Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Holiday greetings: Happy New Year 2018

Monday, January 1st, 2018

It’s 2018. Happy New Year!

It's the first day of 2018 today. Here's wishing all a wonderful year ahead!

It’s the first day of 2018 today. Here’s wishing all a wonderful year ahead!

May 2017 be a fantastic year for you and your loved ones!

The photos here were taken at the Xuan Zang Temple (玄奘寺)at Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) in central Taiwan, during my recent family vacation there.

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A worshipper praying at Xuan Zang Temple (玄奘寺)at Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) in central Taiwan.

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Holiday greetings: Happy New Year 2017

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

It’s 2017. Happy New Year!

A photo posted by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

Craft animals on display in a shop along the old streets of Jiufen (九份) in Taiwan. Photo taken with Canon EOS 5DsR with Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens.

May 2017 be a fantastic year for you and your loved ones!

Last day of 2016 – New Year’s Eve for 2017

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

It’s the last day of 2016. Hope you had a good year!

A photo posted by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

Golden Sunset at Tamsui in Taiwan. Photo credit: kkmakesandbakes (my wife). Taken with Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8 lens.

Glad the year’s drawing to a close. Best wishes for the New Year!

Holiday greetings: Happy Lunar New Year 2016

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Happy New Year to all the people from cultures that celebrate this traditional festival! And to all Chinese around the world, Happy Chinese New Year!

A photo posted by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

It’s Chinese New Year today and the beginning of the Monkey year in the Chinese Zodiac. Happy Chinese New Year!

It’s the first day of the Lunar New Year. This year, it’s the year of the Monkey, according to the Chinese zodiac.

We took the photo when our family visited Jigokudani in Nagano back in 2008 to see the unique Snow Monkeys that indulge in the natural hotsprings there amidst the Winter snow.

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Time to say goodbye to the Goat Year

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Today is the eve of the Lunar New Year, and the last day of the year of the Goat.

A photo posted by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

Saying goodbye to the Goat Year. Today is the last day of the year of the Goat Zodiac. Tomorrow is the traditional Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Monkey Year.

Tomorrow is the traditional New Year based on the Lunar calendar and the beginning of the Monkey Year, according to the Chinese Zodiac.

The curious goat in the photo was grazing on farmland on the mountainside overlooking Zell am See in Austria.

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Happy New Year 2015

Friday, January 1st, 2016

A new dawn to a new day. A new year for a new beginning.

I hope this sunrise is symbolic of the hope that the new year brings to those looking for a new beginning in their lives. Taken handheld using a Nikon D750 with AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

I hope this sunrise is symbolic of the hope that the new year brings to those looking for a new beginning in their lives. Taken handheld using a Nikon D750 with AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Here’s wishing everyone a fantastic 2016, a new year that will bring new aspirations and immense fulfillment.

About the photo

Snapped this shot while strolling on the beach in Thailand a few weeks ago in pre-dawn darkness.

It was a rare shot for me in that the horizon was clear of the usual haze and layer of clouds so the rising sun could be seen emerging from the horizon itself.

It was breathtaking how the nascent sun lit up the sky with golden and red hues as it tore itself from the horizon.

POTD: Who designed & built Eiffel Tower in Paris, France?

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Photo of the Day: The Eiffel Tower is named after engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. His company designed and built the landmark in Paris in 1889.

View of the Trocadéro framed by the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

View of the Trocadéro framed by the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

According to Wikipedia, “the design of the Eiffel Tower was originated by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers who worked for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel”.

This was the dude who brought the Eiffel Tower into this world - Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923). The bust was unveiled in 1929 and is now at the base of the Northern leg of the Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

This was the dude who brought the Eiffel Tower into this world – Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923). The bust was unveiled in 1929 and is now at the base of the Northern leg of the Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The tower was to serve as a centrepiece for the Exposition Universelle to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution.

Incidentally, the first time I visited the Eiffel Tower was in 1989, smack in the middle of the bicentennial celebrations of the French Revolution.

Gustave Eiffel bought the rights to the patent for the design which the original designers had taken out and eventually saw the Tower to completion in time.

As with all things new, the design met with opposition and criticism right from design stage till after completion – but history has proven that the design is technically robust and aesthetically appealing.

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POTD: Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Photo of the Day: The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower designed and built by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel in 1889 – as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair in that year.

Eiffel Tower as seen from the Pont d'Iéna. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Sepia tint added using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. Photo credit: John Tan.

Eiffel Tower as seen from the Pont d’Iéna. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Sepia tint added using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. Photo credit: John Tan.

At 324m tall, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris, and was the tallest in the world for 41 years from 1889 to 1930.

It was surpassed in 1930 by the Chrysler Building in New York City.

Roughly 80 stories high, the base is square with 125m on each side.

There are three levels that visitors can visit.

I like the lace-like design in the metalwork of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

I like the lace-like design in the metalwork of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

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POTD: 3rd time lucky at Chambord Chateau in Loire Valley, France

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

After having twice turned back from visiting Chateau Chambord when I’d already reached its gates, I decided to make my third and final attempt at visiting this biggest and most majestic of the numerous fabulous chateaus in the beautiful Loire Valley.

The frontal facade of the Chambord Chateau, with the moat in the foreground. The architecture is what one expects of a typical castle - an inner keep surrounded by corners and a moat. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The frontal facade of the Chambord Chateau, with the moat in the foreground. The architecture is what one expects of a typical castle – an inner keep surrounded by corner towers and a moat. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Why two unsuccessful attempts?

Well, my first attempt at visiting Château de Chambord was during the summer holidays back in school when I cycled 16km from Blois only to suffer an accident right in front of the castle.

One of many beautiful chandeliers in Chambord Chateau. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

One of many beautiful chandeliers in Chambord Chateau. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

I had to satisfy myself with some quick snapshots of the front of the Chateau before bidding goodbye to the chateau.

Decades later, I brought my family with two kids on a self-drive vacation to the chateaus in the Loire Valley.

By the end of the week and more than half a dozen chateaus later, we arrived again at the gates of the Chambord Chateau in the mid afternoon.

By then, the kids were so tired out from our earlier exertions of that day that they were so totally knackered we couldn’t bear to wake them from their sleep in the car.

And to be honest, my wife and I were up to our ears in chateaus by that time.

So my wife and I snapped the obligatory snapshots of each other posing with the (equally majestic) rear facade of the chateau within a stone’s throw of where our car was parked.

Enjoy a horse carriage ride on the extensive grounds of the Chambord Chateau. Horse lovers can also watch twice daily equestrian shows at the chateau. Taken with an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Enjoy a horse carriage ride on the extensive grounds of the Chambord Chateau. Horse lovers can also watch twice daily equestrian shows at the chateau. Taken with an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: KoolKat.

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Travel: Meeting Dato’ Chef Ismail at Restoran Rebung in KL

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Dato’ Chef Ismail is the food ambassador of the Malaysian Tourism Ministry and owner of Restoran Rebung in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

tech4tea.com was invited by Tourism Malaysia to check out the restaurant and meet with the affable owner-chef. Here are some pictures that Wee Wu Neo has sent back to Singapore. Text by John Tan.

Chef Ismail shares how he helped his grandmother in the kitchen since he was five, learning how to cook Malay heritage dishes over the years.

Chef Ismail shares how he helped his grandmother in the kitchen since he was five, learning how to cook Malay heritage dishes over the years.

Restoran Rebung is located at No. 4-2 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar (59000) in KL, near to the bustling nightlife in the capital’s Bangsar district.

Siput Sedut or Belitung cooked in curry. In case you’re wondering, it is a species of Sea Snail.

Siput Sedut or Belitung cooked in curry. In case you’re wondering, it is a species of Sea Snail.

The interior decor is very traditional and reminds one of the typical Malay home.

Get a taste of Negri Sembilan at Restoran Rebung.

Get a taste of Negri Sembilan at Restoran Rebung.

The 55-year-old celebrity Chef Ismail Ahmad grew up in a small village in the Malaysian state of Negri Sembilan and includes in his menu a huge list of local cuisine that diners can order a la carte or through a buffet.

Nasi Lemak - fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf - wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper.

Nasi Lemak – fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf – wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper.

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