Monthly Archives: March 2023

Singapore: always a pleasure – never a chore.

Hi folks!

Only just coming back to my senses after a mega-hectic few weeks in Southeast Asia on business. All went to plan, all good, plus a spot of microtourism was tagged on too. But after such an intense couple weeks, it was high time to lie low for a while – regroup, re-center, re-balance… all that. Then I needed to catch up and finish off my on-the-road tales from the APAC side, of course…

The next port-of-call on our Asia-Pacific tour was Singapore. Hurray!

I’d been to this city-island-state more than a dozen times before, and seen plenty of its places of interest. How many exactly? Going through my posts tagged with Singapore would probably tell you that, but let’s just say “many” – especially for such a small island. But if you do click on that link, you’ll also find lots on Singapore’s main tourist attractions, events, street scenes, hotel stays, eats, and so on and so forth. (Btw, perhaps the highlight among all my visits was the time I had the honor of being at a meeting and shaking hands with none other than Lee Kuan Yew (sadly no longer with us), the founding father of Singapore. That was I think way back in 2012 or 2013.) But there were still a few places I hadn’t yet checked out – with one that I’d been wanting to see for years: Singapore’s central park/nature reserve. But that was to come later on. First up – a walk to the National Gallery Singapore in the building of the Former Supreme Court. Why? First – hadn’t been; second – locals recommended them, and here’s why! ->

Read on…

Tokyo–Singapore: out the window – curious aerial views galore.

Today, aviation theme…

Window-seat air travel can be strange. There you are, ensconced, with plenty of thoughts whirling around in your head, but your brain doesn’t pay any attention to them – it just keeps looking out the window. Then, something aerial-awesome comes into view. Thoughts? What thoughts?! And then the hands reach for the camera almost automatically, and it’s “here we go again!” At least, that’s how things played out recently when flying on the short flight from Tokyo to Singapore, in this here mid-size airliner:

Right from the get-go after take-off the views out the window were fantastic. First up – the Japanese strong work-ethic, preciseness, and space-economy were in full view as far as the eye could see ->

Read on…

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A rare post about food – because it’s Japanese food!

Food is seldom a guest on these here blog pages of mine, but when it is – it’s something really special. Like when it’s Japanese food that I’ve been eating – in Japan itself. Oh my gorgeous-gourmet-grub!…

I’m normally partial to Japanese food no matter how far away I am from the country itself, but that’s often merely sushi – which the Japanese themselves scoff it. But in the good country itself, in a good restaurant (in good company:), it’s oh-so not-just-sushi: it’s OMG-varied and interesting and simply wonderful!…

We were real lucky this time: we dined at the famous – at least among the gourmet-dining set and restaurant critics – Kamakurayama (which means Kamakura mountain). Ok, enough text; time for pics of the dishes we were served. Just a shame you can’t taste them )…

First up, of course – my starter:

Read on…

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Kamakura – temples, bamboo forests, and the world’s neatest gardens.

Hi folks!

I’d been meaning to put fingers to keyboard for a few days, but I’d been just too busy of late, as I’ve mentioned in my previous three posts. Finally, the much-anticipated downtime at the end of our stay in Japan had arrived, which saw most of the day dedicated to steady-tempo tourism and some free time in the evening to write this here post…

As mentioned, we were headed to Kamakura, just south of Tokyo. First up, we needed to drop by the hotel where we were to have dinner that evening (oh-my-gourmet that was too; more in that in a bit…). Alas, the hotel wasn’t a traditional Ryokan, but it was just as charming – and our on-foot tourism began right from its front door…

First up, the Buddhist Hōkoku-ji temple:

Read on…

Japan three-dayer: Tokyo – lots of work, then Kamakura.

The flight from Seoul to Tokyo takes just two hours. Above Korea it was cloudy, so there wasn’t much worth looking at – or taking photos of – out the windows. Just as well really, since it meant I could concentrate on some admin catch-up (mostly checking emails) – the kind of thing that always gets neglected on a business trip with a busy schedule. On the plane I was undisturbed for most of the way (save for the flight attendant, who kept asking if I’d like another drink:). Nearing the end of the flight, I took my first look out the window to find that the cloud had cleared and Japan was clearly in view down below ->

Read on…

Korea: no cherry blossom – but still awesome!

As regular readers will know – my globetrotting business-trip schedule can sometimes be tight: fly in, straight to meetings/hand-shakings/interviews/presentations/dinners, and only then to the hotel. Repeat for two or three days, then it’s back to the airport to fly to the next port-of-call for much of the same. Necessary, interesting, physically rather draining. And that’s how my trip to Korea pretty much started, which I told you about a few days ago. But I’ve a rule: no trip can be deemed complete if there’s no spot of tourism and photography. Thus, here, today – let’s complete Korea! )…

I’ve another rule: the small doses of tourism need to be “correct” in two key ways – in terms of both the places to be visited and the season to visit them. For example – when heading to Asia-Pacific, aim for doing so when the cherry blossom is flowering. I’ve yet another rule: don’t be too hard on yourself (or your trip-organizing colleagues:) if the “correctness of tourism” rule gets broken – you can’t have everything! If a trip needed to be mid-March, it needed to be mid-March – cherry blossom or no! Thing is – we missed the cherry blossom by just a week (it was only just beginning to sprout)! As Homer Simpson would say – do’h!

Not to worry; we’ll just have to come back next time – be that next year or the year after – at least a week later.

Aaaanyway – there’s more to Seoul than cherry blossom, right? Right…

Read on…

Go East, young man…

Alas, as often happens around this time of year around K-HQ in Moscow, the springtime goes in for an identity crisis: it keeps thinking it’s wintertime, darn it! Little sunshine, no birdsong, nothing blooming, zero other attributes of awakening nature, and plenty of… snow. Like this! ->

Still, it has its charms – I guess. It’s just those charms always become anything but charming after a full five months of the same. But what am I complaining about? It could be worse (it could be like this year-round, as in Antarctica); and anyway, “there’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing”, or so I’ve been told. But it is always nice to get away from the gray gloom at this time of year. And this year’s no exception: we were headed east to the (snow-free) Asia-Pacific region to kick off my business-trip season. First stop… well, you should be able to guess it from this pic:

Ehhhhh, sexy lady

Oh yes: time for some Seoul searching!…

Read on: Go East, young man…