Having visit a city multiple times and returning back again is always lovely.
1. You already know your way around or at least how to get around
2. You don't have to revisit the typical tourist destinations (done and dusted!)
3. You get to venture out to other less well known places
4. You can take your own time visiting the places you want to visit!
This trip to Hong kong was my 3rd time there, and this time, I went with my cousin and my aunt. Since we've all been to Hong kong, and we weren't exactly in the mood to do too much shopping damage, we had sometime to hit up pretty Instagram-able locations in the city.
These places were definitely not located near train stations or bus stops, but having the luxury of time meant that we could spend more time hunting down these Instagram spots that hong kong residents speak of and spend some time taking photographs there!
1 | Sai Wan Swimming ShedThe first spot we headed to was this abandoned old swimming shed.
A place slowly gaining traction and #hastag hits on the Instagram community.
Because we visited this spot at around 4 in the afternoon and it was a rather cloudy/rainy day, we did not get to see the beautiful sunset one would get in the summer, but it also meant that we did not have to deal with the line of tourists that forms (as I gathered from some Instagram posts), just to take a picture of the shed/with the shed.
As of now it isn't as crowded of a spot as other Instagram destinations, but once the word gets out, I don't think i'd be going on a 50 minute bus ride just for a photograph.
Although, if you're into fishing, sitting at the edge of the shed and catching some fishes might be a great idea.
2 | Colourful Steps at Yau Ma TeiThis spot we stumbled on by accident. We were walking along the streets of Yau Ma Tei after lunch locating the bus stop to take a bus to the Sai Wan Swimming Shed when we passed by these 2 rows of beautifully painted steps.
We were definitely not the only ones taking photographs there, but the steps were so long that each segment was painted a different pattern, which makes for multiple Instagram shots at one location. For a full view of the steps, see here!
I'm pretty sure there are more street art and graffiti areas in Hong Kong, but it was lovely to just stumble upon these 2 rows of steps as we were casually walking around the streets of Yau Ma Tei!
3 | Clustered Houses in Quarry Bay
Quarry Bay was the last spot we stopped at to shoot whilst our Instagram mission was still in operation, before the rain came and stopped it.
These houses are best viewed at during the night time when the lights come on, but we weren't staying on Hong kong island, so that made it difficult for us to visit this location at night.
The good thing about this location is that there were several little platforms you could climb on to get the perfect photograph. And because its hidden in sort of like a back alley, you don't get the judgemental looks one would get from a passerby for posing or taking multiple jump shots!
I would definitely recommend visiting Quarry Bay at night or early in the morning when the lighting is favourable.
Visiting this spot in the middle of day or when the sun was about to set made for very grey and dull-er looking photos.
Still, it's definitely worth a visit. Especially since it is a more accessible location.
Also, what you see on pictures is really what you get. You really have to strain your neck just to look to the top of these old apartment buildings.
I love re-visiting old places just to go to places like these. Do away with the popular places like Victoria Harbour and The Peak. Take a bus ride to the edge of Hong Kong island, or go hunting for street art. It makes for a more exciting memory.
It might seem pretty ridiculous traveling to places for a nice photograph or for Instagram, but we all want nice photographs as keepsakes - it's definitely the cheapest form of a souvenir. So technically, there is no harm in going off the beaten path for this reason right?
18 November 2016 Hong Kong
Y E T...
Well life works in mysterious ways. Life goes, "Who are they? Nope, we aren't gonna do what THEY said."
Well life works in mysterious ways. Life goes, "Who are they? Nope, we aren't gonna do what THEY said."
Yeap, the final semester of school has been all sorts of crazy for me.
From keeping up wih the changes in my personal life, to intensive meetings after meetings in school.
Year book edits; over and over, again and again, the perils of the year book team.
From presentations, to assignments and report writing (I have 3 presentations this week and 2 report submissions - crazy) an additional half a year to finish up one's masters definitely does not come easy.
You would think professors could take a chill pill with all the assignments, but nope!
Anyway, the most hectic 1.5 months has come and would soon be gone, and there comes graduation. The day we all look forward to but fear so much.
To be honest, I'm just excited to have some down time, to collate images from my Hong Kong trip and to finally get back to sharing more content on this space.
My Hong Kong trip seemed like kind of a distant memory although it was just slightly over a month ago - those few days were my calm before the storm.
You may be wondering, what's with those random pictures above?
Well, I had some time to myself a couple of weeks ago, before photographing for a friend, and I decided to take some random shots of my university's hostels/halls.
Since i don't quite know what to do with them, and I felt the need to keep these pictures as a way to solidify my memory of university living, why not just share them here?
After all this is pretty much a glamourised dumping ground of images that depict my life experiences.
If you're still reading, and up for a sneak peek of my Hong Kong trip, I have a video up on youtube. Click here!
My next blog post - hopefully coming soon - will share more pictures and tips of my experience in Hong Kong :)
8 November 2016
To me, traveling and food go hand in hand. There is no way i'd travel and not enjoy local cuisine. No. Way.
Skipping out on food is like a travel sin in my opinion. I mean, its food! How could one miss out on food? Right?
Food in Korea is definitely one of those you don't want to be skipping out on. I've never classified myself to be a Korean food lover. Heck, before I went to korea, I never touched the kimchi side dish that came with korean food. That's because I have never tried KOREAN FOOD IN KOREA. I've previously mentioned my favourite food place in Jeju - seriously it's THE BEST, and SO AFFORDABLE. But, if you're not heading to Jeju, Seoul has just as impressive and affordable food options!
I would say my favourite food dish in Seoul has to be its KOREAN BBQ. I cannot even begin to emphasize how much I love barbecue, and korean bbq, where the staff cooks the food for you, takes barbecuing to a whole new level!
Here's a collation of the top 5 favourite food items I tried in Korea
1 | Mugyodong BugeokukjibA humble fish base soup store, that serves 1 thing for dinner. There is no ordering needed, just enter, sit down and food would be served. It was THE BEST dinner I had in Seoul.
2 | Yoogane DakgalbiSpicy chicken and cabbage dish. I don't really know what it is or how it's made, all i know is, it was TASTY and i'm craving it just thinking about it!
Plus, it's located in Hongdae which means it's either the perfect mid day pit stop, or the right way to fuel your body for a full day of shopping!
3 | Maple Tree House Korean BBQAwesome service, although a tad bit pricier. I'd say the BBQ in Jeju is better, but the variety in Seoul is way more impressive.
Check out the video below for the best way to eat a cabbage wrap!
4 | Korean Ginseng Chicken SoupLocated at the heart of seoul, this place serves a huge bowl of chicken soup, with sticky rice inside. A delicious meal to end a day!
5 | STREET FOOD IN DONGDAE MUN MARKETI do not need to further emphasize the importance of trying street food in Korea. It is some of the best out there. For more street food shots, check out this video below. It's a full compilation of my food adventures in Seoul, Korea! :)
4 October 2016 Seoul, South Korea
One of the more popular places to visit and shop in Seoul is Dong dae mun. However, apart from the lovely shopping malls, one other MAJOR reason to visit Dong dae mun is the Dongdaemun Design Plaza otherwise known as DDP, in South Korea.
The DDP has some of the most unique architecture among all the buildings in Seoul. The way the metal grid walls of the plaza curve to form that organic structure, perfectly counter balances all the boxy office and commercial buildings in its vicinity.
The DDP isn't only famous for being a museum, but it's architecture has successfully attracted bloggers and a multitude of tourist heading just to photograph by the building. I saw a male model/blogger just casually posing where the wall curves in, so as to capture that indentation as his backdrop.
After he left, I attempted to get a cool shot in the area. But queue the multitude of tourist walking past, and then my expected failure at a glam-metal-grid-futuristic-background-fashion-blogger-shot.
Not only is the external structure of the DDP futuristic, the interior was just as impressive. It had pristine white walls and a huge angular central staircase connecting all the exhibition levels. The staircase bends and cuts in an irregular pattern and appears somewhat like and rotating hexagon from the top. Even this made for the perfect photo opportunity.
Needless to say, I went a little crazy, snapping away at every turn of the staircase.
In all honesty, I don't actually remember myself seeing any exhibitions. I probably passed by 1 or 2 free ones, but did not pay extra to see any others.
As someone who really appreciates the structure and architecture of buildings as well as their interior layout, visiting exhibitions were least of my concerns.
After climbing up the beautiful staircase and passing through corridors of curving white walls, you'd find yourself at the rooftop of the DDP.
One would think you'd be done being impressed, but the roof top view from the DDP is seriously one of the best.
I would also like to point out that the roof of this building is curved and leads you down to from the highest floor to the ground floor of the plaza. Is that not cool?!
Living in Singapore, these types of buildings shouldn't wow me as much. After all, the Art, Design and Media building in my school has slight similarities in terms of architecture to the DDP, but somehow, I WAS IMPRESSED.
Maybe it was the curvature of the surface, the way the light will undulate when it hits the building, or maybe it was the contrast between the DDP and its surroundings.
Regardless, i'd recommend anyone who is visiting Seoul to head over to the DDP and check it out.
Even if you're not an architecture junkie. Just head up to the roof top for a sick view!
20 September 2016 281 Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
One of the popular couple hang out spots in Seoul is the Cheonggyecheon. A stream or river that flows through a huge part of Seoul.
To be honest, regardless of the size of the river, it would probably be really popular among couples. I mean, who wouldn't want to go on a date by a river, watch the street lights flicker, the water fountains dance and just let the night pass by, right?
What's romantic atmosphere of the Cheonggye stream is further enhanced with lights behind the main fountain, reflecting through the ripples of the water, and a rainbow light display under the main bridge. As you can tell from the photos, despite it being dark outside, there were still people chilling by the river.
There were families with their kids, friends with some bottles of beer, it was such a lovely chilled out environment.
Strolling along the river makes for a great night time activity in Seoul (if you're, like me, not that into the whole clubbing scene).
With such a pretty view at night, you'd think thats when people would flock to the river. Turns out, it's just as photogenic in the day!
Lined with tons of greenery (it was summer time!), the beautiful tall buildings as it's background, and a long park along the both banks.
This river is the perfect place for family picnics or an afternoon stroll. I'd bet people walk along the river during lunch or work breaks as well.
In addition to the view, walking along the river bank in the day gives you the opportunity to admire the artistic depiction of one of the historical journeys taken by one of the kings in the Joseon monarch. The series of illustration chronologically highlights the journey taken by the king to visit his father's grave.
If you're going to be in Seoul, I would highly recommend visiting the Cheonggyecheon both in the night and day to get the full experience this lovely stream has to offer!
Plus, it's free and super accessible, after stuffing yourself with Korean food, a leisure stroll is the least you could do :)
For more of seoul, watch my travel videos here!