Friday, July 29, 2005


It was raining when we arrived at the train station in Lucerne from Basel in a Summer morning. Lucerne is a picturesque town in Switzerland with the settings of Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne and its medieval old town.

As stated in my copy of Thomas Cook European Timetable that we had just over three hours before our next train to Interlaken was due. So, we had time to do some sightseeing around the town. Before we started, we needed to first buy our first Swiss souvenir of the trip, an umbralla for that(it was raining, remember?).

After a quick and simple breakfast at the train station, we headed straight to the Lion Monument that commeorates the heroic deaths of hundreds of the Swiss mercenaries at the Tuileries in Paris in 1792. The monument was carved out of a rock in 1821. Not much to our surprise when we got there, a busload of tourists were taking pictures.

Afterthat, we strolled around the old town for some churches, bridges, narrow streets, towers, squares and so on(it was still raining, really not much to do). My wife enjoyed the walk in the rain with me though.

Later, we went to take a look at the trademark of Lucerne, the Chapel Bridge and the Water Tower. The bridge was first built in the 14th century but was burnt down a few times and rebuilt. I think the latest version of the bridge was from the 1990's.

It's time to get back to the train station. We were on our way to Interlaken. This was actually my second visit to Lucerne, I was there a few Summers ago when I was en route to Mt. Pilatus.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Nikko is a town located 128km north of Tokyo, Japan. My wife and I together with two friends who live in Tokyo joined a day tour to Nikko from Tokyo. The price of the tour was 10,000 Yen per person.

Our tour bus started really early and we arrived in Nikko at about 9:00am. We visited what Nikko is well known for - the extravagantly decorated shrines and temples namely the Toshogu shrine complex(built in the 17th century),

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I was born and brought up in this town. Taiping is a town located in the northern state of Perak, Malaysia, it's about a three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur or an hour drive from Penang.

Taiping started as a tin mining town in the middle of the 19th century. It quickly flourished through the first half of the 20th century as the British colonial administration centre for the state of Perak and tin mining hub. The name "Tai Ping" means eternal peace in Chinese.

Today this peaceful and beautiful town enjoys a relaxed and casual atmosphere with much of its previous political roles gone. Taiping has lots of sights to offer tourists such as the Lake Gardens(photo on the right), a hill resort(Bukit Larut/Maxwell Hill), old churches, mosques, temples and colonial administrative buildings. This town is also a perfect place to sample local food as well as seafood fresh from the neighbouring fishing villages. Off the beaten track, Taiping receives few tourists.