• 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!

  • Hilton Hua Hin

    One of my favourite hotels all over Thailand! Love the location, love the rooms, love the service! I could stop right here – all said! However, the rooms are really big. The comfort of the beds has always been perfect. The view (depending on where your room is facing) is awesome. I could basically see the sunrise from my bed! I also like their balconies facing the ocean. What is also nice is the quiet side street the hotel is in. No through traffic. The location allows you to just walk through the pool area to get to the public beach. From check-in to check-out I have always had great…

  • ICON Siam at night

    ICON Siam is the new place everyone goes to in Bangkok. We covered the shopping mall a while back when we first visited it. This time we went back for the light show at night, which runs several times over the evening and is actually called „The ICONIC multimedia water features“. The place gets really really busy then. Not just for the light show but also because all the river cruise boats are landing at this spot and people wait for their dinner departure. The water fountain light and sound show was quite nice to watch, specially with the skyline of Bangkok in the background. It’s also nice that they…