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  #21  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2020, 3:21 AM
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On this day - Nov 30 in ...

2013 - Taroko Gorge, Taiwan
While Taiwan's west coast is highly urbanized, its east coast is relatively empty. With tall mountains lining the middle dividing the 2 sides, the natural barrier has kept them fairly distinct. One of the few cross-island points is along the Taroko Gorge, where a highway was carved through the geography to connect Taichung with Hualien. Armed with a hard hat and a tour guide, it was a surreal short walk through a harrowing section of it.

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  #22  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2020, 8:11 AM
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2010 - Luxor, Egypt
A cruise down the Nile is a wonderful way to experience the country's historic sights, and the itineraries are quite relaxed with morning and late afternoon outings while the middle, hot part of the day are spent on board enjoy the views and good food. The cruise boat docked on the eastern side of the riverbank and to get to the western side for the hot air balloons and Valley of Kings, you have to take these cute little boats for the brief journey.

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  #23  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2020, 2:55 PM
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2017 - Doha
My first overnight stay in Doha was a pleasant surprise. While it is no match to Dubai's bling bling, the architecture is just as stunning. From the air, the new skyscraper district is a lot smaller and more confined, but I felt the locals' friendliness a lot more so I quite enjoyed this short break in the desert.

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  #24  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2020, 6:25 PM
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2017 - Graz, Austria
I woke up bright and early to get up to the Schlossberg for an introductory view of the city. The fog in the distance made the scene surreal. Even the bold alien-like building below stands at a rather uniform height with its neighbours.



2015 - Nuremberg, Germany
My Christmas market tour around Germany began here, and I was quite impressed by its sheer size. With this hot wine to warm up on a chilly winter evening, I scoured around looking for some good food, from fruitcake to sausages and chocolate. This itinerary would repeat across a number of German towns for the next week.

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  #25  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2020, 3:57 PM
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2012 - Bangkok
The Grand Palace is easily the most worthwhile attraction to visit in the city. While there is no train station nearby, it is walkable from the river boat stop. There was no shortage of tourist crowds, but I got some moments of tranquility to admire the gold and many more colours.



2013 - Hanoi, Vietnam
My week-long excursion around north and central Vietnam got off to a good start. France's colonial legacy is still alive and well here with this ornate opera house, although the busy old quarter seemed more interesting to me.



2016 - Toronto
A white Christmas is not always guaranteed as the coldest part of winter tends to start in January. Even though snow can fall in November already, it could have melted by the time December rolls around. This postcard shot with the Flatiron is quite a standard photo, and the St. Lawrence Market nearby is a lovely place to enjoy a nice meal.

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  #26  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:58 AM
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2013 - Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An was once a bustling port where Chinese, Japanese, and European influences can still be felt. The Chinese community built a number of worship and assembly buildings around the old town. This one was for the Fujianese diaspora and its history dates from the late 17th century. Visiting these sights is easy with a day ticket that allows you to pick 5 from a long list to enter.



2015 - Würzburg, Germany
I came to this large town at the northern end of the Romantic Road for the Christmas market that lights up at night. However, my daytime itinerary was still packed exploring churches, trams, and the castle.



2018 - Xingyi, Guizhou
Guizhou is famous for karst peaks, but they are far less frequented by international tourists as opposed to nearby Guilin. The tourist infrastructure has vastly improved with better highways, huge bridges across mountains and canyons, but the province is still quite poor. That meant less crowds and a better chance to appreciate nature without the rest of humanity surrounding me.


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  #27  
Old Posted Dec 25, 2020, 3:28 PM
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2011 - Tokyo
I learned the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States, but they left a copy in Tokyo Bay.



2014 - Yangon, Myanmar
Since Myanmar's military government loosened its grip on power and Western countries relaxed its sanctions, tourists have began to return to the country. I felt quite safe walking along Yangon's streets and there was a lot of interesting architecture to see. The highlight of my day was sunset at the very golden Shwedagon Paya.



2019 - Dubai
Dubai's architecture never fails to impress, and every time I go back there seems to be a new pocket of skyscrapers. Business Bay is only a short distance away from Burj Khalifa and I originally came for a recommended restaurant.


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  #28  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2020, 6:09 PM
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2010 - rural Fujian
American intelligence initially thought these were missile silos or nuclear facilities from the satellite. But these are just earthen buildings shaped uniquely for defense purposes. A whole family under the same surname a few hundred strong can reside in one of these structures. UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008 have brought them to fame and the tourists keep coming.



2014 - Bagan, Myanmar
After Angkor Wat, this was my 2nd favourite set of ancient ruins on the continent. They're spread out across a vast area, so my day trip by air was quite packed, hustling from one attraction to another. With shoes off required to enter the temples, I pretty much used up the entire box of wetnaps by the time I got back to the airport.

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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2021, 3:45 PM
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2015 - Montréal
Expecting bitterly cold temperatures, I decided to stop here en route to Toronto to update my long-outdated photoset. Winter brings its unique challenges especially since I liked to walk outdoors for long periods of time, but I needed a heating break, and the Notre Dame Basilica is a great place to warm up and be amazed.



2014 - rural Sichuan
Getting to Hailougou was a painfully long journey that was at times treacherous due to winter weather. Authorities have built a cable car to access the glacier and I was surprised when altitude sickness kicked in.



2012 - Dubai
With lots of Asia Miles on hand, I redeemed a New Year's vacation to glitzy Dubai. However, even with an upgrade to Business Class, the red-eye was a bit too much for me and I ended up watching the countdown from the hotel and slept quickly after midnight. On New Year's Day, I quickly ventured along the infamous Sheikh Zayed Road to see the line of skyscrapers by riding the metro.

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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2021, 4:14 PM
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2019 - Changchun, China
This lesser known city actually played an important role in modern Chinese history, being home to an emperor's palace. However, this emperor was working for the Japanese invaders. Aisin-Gioro Puyi was the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty but had to leave the Forbidden City after the imperial system was overthrown. The Japanese brought him back to lead Manchukuo, a puppet state that would lead to a full invasion of China during World War II.

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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2021, 7:12 AM
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2018 - Chicago
My previous visits to the Windy City were disappointing with bad weather, but this try got off to a wonderful start with a spectacular sunset as the plane looped around the city for landing. A deep freeze wouldn't stop me from venturing outside for the day exploring the architecture and empty streets. On the bright side, a nice hotel came at a bargain and my jet lag would guarantee an early start at sunrise.

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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2021, 10:27 AM
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2013 - Taipei
Dihua Street was built in the 1850s and was historically a major shopping area for Chinese medicine, fabrics, and Chinese New Year accessories. This is a feast to the senses and quite challenging to manage the crowds!




2020 - Taipei
Until recently, Taipei was one of the rarer developed cities in the region with no train link to the airport. After many, many delays, the Taoyuan MRT finally opened in 2017, charging a bargain basement fare of USD about USD $5 equivalent. While I normally would have a driver on my business trips, I was lucky enough to travel plebian style on this Chinese New Year vacation to take the public transport option. I even dropped by beforehand to take pictures of the main station in Taipei and the in-town airport check-in facilities.

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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2021, 3:26 AM
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Hopefully we will soon see the back end of this pandemic so you can resume your travels and take more great photos!
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2021, 9:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boden View Post
Hopefully we will soon see the back end of this pandemic so you can resume your travels and take more great photos!
Thanks. Stay safe and hope to see everyone in the skies again soon.



On this day - Feb 1 in ...

2014 - Penang
Malaysia has been high on the radar for Hong Kongers looking for good food, cheap real estate, and an affordable retirement. Penang features quite high on the list with many locals speaking Cantonese and lots of stalls and shophouse gastronomy that scream 1960s Hong Kong. Many of its historic lowrise architecture is in decay but I actually prefer this more authentic feel than a heavily renovated street that no longer accurately depicts its age.



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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2021, 4:00 PM
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2015 - Dhaka, Bangladesh
Comfortably seated inside my air-conditioned chauffeured transport, I was vastly outnumbered by the rickshaws. There were office workers dressed in fancy clothes riding one and even a rickshaw schoolbus. Nevertheless, we were all stuck in traffic together.



2018 - Havana, Cuba
Plaza de la Revolucion was designed in the 1920s to impress, just like Paris' Place de l'Etoile, with avenues radiating out from here. Unfortunately, the grandeur is tarnished by the ugly 1950's style government buildings around it. I was here to go up the Memorial a Jose Marti for a panoramic view of the city.

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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2021, 8:02 AM
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2020 - Mount Fuji, Japan
Kawaguchiko is a good day trip or overnight option from Tokyo. But I wanted a cheaper hotel and first hand access in the morning before the tourist crowds emerge, so I stayed closer to town on the other side of Tokyo. The prize is Mount Fuji, which can be quite elusive. Luckily, I could easily spot it from my hotel room all the way to the top of the ropeway hours later.



2016 - Krakow, Poland
I don't tend to eat American fast food when travelling abroad, especially in Europe, but this McDonald's caught my attention. The dining area is actually a restored medieval cellar. Now this is a nice place to enjoy a burger! But I opted for a donut-like pastry snack available in kiosks around the Old Town.

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  #37  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2021, 10:47 AM
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2018 - Yellowknife, Canada
Finland, Iceland, and Norway seem to feature prominently on the aurora tourism calendar, but Yellowknife's statistics are quite impressive, with this natural phenomenon visible 240 days a year. I spotted them on all my 3 nights here. -30C didn't stop either me or my camera from seeing this incredible scene.



2016 - Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Perhaps a cold, grey, and rainy winter day is the right setting to see this place of death. Auschwitz was liberated in January 1945 by the Soviets and a museum was created here in 1947 to present the murders that happened here during the Third Reich. This place is emotionally draining, and never believe that work sets you free.

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  #38  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2021, 3:56 PM
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2016 - Bangkok
Thailand's street markets are quite a feast on the eyes. Chatuchak is huge and I can easily spend a whole day exploring. My favourite stall was this coconut dessert. Remeber to scoop the coconut meat after you enjoy the ice cream and toppings.

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  #39  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2021, 4:25 PM
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I would love to go to Thailand. Or anywhere in Southeast Asia, just for the food.
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  #40  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2021, 5:05 PM
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Neat stuff. Your life seems to be one continuous adventure. You have such high quality beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing.
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