• The changing face of Singapore

    It’s been exactly 10 years that I have regularly travelled to Singapore. I love the city! I love going back to the places I know and enjoy in Singapore, yet the city never stops to amaze me with new things. The big ones like Marina Bay Sands (which was not even completed during my first visit) or the latest attraction – The Jewel at Changi Airport are all WOW moments! But everytime I walk through the city I am also amazed at the speed with which Singapore’s face changes. New highrises, new parks, new attractions, new rules, new behavioural patterns, almost everytime I turn around. So, walking Singapore is one…

  • Botanical Garden

    Singapore is amazingly green! Lush and green! Even busy shopping roads are lined with huge trees and there is even a specially designated visiting program for all official „heritage trees“. A real treat however is a visit to the Botanical Garden, specially since it is easy to reach it via Subway. While I focussed on the western side of the huge garden during my last visit, I focussed on the eastern and central parts this time. Thus taking a several hours lasting walk from the Subway station around Eco-Lake, Ethnobotany Garden and Healing Garden. I specially loved visiting the Rain Forest section and then making my way back through Palm…

  • Vesak Day in Singapore

    Finally the official Vesak Day in Singapore. I had a long list of temples to visit, but managed to see only a few of them. However, those we visited provided us with a real nice mix of Buddhist Vesak celebrations of various Buddhist schools. The main celebrations happened again in Geylang, where the Amitabha Buddhist Centre organized a full day of activities and celebrations. A lot of people showed up here again. We did move on to a temple personally connected to one of my friends – the Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple, with an amazing Bodhi Tree. After that we moved on to Toa Payoh to pay our respect to…

  • Vesak Day 2 in Singapore

    Busy schedule on the day/night before the official Vesak Day in Singapore. While the visit to the Thai temple, Wat Ananda Metyaram was a brief one, because their main activities were also scheduled in the evening hours, our focus was on the huge Bright Hill temple. The official name is Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery and there were lots of activities going on all day, besides the temple itself being worth spending a lot of time in. However the temple is really known for it’s 3-Step, 1-Bow Ceremony during Vesak Day. A lot of people will visit the temple and thousands of worshippers will participate in the ceremony.…

  • Vesak Day(s) in Singapore

    Usually I celebrate Vesak Day in Thailand or Laos, or as I covered on this blog before, at the Borobudur in Java. This year I wanted to see how they celebrate it in Singapore. After all, Singapore has a 42.5 percent Buddhist population! Expected Vesak Day to be on one day only, but learned that it is going on for several days before the actual full moon. So, I had to plan out my temple visits and celebrations over 3 days. Starting with the Kwan Im Temple on Waterloo Street and moving on to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown before visiting the opening ceremonies of the Amitabha Buddhist…

  • IBIS Bencoolen – Singapore

    Back to Singapore! Back to one of my favourite hotels in Singapore, the IBIS Bencoolen. No real surprise, since all the IBIS rooms look pretty much the same. But I have finally given up looking for a cheaper room in Singapore (specially during Formula 1 race days), since I have never really been successful in finding a better alternative at a decent price. So, as long as service and rooms do not change, I will be back at the IBIS for short and for longer trips. I still love the location, as it is conveniently located at several MRT stations and it is even possible to walk to the major…

  • Think global – travel local!

    I admit, I am a temple enthusiast! I can never get enough of it. So, my reasons and my ways of visiting Angkor might not be representative of the majority of tourists. In fact it is not! My recommendation though would be to know beforehand why someone goes to visit Angkor. It’s not for Siem Reap town, which has developed into a Khmer Pattaya or Phuket (without the beach). It’s loud, full of people and it is neither Cambodia nor Angkor. Why would anyone go to Cambodia and then look for western food and drinks? I do my research before I go and I probably have every quality book on…

  • Angkor Tourist Hell

    During our first visit to Angkor Wat we were alone! We even climbed up the old stone stairways at that time before the wooden stairs were built and we were alone. In most of the other temples of Angkor we were mostly alone except for the occasional security guard or little children offering their tour guide services for 1$. That was back in 1999! In 2012 there were more tourists, much more. But this last trip in 2019 was just heartbreaking! I planned to just visit outlying temples and avoid the main temples like Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm, which the tourists now call „Tomb Raider Temple“ – how…

  • On the road to Angkor

    7 years after our last trip to Angkor, we decided to go back again and visit some of those magnificent temples. This time we did months worth of preparation work, because our amazing tour guide from the trips before was busy. So we decided to do it all by ourselves – research, planning and execution! We flew in from Bangkok again. Back in 2012 we took Bangkok Air, which was then one of the few ways to get there. This time we took Air Asia from the old Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok. What a mistake! I think I will never do anything from this airport again in my lifetime!…

  • Hua Hin Beach

    The quiet(er) side of the bay of Thailand! Hua Hin is a small town with a nice selection of restaurants, few bars but tourism is also increasing here. I like the mix of attractions, like beaches, temples, palaces and monuments. Usually I am mobile in Hua Hin, so I go off to explore the beaches and temples south of the main Hua Hin beach. In March it was rather quiet along the beaches. Love the sunrise, early morning or late evening walks along the long beaches. A perfect relaxing time!