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Archive for August, 2010

Japan’s Exceptional Bonsai Culture

August 30th, 2010 by

Considered the Bonsai Mecca in Japan and the rest of the world, Omiya Bonsai Village is home to ten gardens that cultivate Bonsai trees. This hamlet in Saitama City houses hundreds of thousands of these tiny plants, and the community has organized itself around their treasured flora.

Bonsai is the Japanese art of growing miniature trees, using only a small pot and carefully arranged stones. This art form was brought to Japan during the Kamakura period in the 12th century and used to be exclusive to the aristocracy before being introduced to the world in the 19th century during the Meiji Restoration. The Japanese are drawn to the intricately gnarled bark and twisting shape of the trunk, which resemble mythical creatures like the dragon.

Bonsai Trees
Photo courtesy of Rob Shenk

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Vietnam In Seven Days – Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake

August 27th, 2010 by

Vietnam had turned out to be quite a surprise from the moment we got out of the airport and rode the private van sent to us for our airport transfer by Hanoi Capital Hotel.  For one, I never knew a million motorcycles can converge in such narrow streets and tight alleys.  It was then that I confirmed that the Vietnamese people rely heavily on motorcycles as a convenient and accessible means of transport.  Even young women in high heels cruise along the highways on speeding pink motorbikes and bright yellow Vespas.

Photo credit

Upon arriving at our hotel, we were informed they were fully booked and couldn’t accommodate an early check-in.  Still dead tired from not being able to sleep a wink at Tan Son Nhat International Airport the previous night, I gladly accepted their offer to transfer us to a sister hotel.

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Singapore Zoo River Safari

August 25th, 2010 by

The Singapore Zoo is one of Singapore’s most popular tourist attractions. Housing more than 315 animal species, the zoo attracts people from all over the world.

white tiger singapore zoo 4

The Singapore Zoo already offers a one of a kind experience, with a distinct rainforest habitat and other great attractions, but it’s about to get even better as development of Asia’s first River Safari is currently underway.  The River Safari, which will be the first river theme park in the world, should be completed in 2012 and will probably make this already extraordinary zoo even more popular. Read the rest of this entry »

Explore Spectacular Sanya, Hainan Island

August 23rd, 2010 by

Sanya is China’s southernmost city and a rather famous and notable seaside resort. Russians and Northern Chinese often flee to this Hainan Island destination in winter to escape the cold. From wide coastlines to palm trees, Sanya is a tropical paradise with terrific activities to enjoy. Western travelers are starting to trickle in and those who do visit enjoy incredible weather, beautiful beaches, world class Sanya hotels and a variety of Chinese ethnic minority cultures.

Photo credit

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Lounge Away On Tanjung Aru Beach

August 20th, 2010 by

There is a jewel of a place called Tanjung Aru Beach that is nicely tucked somewhere in Sabah, Malaysia.  This long stretch of white sand beach, which is attractively lined with palm trees, is specifically located towards the end of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.  It is about six kilometers south of the city of Kota Kinabalu or ten kilometers from the airport.  A lot of wonderful tourist destination spots are comfortably nestled on this beach including the posh Shangri-la Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, the Kinabalu Yacht Club and the Kinabalu Golf Club.

Sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach Photo by:  BarbicanMan

Anyone interested in visiting Tanjung Aru Beach can find it easily. One simply has to catch a bus from Tanjung Aru in Wawasan Plaza or the City Hall.  If there are no signs on the bus, ask the driver. Alternatively, one can also take a cab but it will be more expensive. Travel time from the heart of Kota Kinabalu to Tanjung Aru Beach will last 20-30 minutes.

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Fun Summer Festivals in Asia

August 18th, 2010 by

The month of August, full of fun and interesting festivals, contains a lot of excitement for Asian tourists and locals alike. Some festivals have historic significance, while others are really just for fun. The following are just a few held annually throughout Asia.

Nebuta Matsuri

Nebuta Matsuri 12

Colorful papier-mâché floats and representations of historical figures are paraded through the streets of Aomori, Japan beginning on August 2nd each year.  The Nebuta Matsuri Festival typically lasts about 5 days and is a vividly colorful display of characters, with dancers and musicians flocking around town. Read the rest of this entry »

Delicious Korean Desserts

August 16th, 2010 by

Hangwa is the Korean term for sweets and husik is the term for dessert. Remember these words well on your next visit to South Korea because undoubtedly, you will want to partake in what the country has to offer in terms of after-dinner treats.

Photo courtesy by AndrewEick.


A traditional Korean rice cake made from glutinous rice flour, Tteok has been around since the Three Kingdoms Period from two millennia ago. Tteok can be boiled or steamed, while gangjeong more specifically refers to rice cakes that are fried and coated. Tteok is a favorite during celebrations, and is commonly served during weddings and birthdays. Read the rest of this entry »

Vietnam In Seven Days: Journey To Hanoi

August 13th, 2010 by

The day that I have been looking forward to for the past three months has arrived.  With all bags properly packed, I rode a taxi to the airport.  It had been raining heavily for days so I figured it was better to start the trip as early as possible in order for us to get to the airport at least three hours before our scheduled flight.

Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 Photo by: georgeparrilla
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Discover Baojinggong, the Palace of Treasure and Crystal

August 11th, 2010 by

Not far from Yingde, in the Guangdong region of China, is a veritable natural world wonder. Baojinggong, the Palace of Treasure and Crystal, is a marvelous point of interest that inspires awe.

Yingde - Baojinggong (Palace of Treasure & Crystal)

Baojinggong is a massive mountain cave, furtive and elusive to track down. The cave has four levels, three of which are accessible to the public. If your travels carry you to the Guangdong region and you get anywhere near Yingde, or even as close as Qingyaun or Guangzhou, it is certainly worth going a bit out of your way to visit this incredible underground landmark. Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy of Jjimjilbang

August 9th, 2010 by

If you’re looking for budget South Korea hotels or a remarkable, traditional experience, you can’t do better than an overnight stay at a jjimjilbang. These public spas have the usual facilities such as his and her showers, hot tubs and saunas, but they also have unisex common rooms equipped with TV sets, heated floors, food bars, PC areas and sleeping sections. For complete, affordable comfort after a day’s sightseeing, the jjimjilbang is a sure bet.

Jjimjilbang Photo courtesy by Kuruman.

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About Travel Blog Travel Blog is your central source of news bits, amusing experiences, funny observations, and helpful tips and guides to travelling around Asia. For easier browsing, check the Categories section for topics you are interested in. Every month, we also highlight an Asian destination with quick links to the travel guide and best hotels in […]

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Easter Treats

Skyscrapers in Hong KongNo other city is as vibrant and alive as Hong Kong which thrives to a different beat from sun up to sundown. Bellhop Picks: Read more about other attractions in our Hong Kong guide. See what fellow travellers have to say in the Hong Kong tales section.
  • Polls

    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
    • Male, Maldives (16%, 77 Votes)
    • Jeju Island, South Korea (16%, 75 Votes)
    • Sentosa Island, Singapore (15%, 72 Votes)
    • Krabi, Thailand (13%, 60 Votes)
    • Macau, China (10%, 49 Votes)
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam (7%, 34 Votes)

    Total Voters: 467

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