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A piece of Heaven

The richness of its culture, the language I speak as my mother tongue, the diversity of sights and sounds, and the familiar yet strange feeling — these are all the reasons why China is one of my favourite holiday destinations. Due to my work, I am often required to travel to Asian countries, and China is one of them. I’ve been there before since my parents had often brought me to China when I was younger for vacations to explore its beautiful natural scenery. This time, I was brought once again to Beijing, the cultural hub and capital of China…

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Stranger in Hong Kong

Cognitive dissonance hits when familiar meets foreign in Hong Kong. I don’t speak Cantonese. Not a word of it. As I set foot into Hong Kong, in the middle of the bustling streets, bright lights, and people hurrying around, as the sound of this foreign language surrounds me, a mix of comfort and alienation overwhelms me. It feels like home; but it isn’t. Familiar, but foreign.    The underground trains passing from Central to Hung Hom, the high-rise flats such as Chungking Mansion, the roadside food stalls near Tsim Sha Tsui, even the elderly men, reading the paper at Sheung…

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A different side of Shanghai

Imagine a secluded, peaceful place out of this world- perfect for shooting that low-budget indie film of yours! This place is none other than Wusongkou Pao taiwan wetland park in Shanghai. I travel often to Shanghai for work, and have been to the regular attractions (the Bund, Xintiandi, Pudong, Tianzifang) and I was looking for a different kind of place to spend some time away from the crowds in. It was a photo in an article made by CNN that made me decide to make a trip to Wusonkou Paotaiwan Wetland Park in the suburbs of Shanghai. To get there, you have to take…

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Merapi: Hopes and Fears

The aftermath of the eruption of the majestic Mount Merapi through a foreigner’s eyes. Mount Merapi is an iconic landmark of Indonesia, many claim it to be one of the most scenic spots within Southeast Asia. Situated near Jogjakarta, which is located in Central Java, it is the most active volcano in Indonesia. Late last year, Mount Merapi erupted, destroying complete villages and leaving many homeless. What was once a popular tourist destination had become a barren land of despair. I spent some time in Cangkringan Village volunteering with some members of the organisation, Jalin Merapi, which contributes by disseminating…

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