Thursday, June 23, 2011

Countdown To Bali Triathlon

Here's a photo of Eileen, Richard and I the last time we were in Bali last October. This time round, we will have to take another photo, including Lee Kuen too, as the four of us will be participating in the Bali Triathlon this Sunday.

Team Journeys For Two @ Eileen, will be racing the Olympic Distance whereas Team weddingsmalaysia @ yours truly, Richard and Lee Kuen will be racing the Sprint Distance Relay. The event will be a first for Lee Kuen and I, and together with Richard, we just aim to enjoy the experience and complete the race. As for Eileen, well, let's just say she is ultra-competitive despite having fallen ill due to overtraining. Knowing her, she will still put up a good race. And to document it all, we are happy to have Shirley joining us on the trip and we've asked her to just snap away as she likes.

I am also particularly looking forward to the few days of R&R after the race. Good food, good company and pleasant surrounds, Bali is always a favourite of mine.

Photo shot in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia last year.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Myeongdong Cathedral

Some find it surprising that although a Buddhist, I also visit houses of worship of other religions and say a prayer, when the opportunity arises. I believe in a universal God.

Here's a photo of me on the steps leading to Myeongdong Cathedral, the oldest Catholic church in Seoul. I admired its architecture, had a look round the grounds, said a prayer and blessed myself with some holy water.

And as always, I leave a house of worship renewed in faith and hope.

Photo shot in Seoul, Korea.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Those who know my travel habits would be aware that whenever possible, I will pay a visit to a temple in the city which I am visiting to say a little prayer. It was no different when in Seoul and I made it a point to include Jogyesa Buddhist Temple as one of the 'must see's in my itinerary.

I often give thanks for the opportunity to travel. I pray for success in business and fulfillment in life. Good health for my family and friends. When at a place of worship in a foreign land, I pay close attention to what the worshippers do and try to follow suit. And more often than not, the locals will offer advice through gestures, particularly if they do not speak much English. This I very much appreciate.

Here is a photo of the many wishing lanterns at Jogyesa.

Photo shot at Jogyesa Buddhist Temple in Insadong, Seoul, Korea.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


If you could only see the queues at Gyoja, a decades old restaurant in Myeong-dong, Seoul. From the tiny dining room to the corridor right out the front door to the lane and snaking round the bend, one has to see it to believe it.

We arrived just before noon for lunch and the place was already packed. Fortunately, the line was just starting and we were shown our seats after a ten minute wait. Mum and I cramped into our seats, a table for four, shared with two Korean gentlemen in suits. We promptly chose to have the dumplings and knife-cut noodles, two dishes from their menu of four. Yes you did not read wrong! This well-known restaurant has had only four selections to choose from since 1966. What they do, they do well, that's for sure. Those must have been the best dumplings I have eaten in my life. Meaty, moist and full of flavour.

A day later while walking along the same lane, I overhead two tourists from Hong Kong lamenting the fact that they could not locate the famed restaurant which served wonderful dumplings and noodles. I jumped, uninvited, into their conversation and took it upon myself to show them the place. I was rewarded with multiple and incessant 'thank you's. I guess it is always nice to share a good thing.

Our meal at Gyoja in Myeongdong, Seoul, Korea.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Seoul had never been on my list of places to visit. However, I chose it as the go to place as a surprise for my Mum, a birthday present so to speak. A fanatic fan of Korean dramas, I thought it apt that a trip to Seoul would be something that she'd very much look forward to.

As it turned out, Mum had a wonderful time as I had expected, more surprising was the fact that Seoul has really grown on me. A pleasant surprise. I'd make a return trip any time. The juxtaposition of old and new, tradition and modernity, sedate and energetic, East and West, all make for an intriguing experience. The friendliness of the Korean people in particular made an impression. There is a relatively large Korean community in the vicinity of where I work here in Kuala Lumpur, but they've never seemed approachable. So to have them offer directions and advice whilst visiting their capital city came across as welcome and pleasant encounters.

Lots to see, good food and great shopping are a given, cosy restaurants and little tea rooms are a highlight too. It's not cheap, neither is it beyond my means. I don't stinge when on holiday. Whatever I've budgeted, I spend, be it on food, transportation and quintessential Korean experiences, so much so that I even found time to savour tea at four tea rooms, some traditional, some more contemporary, each with its own unique character, in the short few days I was there. So thanks for the positive vibes Seoul. I'll definitely re-visit at some point.

Having tea in Insadong, Seoul, Korea.