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First Stop: Leyton

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Don't expect high rise buildings ala Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Bangkok in Leyton even though it has been around for a long, long time. In the morning, it is quiet there at the High Road which is the main route through the town. Said to be a retiring place for wealthy merchants and bankers in the 17th and 18th centuries, Leyton consists mainly of terraced houses built between 1870 and 1910 and modern housing estate. Today, the demographics have changed and one shouldn't be surprised to find Asians  plying the street. In fact, while there at Leyton, we almost always bought fruits and drinks from shops run by Pakistani or Bangladeshi, maybe people from the Middle East; but definitely not whites, this I can safely say. And perhaps you would be surprised that the 2011 census revealed that only 66.0% of people living in Leyton speak English. Others speak Urdu, Polish, Turkish, Somali, Romanian, Punjabi, Bengali, Lithuanian or French. In the morning...












Dinner at Danok

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If you were to ask if there's any interesting place in little Danok, well there is. Asian cultural village is just the perfect place for clean family fun. The sky wasn't quite dark  yet when we reached there but it was time for dinner. As we hurried along to a prearranged Chinese dinner, I noticed many colourful lanterns hanging gaily, waving as if from heaven. There is a lake there and I figured people go there for boat rides. Some of our friends were not happy about dinner, saying that it was too expensive for something so simple. We had tofu, chicken, things like that; cooked in the usual, simple style. I suppose that's what you get in a little, faraway and isolated place like Danok where there is no competition for people in business. You either eat and pay or keep your money and stay hungry. In the end, it's your choice.


Two Lessons

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Taking a cab to Ayutthaya via the highway, these are the two things my friends and I learned: First, you'll have to clarify with the taxi driver if the fare includes the toll. If not, you, the passengers, are expected to pay the bill. Second, you'll have to have your own GPS especially if you are heading to a little known budget hotel. In our case, one of our friends who planned the trip happened to be GPS savvy and she was the one who instructed the driver to our quaint little hotel where everything that could be recycled is used for its construction ...Cosy little place, don't you think?









Taiwan Treat: In Brief

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Taiwan Treat wasn't really a treat. For one thing, it started abruptly with Making a go at Taipei and  stopped as abruptly with Officers and Gentlemen when there were really more to share, like the bus trip to Yangmingshan National Park, the romp in Shilin Night Market, the trip out of Taipei to Yehliu Geopark and the quaint mountain town, Jiufen; among other things. Taiwan Treat will stop here, I suppose, but a reboot Travel Pangs would probably make a comeback - Travel Pangs: Random Takes! It's still about traveling  to various places of course; more personal, if I can help it but otherwise, writing according to the mood, randomly. Cheerio!

Plane to Busan

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It was night time but not quite midnight. Probably I'd get jitters if I take a train to Busan. But then there I was at KLIA2 waiting to catch a plane for my maiden trip to Korea, to where else but to the Korean city synonymous with zombies; if you remember, in 2016, there was this South Korean zombie apocalypse action thrillerTrain to Busanstarring Gong Yoo which was a big hit with audiences. Waiting there at the airport with friends and busy trying to meet up with the local tour leader and another group of strangers who would travel with you in a guided tour however, kept minds from the negative; more so when there were beautiful batik and other artwork at the airport for people to browse...



A Hindu God

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A huge statue of a God with an elephant head in Thailand? Didn't expect that in a predominantly Buddhist country but there it was - Ganesha - son of Shiva and Parvati, and Hindu god of wisdom and good fortune;  sitting cross-legged just opposite the hotel where we had stopped to take a breather. Our chartered bus from Haadyai had arrived in Danok towards evening and there was already a crowd of holiday makers there, some taking the opportunity to pay homage to the Hindu God himself while others took delight in taking photos especially with some Thai dancers in traditional dancing costumes. My friends and I did enjoy taking photographs there too, even when posing with the white mouse, red mouse, green mouse and blue mouse; statues of mice as tall as an adult man... Which mouse do you think is missing?






Lombok's White Beach

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In Lombok, you'd probably visit one or two beaches. My friends wanted to visit the pink beach, pink because of the pink sand. Our guide said it isn't as pink as in the brochure and brought us to Tanjung Aan beach instead, a beach which I'd like to call the white beach even though the sand is not as white as can be. It's a quiet spot, devoid of people except for the two men peddling T-shirts and a few hanging near their cars, probably waiting for tourists whom they had brought and who could be out on a boat ride. The place wasn't really developed and the men selling T-shirts simply spread their goods on the ground. They did not operate from a stall or any man built structure. Except for a few boats in the distance, I can't remember seeing any man made structure; maybe just a swing which gave us great pleasure when each of us took turns in posing for pictures.