Friday, May 31, 2019

My Visit To Taipei - 2019

It was a very impromptu trip that we made to visit Taipei. We had just returned from our United Kingdom trip during the Chinese New Year week when my wife suggested that we should attend again, the similar Tibetan Buddhism prayer session which was held in Jakarta. This time it was held in Taipei which was presided by the same Living Buddha who had blessed me to survive through the 2 tough years of no salary woes!

1. We have visited Taipei many times since the days we had to supply Chinese books to the MPH chain. I would advise all first time visitors to book hotels nearby the Taipei Main Station. There is a new direct train line from the Taoyuan Airport to this main station. The many budget or luxury hotels and night markets are all in that vicinity too. You save a lot of time!

Beside me are our 2 God Daughters from different parents. Someday I will show you my God Son who looks like China's top actor Huang Xiao Ming. I am serious!

 2. I was embarrassed that I had never visited all the famous landmarks in Taipei over the years. We were always rushing all over Taiwan from the north Keeliung Port to Taoyuan, Taipei, Tainan, Taichung until Kaoshiung in the south. This trip I told my wife I must step inside that famous Taipei 101 building. We extended our stay and enjoyed a few spots.

This photo was taken at the famous "Risotto" Dogs cafe chain in Taipei. It is so popular that you could see 4-5 Risotto cafes in one block of shops.

 3. Every Risotto Cafe has a friendly dog at the counter which would roam freely and even sleep under customer's tables.Woof!

4. I was trying to act funny with their Cloud Lamps! Bruce Lee is my wife's sworn God Brother who looked shocked.

5. Come rain or shine, lots of shoppers would crowd this Taipei's Ximending area which is very vibrant at night. It is more fun to walk here in large squares compared to HKG's Tshimshatsui or Nathan Road.

6. Bruce and I looked at the many sleazy advertisements. Both our wives took this photo! Oops!

 7. I love their advertisements and design concepts all over Taiwan. They were occupied by Japanese troops for a long time which left their cultural influence there.

8. This is Bruce's cute daughter, looking at the world go by. We were taking a train to North of Taipei.

9. We visited the interesting old town at Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf which sits at the confluence of the Taiwan Strait and the Tamsui River. You just hop onto the train and head towards Tamsui at North of Taipei.

10. My wife and I.

11. There are many interesting shops around Mackay Street in the Tamsui area. I sent postcards from the post office there too.

12. Dr. George Leslie Mackay was the most famous doctor in the Taiwanese history who served many patients besides having pulled over 20,000 teeth! Muahahaha.... Please google and read his long contributions by yourself.

 13. My God Daughter is currently pursuing her studies in Movie Making at one Taipei's prestigious university. I told her that her happy-shy looks would land her big roles as an actress instead.

 14. Many things are very cheap in Taiwan like these branded shoes costing under RM100. Shopping in Korea was a real pain to my wallet and ass.

 15. This is the Tibetan Buddhist Prayer sessions which I have always attended around Asia. This powerful Living Buddha has actually saved my life once when I was being possessed by a fierce animal spirit through a Taoist medium in Penang for a few years. That was the reasons I decided to start this blog 10 years ago to create awareness that the whole spiritual world is real and alive in the 8 dimensions that overlaps each other. I do not preach any religions but would advise everyone to have a good religion and respect the spiritual world which outnumbers us humans by many folds. Please don't be a Free Thinker!

16. At night fall, we all headed to the posh Taipei's Financial District to see the big beautiful buildings and Taipei 101 tower.

 17. Finally! I managed to visit this Taipei 101.

 18. This is the showroom selling the famous TESLA cars! That's my latest dream cars.

19. We ate at the famous 24 hours Ichiran Japanese Ramen restaurant at downtown Taipei.

20. The whole Ichiran restaurant was unique inside as you need to sit at individual cubicles. The ramen was fantastic!


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Andong Attractions - Okyeon Jongsa Residence & Hahoe Ancient Village

The best place of my recent 8 days trip to South Korea was the visit to Andong's ancient village. My Korean buddy suggested that I should visit and stay a night there since I love historical places very much.

 1. We wasted no time and booked for a night's stay at Okyeon Jeongsa through site. This marvelous jewel with colourful and rich history sits on the cliff which overlooks the Nakdong River.

2. I was very impressed by the whole place which was the private residence built over 430 years ago for the Ryu Sung Ryong who was the Prime Minister of Joseon Dynasty during the 16th century.

3. Everything here has been well preserved and kept in its original state since the 16th century! There are 4 bedrooms that comes with own private sitting area with writing table.

4. This young and handsome Ryu Seung Hwan is the 16th generation's descendant of the famous Prime Minister Ryu Sung Ryong. Seung Hwan who studied in US, speaks very fluent English and provides very attentive and helpful services towards all his staying guests. As seen in many reviews online, they appreciated his effort to go all out to make them very comfortable and happy. The above photo was the actual location where the famous Korean TV Drama "Jingbirok" was filmed about the life of Joseon Dynasty's Prime Minister who was highly commended by the Emperor of Ming Dynasty in China. It is unbelievable that I came to stay at this actual former Prime Minister's residence after watching his life story drama over the television.

 5. The long corridor of the 2 bedrooms with the original wooden floors dated over 430 years ago. They are still solid and strong till today.

6. My buddy sitting by the opened wooden & paper windows to admire the peaceful view outside.

7. This is the cozy sitting area with full windows that faced behind towards the hill slopes of lush greenery and pine trees planted over hundreds of years ago.

 8. My buddy lies comfortably like a slut on the comfortable soft mattress.

9. This pine tree is as old as the Prime Minister's residence which dated over 430 years ago.

 10. It was a real eye opener to see how this Ryu family is feeding the pine tree with syringed bottles of different plant food. The tree really drinks the liquid from all bottles like a baby.

11. This is the morning's breakfast spread being served for each room's 2 guests. The delicious food is freshly cooked daily and served with high quality Korean tea.

 12. My Korean buddy taught me how to eat and behave like a typical Korean. Use the chopstick to pick up the rice and stick to a piece of seaweed paper. Just eat the whole wrap! Bingo!

 13. Seung Hwan showed me where the chopped pine firewood would be placed inside the hole to heat up beneath the wooden floor during the cold seasons. This "On-Dol" method of heating is definitely the best and only being practiced in Korea since ancient times.

 14. The serene panoramic view of the Nakdong River from the Okyeon Jeongsa residence. I will make a trip back to stay at Okyeon Jeongsa again someday. You should also stay at this historical place to enjoy a piece of Korea's famous history and landmark.

15. The 4 bathrooms are not attached to the bedrooms but located in another block a short distance away. This was exactly how the Prime Minister's residence was built during the 16th century.

 16. The individual modern bathrooms have been refurbished with top notch tiles, shower facilities and comes complete with all the towels and toiletries. 

 17. You won't be bored with the quaint town of Andong as they have many restaurants, shops and the famous Hahoe Folk Village. We watched their famous Korean Masks Dance in the packed arena where the majority of the audience were local Koreans from neighbouring towns.

 18. It was comical and entertaining to watch the masks dances.

19. Welcome to the straw roofed houses at Hahoe Folk Village. The Ryu families originated from here and lived together since 600 years ago!

 20. We had a nice long walk around the whole village to admire the straw roofed houses.

 21. It was Spring. The weather was still cold with blooming flowers and fruits everywhere.

 22. I was kinda shocked to see the Korean spring onions. They are so fat with flowers blooming at the tip!

23. I spent hours admiring the straw roofed houses with mud clay walls. 

 24. Yours truly relaxing inside the forest of Pine Trees. The air was fresh and fragrant.

25. This is the famous Nakdong River. The Okyeon Jeongsa residence actually sits on the cliff across this river.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Happy Mother's Day to my mother in Heavens.

The first Thai word my mother taught me was "Chicken". It has been 5 years now since she left me and I never forget her every single day. I am eternally grateful for her love, kindness and patience to bring me up with good education and to follow the paths of Buddhism.

I wish my mother to be well and happy always in the Land of Eternity....


Thursday, May 9, 2019

My Visit To South Korea

I am back from my 8 days in South Korea! I have over 800 exotic photos in my phone camera. It is bursting now together with the thousand photos of my visit to Taipei after the trip to England, Scotland and Wales. I will go crazy soon on how to update my blog postings. Let me warm up a short brief about South Korea first.

1. It was the first time I ever traveled overseas for a week without my wife. I wish she was together with me but she had other plans. So she encouraged me to have a reunion with my Korean buddies during our US college days. I managed to find time to buy postcards and quickly ran to the post office nearby the hotel in Seoul to post them! So happy lah!

2. This trip, it was a good time to visit South Korea in Spring with blooming flowers everywhere. My first trip many years ago, was during Winter which was solely for skiing in the Korean mountains. Lately, the weather has gone freako in Korea as the temperature was below 10C degrees every night in Seoul, Busan and Andong. It was so windy and cold lah for Spring! Brrr Brrr Brrr ...

3. I stayed in a few good hotels around Busan and Seoul on the advice of my Korean buddy friend Lee JS. I saw pretty looking guys and gals with milky white flawless skins walking on the streets everyday. When you see a Korean family walking closely with an entourage, you can tell that they are very wealthy. Suddenly, their tinted big vehicles would show up to fetch that old man & his matriach. The whole family would have to bow at the old couple as they closed the car doors. The K-dramas we watch on TV are often scripted from real family feuds and marital affairs today. South Korea has top rankings for divorces, suicides, hard core drunkards and the most spy-cams in the world! I am not kidding.

4. I was truly blessed throughout my trip as this Korean buddy's wife who is a bank President insisted that he chauffered me everywhere from Seoul to Busan and back with a night's stop over at the ancient village at Andong. It was an honour that his wife accorded me with this high respect and warm hospitality that I will cherish forever. He even had to foot for all the meals for many days. It was almost the last leg of my trip when I met another Korean friend Lee HS. He took me on the crowded subway to have a special dinner in another place at Jongro 3ga which was 10 minutes from Myeongdong or 30 minutes from Gangnam.

The statue of The Great King Sejong of Joseon Dynasty - Korea.

5. This old friend Lee HS who holds a high position at Price Waterhouse is the descendants of The Great King Sejong of Korea. He was so pleased and touched as I bowed deeply and paid respect to his ancestor's statue which sits prominently along the downtown Seoul's Gwanghwamum Boulevard.  I always nicknamed him The Last Prince of Korea and this title tickled him a lot.

6. This Last Prince made me walk for miles in the chilly night to admire at all the prominent landmarks. My other Korean friends raised their eye brows in disbelief when I told them how I walked all night and my watch clocked almost 20,000 steps that day. Hihihi..

7. We walked pass this colourful building which belongs to the Dong-A Newspaper company. It seems to be the most loathed tabloid in South Korea as they often reported nonsense and biased news. Sounds like The Star. No?

8. The Last Prince took me into the back alleys at Jongro 3ga where you will always find popular and good restaurants. 

9. This is the most famous Korean dish that is only available in Seoul. It is called Gull Bosam which consists of raw oysters together with delicious porky combo.

10. The Last Prince is a very good host ever since we were students in US. He often drove me in his car for midnight bowlings with the other gang of Gangnam Koreans. We also traveled in his car to Washington DC, New York, Maryland, Virginia and Niagara Falls where the Canadian customs arrested us for entering Canada without passports. We could laugh back on how we were individually interrogated by the Canadian officers and had to sign deportation papers to confess the crime we 'accidentally'  committed. It was solely his mistake for driving into the wrong highway that entered into Canada.

11. My delicious meal came with this signature flavourful and mildy spicy broth of pork bones that had been boiled for over 24 hours! 

12. The Koreans must drink some alcohol whether it is a happy or sad occasion, even at funerals! This one is their popular Rice Wine! Burp!.

13. Too much good food and happy wines made Jack A Sick Boy. I had severe diarrhea on my last 2 nights and still purged onboard the plane. The aircraft shook violently when I exploded into the toilet in midair over China. Muahahahahaha