Monthly Archives: October 2023

The parks of Singapore: hot, sticky, but so much splendor!

Singapore is an island-city that’s simply must-visit. So visit it I have – many times, and I never tire of going back. Which is just as well, since I keep having to go back as we’ve so much business there. As per usual, there’s normally not much besides work on my visits, but now and again I do get a day or just half of one for my beloved mini-tourisms. Just writing that, I wondered how many times I’d been to Singapore, so I delved into my archives; the result: 13 times. And just the other week I had a +1 = 14 times!…

My first visit to Singapore was way back in 2009, and since then I’ve seen a great deal of the small island country – but by far not all of it. I’ve pottered around its resort-island Sentosa, been up quite a few of its skyscrapers, been blown away by its Jewel Changi Airport, visited its museums and galleries, dressed up as Santa Claus there (!), and sweated it out on a walk around one of its central parks, which featured monkeys. And for my 14th visit we were continuing the park theme: gardens and parks that are mega-awesome, designer, and simply oh-my-grandiose!…

First up, the Singapore Botanic Gardens. We didn’t cover all of them – you probably need more than a day for that, but we did get to see plenty…

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Thailand
  • Thailand
  • Thailand
  • Thailand

Instagram photostream

Back in Tokyo – tasting its haute cuisine with gusto!

It was farewell to the quiet backwater of Hokkaido, and hello to the world’s largest city (by population) – Tokyo! Time to get some work done!…

Alas, we were so busy we had zero time for tourisms. It was literally all work, work, work – strictly formal too: I wore a suit! Meetings, handshakes, discussions, and the inevitable low bows. Doing business in Japan these days for us is really tricky – but we don’t never give up! Despite the geopoliticalisms that we’ve zero control over, there’s still plenty of demand here for the world’s supreme quality cybersecurity.

Back at the hotel after sundown – I managed a few photos out the window but, like I say, 0 tourism (…

…And the next morning – what a beautiful day! ->

Read on…

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog
(Required)

Hi Hokkaido!

Hokkaido – the northernmost of Japan’s main islands – had always been a curious mystery to me. I’d been so close yet so far a few times before on my trips to and around the Kuril Islands next-door – but never had I set foot there. Until the other week…

Hokkaido – meaning ~Northern Sea Circuit, is unsurprisingly just as volcanistic as the Kurils, as you can see in the above pic. It also features nice little houses, like these ->

Read on…

Sochi: Cyber Immunity, industrial cybersecurity… and stunning sunsets.

Hi folks!

Not long after returning from Indonesia, I was back on a plane and heading out once again – this time down to sunny Sochi. And I knew this was going to be a lucky trip because it started out so pleasantly: having settled into my seat on the plane, the Aeroflot flight attendant brought me a drink and, passing it to me, uttered the words, “Yevgeny Valentinovich, congratulations on the 256th day of the year!” Seeing my puzzlement, she then let on reminded me that it was Programmer’s Day!

So south we flew – ending up not in Sochi itself but neighboring Adler. Now, as just mentioned, I knew from Sheremetyevo that this trip was gonna be a goodie, but check out this extra confirmation we were treated to upon arrival in Adler! ->

Read on…

Our trek up Mount Rinjani – pt. 2.

Hi folks!

Here we are with the second (and final) installment of my tales-and-pics from our titanically toilsome trek up Mount Rinjani.

I left you last time with us getting ready to descend down (600m – vertically) to a base camp. The plan was to take in some hot springs, and then to climb the opposite wall of the caldera. But no – we couldn’t, or at least wouldn’t. We were here to enjoy ourselves at a steady pace, not half-kill ourselves with over-exertion. So we quickly changed our plans: our three-day trek would become a four-day one. And that was sooo the right decision…

So we had an “easy” descent down to the lake that features the hot springs, and on the shore of which is the base camp. But… easy? You’d think most any descent in the world might be easy but… that sure doesn’t apply to Rinjani (or Table Mountain above cape Town, South Africa!). Again – it was more rubble on the double, often with us having to engage “all-wheel drive” down the steeper stretches. There were steps in places, but these had been fairly mangled from previous earthquakes. There were handrails and ropes for some sections to keep hold of to stay upright, which sure helped, but, still – handrails and ropes and 4×4? Where was our easy stroll downward?!!

It was so difficult and unpleasant – and hot and sticky – that none (0) of us took any photos. We were too busy grappling between rocks and hard places to think of extracting our cameras out of our backpacks.

But all things must come to pass – including bad things. We finally make it down to our camp with our tents already set up by our porters. And locals in nearby tents were selling… beer! Hurray!

Read on…

Indonesia’s Mount Rinjani: my toughest volcano-climb yet – pt. 1.

Hi folks!

Though, as you know, I love my volcanoes, I’ve only investigated Indonesian ones just the once – at New Year 2018: my second further from the center experience (the first came two years earlier – New Year 2016: Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); the third – New Year 2019: Ecuador). Yet Indonesia boasts more volcanoes active since the year 1800 (and since 1950) than anywhere else in the world. Clearly I had some Indonesian-volcanism catch-up too do…

But it’s not just the great many volcanoes in Indonesia that are the attraction. There are also plenty of business prospects there (which we’re actively pursuing) + a great many historical objects + a great many beautiful natural must-sees: not just catch-up needed, but ASAP-catch-up at that!…

And that ASAP catch-up came in the form of a trek up to the top of the active volcano Mount Rinjani.

First – brief backgrounder:

  • Mount Rinjani is situated on the small Indonesian island of Lombok.
  • It’s one of the most beautiful and meditative-contemplative (for the viewer) volcanoes I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes – including from its highest peak:

Read on…