When you’re in a city as space constrained as Hong Kong, building out is not much of an option. In its period of rapid economic growth, with most development concentrated around the island, and population in Kowloon, developers gradually began to eat into Victoria Harbour, reclaiming more land by the decade. But Hong Kong grew … More Hong Kong Hotspot: Go Deeper
MOST COSMOPOLITAN CITIES will have this one district, street or area where foreigners – both tourists and the expat or student community – will congregate purely for the sake of drinking. The area may have had some heritage to it, but for the most part, it is now overrun by either globalisation or the party … More The Most Ungodly Place at a Godly Hour
I HAD A particularly interesting conversation with one of my new friends a couple of weeks ago. A remark she made to me made me feel like my quest for tradition seemed almost puritanical in nature, that I had been guilty of making the same dichotomy between the valuable ‘traditional’ and consumerist ‘globalised’, that I … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 27: A “Unique Shopping” Experience?
FIRSTLY, I WISH to send my apologies to all of you who have supported me so far. As you know Internet in China is patchy and keeping the posts regular has been a challenge. But I will continue with the posts and now that I am somewhere with better internet, I will soon be able … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 23: Drawing the Line Between Tourism and Lifestyle
DESPITE THE PERCEPTIONS foreigners have of the Great Firewall of China, things get around pretty quickly. Especially if you’re in the middle of the part of Beijing known for its global brands and expatriate bars. There is an endless array of gimmicks and pop culture references in the Sanlitun area that make their way to … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 14: What’s Wrong With This Picture?
I HAD TO head to Wangfujing early on a Sunday morning to meet a friend visiting from overseas. The location is hardly anything new – Wangfujing is known for its upmarket (read: global brands) retail, and consequently, tourists flock here, and the hotel chains that cater to them do so too. But while Wangfujing bustles … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 12: What’s A Touristy Area Like Before Tourists?
YESTERDAY I GOT a glimpse of how architectural contrasts provide unique insight into a city’s history. Today, I was blessed for the opportunity to have local friends take me to their Beijing. There’s a certain exoticism you’d think of, considering the cultural differences between you and the locals you meet. But as fellow young people, … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 10: From The Old To The New, Real To The Manufactured
If there was any evidence I saw to sum up China’s growing pains during my time here, this photo would be it. I’m in Sanlitun, the place most travellers describe as the CBD of Beijing (which, of course, from a foreigner’s perspective, means the place where most Western brands set up shop). Naturally here, bars … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 5: Real? Maybe?
I remember encountering a quote which made me rethink the meaning of art. What makes art so incredible? Why do we complement someone’s skill by calling it an ‘art’? Hearing British scholar Christopher Dawson’s quote struck me instantly: that ‘social activity is of its very nature artistic; it is the shaping of the rough material of … More Sydney: Think Streets, Think Art
HISTORY HAS A strange way of surviving in Singapore. In its watershed economic golden age, Singaporeans seemed to have neglected relics of their past by demolishing many of their oldest and most established areas in the name of development. Take a look at the holistic image of its skyline – build upon the site of … More Local Travel in Singapore: Been to Bugis?