A Hong Kong delight

Hong Kong didn’t feel like a total stranger even though it has been almost 30 years since I last went there, when I was nine or 10. However, I have very little memory of the city so this trip was a new discovery. It was a very short trip and I certainly hope I can return to see more of it. I will let my pictures tell you how I see Hong Kong. Check out the photos on my website: Hong Kong Through Sam’s Eye

 

 

The countdown has begun

When I was posted to Beijing, China, three years ago, I had worried that I might give up and run away before the initial two-year contract ended. I was not confident that I would do well professionally, so leaving has always been my perfect fallback plan. “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just take the next flight back to Malaysia,” I told myself. To be honest, it was more than just a comforting thought. I was so convinced that I would eventually take that route and never look back.

And then six months slipped past. I was still hanging in there. I hit the one year mark and looked forward to the second year. Then I extended my contract for another year. And now, the time has finally come for me to leave.

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Surprising Saigon

I like my coffees to be a little bitter. It is like the beans are trying to tell me something about their past. The beverage is thus one that has depths, layers and takes time to savour. The aftertaste is such a pleasure that I’ll refuse to talk for a while, lest it leaves too soon.

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), of course a city famous for coffees, is one that lures with a tinge of bitterness, too.

This city, which was never on my list of must-visit destinations, has way surpassed my expectations.

My two girl friends and I were ambitious holidaymakers when we visited HCMC late March. We set out to wake up late enough for lunch, then look for coffees, a nap after that perhaps, finally dinner and drink. The same to repeat daily. That would be the best itinerary, and no, it was not as easy as you think.

I mean, you need a place with little customary sightseeing required, yet still able to offer exciting experiences as you stick to a no-brainer routine. It turned out, HCMC was ideal, so much better than many so-called vibrant cities.

Many have been singing praises about its cafe scene. It is kaleidoscopic indeed, but there’s more to it that had me besotted.

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Getting recognised

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We live in a world where cameras, Photoshop, and even mobile phones gain better attention than the photos. The photo itself seems to be the last thing people notice.

So I was tingling with excitement where I received an email informing me that my photo had been chosen as the daily winner for a campaign by Hong Kong tourism board #INEVERKNEW. Although I didn’t win the first prize, which I was secretly hoping for, the fact that this photo got chosen meant someone noticed my work. I was excited not for any other reasons, but simply because someone noticed, and liked, my photo.