The annual pilgrimage has begun

We are not overly religious just in case you wonder. But you see this word ‘pilgrimage’ aptly describes what we’re about to do. We are once again on a journey to the land of the rising sun. Our annual road trip will begin soon!

But first, Mel will need to pound the corporate floorboard. And while he’s busy doing that, Suan will be setting herself upon the city’s shopping. Look out Tokyo shopping, here comes HRH Suan!

This pilgrimage will take us to the northern coast of Japan.

Toyama (富山市), ~300km northwest from Tokyo will be our base.

Tateyama snowall19
Go there in April!

It will be approximately 2 hours+ of a Shinkansen ride to/from this city on the sea of Japan. We will be making our road trip all along the coast, staying in ryokan onsens. Yes, naked hot baths again! Heheh… If you are wondering, nooooo we are not nudists. Just to clarify.

The last time we came close to Toyama was when we visited the ice walls of Tateyama. We could have continued onto Toyama from the mountain, but that would mean leaving our car behind in Omachi! So, this is in a way, a continuation of that journey.

This will be another epic road trip for us. The day light will be short and the roads fester with snow. However the distances we have chosen this time are short and we’ll have plenty of time to spend at each of our road trip stops.

A journalog cometh soon. Look out for it!

City of Angels

In about 2 days, it will be the end of the zodiac year of the mischievous monkey and we shall be welcoming the fire Rooster. We say Rooster, because the year of the chicken does not give it as much umph… 2016 has indeed been a funky year with the Monkey zodiac wrecking a fair bit of pranks all over the world!

Here we are again at the airport firing this post away. We are escaping from the little red dot and on the way to Bangkok, the city of Angels as its original long form name in Sanskrit reads. Here we will spend a super super long weekend away from all that lunar new year madness back home…since reunion dinner’s been had. It seems these days there are more people like us. Don’t judge.

You know there is so much written about Bangkok that it would be probably pointless for us to add to the mix. Known for excesses that defies imagination, this reminds us of a song. And it goes like this: “One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble”….anyone knows or remembers Murray Head?

So what will we be doing? What else but to experience a culinary overload? LOL. We have a reputation to keep up you will know! Ok, so we will also some exploring too, some of it in Bangkok and others outside of this sprawling city of angels. Watch out for our journalog coming your way soon!

PS: we got upgraded to Premium Economy on Cathay for this flight…heheh what a good start!

Star studded Vevey & Montreux

Freddie Mercury memorial at Montreux1
His songs live on!

When I first heard about Vevey, Nestle came to mind. Being such a large company with products in so many areas of daily life, it was obvious. But then as I found out, even more famous icons can be found here.

Charlie Chaplin came to mind. Rejected by his adopted country, he settled in Vevey and produced some of his finest works. Sure everyone remembers his silent movies, but he was not just an actor but a director too.

Then there is Montreux, yet another town nestled along Lake Leman (that’s lake Geneva for those who don’t know). Again the home of stars – and this time, the name that many a teenager knows back in the 1980s – Steve McQueen Freddie Mercury (not sure why nobody pointed this error out earlier!). Rock on yeah!

Let Mel show you more about his discoveries of both delectable towns on the shores of the lake if you had not already read about it from our earlier post on Neuchatel. You will be amazed with what sights and sounds that awaits you should you make the journey to the home of star studded Vevey and Montreux.

Most Baroque Solothurn

Today’s the last day of the year! Perhaps you will be off to celebrations soon! For us, we are on the last day of our tour, ready to make the return flight home tomorrow morning. And shivering in the really really cold night trying to tell you we enjoyed new year’s eve…Hah! Yes this is a scheduled post.


We shall top off the year with this 2nd instalment of our Swiss stories. And we introduce to you a city that they call the “ambassadors’ city”, “city of elevens”, “most baroque city in Switzerland”. With quite a few for consideration, we chose the last one for the title of this post.

And indeed it is. Solothurn that is.

Like most towns in Switzerland, they all seem to have a specialization. You might have heard of Le-Locle, famed as a watchmaking center. So what is Solothurn notable for? Precision engineering and design we believe. Perhaps a Swiss reader can correct us.

Good thing though, the historic town centre retains the charms of medieval times. If one were to go back in time you might find important ambassadors from France on their carriages. So what was it that made Solothurn the city that ‘attracted’ the diplomats? Was it the beautiful setting of the town? Perhaps a round of digging into history may help!

Being here twice but on his own (Mel), Suan certainly missed out! Is there anything to do in this city? Find out more here in the latest Swiss stories from our blog.

Ode to Busan, the journalog

We had been mulling long about how to present our recent journey to Busan.


Because it included quite some time and adventure in Seoul, we have decided to separate them. This means our Seoul adventures will be shared with you in the form of a story instead of a journalog. Awe we hear you say… but it’s for your own good. The journlog for Busan itself is heavy reading!

If you noticed, we like to present our journeys all in one page, and not cut them into separate days. So this post is NOT the journalog…

Well, you would have read about how we gate-crashed a traditional Korean wedding (read here) and nearly had a free wedding lunch.

Seoul was fantastic as usual (though first rainy and later cold…). But that did not stop us from enjoying a refreshing (oooh!) flower ice cream. Eating (well biting) each “petal” while shopping in Myeong-Dong is definitely the way to go!


Oh how shall we describe you? The best analogy we can make is the comparison between Tokyo and Osaka.

Aliens! Run for your lives!

That’s how we felt Busan differs from Seoul. While some might say that’s not quite accurate, it was our experience in both cities that led us to make this conclusion. And it’s not like either one city is better, just different. Each city and locale will have its own flavors no?

While in BusanSeoul (how did this end up here?), we were captivated (not captured) by aliens that seem to be walking back to their spaceship. We (they) come in peace, we hope! Obviously this para came to the wrong post…hehe

Most of all important news is, we had a delish meal of puffer fish when in Busan. You know the type that is poisonous if not prepared correctly? Well, we lived to write and tell you the story. Read all about it!

We need some feedback: do you think,

  • it is better for us to present the journalog in a page form here.
  • or would it be easier for you to read in its original PDF form here.

Tell us!

Phuket Journalog, here we go!

It has been almost a month since we did the fantastic road trip in Phuket. Well, more like daily drive excursions, cos’ we were not moving from one location to another. Oh how time flies!

We’ve been on the road since that time as well, thus the journalog has been slow in being completed. As you know, Mel does not like to cut up the journey into separate posts by the day! Besides, we do have a life aside from blogging which we can say is far from not exciting!

So in hindsight, would we have done our road trip any differently?

Yes indeed!! We would have rented the car from day one that we arived in Phuket and expanded our range well outside of the island to Phang-Nga and possibly even towards Krabi! Because all in, it’s within a 100km radius. Perhaps when we return to Phuket in a few years, we could consider that.

And now, we present out road trip to Phuket: here.

Enjoy! And give us your comments. May you have exceedingly good ideas on how to squeeze the most out of your time on this island that some may consider paradise!