Postcards 4U: Pandamania

Posted on 14. Dec, 2013 by .

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Dear U, They are the cutest, most adorable creatures on earth, hands down! I had seen pandas on TV, magazine and on the logo of WWF. But I was never taken to it. For me it was just another animal, like an orangutan, an elephant, etc. But when I was in Chengdu, China I decided […]

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Postcards 4U: Forbidden past

Posted on 03. Dec, 2013 by .

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Dear U, Growing up in nanyang (south of the ocean, typically refers to Singapore and Malaysia), there was no shortage of Hong Kong TV series. I remember watching a lot of period dramas and kungfu series, many of which were either set in the Forbidden Palace or had it as the backdrop to the story. […]

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This is… Zhangjiajie

Posted on 25. Nov, 2013 by .

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Ever since I watched the movie Avatar, I’d been smitten by the surreal landscape of the Hallelujah Mountain. Little did I know that the inspiration of that magical place actually came from a very real place on earth, in China to be exact. Zhangjiajie Forest National Park, in Hunan Province, is relatively unknown to the […]

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Choosing a good hostel (in Southeast Asia)

Posted on 15. Nov, 2013 by .

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When I started traveling, cheap was the operative word. I would choose hostels based solely on their rate. I’ve slept in all kinds of hostels; from bed-bug-infested ones to those that required me to commute to the outskirt of the city. I’ve also stayed in social hostel with party atmosphere and those cozy family run […]

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Postcard 4U: Empowerment

Posted on 05. Nov, 2013 by .

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Dear U, Let me tell you a story: “What’s your ambition?” My primary school teacher asked the class one day. “I want to travel around the world.” I answered innocently when it was my turn to speak. My teacher laughed condescendingly then with a patronizing tone spoke to me loud enough for the whole class […]

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Is blood thicker than water?

Posted on 30. Oct, 2013 by .

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Why China? Unlike many places in the world, China had never really pricked my interest. The easy answer was that Chinese were infamous for their lack of civility. But digging deeper, I began to wonder if that was the only reason. I guess as I was growing up, China had seemed like a bland country […]

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Postcards 4U: Mind game

Posted on 04. Oct, 2013 by .

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Dear U, One of the images that can be seen all over China (if you are not too busy being a tourist) is a group of elderly people playing Chinese chess in gardens, parks and even pavements. It’s not dissimilar to the chess played in Western civilization; the pieces move differently but the aim is […]

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This is… the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

Posted on 03. Oct, 2013 by .

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One of the most awe-inspiring sights you can ever experience in China is the Great Wall. Built over 2 millenniums ago, it has withstood countless assaults of wars, erosion, disrepair, pilfering. Today, many sections of the once connected way are gone; either they had crumbled and buried under the earth or reduced to piles of […]

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A trek through smiley land

Posted on 27. Aug, 2013 by .

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Trekking in many parts of Southeast Asia, you have to battle leeches and dangerous terrain. But the trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake in the centre of Myanmar is one of the best treks I have done in this region. There were hardly any leeches and many trail options to choose from, ranging from easy […]

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Postcards 4U: Story of a palace

Posted on 19. Aug, 2013 by .

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Dear U, This is the Shan Palace in Hsipaw, Myanmar. Not the typical grand luxurious palace you would expect. It is more like a big house, albeit kind of rundown. It was stated in some travel guides as a tourist attraction. But when I walked to the palace for the first time, the gate was […]

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