I know Taipei is not well-known for being at the top of many Asians’ travel bucket lists. I haven’t visited Taiwan since the last in 2013. But after almost two weeks affair with Taipei, I really love Taipei. So what made Taipei special to me? It’s just a feeling that I get; a feeling of knowing a place even though I’ve only been there for a while; a feeling of belonging somewhere. I collect such places, as someday I’ll settle down and I’ll do it in a place that I feel like I belong to.
I stumbled upon a sort of street art park, the gray skies making the colorful murals pop. I knew then that Taipei and I were going to get along just fine. It reminded me of Tokyo, where as a foreigner you feel like a fly on the wall even when you're in the middle of the action. You overwhelm your senses trying in vane to absorb your surroundings. I remember thinking, "I should move here to live and work" with so little trepidation that it scared me.
I write about my travels all the time. When I write for this site I delve into my discoveries, feelings and learnings. For most, a journal is the place to hold both kinds of memories. You’ll want the details of what you did and where but at the end of a trip, it’s also nice to have a journal rich with the meaning of your travels. I found the journey to Mt Hehuan in Taiwan soul inspiring. Mountain climbing is something you have to experience for yourself, and once you have, it’s unforgettable.
Mt Hehuan means mountain of harmonious joy in Chinese. And you will totally experience this joy when you reach the top. When I was there, the weather was surprising good albeit windy. The sky was vibrantly blue, forming a stark contrast with the passing white clouds. At the top, the actual scenery is far more beautiful than a photo can depict. One should really should pay a visit to witness and enjoy the spectacular view and feel the sense of joy.
A few months ago, when i learnt that i had to fly to Tokyo in early December on a work trip, i was extremely excited. I've just returned to Singapore recently after spending a few days in Tokyo. After a full day of presentations, I thought it might be a good idea to head out into the hustle and bustle of the city to wake myself up and brush away the cobwebs.
Almost exactly two years ago, I headed off to Yoyogi Park to look at the golden ginkgo leaves, I was unable to forget their beauty. Since then, I made a mental note to myself that I would always visit the place when the leaves were turning. So I decided to go to Yoyogi Park again this time round. To my consternation, the sky was already turning dark at 5pm. Nonetheless, the golden ginkgo leaves were still there. One of its highlights at the Yoyogi Park is seeing trees change color and be filled with “momijis” (red maple leaves). What is unique in Yoyogi is the ginko forest that turn into a breathtaking golden shade in autumn. From mid November to mid December is the perfect period to enjoy the unique colorful leaves. The main entrance of Yoyogi Park is located only 5 minutes walk from JR Harajuku Station.
Are Sapporo Snow Festival and snow activities like skiing and snowboarding the only winter highlights of Hokkaido? No, not at all. I will count in “Shiroi Koibito Park”. It is less known but a must-see sightseeing spot with fantastic illumination. Shiroi Koibito Park (White Lovers Park) is a theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company. The company's flagship product is the Shiroi Koibito cookie, two thin butter cookies with white chocolate in between, a mandatory item on the souvenir shopping list of most visitors to Hokkaido.
I love chocolate factories. When I was a kid, I used to read Roald Dahl’s Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. I also visited a local chocolate factory as part of a school field trip and I remember warm sweet smell of chocolates and us peeking into giant vats of chocolates, just like in the movie.
Of course, I didn't miss a chance to visit one in Hokkaido last year Christmas. Shiroi Koibito Park is a cool place to visit, not your usual factory space as it has a big park outdoors that feature some miniature gardens, houses, bridges, a clock tower, and interesting decors where kids and adults alike can discover. There is even a show of mechanical dolls as well as a working miniature train that runs every hour. The main building is tudor-style and tucked deep inside, you'll find a store, a cafe, a gallery, and the chocolate assembly line where you can only look from above. If you wish, you can opt to try your hand at making your own cookies.
我很喜欢吃北海道知名饼干“白色恋人”，没想到在北海道首府札幌居然真的有一个主题乐园，Shiroi Koibito Park。去年圣诞节，我探秘北海道白色恋人巧克力工厂。工厂并不像我初想想像的常规工厂那样，反而像个美丽的童话世界，古色古香的连体英式城堡、掩映在绿树花丛间的小桥、定时的钟楼表演、会转动跳舞的“厨师”、美妙的八音盒音乐，似乎一下子把我带回童年虚无的幻境中。白色恋人巧克力，是北海道一种着名的巧克力，其背后有一个美丽的传说，代表纯洁的爱。
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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