All posts filed under: Travel

Overnight train from Kunming to Lijiang

21 Sept 2019 Yunan, China I am lying supine on a hard bed, with a size just nice for my body to turn right and left a little. It is past 9pm and I am on board a sleeper train that will transport us to Lijiang in the next nine hours. I am in Compartment 21, cramped with a six-berth couchette. I am sleeping on the upper bunk. The ceiling is low that it is impossible to sit up straight. The bed, although hard, feels comfortable. Maybe because I am just too tired. I have a pillow and a comforter. Going up the top bunk is challenging and less comfortable. The little steps on the edge are a bit high that I have to step on someone else’s bed while trying to avoid stepping on my fellow ‘roomies’. Outside the compartment, there is a socket installed in front of each sleeper room. First come, first served indeed. The train provides a hot water dispenser. There are open sink and shared toilets with no toilet paper. …

A day in Kunming city

On 21 September 2019,  I arrived at Kunming Changshui International Airport at about 2am. I traveled with a friend and spent our night napping in an airport bistro. Our travel to Kunming is to trek the Tiger Leaping Gorge. In the morning, we boarded a train to the city center. Here are notes from my travel notebook: *** 21 Sept 2019 The Kunming airport has a subway. To get to Kunming Railway Station from the airport, one has to get on a Line 6 train and stop at East Coach Station. Get on a Line 3 train to Dongfeng Station, then board Line 2 train to Kunming Railway Station. There are basically two Kunming railway stations – one is for subway line, the second is for trains serving far away regions. The latter is where you go to take a sleeper train. It’s about a 10-minute walk down the streets, passing tunnel and back alley. So, we arrive in Kunming city, tired and greeted by a light drizzle. I have not had enough sleep. It …

Gorge carved by Liwu river

In March, I flew to Taipei, took a train to beautiful Hualien County on the east coast, and explored the Taroko National Park with my mom and seven-year-old nephew. This place holds a special place in my heart. Of the many trails available, we only got to explore four. Definitely, need to return. How did I get here? Is a story for another day. At the moment, this is just a short picture update.

Islanders yearn for development

[Above picture taken by NSTP/Khairull Azry Bidin] NOTE: Article written during the Sandakan parliamentary by-election coverage ****** A JETTY with a rundown bridge that connects the docking platform and the shore of Kampung Pulau Berhala greets visitors as they arrive at the small forested island near the Sandakan city centre. One can see wooden beams protruding from the eroded cemented walkway. With cracks everywhere, it appears to be a matter of time before the bridge gives way, endangering visitors and locals alike. “Slowly, one at a time,” said one villager as a group of media practitioners treaded carefully on the rickety bridge. Along the walkway are wooden stilt structures used to hold small boats and unfinished houses. According to Kampung Pulau Berhala chief Junior Jikirin, the 100-metre long cemented walkway was built five years ago during the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, with no maintenance work carried out since. This, he said, is the only jetty for the villagers. There is also another jetty, but it connects to the Joint Task Force base on the far …