Even if you have never heard of Yangshuo (or it's neighboring big city Guilin), you may have seen the photos of the spectacular limestone mountains (karst). But let's get a few things straight from the start. Yes, Yangshuo is extremely touristy over the years and yes again, parts of it are very Western indeed. There are many reasons that this place is one of the popular destinations for foreigners in Southern China - English-speaking locals, all-night bars, marshmallow lattes but the main one is that it's bloody gorgeous !!! This is also isn't a place that you would want to leave in a hurry.
It has enjoyed a prime position on the backpacker trail, although these days it is often crammed with foreign and domestic tourists of all budgets and fills up even more in the afternoons when visitors disembark from the Guilin boats.
Despite all these, Yangshuo somehow manages to retain a riverside country town feel and for most tourists, it remains one of the most enjoyable destinations in all of China. The great appeal is the opportunity it provides to slow down, bike or hike and explore the Chinese countryside that it is otherwise only glimpsed from trains and buses.
Finally came back to Singapore recently from China. Beguiling Guilin !!! It is touted as one of the most beautiful spots in China and it is also culturally rich & gastronimically fulfilling. Guilin is famous in China as having the country's most picturesque city. There are plenty of crystal-clear rivers flow through the city, encircled by mountains with unusual and bizarre rock formations & caves.
I must say that Guilin is really a remarkable area, which calls out to be explored and offers many days of fun & discovery to visitors.
Guilin was my last travel photography trip arranged & planned in 2010. Will start to plan a series of travel photography trips for this year, including a documentary photography trip. Honestly, great travel photography isn't about what camera or lens you carry along, but it's about opportunities. I want to start early, end late, get the best light, take time to get to know a place and come back again. To me, that's what travel photography is all about.
Together with my passport, my friends (Joanne, Junyu, Yan Teng) and i escaped to Batam for a short getaway on last weekend. As always, i was so excited about this trip, well, i should call it as the right enthusiasm. How many can one travel with their friends? It's hard to come to a consensus on timing due to our different working schedules. It is real awesome when we can make time for each other just for short trips like this.
In fact, i have been to Batam twice. Batam is a warm, welcoming and relaxed place. Batam Island is only about an hour away from Singapore by ferry. The exchange rate of Rupiah (Rp) is S$1 to 6,880 rupiahs. We were considered "millionaires" when we arrived at Batam.
My beloved nephew (Ryan Teo) started his first day of primary school yesterday !! His parents, grandparents & i were so anxious about his first day of school but somehow we have managed with the right amount of preparation, nutrition and rest.
I guess more often than not, parents always find their child’s first day at school very distressing. And while children are excited about the new experience of school, they are equally anxious as they may not be sure of what to expect.
My nephew should be able to make friends easily, given his bubbly cheerful personality. I hope he will be able to understand and follow what the teacher says in class and plus he won't get lost in the campus !!!
有些人喜欢在新的一年看运程. 我一向不信这些, 乐观的时候有时会认为人定胜天, 命运掌握在手中. 悲观的时候有时会认为冥冥中早有安排, 没有必要去想这么多. 如果算命 / 运程真的那么准的话, 未来就可能什么都不能预测.
但近年来我越来越相信everything happens for a reason.
所以我开始学会安慰自己, 事出必有原因, 一些事情的发生, 也许就是为了为即将发生的另一些事情铺路.我会告诉自己,如果不是”这样的话”,也许就拿不出勇气”那样”, 就会一直将自己紧紧锁在comfort zone里,人就会渐渐自满, 或不觉得有必要去尝试.
我不是一个很迷信的人,但在需真的要忠告和安抚的时候,我会把上帝挂在嘴边,希望他可以赠一两句简讯. 不管信不信, 如果有缘人能凭三两句话就将我振作起来,说这是迷信也无妨.
When i look back at 2010, what strikes me most is just how brave i was. I have done something that was based on a leap of faith & it's been so far so good.
So, if there was one lesson i learnt in 2010, it was that it is okay to take a chance and change the course of your life. Even if things don't turn out exactly to be the way you expect / think it would or should, what do you really have to lose?
At least you have tried and also at least you have experienced something different & made your life more interesting. As i always say, life is really short.
Being a city embracing both traditional and modern beauty, HCMC is an ideal destination of interest for every generation with different characters. Throughout its long history, HCMC appears to be not only a modern and dynamic city but a cultural and historical one as well. That's why i chose to go to this country for my 2nd travel photography trip to mark the end of year 2010 !!!