross the main street and continue walking on Heping Street until you reach Lotte Mall, turn to the left and walk another 1.2 km. You will come across a X-junction where if you go right you will find Bell Tower. If you turn left and you will find South City Food Street at Shenyi Dajie. It is in a building and is fully airconditioned.





Statutes at Chairman Mao Memorial Hall at Tiananmen Square

Zhengyangmen Gate at Qianmen

Tiananmen in background of colorful plants grown as scupltured columns

Axis of Ancient Beijing


Wangfujing Street is a short distance from Tiananmen and is where Tourists get to shop and visit its famous food street where exotic food like BBQ scorpions, larvas and other insects are available. See map below for easy navigation.

Layout of Wangfujing and associated street


Sugar craft dolls and dolls made from dough


Scorpions on skewers


Larvas on skewers adjacent lamb skewers


Beijing Subway