Tuesday, December 31, 2013

USB charging adaptors and cables

Have you ever encountered a situation where your phone charges very slowly or even worse, draining battery while plugged into a wall or car charger? Yes, you are not alone. I have encountered it as well and only understood why it happened like that after wasting money on many adaptors and destroying multiple USB cables. Now let me explain why and hope it helps you from going through all the hassle like I did. This has something to do with Apple devices (sorry Apple fanboys) for selfishly not following the USB specs and in the process screwing up the USB aftermarket charger specs.

Firstly, let's explore the USB specs in order to understand how it works. USB cables come in 4 lines. The outer 2 lines are for power supply while the middle 2 (green and white) is for data. When used with a computer, it works as a sync cable enabling data transfer while still able to draw power supply to power or charge the device. In my best knowledge, USB 2.0 ports only supply maximum 500mA while USB 3.0 ports up to 900mA. So in this case, your charging rate is limited by the USB port to either 500mA or 900mA. Modern smartphones drain power at more than 1.0A (1000mA). Therefore it is almost impossible to fully charge a phone while it is powered on and being used. It will only slowly charge to full if you leave the phone in idle state (display off).

Now comes to wall chargers and adaptors. Off the box, normally manufacturer's adaptors charge your phone at an amazing rate. Why? Let's go back to the 4 lines in the USB cable. If the 4 lines in the cable are connected to the 4 pins in the adaptor, your phone will sense that it is in sync mode as if being connected to a USB port. Therefore your phone will command a power draw of maximum 500mA. This has got to do with the USB specs and not to fry the computer USB ports by demanding higher power that it can supply. So does that mean if you connect the USB cable to the wall charger and the other end to your phone, you will only get slow charge rate of 500mA? This is where the manufacturer's adaptor works the magic. Their adaptors have been modified to exclude the 2 data pins so when plugged into your phone, your phone will only sense pure AC charging mode allowing it to draw current up to the maximum limit the adaptor can provide, normally in the range of 1.0A, 1.2A or 2.1A. You are able to charge your phone just fine so why did I mention Apple earlier?

Smartphones are so versatile and mobile now. Your charging woes start once you decide to invest in extra adaptors and car chargers to cater to your mobility needs. It is a hassle to carry only one adaptor so people invest in extra chargers and leave them in convenient places like cars and luggage bags. For years the EU had been pushing for a standardization in USB charging specifications considering the many brands and different types of adaptors available previously. Thanks to them, now we have a standardized mini USB and micro USB charging specs that all manufacturers can adopt. Looking for a charger during emergency is hassle free now since everyone is using the same kind of adaptors. You can easily borrow any USB wall charger from your friends if you need one to charge your phone. Now comes the Apple part. They selfishly ignore the USB standards to come up with their own specs. To charge an Apple device, you need all the 4 pins in the cable and adaptor. They work differently by using the data pins to communicate between the device and the adaptor, then only to decide how much current to draw from the adaptor. By having different standards, Apple is forcing the consumers to buy their overpriced accessories. And they had been using loopholes in order to bypass the EU for having a standardized USB charger.

What has it got to do with non Apple users then? As time passes, the aftermarket accessory manufacturers catch up to come up with their own cables, adaptors and car chargers. Now in order to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, they manufacture adaptors that can work for both Apple and non Apple devices. But by doing this, non Apple users will be short changed. This is because in order to work with Apple devices, the adaptors come in full 4 pins and the 2 data pins are not short-circuited. So when you plug in your phone, it will only sense USB sync mode and draw maximum 500mA even though your adaptor shows higher output. As a consumer, you will be fooled when you buy extra adaptors and car chargers for your needs. Most aftermarket adaptors are labelled to work with both Apple and non Apple devices. But what you don't know is these adaptors are not USB standard which must have the 2 data pins shorted. So thinking you may have bought a slow charger, you move on to buy multiple chargers at higher ratings but only to discover it is still not charging your phone. Your money is wasted and you're fuming, blaming non Apple products are inferior whereas the fault lies with Apple in the first place.

So what can you do? The safest way is to buy the original manufacturer's adaptors. But those come with a slightly higher price tag. And when it comes to car chargers, you won't have many choices unless you buy the aftermarket accessories which most likely are made in China and non-USB compliant with fake compatibility labels. As of this moment, there are only 2 solutions. One is to modify USB cable yourself to short circuit the 2 data lines. The method is available here in this video. The second option is to buy a USB charge only cable. These cables are modified to short out the data lines. But this is a niche market and finding USB charge only cables is hard. Beware of the many made in China cables that label USB charge only but they are not. One way to find out is to plug the cable attached to your phone into the computer. If it detects your phone and allows you to transfer files, then it is not USB charge only cable. I'd recommend you this cable by PortaPow from the UK. By using this cable, you don't have to worry whether the adaptor or car charger is USB standard or not. Just plug this cable in and your phone should charge at the full rated output. There is the 3rd option actually but finding it is like finding a needle in the haystack. You can buy a USB standard car charger but like I said earlier, it may be labelled misleadingly. PortaPow sells car chargers like these that are labelled USB standard but it is up to you to verify with the seller.

Final tips before I end. If you own Samsung phones or as a matter of fact any Android phones, you can easily check whether you are on AC charging or USB (max 500mA) charging when you are connected to the wall or car charger. Simply go to your settings and battery page. It should show you whether it is on AC or USB next to the charging status. If on AC, bravo your phone is charging normally at the maximum output from the adaptor. If USB, it's either your phone is plugged to your computer USB port, or your wall adaptor/car charger is not USB compliant. You've been ripped off, thanks to Apple.

Addendum 1: The downside of using USB charge only cable is you cannot use it for data transfer now. So be sure to label or mark your USB cables correctly to save you the trouble next time from using wrong cables for data transfer between computer and phone.

Addendum 2: Will my device blow if I connect a 2.1A charger (labelled/meant for Ipad) whereas my original manufacturer's adaptor only churns out 1.0A output? The answer is no. Smartphones are smart enough and well protected to accept higher current. In fact the higher amp the better because it will decrease the charging time. If the current exceeds more than the phone can take, it will be smart enough to disconnect while most probably showing a message or icon of incompatible charger.

Addendum 3: Thickness, length and material used in a USB cable also play a role in determining the charge rate. As like any other electricity cables, resistance in the cable decreases current as some escape as heat. Ideally, a 1 meter rounded cable is better than made in China 3 meter noodle thin cable. Less length means less resistance and a thicker cable allows more current to flow through. However there must be a balance between thickness and length. You can forget about those fancy China made colorful noodle thin cables. Not only they are long, the wires inside are just few strands wrung together shoddily. Even if you mod the cable to short out the data lines, a 2.1A input will only output less than 500mA when it reaches your phone.

Addendum 4: Newer phones like the Note 3 shouldn't have any problems charging in any chargers. I presume they have been modded to counter all these thrash aftermarket Iphone only and non USB compliant chargers. But that means they are deviating away from the USB standards. It's a sad day indeed to give in to just one selfish company.

Addendum 5: If you own any portable powerbanks, then you may be in luck finding the cable provided is most likely USB charge only cable. Go ahead and give it a try. Even though short, but hey it's better than nothing. You can use it for your in car charging.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Amsterdam, Holland (4)

It is late autumn transitioning into winter. I wanted to see some nice autumn color but unfortunately the rain followed me to Amsterdam. Undeterred by the rain and cloudy mood, I braved the cold to sight see outside. I was drenched for almost 2 consecutive days but my trusty Canon camera weathered through the rain with no problem. In the end, I was the one that lost the battle to the rain as I caught a cold after that.

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Related link: Mini Travel Log: Amsterdam, Holland (3)
Related link: Mini Travel Log: Amsterdam, Holland (2)
Related link: Tulip Mania: Spring in Holland
Related link: Mini Travel Log: Amsterdam, Holland (1)

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Penang: Pearl of the Orient Reinvented

Under the new administration of Pakatan Rakyat and DAP, they have shown everyone what a clean and corruption free government can do to the country. The Pearl of the Orient of Penang has been reinvented and brought back to its former glory; in terms of economy as well as tourism and heritage preservation. While all the other states are losing money and tourists due to open corruptions and deadly crimes, Penang is the only state making money even with its limited resources. With more money in the coffer, the administration in turn used it to reinvent the tourism sector as well as heritage preservation of the city now that it is recognized under UNESCO's World Heritage Site. Walking on the tourist friendly streets is a pleasure for everyone with informative signboards everywhere to highlight prominent landmarks. Now there is also a new craze in town called the street art hunt initiated by the state government to encourage more tourists in the old streets. I have never felt safer anywhere in Malaysia walking down the heritage trail hunting for street arts, good food and also at the same time learning the history of Penang. Good job CM Lim Guan Eng, DAP and Pakatan Rakyat. You have done us voters and Malaysians proud.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Rome, Italy

Although this is the second time I visit Rome, this city has never failed to impress me. This is the only city in Europe which is different from the rest of the typical Europe cities. The magnificent and grandeur of the Roman architecture makes the difference. So many structures and buildings not only they are grand and beautiful, they also withstood the test of times. Many structures are more than 2000 years old. It leaves an awe in every tourist. While the new city is built on top of the old, some structures have gone underground. There are numerous excavations in the city to dig up the past and every year, there are numerous new discoveries of the old Roman ruins that tell the story of the great Roman empire. If you are planning a Europe trip, skip a few of those boring European cities but never miss out Rome. All roads lead to Rome so make sure you come here too to relive your own Gladiator days and go home with a story to tell.

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Related link: Summer Gladiators: Rome + Vatican + Venice

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is one of the many beautiful lakes surrounded by snow capped alps in South Island of New Zealand. This is a must stop location for the scenic drive from Christchurch to Wellington. The lake is crystal blue in color fresh from the melted glaciers. This place will be UNESCO's first "starlight reserve", the perfect place for stargazing due to unpolluted air. During winter months, visitors will be dazzled by the Southern Lights/Aurora Australis.

My visit this time was definitely too short and at the wrong time when it was too cloudy. I definitely need to return next time on a proper holiday so I can stay a few nights at Lake Tekapo for stargazing activities and also astrophotography to capture the spectacular light shows of the Aurora Australis.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Yosemite: Where The Immortal Giants Live

The giant sequoia trees can be found in Yosemite National Park. They can live up to 3000 over years old and even after death, their wood still stays the same for another few hundreds or perhaps thousands of years. The wood is highly resistant towards fire, termites and decay. The only way a sequoia can die is either through the axe or when it falls over upon it's own massive weight. Words and pictures cannot describe how massive and impressive these trees are. When I stood beside these giants, I was awestruck by their massive height and size. I looked like a rat in a dinosaur era.

After the hike to see the giants, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the Yosemite valley. Once again, I was dwarfed by the granite boulders that rise 4000ft straight up. I was literally holding my neck and looked upwards most of the time to see these majestic boulders like the El Capitan, Sentinel Dome and Half Dome. This visit during the summer was just an introductory trip for myself. Perhaps in the future, I will return again during different seasons especially winter time to enjoy that white serenity feeling or spring time to see the great water falls come to life with it's gushing water.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

I-City: Bright Lights, Dull Future

I-City in Shah Alam opened to much fanfare and promise. When it was just opened, many locals flock to this area and came back with beautiful pictures of this LED-lighted park. But beautiful pictures don't translate to actual atmosphere and tourist satisfaction. In my opinion, it was all down to bad planning and bad management. The beautiful park sucks up tons of electricity to power up the LED-lighted trees and maintenance is not cheap. In order to stay afloat, good attractions should be in place to continuously generate interests among visitors so they will return again. However, this place is half dead with only the trees shining brightly. The only visitors keeping this place filled are students from government sponsored schools which come in bus loads. Many commercial buildings around this park are vacant. Without commercial and shopping activities, there will be no drawing power to bring in visitors. The only attractions at the moment are the small water theme park which operates in the day and the boring amusement park cum snow center which operates at night. Parking fee is exorbitant and if you want to rely on public transport, then you're out of luck as this place is in the middle of nowhere. The boring rides at the amusement park are very costly if you pay a-la-carte. Perhaps the management should learn from the success of Sunway Pyramids. LED trees alone will not grow money nor attract investors and visitors. Currently, residents in Klang and Shah Alam have to travel far to Mid Valley or Sunway for weekend entertainment cum shopping activities. If you put a nice shopping mall beside the park, then there are more reasons for the residents here to come down to I-City rather than one time affair with the LED trees.

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Friday, July 05, 2013

Best Peking Duck Restaurant

If you are in Beijing and want to eat Peking duck, you can try DaDong restaurant in one of the four branches in the city. I've tried the one in NanXinCang (南新仓) cultural and pedestrian street at Dongsishitiao Rd. (东四十条). It was the best Peking duck I've tasted in my life. The chef of this restaurant is well known all over the world based on the awards, stars and pictures on their Hall of Fame wall. Since this place is popular among expats, you should come earlier during dinner time. If you don't mind the queue, you can always hang out and socialize at the very modern open bar at the entrance. Although considered fine dining restaurant, the bill is not too exorbitant. I had a ten course meal with Peking duck for just 200 yuan or SGD$40 per person.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Copenhagen, Denmark (2)

It is summer in Denmark. The sun rises at 4.30am and doesn't set until 10pm. For those loving the sun and outdoor activities, you're gonna love the long day. I enjoyed the sun and lovely weather while walking to see the Little Mermaid one more time. Surprisingly, not many tourists are found at the mermaid. Maybe Denmark is not a very popular tourist destination in Europe. I don't know why. Or perhaps there are better attractions to offer outside the city than the small and timid mermaid. Next time on my return, I shall check out the many countryside castles and cross over to Sweden too since both countries are separated only by a bridge.

On the side note, all the photos taken below are from my Samsung Galaxy S3. I did not bring any camera since it was a short trip. After a couple of updates, the phone is getting even better and the phone camera produces amazing pictures. You can never go wrong with a Galaxy series phone.

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Related link: Mini Travel Log: Copenhagen, Denmark (1)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hazy Days Ahead

Due to irresponsible people over in Indonesia burning their land, their neighbours in South East Asia has got to pay for the price. This had been going on for decades with Indonesia not taking responsibilities. In respect of each other's sovereignty, there is no way other countries can bring Indonesia to task. In my whole life, I must say this is the worst condition compared to all the previous years. The only way that we perhaps can pressure them to be responsible is to boycott their products and services. Without feeling the economic pinch, these corrupt officials will never act and stop all those illegal burning. The world consumers should stop buying palm oil products from Indonesia until they are environmentally friendly.

Back in Singapore, it is "amazing" to see people blame the Government for not doing anything or buying them "free" masks. They had already done what can be done by disseminating information through various media about the severity of the haze hourly. They have also summoned the Indon officials to pressure them only to get a do-not-interfere reply. So what else is there to be done? Health is a responsibility of own individual. So people, save your breath complaining and take care of your health by wearing N95 mask when you are outside. If you are so smart in finding a solution, then volunteer yourself and go have a war with the Indons and claim their land to rid of the haze.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gardens By The Bay

After much procrastination, I finally visited the much acclaimed Singapore Premier Botanical Garden: Gardens By The Bay. I initially had doubts whether this garden is any better than the conventional botanical gardens found around the world. Well, depending on what kind of themes you are looking for, you may like or hate it. This garden is very much an artificial garden with huge man-made structures like the Supertrees and conservatories. It is more extra-terrestrial than you would expect from a botanical garden. The conservatories are worth the visit especially the Tropical Forest conservatory. The gigantic man-made waterfall is magnificent. Outdoor gardens are free for the public but there is nothing much to expect from a hot tropical country except trees and more gigantic trees; the Supertrees. Should you visit this garden, plan your visit to start around 4pm. You'd have ample time to visit both conservatories and then walk around outside. Go to the central Supertrees around 6.30-7.30pm to see the Supertrees come to life with the beautiful sunset city as backdrop. After all this, you can cross the pedestrian bridge over to Marina Bay Sands Shopping Center. You can watch the musical fountain at 8pm right at the wooden deck facing the city.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Sydney, Australia (2)

It is a rare opportunity for me to have a full day in Sydney. My last long stay here was more than 3 years ago. I revisited the Opera House and the Botanical Garden while enjoying the blue sunny day. I also braved the cold in the evening to view sunset over the Opera House and Harbor Bridge. It is an amazing sight of silhouettes and golden rays. If only the Opera House turns on its dome lights earlier, then it would have been a perfect evening for me.

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Related link: Mini Travel Log: Sydney, Australia (1)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Winter Tulip, Is That Possible?

This year, global warming really wrecked havoc to the world's weather ecosystem. While the Far East experienced early and very warm spring, the West were pounded with snow even in the late months of March/April. Weather is still freezing cold as of this posting which is already coming to the month of May. I returned to Holland earlier this month hoping to see beautiful tulip fields all over the landscape. To my disappointment, I only got to see dirt fields stretching far and beyond. The weather was so cold and no flower is ready to spring from the ground in such harsh conditions. The famous Keukenhof Gardens tried their best to please visitors by putting some potted tulips grown from the greenhouse around the huge garden. But I pity those tulips as it was trying so hard to survive in such cold weather. Luckily my trip was not wasted as they managed to grow beautiful tulips inside their huge greenhouse and opened it for visitors. I spent almost all my time indoor rather than outdoor to admire the tulips and also partly to escape the cold temperature outside.

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For those interested to know how it looks like during the full tulip bloom, you can also check out my previous trip here: Tulip Mania, 2011

I have also returned to Zaanse Schans to visit the windmills, but on my own time own target instead of joining bus tours. I finally had the chance to explore all the windmills without rushing. You can easily take Bus 391 from the Amsterdam Central Station and alight directly in front of Zaanse Schans at the last stop. Both return tickets can be purchased on board the bus. If I'm not mistaken, it's 8 euro for 2-way.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Sakura 2013, Tokyo

This year, many people would end up feeling disappointed if they had booked their sakura tour to Japan based on the bloom forecast from previous years. Due to global warming, this year's winter was exceptionally warmer and spring came very early. Sakura in Tokyo bloomed at least 2 weeks earlier than forecast. Now, the flowers would already been falling off. By the time visitors reach there with their tour groups next week, they would be fuming mad because what's left for them to see is just green leaves. Even though not expecting to see the full bloom initially, I was there at the peak bloom period due to this global warming. Ueno park is always the best place to see sakura in Tokyo. It doesn't have nice landscape like the Shinjuku Gyoen or other parks, but the trees here are very old. The older and more mature the trees are, the whiter and denser flowers they bloom. Because this park is free, it could get very crowded especially during the weekends.

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Because I brought my camera this time, I also have the chance to finally shoot the Gundam in high resolution. Gundam lovers, check out who I found beside the gigantic robot.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Windsor, UK

This royal town is home to the Windsor Castle which still being used as working castle and sometimes the residential palace for Queen Elizabeth. Situated just about 40 minutes train ride from London and next to Heathrow Airport, this beautiful royal town is the most popular tourist spot apart from London itself. Should you visit this castle, you should plan to reach here before 11am so you can watch the changing of the guard before exploring the rest of the majestic castle. The castle visit is worth every penny as you'd be awed by the grandeur inside the castle itself. Photography is not allowed inside the royal rooms but you'd bring away wonderful memories nonetheless. In the late afternoon, you can always explore the royal town of Windsor itself. If you bring kids along, there is also shuttle bus services to the nearby Legoland. Else you can spend a romantic day in the town having a-cuppa English tea while admiring the beautiful surroundings.

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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Mini Travel Log: London, UK (5)

It is a rare opportunity to get nice weather in London. Most of my times in London were spent on not so good and sometimes rainy weather. I love to see the sun and clear blue skies. So even after my tiring flight, I fought the fatigue and went out. I walked down Thames river while enjoying the nice cool weather. Further down the river after the London Eye, I discovered the busking street which leads down the river all the way till Tower Bridge. Here you can see all kinds of street performers and buskers showcasing their trade of arts and skills. The most notable one that I found is the fiery tuba player. He plays music while blowing out fire from his tuba while sitting on his antique music player.

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Related link: Mini Travel Log: London, UK (4)
Related link: Mini Travel Log: London, UK (3)
Related link: Mini Travel Log: London, UK (2)
Related link: Mini Travel Log: London, UK (1)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Lake Maggiore, Italy

Lake Maggiore is a very charming place just north of Milan in Italy. The Barromean islands and islets on the lake is so beautiful that you will fall in love with this place at first sight. Beautiful small little towns and villages dot the landscape around the lake, surrounded by the beautiful snow mountains of the Alps. I took a boat ride from the small little town Stresa; which is easily accessible by trains from Milan. Unfortunately because of winter period, few of the Barromean islands were closed to tourists for restoration works on the castle and gardens. I could only admire the beauty from far on the boat. I will definitely return again during summer to enjoy the full attractions of this place.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Barcelona, Spain

During winter in Barcelona, many tours and excursions were shut down. So I spent my time in the city; re-tracing the steps I took 5 years ago during my backpacking trip in Spain. Barcelona was the first Europe city that I stepped my foot on. During that time, I had limited time and rushed through everything; skipping many hidden jewels in the city. This time, I had all the luxury to slowly explore and enjoy the magnificent architectures around this city. With no crowd this time, I finally managed to step my foot into the famous church of Sagrada Familia. This church was constructed a century ago and yet to be finished. Although more than 100 years old, the interior totally looked light years ahead and alien to me. Initially I thought I have stepped into an alien spaceship. The rest of my days in Barcelona were spent visiting other Gaudi masterpieces like the Casa Battlo, walking by the beach, visiting the grand Barcelona Cathedral and also the Poble de Espanyol (Spanish village).

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Related link: The Summer Catalunya Tour
Related link: Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, Seville

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Earliest New Year 2013

This year, I experienced being one of the earliest person to celebrate the arrival of new year 2013 in a major city. With GMT of +13, I clocked in the first day at least 24 hours earlier than the last island and people to welcome the new year somewhere in the Pacific islands. New year celebration in Auckland is not as grand as the ones in Sydney and other big cities. In fact almost every year, they only have very low key fireworks display from the Auckland Tower.


Timelapse: Welcoming the first light of 2013, Auckland

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Hong Kong, China (4)

It is always great to have relatives in the country you visit because they can bring you to beautiful places less well known to tourists. This time in Hong Kong, my cousin brought me to Hong Kong outskirt places like Sai Kung, Shek-O and Stanley Bay. Sai Kung is actually a very interesting place where you can find "水上人" (water people) that live on their boats and trade their daily catch of seafood. There are many seafood restaurants here with huge varieties of seafood to choose from. Or you can simply buy live seafood from the "水上人" and bring it home to cook. Shek-O like its name is a rocky bay area at a secluded place south of Hong Kong island. Here you can find interesting rock features with many bungalows built on the cliffs overlooking the vast ocean. I'm sure this is one of the hot place for wedding photography for the locals because I think it provides a fantastic backdrop. While I was here, there was a couple taking their wedding shots here. Stanley Bay is just another small residential area but with many pubs lining the coast line. People flock here during the weekends to look for drinking hole and also food.

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Related link: Mini Travel Log: Hong Kong, China (3)
Related link: Mini Travel Log: Hong Kong, China (2)
Related link: Mini Travel Log: Hong Kong, China (1)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Mini Travel Log: Macau, China

I am one of those typical naive tourist whom are easily charmed by the beauty of Macau on advertisements shown on TV and billboards. Since young I have always been fascinated by that wall of St. Paul Church ruins. Now that I have seen it in person, it is really just a piece of wall of a typical church. Macau is such a small place, some call it country. The only glitters are the night lights of Macau casinos. Amid these glittering sin towers all over the city, the rest are just run down and cramped apartment houses. This place is heaven for gamblers, a hell hole if you lose all your fortunes in the casinos. Tourist attraction places are limited to a few spots. Unless you plan to blow away your fortunes in the casinos, you can just spend half a day here and you would have seen all of Macau. Many tourists are doing the same half day tour that I have suggested from Hong Kong and Zhuhai.

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Monday, January 07, 2013

Mini Travel Log: San Francisco, USA (6)

I spent my Christmas in San Francisco again. But this time with my lovely wife. We rented a car for Christmas shopping and also to explore hidden places in the city. After watching Ken Block's Gymkhana 5 on YouTube, I have always wanted to go up to that hill for the spectacular night view. This year, my Christmas wish came true.

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Breathtaking day/night view of San Francisco

Ken Block's Gymkhana 5 video

Related link: San Francisco Time Lapse
Related link: Mini Travel Log: San Francisco, USA (5)
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Related link: Mini Travel Log: San Francisco, USA (2)
Related link: Mini Travel Log: San Francisco, USA (1)