Highlights of 2018

Best places, sights, experiences, moments… Here are some of my personal favorites of 2018.

Exploring neighborhoods in Tokyo, Japan

I took some time to walk around a few of the neighborhoods in Tokyo, but there are so many more to go explore. [ Waiting at a crosswalk, Tokyo, Japan ]

Bikan Historical District in Kurashiki, Japan

If I ever had an idealized vision of Edo-period Japan, the Bikan Historical District of Kurashiki is picture perfect. [ Bikan storefront, Kurashiki, Japan ]

Tunnel of Buddha statues in Matsuyama, Japan

For something a little different, there’s a dark, dank tunnel behind Ishite-ji in Matsuyama, lined with a row of Buddha statues. For the creepiest effect, I explored it alone and without anyone else nearby. [ Tunnel of Buddha statues, Matsuyama, Japan ]

Cherry blossoms and yosakoi naruko dance in Kōchi, Japan

I was lucky enough to be in Kōchi at the height of cherry blossom season and to discover the rhythm and energy, beauty and joy of yosakoi naruko dance. [ Yosakoi naruko dancers, Kōchi, Japan ]

Ladies in kimonos, Japan

Ladies walking around in traditional dress against the backdrop of a modern cityscape, the contrast only enhances the beauty. [ Lady in pink kimono, Tokushima, Japan ]

The other China’s other capital: Taipei, Taiwan

Maybe I was expecting something more different, but it’s just like China, except maybe hotter and more humid. [ Painting the pagoda, Taipei, Taiwan ]

Night markets, Taiwan

Night markets are common all over Southeast Asia, but for me this year, it was in Taiwan that I started being a regular and frequent customer. [ Girl in brown apron, Hsinchu, Taiwan ]

Street life in Bangkok, Thailand

It’s like there’s so many people and so much going on that it constantly overflows onto the sidewalks and into the streets of Bangkok. [ A guy and his Buddha statue, Bangkok, Thailand ]

Malay culture in Alor Setar, Malaysia

On the west coast of Malaysia, Chinese culture is a major influence. But in Alor Setar, Malay culture maintains its strong presence. [ Man painting fence, Alor Setar, Malaysia ]

Chinese food in George Town, Malaysia

Yes, there are other types of food in George Town. But the thing to do in Chinatown is to walk around, look for the queue, get in line, order what everyone else is having, and enjoy! [ Eating chendul, George Town, Malaysia ]

Balinese in Bali, Indonesia

So many tourists in Bali! It’s almost like I had to go and search for the “real” Bali, almost overwhelmed by the tourist industry. [ Fan lady and baby, Kuta, Indonesia ]

Balinese children, Sidemen, Indonesia

For many, the main attraction around Sidemen is the rice field terraces. For me, it turned out to be the friendliness of the Balinese kids as I walked the roads out to the rice fields. [ Boys in the back of a truck, Sidemen, Indonesia ]

So many things in Singapore

It’s like a neat and tidy, compact and modern version of Southeast Asia. So much to see: Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street, and all the other iconic sights of Singapore. [ Merlion, Singapore ]

Tonle Sap riverfront in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

As soon as the sun sets and going well into the night, the riverfront along the Tonle Sap comes alive with activity and is the place to hang out in Phnom Penh. [ On the riverfront, Phnom Penh, Cambodia ]

Kids selling things in Cambodia

Is it because they want to make some extra money? Or is it a part of the family finances? I don’t know, but I saw a lot of kids selling a variety of things in Cambodia. [ Girl with balloons, Phnom Penh, Cambodia ]

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