Lunar New Year Cruise

Hoi An waterfront

Last lunar new year, I spent ten days on Crystal Symphony with my relatives on a cruise that started in Hong Kong and ended in Singapore. Cruises are not for everyone but I think it is one of the nicest ways to go on holiday when you've got less mobile octogenarians in the group. Along the way, we stopped in Hainan Island (China), Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Since I live in Singapore, it was a convenient journey for me but familiarity with these stops meant that the cruise was not that...

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Barcelona’s Disfrutar gets its Star

Disfrutar food

Just an update – one of my favorite new restaurants I tried in 2015 – Disfrutar in Barcelona has been awarded its first Michelin star late last year. Read my original post on the restaurant here. The set menus remain reasonably priced at EUR75, EUR105 and EUR135 for the quantum, quality and staging of the food. You can reserve a table online at its website.

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Murakami’s The 500 Arhats Exhibit at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum

If you’re in Tokyo, I think it’s worth it to spend an hour or more visiting Takashi Murakami’s The 500 Arhats exhibit at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills. Murakami is probably best known for his commercial work – such as the colourful Louis Vuitton monograms that adorned its bags. His recent work – The 500 Arhats – is tremendous and reveals that he is much more than just a pop artist. The exhibition has been running since Oct. 31 and will end on Mar. 6.


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Takehara – Farmhouse Goodness

Japanese farmhouse restaurant

Tired of hearing the negative stories about the town's diminishing fortunes, Nishino Farmhouse Restaurant opened in Takehara to showcase the homestyle cooking and fresh produce in the area. Like so many of Japan's rural towns, Takehara sits just on the fringe of a large metropolis (Hiroshima in this case) but slumbers, its contributions forgotten, and emblematic of the country's aging challenges. The area was previously renowned for its fantastic potatoes, which the restaurant's...

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