Sunday, May 20, 2018

Unexpected Hanami

We didn’t really plan our holidays around the spring sakura season so we considered ourselves lucky to have caught an early glimpse of the blossoming cherry flowers while touring around Wakayama Prefecture in late March right before the Easter long weekend. Wakayama on the south-west side of Kii Peninsula may not be as popular a destination for sakura viewing, or hanami in Japanese, as Kyoto or even Osaka nearby, there were quite a few spots where cherry trees were planted, which gradually turned into a sea of pinks and whites beginning at around late March and peaked in early April.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Classic Steakhouse Dinner

Late last month I was at Grand Hyatt Steakhouse checking out the new menu introduced by their new head chef Fernando Gojan. The restaurant is now one of the few hotel steakhouse remaining in town, featuring a classic menu with focus on “artisanal” beef from ranches around the world, plus seafood, all the sides and desserts, as what you would see in any high-end steakhouses.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Midair Grand Finale

Getting a wake-up call at 4:30 in the morning was not something I particularly looked forward to, but the reason why I was up that early is. I concluded my 5 quick days in Myanmar with a bang by getting on a hot-air balloon on my last day in Bagan, just before I took the morning flight back to Yangon and then home the same evening. I have never been in a hot-air balloon before in my life, nor I saw one up close in person, and looking at those iconic pictures of the giant balloon flying over the pagodas in almost every guide book and travel site, I couldn’t think of a better place to do it for the first time than in this picturesque town.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Eating in Bagan

Food was not the main reason I travelled to Bagan for but turned out I did have a couple lovely meals while I was there. Lunch was not included in my private tour package but the tour guide Mr B recommended this place called Starbeam Bistro to me, saying they served the best bread out of Bagan. Well, for a town traditionally more into rice and noodles than bread, that’s hardly something worth bragging about I thought, but I went along with it.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Day in Bagan Part 2: Shopping, More Temples and Sunset

Earlier I requested my tour guide Mr B to show me some shops for lacquerware, so we went to one just before lunch in Myinkaba, or the Bamboo Village, an area near Old Bagan filled with small workshops/ateliers for lacquerware, which Bagan was most famous for other than its sights.