At first glance, Hong Kong might appear to be just another sprawling modern metropolis that revolves almost entirely around technology, corporate business, and the global financial market. Little do first-time visitors realise that there is plenty more below the surface. For those eager to get off the beaten path and explore the hidden side of Hong Kong, these are some of the most fun and intriguing sights and activities in this modern city-state. via Marc van der Chijs Escape the island Most people eager to temporarily flee the fast-paced city life flock to Lamma Island, but there is a better…
Normally Hong Kong is not perceived as a cheap holiday destination. However, it can be. Budget travellers from around the world come to Hong Kong to get a new stamp in their passport, explore the city and surrounding it hills, get a Chinese visa or to change flights because Hong Kong airport offers cheap flights to most destinations around the world. It is a busy Asian financial centre, developed by British and then passed over to Chinese. Both cultures, as well as others, have left clearly visible marks in the architecture and culture of this place. With $100 Hong Kong…
There is nothing more gratifying than a top notch toilet. And when it comes to fancy toilets it is fairly common knowledge that Japan leads the pack. Their toilets have features most Westerners have never dreamed of, including background noise to cover any sounds that the user may make, a warm cleansing spray, self-warming seat, built-in water-saving sink, and other innovative features. Their proper name are bidets, although many locals refer to them as washlets. At first glance these washlets can be a little much for foreigners to take in. For example, in America if you sit on a warm…
I flew halfway around the world and was greeted by this...(Photo from asiabest.ca) Right now the 3-day celebration that is the pinnacle of the Mongolian tourist season is in full swing. It is a festival of merriment and machismo. A celebration of what it means to be a man. Athleticism and physical prowess is revered. And men get hot and sweaty. Dressed in naught but tiny vests and woollen underwear. Pink woollen underwear (usually). It can only be the spectacle that is Naadam (in Ulaanbaatar it is celebrated 11-13 of August every year). Inscribed on the Representative List of the…
Namhae Island is located in the very south of South Korea. It's the perfect break from the polluted hustle and neon bustle that most Korean cities tend to have. Best known for its golden beaches and glorious weather it's surprisingly also a place not too many people know anything about it. Namhae Island is strangely connected to the mainland of Korea by a Golden Gate Bridge imitation, constructed in 1973. From Seoul it takes about 6 hours, by car. The island itself is home to some of the most stunning scenery in Korea. The jagged cliffs cut and wind in…
For those who don't know me, I'm a milk tea fanatic. Well a few weeks ago I came to a place where the drink is really popular - Taiwan. And yeah I wasn't disappointed, it was like every corner has a kiosk for milk tea. The taste was no stranger to me since we have the milk tea craze in Manila already but of course having it in Taiwan makes it feel more original. My time in Taiwan wasn't all about milk tea. There were a lot of things to see there too. While it wasn't such a popular destination…
Translated as "Drunkards Alley" or "Alley Of The Drunkards," Nonbei Yokocho is two parallel alleys in Tokyo that contain a grand total of somewhere around 50 miniature bars, although sometimes it is mistakenly cited as having 200-250. However I certainly did not count anywhere near that many. What do I mean by mini bar? Well, each one measures at most ten feet by ten feet, hardly enough room for more than a small bar with bartender and 4 or 5 barstools. Many actually feature a narrow staircase and an upstairs as well, which will hold a couple tiny tables to…
One of the best things about foreign travel is the knowledge that invariably comes with it. It provides the opportunity for each of us to learn more about the world and its' many diverse cultures, as well as a little bit about ourselves. Another bonus is the chance to see which technology, trends, and practices are popular in the local region. Think back and I'm sure you can recall a few things that made you go "Why don't they sell these back home?" or "Damn, why aren't we doing this at home?" even "Look at that, how awesome!" Most often…
The Whole World Wants To Know... What Now? The world was shocked less than 48 hours with the news that Kim Jong-Il has died suddenly from a heart attack -- although many different people are shocked for many different reasons. Many were caught off-guard by this announcement simply because it was the first major news story of 2011 NOT to break on Twitter. And yes, undoubtedly there is grief in North Korea, no doubt, but I believe others there are also breathing a sigh of relief. View the video below and judge for yourself. At the same time, I'm sure…
Every Country Has Hotels And Hostels...What Does Japan Do Different? The best way to learn about a country is through firsthand experience with some of the things which make that location unique, whether food, festivals, transportation options, or even lodging. Japan, being a country that is simultaneously rich in history but also at the forefront of modern technology and innovation, certainly offers up a seemingly countless supply of unique facets that make visiting the country a must. Just because Japan is constantly looking towards the future does not mean they have forgotten about the past. Quite the opposite, in fact.…
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