Travelling in Asia: Prompt 15 of #indie30

korean fried chicken.41

Prompt #15: If you could pick any country in Asia to go to, which one would you pick and why?

I haven’t been to all parts of Asia but I don’t seem to find the motivation to explore all corners.

I guess living in this continent gives a false sense that it would be easy to travel around so I wouldn’t need to hit all the countries any time soon.

So for today’s choice, I would love to head back to Japan and see the other parts of it that I hadn’t been.

I’ve heard a lot about Hokkaido. It’s supposed to be a land where all seasons are beautiful.

I would love to heard there when lavender season is in. (I wanted to do that even back in 2011’s indie30.) I would love to be there when the King Crabs are fleshy.

Image credit: Jennifer

The only period I wouldn’t want to be in Hokkaido is winter. I dread the cold. Thank goodness the onsen-loving Japanese macaques don’t live there or else it’s a very tempting visit.

Other Asia to-visit list

But if it’s for going to somewhere I’ve not been, South Korea would be my top choice since it is the land of skincare products.

I’m not particularly fond of spicy food which Koreans love. But if it’s spicy fried chicken, I’m up for it. The marinade is so so good.

Korean Fried Chicken

I would also love to visit the cafes in South Korean and drink lattes until I am jittery from caffeine.

Is there any place in Asia that’s on your list? Share it in the comments below.


This post is part of 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project.

One related post: 11 travel blogs from Asia to follow

Bangkok’s Grand Palace is the Versailles of the East

I made a travel plan for Bangkok because I did not want to commit the same mistake as I did in Kuching.

My plans for the Sunday was to see the Grand Palace and then walk north to the museum and then to Khaoshan Road. It was a relaxed plan since I didn’t want to stress myself.

My friend N told me that it would take more than 2 hours to admire the Grand Palace. Looking at the 2×4-inch map on Lonely Planet, I wasn’t too convinced.

I set off for the palace after a meal of noodles and beancurd at two of the hole-in-the-walls outside the palace gate.
Behind the walls

When I reached the white walls, a loudspeaker spoke in a patient voice reminding tourists that there is only one ticket seller and trust no one. (It’s to prevent tourists from being cheated by swindlers.)

There was a bit more walking from the walls to the ticket selling booth. There were quite a lot of people around since it was Sunday.

The queue was short though, everyone seemed to crowded away from the ticket booth. I paid my 400 baht and got a lot of tickets.
Pricey Grand Palace tickets

I wasn’t even sure what most of the tickets were for.
Grand Palace tickets

I read that visitors need to dress modestly when visiting the Grand Palace so I brought along my own sarong cloth. I tied it haphazardly around my waist with one side higher up than the other.

When I headed in, I was stunned.

There was a small shrine dedicated to a medicine man. But the shrine was so over-the-top sparkly from the tiles that I just stared at it with my mouth open.


I’ll let you look at the pictures instead of babbling about.

Mini shrine

Relaxed doc

Versailles of the East

I immediately thought of Versailles when I saw all the golden walls.

The castle of Louis XIV The Sun King must also be as grand as these.

Gold stupa
Gold stupa

Violet building at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Violet building at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
green+ gold building
green+ gold building
Another building
Another building

The map that came along with the brochure was not that useful because I promptly forget which building I was looking at when the sparkling walls blind me.

Random colorful wall
Random colorful wall
Green wat
Green wat
Tiles of Bangkok's Grand Palace
Tiles of Bangkok’s Grand Palace
Tiles of Bangkok's Grand Palace
Tiles of Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Statues of mythical beings

Guardian at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Guardian at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
Many green guardians at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Many green guardians at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
White guardian at Bangkok's Grand Palace
White guardian at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
Garuda at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Garuda at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
Many gold guardians at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Many gold guardians at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
Intricate shrine at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Intricate shrine at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
Hydra at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Hydra at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Emerald Buddha

There’s a Chinese phrase “镇庙之宝” which loosely translates to the treasure that holds the temple. It’s the treasure which attracts people to a certain place.

At the Grand Palace, there is a temple for the Emerald Buddha. It is housed in a gorgeous building and on high steps so no one can go near.

There’s not photo taking inside the temple. Visitors sit on the floor and are not allowed to point their feet towards the small statue.

Emerald Buddha shrine (?)
Emerald Buddha shrine (?)
Entrance to Emerald Buddha shrine at Bangkok Grand Palace
Entrance to Emerald Buddha shrine at Bangkok Grand Palace
Exit of Emerald Buddha shrine at Bangkok Grand Palace
Exit of Emerald Buddha shrine at Bangkok Grand Palace

Cool stuff in the Grand Palace

ALTrashcan in Bangkok's Grand PalaceTTEXT
Trashcan in Bangkok’s Grand Palace
How not to sit on the banister
How not to sit on the banister
Closed to tourists
Closed to tourists
Ramayana murals at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Ramayana murals at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
Seniors tour group with German-speaking guide
Seniors tour group with German-speaking guide

I spent about two hours in the palace grounds and I got hungry.

Next stop, the National Museum!

Have you been to the Grand Palace? How was your experience there?

Day 1 of Japan: Best plans change

Kamakura Daibutsu
Kamakura Daibutsu
Kamakura Daibutsu

Hello folks,

In case you don’t know, I’m now in Japan. I’ll be in Tokyo for a week for a work trip. The first two days are my free day and my real work will start on Monday evening.

Today, I went to Kamakura despite preparing for Yokohama. I found out that my N’EX and Suica package covers Kamakura so I decided to visit the ancient city.

I didn’t do much preparations for Kamakura (the prep I actually did for Kamakura was accidental and is part of the last bit on Yokohama that I photocopied from Lonely Planet).

It worked out of course, nothing a bit of walking around and getting lost won’t help (I hate asking for directions). Until tomorrow!