Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

Pictures from China trip

March 17, 2007 Leave a comment

Here are the pictures that I promised! I told you about a sex-crazed pig humping a wooden bench, and here are the pictures.

coy_pig.jpg Pig coying with the bench

humping_pig.jpg Get on with the show! The sperm will be collected later for breeding.

little_pigs.jpg 4 for the Year of the Pig.

I had the privilege to fire some fire crackers during the Chinese New Year. Here are some of the interesting pictures.

firecrackers.jpg I liked this one because I managed to capture it with lots of fire. 🙂

cracker_countdown.jpg Count down for lift off. One of those loud buggers.

cracker_liftoff.jpg They fly off too fast. I could only capture the smoke.

cracker_bombom.jpg This is what it looked like when it blows with a loud boom. A rare and difficult shot by the camera because the flight pattern was never predictable.

Categories: Shutter Clicks, Vacation

Back from China

March 7, 2007 1 comment

A very happy chinese new year to you too!  Especially to those of you whom messaged me while I was in China.

Yes, the trip was a safe and sound one.  Thanks for your prayers!

When we touched down in Nanjing, the first thing that hit us was the cold.  Thank God that we brought warm clothing with us, even though my in-laws told us that the weather was turning warm.  Apparently it turned cold again with those grey-skies-and-light-drizzles kind of weather.

Nanjing airport seems big.  From the air-bridge to the customs, we had to walk about 10 minutes.  You’ll be amazed to know that there are only 2 baggage carousels and your baggage will take 30 minutes to appear.  Ours was the only plane that landed at that time.

Onwards to Yangzhou.  My wife told me to wait aside while she negotiated fares with the taxi drivers.  She said that I’m too obvious as a foreigner and will mess up the negotiations.  So I told way aside from her negotiations, and she returned triumphantly with a rate for 360RMB straight to Yangzhou.  So we boarded the taxi and onwards to Yangzhou… not!  Along the way, I whispered to my wife… seems like it’s heading towards to Nanjing.  My wife didn’t know any better.  She’s bad with directions.  I was right.  The taxi driver took us into Nanjing, told us that it was along the way, stopped at a major bus station and searched for another driver that was heading towards Yangzhou.

So we switched vehicles somewhere in Nanjing.  My wife still didn’t know where.  Fortunately the second driver was a Yangzhou local, and my wife struck up a conversation with him.  He said that the taxi driver could never earn money from the 360RMB, it was too cheap.  It is possible for him because he was heading back to Yangzhou anyway.  In the end, for an extra 20RMB, he drove us all the way to our doorstep.  That wasn’t so bad after all.

Chinese New Year celebrations in a remote village in China is interesting.  They just won’t stop firing off crackers and fireworks.  Major fire crackers sessions fall on the first, the fifth, and if I understood the Yangzhou dialect correctly, on the twelve day of the first lunar month.  At night, they fire off fireworks.  You know those mega ones that you see at fireworks displays?  Those were the kinds that they fire.  They used those for birthday celebrations too, so I wasn’t sure if they fired them for the new year, or for their birthdays.  If it was for their birthdays, there were lots born around the Chinese New Year in that village then.

Visitations just won’t stop.  It goes on and on.  Neighbors and relatives dropped by.  It was definitely different from Singapore.  No wonder they need 15 days for the celebration!  I didn’t know most of them well, and my stupid grin was starting to freeze in the cold temperature.

My father-in-law, a vet, is now into rearing pigs.  I promised you that I’ll take a picture of a pig humping on a wooden bench.  I had an opportunity and took a picture.  I’ll put it up once I am able to.

My mum wanted me to buy some of China’s famous Wu Liang Yi (五糧液).  On a trip to Yangzhou city, we were fortunate to stumble across a shop operated by the company that manufactures this liquor.  We went in and asked for this Wu Liang Yi.  Yes, they do have stock for 56% and 68% in alcohol content.  No, they ran out of stock for the 38%.  What do you want it for, asked the sales lady.  I’m now sure that her intention was to determine what the occasion the liquor was intended for, because most people will buy this liquor as a gift.  When I replied that my mum wanted to use it for making herbal wine, her eyes popped and pursed her lips rapidly when she realised that your mouth was dropping open.  But alas, that was the truth.  I would like to assure everyone that my mum changed her mind after she learned how expensive that liquor was.

On the way back, we hired the same driver that drove us to Yangzhou.  This time round, he had a problem with the clutch pressure.  We detoured to a mechanical shop when we reached Yangzhou city.  The driver scolded the mechanic.  Apparently it wasn’t a new problem.  After repairs, we were on our way again.  As we neared Nanjing, the same problem came back.  After filling up the oil reservoir for the clutch system, it leaked empty again.  The driver drove and called the mechanic to curse him.  He said that he couldn’t stop, else he would have problems to engage gears to start the car again.  So he just drove on and on, and tried not stop as we approached traffic lights.  He managed to bring us some 6km away from our final destination, and with apologies, helped us onto a city taxi.

We spent a night in Nanjing, because the flight was at noon.  We didn’t want to rush from Yangzhou.  We wouldn’t have made it if we had technical problems like that.  So the rest of the day was spent at Fu Zhi Temple ( 父子廟 ), already a very touristy place.

When we touched down in Singapore, we lost our salted pork at the customs.  My wife who was carrying the box that contained the pork that was laboriously prepared by my mother-in-law, was stopped by a hawk-eyed customs officer.  No pork allowed (now you know!).  It was a dumped into a bin.  For your information, chicken and duck are not allowed either.  My mother-in-law is still sore over the loss of the pork.  I didn’t feel so bad, for I had a taste of it while I was in China.  It was very good, but I guess if I didn’t go through all the effort to prepare it, I won’t feel the pain as badly.

It was a good trip, with lots of experiences.  It’s also good to be back in Singapore.  The cold was too much for me.

Categories: Chatter, Vacation

Holiday in Tasmania and Melbourne

December 6, 2006 Leave a comment

A summary of my vacation to Tasmania and Melbourne. I was there for 2.5 weeks, so I won’t break it down into days.

In all it was a really good trip. Australia has made tourism an art. It’s easy to travel around, easy to get information, and the beautiful places it has tops it all.

Yes, Tasmania has lots of beautiful places. In one island, you can see it all. Fantastic beaches with blue seas and skies. Ages old forests, mountains, pasture lands, all on one island. The only land to obstruct the Roaring Forties, Tasmania boosts the cleanest air in the world.

We experienced the freakest weather while in Tasmania and Melbourne. Nearing summer, the weather was supposed to be getting warmer, but there were days when it was so cold and the wind went galeily. I remember the day in Melbourne, when Australia experienced 4 seasons in one day. It was hale storming in Queensland, hot and sunny in Sydney, raining in Melbourne, snowing in certain parts of Victoria and droughts in other areas.

Food in Australia is expensive! There are some that are lovely, but all are just plain expensive. In Tasmania whereby most towns are small in comparision, there are only a few places, or none to eat. Be prepared to either cook your own meals (some how!) or to pay at least A$30 per person in a restaurant. The portions are usually quite big, so you can just order one meal to share between 2. I found that to be quite workable because we Asians don’t eat that much anyway. Sorry Aussies, but you guys are eating way too much, and most of you need to go on a diet. The best value-for-money meals can be found in Melbourne’s Chinatown.

For pictures, you can find them in the following pages. I didn’t want to bleed your bandwidth unless you want to. 🙂



Categories: Tasmania, Vacation

Back in Singapore, but…

November 20, 2006 2 comments

We’re back in Singapore, and the honeymoon is finally over after the years of delay.  It was a good trip!  Thank God for the blessings and letting us come back safely.

We took over 1000+ photos.  Good and bad, we took them all.  So a cleaning up job to sort out the photos are definitely required.

Anyway, posting on the trips will be further delayed because I have to serve my time in the army!  I have to stay in-camp for a few days, so I have no Internet access.  Another period of radio silence…

Well, just letting the whole world know that we’re back safe and sound. 🙂  I hope all’s well on your side too.  God bless!

Categories: Chatter, Vacation

Hello from Melbourne

November 15, 2006 3 comments

Just got some free Internet access from Melbourne’s Museum.  It’s kind of cool that they provide this free service for research, discovery and communication.  In my opinion, blogging is a form of communication. 🙂

We finished Tasmania a few days ago, and now spending some days in Melbourne.  Lots of fun.  Beautiful places, but weather is a bit freaky.  Cold and drizzy, and switching to sunshine and warm within the hour, and switching back again.  The chill factor contributed by the strong wind is too high…

I’ll write more when I get back, and have more time.  Don’t want to hog the terminal for too long.  Just want to let everybody know that we’re ok so far, and enjoying ourselves.

Categories: Chatter, Vacation

My Melbourne itinerary

October 31, 2006 Leave a comment

A continuation to my Tasmania itinerary, I decided to stay an extra day in Tasmania to see if I can make a day trip to Cradle Mountain.  They say a visit to Tasmania is incomplete if you didn’t visit Cradle Mountain.

After that, it’s a flight to Melbourne, and I’m thinking of renting a car directing at Melbourne airport, and make a trip down the Great Ocean Road immediately.  I wonder if I can travel that GOR within one day.

If I can, then I’ll stay a night in Melbourne, and visit Philips Island the next day.

For the last 2 days, walking around Melbourne seems like a good idea to wind down the trip.

Categories: Vacation

My Tasmania itinerary

October 28, 2006 2 comments

My work is mostly done. Planning for the trip to Tasmania is on the way. My first honeymoon after 3 years of marriage.

Here’s my itinerary so far:

Day 1, 2

Launceston – To rest from the flight, orientate ourselves to the environment and culture, stock up some food and do some sightseeing near Launceston.

Day 3

Lilydale, Nabowla, Scottsdale, Derby and (Mt. William National Park?) –

Distance across Tasmania seems to be short. I think we can cover so much places in a day, and spend the night at Derby.

Day 4

Mt. William National Park, Weldborough, Blue Tier Nature Recreational Area, Pyengana, Binalong Bay –

Places like Blue Tier Nature for some nature bonding, and Pyengana for the cheddar cheese. Binalong Bay for the night.

Day 5

Humbug Point Reserve – I read that it’s a beautiful place, so we plan to spend a day there.

Day 6

St. Helens, Beanmaris, Scamander, Douglas Apsley National Park, Bicheno –

This stretch is really all about the sea and the seafood!

Day 7

Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay, Swansea –

I’m not sure if a day is sufficient to see most of the sights around Freycinet National Park and Coles Bay,

Day 8

Swansea, Eaglehawk Neck –

We’ll just drive down from Swansea and Eaglehawk Neck, and see what we’ll find. We’ll stop over for the night at Eaglehawk Neck.

Day 9

Eaglehawk Neck, Hobart

After touring around Eaglehawk Neck area for the day, we’ll stop over at Hobart.

Day 10 – 12

Hobart area. We are planning this to be the last stop because there’ll be lots of shopping on Day 11, when there’s the Salamanca Market.

After which, we’ll fly back to Melbourne and spend about a week there. We’re not sure what we want to do in Melbourne yet. is a great site to start with your planning. I’m sure you would have found it already if you googled for it. 🙂

Categories: Tasmania, Vacation