Hong Kong Hotspot: Hong Kong Halloween – Spot the Characters

While Halloween may be a European tradition, much celebrated in the United States, the international community in Hong Kong takes the event very seriously. At least that is the case on the island, which the bars and nightclubs in Lan Kwai Fung use as an excuse to throw raucous parties with steep cover charges. The … More Hong Kong Hotspot: Hong Kong Halloween – Spot the Characters

Hong Kong Hotspot: Where The Priceless Meets The Cheap

JUST LAST WEEK a friend treated me to a pocket of priceless history deep in Wan Chai. Well, just a few days later, some fellow exchange students invited me to a taste of the complete opposite: a ‘bonding opportunity’. In exchange student lingo, that means to head to a bar and drink the evening away. … More Hong Kong Hotspot: Where The Priceless Meets The Cheap

Beijing Backpacking, Day 29: Young And Hitting The Ground Running

I GET THIS sense, whenever I am travelling alone or purely with other young people, that travel is about the thrill of packing in as many memorable experiences in back-to-back in the shortest amount of time. Dare I say that travel was one of the inspirations for one of my life philosophies of constantly striving … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 29: Young And Hitting The Ground Running

Beijing Backpacking, Day 18: Art, Freedom vs. Identity?

YESTERDAY I EXPLORED how much music is a universal language in the bars of Guloudajie. As with music anywhere, music challenges my perceptions. But there is no perception about China that has challenged me so far as much as its art scene. I’m referring, of course, to Beijing’s fabled art district, known colloquially as ‘798’, … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 18: Art, Freedom vs. Identity?

Beijing Backpacking, Day 17: Regardless of the Contrast, Music is The Universal Language

MUSIC IS MY catharsis. Wherever I go, it is the bridge between experiencing the local culture and globalisation, the authentically local and the familiar. I’ve made it a habit to visit a music bar at least once, preferably at least twice, wherever I go. Often the genres are very similar: rock, classical, jazz; with the … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 17: Regardless of the Contrast, Music is The Universal Language

Beijing Backpacking, Day 13: A View From The New Top

THERE’S NO ESCAPING the advent of new wealth in China. It’s a characteristic of almost any emerging market that new developments dot the skyline. But it’s also a characteristic that authorities, or at least some major developers, have specific plots of land some distance from the traditional city centre where much of this new development … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 13: A View From The New Top

Beijing Backpacking, Day 8: The Chinese Take On The Western Menu

ON TUESDAY we landed ourselves in a Western land of Chinese taste for dinner. Daring to go deeper, we found ourselves in as deep a heartland as we could find the next day. Well, this time, we’ve taken this one full circle – now exploring how the Chinese take on cuisines from around the world. And this time, it’s … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 8: The Chinese Take On The Western Menu