There’s something magical about Valais, Switzerland

Valais, Switzerland Valais, Switzerland Valais, Switzerland

It’s surprising how much you can learn in a week. I’ve been staying in Switzerland, in the municipality of Conthey, with an incredibly lovely couple in their incredibly beautiful house up in the mountains. I’ve been lucky enough to be sent on this kinda-sorta immersion trip that combines business with pleasure, so I’m really grateful for this opportunity. I’ve seen so much, discovered so much, experienced so much, all in just a small amount of time. So far, I’ve seen the magnificent landmark castles of Sion, driven through the impressive rock tunnels along the road to Derborence, admired the black Hérens cattle Valais is famous for, encountered wildflowers bursting with colour and life, marvelled at the emerald green vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see, tasted local cheeses and sampled plenty of Swiss chocolate, even travelled through the Val d’Hérens and Val d’Anniviers alpine valleys to explore the little villages… it’s really been a dream.

Valais, Switzerland Valais, Switzerland

As you can probably imagine, I’ve taken hundreds and hundreds of photographs. It’s been a painstaking process to choose the best ones to feature, but here’s a tiny collection to showcase the beauty of what I’ve seen so far! These are mostly photos from my first day in and around Conthey (some taken elsewhere, but nearby). Once my journey in Switzerland is complete (17 days away from home, and I’m still not done yet!), I’ll have a bit more time to upload the rest of my collection and write about other regions. For now, enjoy!

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Road Trip Through Australia’s Gorgeous South West – Spring 2017

Sugarloaf Rock, Western Australia Western Australia Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia

It’s been a long time since you’ve last seen me here, and daaaang, so much has happened since! This year has been a roller coaster ride so far. Now that I’ve got a smidgen of time, I wanted to update the blog with a quick travel post about a recent road trip I embarked on this week. Just covering half of the adventure for now — snapshots from Busselton down to Augusta. I’ll try to cover Augusta to Albany at a later date! And just a quick note about our driving soundtrack: it included the likes of Mitch King, The Black Keys, and City & Colour, among others.

We started the drive on Monday, from Perth down to Busselton. Yeah, we made the famous jetty — longest in the Southern Hemisphere at an impressive 1.8 kilometres — our very first stop. On the way there, we passed beautiful wildflowers of all colours, cows and woolly sheep grazing by slow-moving rivers, mobs of kangaroos hanging around (and when I say “mob”, I mean about 300 kangaroos in a group, being lazy and not doing much), tranquil wetlands shrouded in mist, wild lilies growing in clumps under low-hanging trees, and even a number of one-hump camels by the side of the road. The flora of Western Australia is quite different to South Queensland (where I grew up). It was certainly an eye-opener of a drive!

Continue reading “Road Trip Through Australia’s Gorgeous South West – Spring 2017”

Stunning Views from the Skypoint Observation Deck @ Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Q1 Observation Deck, Surfers Paradise Q1 Observation Deck, Surfers Paradise

Here are some great shots from the Skypoint Observation Deck on top of the Q1, taken when my good friends Jeanette and Chen came over for a visit back in November ’15. I loved having visitors to look after! James and I had a blast taking them to our favourite spots, though this was my very first (and probably last) time to the top of the Q1. The view was spectacular that day, made all the better thanks to the passing rain clouds in the distance giving the whole landscape a very surreal, magical appearance. Continue reading “Stunning Views from the Skypoint Observation Deck @ Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast”

Mount Faber & the Henderson Waves Bridge – Southern Ridges, Singapore

Mount Faber, Singapore 2016 Mount Faber, Singapore 2016 Mount Faber, Singapore 2016

It seems we have subconsciously decided that our mission in life is to visit all the greenest parks and nature reserves in Singapore, if our past trips to Fort Canning Hill, MacRitchie Reservoir Park, the Botanic Gardens and the ridiculously-hard-to-get-to Sungei Buloh Wetlands have been any indication. Whoever said Singapore is just one huge concrete jungle has got it absolutely wrong. And our spontaneous evening visit to Mount Faber last week only reinforced the fact that if you’re willing to stray just a liiittle off the beaten path, you’ll come to realise that there is actually WAY too much green in this country. Continue reading “Mount Faber & the Henderson Waves Bridge – Southern Ridges, Singapore”

Pagodas & Statues: The Chinese & Japanese Gardens, Singapore

Singapore Chinese Gardens Pagoda

Following a brief shopping stint at J-Cube and a satisfying kushiyaki lunch at JEM, James and I made our way to the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, located just one train station away from Jurong East. Lulled into a torpid daze thanks to the humid weather, we didn’t manage to stay long (plus the sun was starting to set, so those pesky mosquitoes were out in full force). While we never actually made it to the Japanese Garden, we had some fun climbing the majestic seven-storey pagoda (its odd number of floors are said to symbolise continuity) and viewing the gorgeous greenery that constituted the 13.5 hectare grounds. We also had a quick tour of the Garden of Abundance, which houses an impressive collection of stone sculptures of all 12 animals from the Chinese Zodiac, plus a number of  century-old pomegranate trees transplanted from Shandong, China.

Singapore Chinese Gardens

The Chinese Garden itself was built in 1975. Designed by Taiwanese architect Yuen-Chen Yu, it was largely inspired by classical northern-Chinese “imperial style” architecture and landscaping. Today, it boasts a number of additional attractions including a Suzhou-esque Bonsai Garden (featuring over 2000 bonsai trees imported from various parts of the world) and the Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum (which is home to more than 200 turtles and tortoises of over 60 different species, including a rare 2-headed specimen). I highly recommend this place to photography enthusiasts as there are a number of wonderful opportunities here to take stunning nature and landscape shots.

Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens Singapore Chinese Gardens

CHINESE GARDEN
1 Chinese Garden Road
Singapore 619795
Opening Hours: 6am – 11pm (daily)
Admission: Free | excludes special exhibitions