Songbirds: the analog jukebox

5 reasons why we prefer songbirds to digital music sources:

Long before Spotify era, the Chinese have been rearing their own entertainment – ‘live’ jukeboxes with dynamic personalities – songbirds.

1. These featherweights are lighter than a radio and they don’t need to be plugged in to a power source.

2. They have a personality – they go on strikes if they are not ‘in the mood’ to sing. No mood = no music.

Read More Songbirds: the analog jukebox

Mad about Sakura

Spring is finally here. We are right in the middle of the cherry blossom season in Japan. Every March or April, thousands flock to sakura hotspots to catch a glimpse of possibly the most sensational blooms in a year.

Read More Mad about Sakura

Why you should let the Chinese lion spit at you

Besides mimicking the lion’s moves, the lion dance performance typically reaches its peak with the lion stalking a head of lettuce, eating it and spitting it out at the audience.

This action is also known as “plucking the greens” or “Cai Qing”, synonymous with “plucking the wealth and fortune”. So if the lion spits at you with the vegetables, smile and welcome your wealth with open arms. 

Read More Why you should let the Chinese lion spit at you

Old practices for fresh starts

Crossing into the new year, everyone looks forward to a fresh start and good fortune. Traditions and old practices give us hope. Even if you’re not a believer, it’s often fun to participate in some of these rituals. We can’t guarantee that it always works, but hey, you tell us after you try…

Read More Old practices for fresh starts

A city’s history on its walls

There was a time when drawing on walls was considered a city nuisance, and graffiti was another word for vandalism. Today, when managed well, some of these larger-than-life doodles on walls have evolved into a form of city storytelling – directing attention to the architecture around them, adding color and context – almost weaving a fabric of their own.

Travelers have gone far and wide to track down such wall murals, leading enterprising and knowledgable guides to provide experiences that take you on a deeper dive into the city’s culture and heritage as you hunt for murals.

Read More A city’s history on its walls

The art of getting lost

Part of the beauty of travel is sometimes the little things we can’t predict or plan for. The little surprises that instantly give you stories you live to tell. Pasta la vista Took a wrong turn into an unfamiliar lane, but decided we should keep going in a general direction. Chanced upon a shop that […]

Read More The art of getting lost

The magic of travel

As we recalled past travels while planning for the coming travel season, it became clear to us that it’s not the list of things to see and do, but the stories we’d put together around them, that really matter.  Stories are what you remember. Indeed, without knowing it then, this must have been why we […]

Read More The magic of travel