Exploring the World, Pandemic Style

When I began exploring places far from home more than ten years ago, cultural sights and performances were always high on my list of things to see and do. I can’t remember exactly when it started, but my interest in cultures that are different from […]

New Spirit of A Grande Dame

Part 4 of 4 For the longest time, Semarang was known as a place to rekindle one’s nostalgic memories of things from the past. Having traditional snacks that had become increasingly hard to find in other big cities and dining at vintage restaurants serving Dutch […]

Vestiges of Semarang’s Ethnic Quarters

Part 3 of 4 Jalan Pandanaran is a busy four-lane street in downtown Semarang, a city of 1.6 million people that is also the capital of Indonesia’s Central Java province. Its prime location connecting the city’s main square with a major roundabout to the west […]

The Hong Kong and Paris Trips that Never Happened

“If I get the chance to go abroad again, there are only two places that I want to see: Hong Kong and Paris.” He told me this back in April 2019 to my surprise, not only because he had never been too interested in traveling, […]

Kota Lama: Between Restoration and Reinvention

Part 2 of 4 Only time will tell. This cliché has been proven over and over again. We’ll never know what the future has in store, and despite our best efforts to anticipate what lies ahead, in the end we have to let time do […]

A Change of Heart about Semarang

Part 1 of 4 In a post I wrote about my 2018 trip to Semarang – my hometown and where my parents live – I recount the moment when I thought the city no longer excited me, for I’d visited most of its must-see places […]

Sunset Peak and 2020 In Retrospect

In December last year, my visit to Hong Kong was not much different from my previous trips to the territory: I spent those days eating a lot of good food (dim sum and Cantonese-style roast duck are always a must), checked out new and interesting […]

Batujaya: Dawn of an Era

It rises conspicuously amid green rice paddies as far as the eyes can see. Rectangular in shape and made from red bricks that are much older than other structures in its vicinity, Candi Jiwa is a low-rise ruin of a Buddhist sanctuary that was long […]

A Look at Hong Kong’s Hybridism

Hong Kong has always fascinated me since my first trip to the city back in January 2012, and since then I have returned five more times, with the most recent visit being in December 2019. I always tell people how Hong Kong’s hiking trails, white […]

A Taste of the Levant: Jordan

While Lebanon sits comfortably on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, with snow-capped mountain ranges running through the heart of the country, Jordan on the other hand is a mostly arid land with the vast Arabian desert occupying up to 75% of the kingdom’s […]