Park Hyatt and Piss Alley


First time we got to Tokyo, Park Hyatt was on the agenda because of New York Bar from Lost in Translation. It wasn’t my choice. I wasn’t too keen on it as the movie didn’t make much of an impact on me. I also thought that it would be an expensive poshy 5 star hotel more suited to safe travellers and people with deep pockets.
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Sydney Bushfires

Australia is quite prone to bushfires. That is the type of annual natural hazard that we have to live with. Spring hasn’t started well for Sydney this year. It was not particularly hot. Some days were warm at close to 30 degree Celsius. Other days were cooler at mid 20’s. not particularly unusual.

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Jiufen, Taiwan


Jiufen, north of Taipei, is an old mining town carved out from the side of a mountain, is now transformed into a tourist town of sorts. It is famous for its old street and tea houses. The name Jiufen means nine pieces/plots, because the area was originally divided into 9 plots for the nine founding families. If you look around there’s another town called Shifen – as in 10 pieces/plots. This area is full of all many tourist attractions. We were a little ambitious and had about 5 items for the day, ranging from a small hike to catching a local rail, to lighting sky lanterns, to seeing a waterfall, walking a suspension bridge, to checking out an old Japanese provincial house. That’s 6 items on the agenda in case we had time leftover. As it turned out, we ended up doing one thing – the Old Street of Jiufen. We were so charmed by it, we spent the whole afternoon there. Next time we are back, we want to put aside 3 days for this part of Taiwan.
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