Showcase 2007 Photo Gallery
I never thought India would be my first trip in 2007, and it was a very shocking trip. There was a lot of poverty, which was hard to bear at times. I expected Mumbai to be rather advanced being the financial capital, but my first impression was actually fairly bad. Nevertheless, there are a lot of very interesting buildings in the city, and it was fun to go around the streets trying to capture them all.
1. Sunset by the Arabian Sea
2. There aren't that many highrises in the historic core at all.
3. The Queen's necklace ... with a nice waterfront promenade but many street kids trying to get some change from the unsuspecting tourist.
4. Gateway of India from the Taj hotel.
5. Can't believe these ancient buses can still run.
7. Beautiful architecture indeed ...
10. Relaxing like a colonial.
11. It was quite a shock to actually walk out to this mosque. On my right, there was a goat feeding on the garbage by the water. Further out, the fishing boat was netting fish. On the left, there was a fairly bad oil slick with more garbage everywhere, and then a few kids picking up bottles in the water. Then there are the beggars on the walkway. Quite an intense scene indeed.
12. Can you find your laundry?
Upon returning home, I realized how fortunate I was living in relative luxury in Hong Kong!
13. Now a break and off to the next city!
I ended up visiting Singapore 4 times in 2007, both before and after Mumbai for the flight transfer and two more times in the spring and summer. But it's just too hot down there! I'm more happy with cold weather after years living in North America.
14. I had a chance to go up the Swissotel to enjoy a meal against a picture-perfect sunset. The lobster tasted bad, but the view made up for the not-so-good food.
15. I was expecting a lot of downpours being in the tropics, but the weather cleared up for a few days and I was out in action taking pictures, hoping to take full advantage of this weather miracle that I didn't think would last.
16. These covers over the streets make walking and dining feasible during a tropical downpour.
17. I had a chance to eat in this neighborhood, but indoors. I wished we ate outside despite the heat.
18. One of the biggest tourist ripoffs was Sentosa, an island just off the city centre. Every minute thing costed money, which I didn't think was worth the price. I should've taken the rails instead. However, I observed that couples could book a cable car for a romantic dinner at night, which is a nice business idea.
19. I'm not a beach person. But it was nice watching the oil tankers and container ships pass by the beach amidst the sunset.
20. Quite a lot of regulations for supposedly free speech.
21. A fun but expensive exercise was to ride the DHL balloon up for a few minutes to get a glimpse of the world around me.
22. Incense burning at a temple on a rainy day. What a combination.
I finally got a chance to scratch off walking the whole Forbidden City off my to-do list. Technically, I still have a small section left, but I think I covered a good 80% of it by now. On a beautiful yet smoggy weekend, I spent 4.5 hours in there taking well over 1000 photos. I still haven't finished putting this set online.
23. How grand!
24. I was told that there are no trees in these areas to prevent assassins from hiding in the vegetation by day to do their deeds by night.
25. I must say after 3 hours I got a bit numb from all the buildings in the Forbidden City!
26. Chairman Mao greets all visitors entering one of the main gates to the Forbidden City.
27. A lot of tourists were already waiting to get in early in the morning.
29. Hutong preservation has been a hot topic within Western press lately. While it's important to preserve Beijing's historic architecture, the reality is a lot of these hutongs lack the basic necessities, and it's not possible to keep them the way they are now.
30. Quite surprising to find this church just a few blocks from the Forbidden City!
31. Enjoying Beijing's parks.
32. No cracks in this bell.
33. The Military Museum is quite a hidden gem, with all sorts of interesting gear on display, and an impressive exhibition on China's history.
34. Quite an impressive monument to CCTV!
I decided to take a break by flying again. This time I picked Qingdao, which is an emerging popular destination for Hong Kongers who have grown sick of going to Beijing and Shanghai for the millionth time. It was a good choice.
35. This was also the first time I witnessed a sandstorm, which is not exactly the prettiest encounter.
36. However, the old architecture was still interesting.
37. Yet there is a lot of new stuff as well. The city itself looks quite good, but ocean, beach, and hill views, and a lot of German-style architecture remains.
38. However, the highlight of my trip was climbing Tai Shan, one of China's great mountains. No, I didn't climb it physically. There's a cable car for lazy tourists like me.
39. Hard to believe they built so much stuff up there way back then. How did they haul all the materials up?
Time to return to Korea, and catch up on stuff I missed on my 2 previous visits. With the help of a Korean local, eating was no longer an impossible feat and I got to try some delicious local delicacies.
44. I miss the clam udon soup already.
45. I went back up KLI63 again since my previous visit was ruined by thick smog so bad I couldn't even see across the river. This time the visibility was quite good. However, the walk from the subway station was still too long!
46. Ahhh ... that stream that used to be a highway. A wonderful new addition to Seoul's parks.
48. I walked the stretch from start to Dongdaemun. It goes on further east but I was just too tired to continue.
49. I've longed to go up Seoul Tower to admire the views, and on a clear day, I got my treat. The view was just awesome, and I didn't have to wait forever at the cable car station!
53. I went out of the way to see this old prison that was used by the Japanese invaders as a torture facility for Korean nationalists opposing colonial rule. Quite a lot of sad stories echoed through these walls.
55. I also did a long walking tour of Gangnam along Teheranno. In retrospect, I had no idea how I could walk so far that day - from Apgujeong to Gangnam Station.
56. I really liked how uniform the heights were all along the street, with a mix of traditional and not-so-ordinary architecture.
57. Yet, Seoul still has a lot of quieter quarters as well, despite being a huge city.
59. I'm beginning to hate the spider. I've seen the same thing in too many cities around the world.
I also made a quick weekend trip to Busan on the KTX. Those trains go quite fast! Busan is a wonderful city with ocean and hill settings. Since I was on my own though, I had quite a hard time trying to order the fresh seafood they're so famous for.
60. So I had to settle for an abalone congee at the hotel. Still good nevertheless!
61. But look at all that street food!
62. Welcome to Busan.
63. Connecting the dots.
64. I had a mix of cloudy skies and blue skies. The walk along the beach during the annual sand festival was especially nice with the sun shining above.
66. A lot of joggers around here as well, but I was too lazy to go faster than a brisk walk!
67. My gosh ... look at all the seafood ready for consumption raw or cooked!
71. A sea of spicy kimchi.
Being right next to HK, it was easy to hop over for a day trip, and a bunch of us forumers decided to go see the modern side of Shenzhen on a hot summer day. In fact, we did 2 visits - one in February and another in June.
72. Amazing pace of developments over the past 30 years.
73. Neat new buildings.
75. Ironically, the Hong Kong side is quite empty greenery.