Off to Sydney

Am off to Sydney, New South Wales early tomorrow morning for work. Be back to fill you in on the loads of books read  since last post (yeah, there’s a whole backlog of reviews) … and maybe, just maybe, Kylie Chan’s last instalment of Dark Heavens trilogy, which I despair of ever finding in local stores and on Amazon.

p.s. Fingers crossed.

p.p.s Let’s see if I could get some bookcrossing done while I’m there.

 

 

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My Parisian Spring

Having never been to [the] French capital in springtime, I was really looking forward to my business trip, although my colleagues there warned me that it’d been raining quite a bit.

Well, the journey there via London was uneventful but the beautiful and sunny Sunday afternoon was partially wasted due to a baggage delay. But I managed to get out in the evening for dinner and a little stroll.  This time round, I put up in this charming, urban chic boutique hotel – Arvour St. Georges, not too far from the Montmarte area.

The friendly hotel staff was helpful in suggesting where to go, but I was contented to just wander around aimlessly just soaking in the Parisian night air. The second night, my colleagues took us to Queen, the hippest, most popular disco in, where else but, Champs Elysees, which looked really different from my last visit in December, less festive perhaps but still dazzling with its plethora of brand names and luxury boutiques. It was a good thing we had that wonderful evening, because the next night it rained, so I was more or less confined to the neighbourhood of the hotel.

I didn’t have the luxury of time to wander around the city this round, but it was good to see a different side of the city in slightly warmer climes.

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A Tale of Three Cities

The past three months saw lucky me traveling to no less than five cities, two of which were for the second time.  Here then are my impressions of three of them I visited for the first time – Bangkok, Seoul and Auckland.

Bangkok is many things:  it is a city that is modern in the many malls and hotels springing up at every corner yet there are pockets of slums that hint at a less prosperous past.  It is truly a city for the shopaholic — everything, well almost everything, can be had at a bargain. Lest I’m beginning to sound like a bird with cries of ‘cheap, cheap, cheap’, let me put that image out of your mind by revealing that there are upscale malls where international brands showcase their merchandise,  and unless you have thousands in your wallet, you’d best step aside for the well-heeled wealthy. But I digress, no where is bargain hunting taken up with more passion than at Chatuchat, the Sunday flea market.

IMG_0485Seoul at night
And that, was where hubby and I went on that Saturday we were there.  He had flown in the night before after my business meetings have ended. This being a business trip, I haven’t the chance to explore much of the city, so I was looking forward to discovering Bangkok with the man. Our visit to the night bazaar the previous night was uneventful with nothing much to show except a pair of cushions which I was entrusted to purchase for a colleague.  So, determined to do some serious damage to our wallets, we headed for Chatuchat with much anticipation.
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Checking in from Tokyo

Just a quick flyby post after the delicous kaiseki meal my colleagues took us to on this my first night back in this amazing city.

It’s autumn here, and although the air is a bit chilly, it’s surprisingly quiet in Shinjuku area where I’m staying this time round.  Despite the occasional nippy bite of the wind, I could get by on just a long-sleeved sweater over a tank and jeans and boots.   The view from my hotel window is simply breathtaking.

Overlooking the connecting bridge that grants guests access to Takashimaya Times Square, one can gaze at the bright neon signs in the distant and just be lost in the dignified beauty of this ultra modern capital as the rhythmic clackety-clack of the metro lulls you to sleep with its symphony of a metropolis.

Night all … am pooped after that overnight flight … yawn. Look for pictures upon return.

 

Sydney Sojourn

Returning to Sydney has always been a dream ever since my first visit to this lovely city in 2004, so imagine my excitement and delight when I discovered that I need to make a trip there to wrap up some matters for an ongoing web project.

My first impression of this city where majestic Victorian and other architectural beauties of a bygone era take pride of place next to modern sky scrapers was that of a laid back cosmopolitan capital. I’m glad that not much has changed yet there were improvements and new features added that made this city a really easy and tourist friendly one. Nearly every attraction is within walking distance from where I was staying in the city centre this time round.

Sydney Sojourn

My friends from work took me to a few classy dining establishments, one being the Cantina, and another was Glass restaurant at the Hilton Sydney. Real swanky … that one. On another night, a dear colleague brought me to Paddington Five Ways to this charming French restaurant (whose name I’ve forgotten) where we had a wonderful dinner.

When I’m done with the meetings on Friday, I took the monorail down to Darling Park, bought a ticket to HP movie at IMAX and just enjoyed the spectacular 3D effects of that, by now, famous finale at the department of mysteries. After the show, I took a stroll around the harbour and the park, just to soak in the cheery atmosphere – it’s the weekend and Sydneysiders came out to play, so the park was pretty lively even at the late hours of midnight.

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