Hidden gem: Gua Musang’s 15th century temple

‘Tokong Swee Nyet’ in Kampug Pulai, Gua Musang, Kelantan has been a place of worship for Chinese settlers who moved to the area about 600-years ago. These settlers (mainly from the Hakka clan) were in search of fortune from gold deposits found in Sungai (river) Galas. Their descendants, who have over the centuries intermarried with…

Drive Thru: Central Spine Rd

One of my favourite drives – low traffic and amazing scenery! The partially opened Central Spine Road that will link Kuala Lipis in Pahang to Kuala Krai in Kelantan once it is completed. It currently terminates just outside Gua Musang town.

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Wishing my Chinese friends, family and followers a Happy & Prosperous New Year! A special shout out to those born in the year of the pig. To everyone else in Malaysia and around this region – enjoy the holidays! Guan Yin temple, Raub, Pahang, Malaysia.

Shades of Syria in Victoria

I bought my first Syrian carpet in 2001, while on assignment in Aleppo. The burst of colourful textiles caught my eye as I was wandering around the rustic and historic neighbourhood of Al-Jdeida. Each carpet features different designs and colours which I was told represents the regions it is produced in. The ones in Damascus…

Andorra La Where?

Andorra La Vella? Andorra? Sounds familiar but where is it? That was the question we got from most people when we told them of our visit to our three night stop at this tiny nation of just over 78,000 people in the Pyrenees mountains. Andorra was off our radar.  Like most people I had heard…

Centuries Old Stopover

Apartmentos Abat Marcet (Cel.les Abat Marcet) has been housing pilgrims visiting Montserrat for centuries. It was refurbished in the 1960s and named Apartmentos Abat Marcet after the Abbot of Montserrat – Abbot Marcet (1912-1946). It is a simply furnished apartment with a kitchenette (including a fridge, stove, microwave and cutlery), bath and toilet, hall cum…

Evening Walk: Blackburn VIC

Blackburn is a quaint neighbourhoods about 20kms outside Melbourne. I believe it is a place that city folk seek solace away from the bustling capital of the state of Victoria. It was a pleasant walk through the quaint neighbourhood along and around Bindi Street where our family spent the recent holidays in a rented home….

Sunrise from Montserrat (Video)

Good morning Montserrat! Who would have though a random purchase of Dan Brown’s ‘Origin’ by the other half would lead to a memorable stay at the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey in Catalonia, Spain? The view of a beautiful sunrise on a crisp morning over the Llobregat Valley is a great start to the day…

Flashback Friday: Paris at Dusk

From my file pix: This shot was taken in 2009 from the viewing point between the bell towers of the church of Notre Dame in Paris. Am not sure if I’ll want to make that claustrophobic & physically challenging climb up the winding steps of the bell tower to the lookout point again. But to…

Eerie Ruins by the Sea: Al-Jumail

Qatar does not have much of a rich and spectacular history as it’s neighbours in the region. This county was once home to migratory Bedouin tribes, fishermen and pearl divers who built small settlements along its coastline – trading their finds with passing land and sea traders. Unlike the surrounding regions, this area does not…