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Saturday 4 September 2010

Cambridge: Punting at the Backs

The Backs at Cambridge refers to the open space with bushes at the back of the colleges. In fact, most of the colleges were by the River Cam that separates the buildings from the nature. That what makes in interesting taking a flat-bottom boat cruising along River Cam, which is called 'punting'.

I did not go on board for a punt myself, I just walked around seeing other people enjoying themselves on board, whilst I was enjoying myself taking photos of them.

Other than punting, looking and admiring the college buildings can be something interesting to do also. Most of the back of the buildings can be seen from her across the river, that is probably the reason that this part of Cambridge is called the Backs.

This is the King's College Chapel from the Backs, but it is the front view of the chapel. It is the front facing the Backs.

The Backs is a nice place for a slow stroll after lunch. I guess it is also a great place for the students do do their studies or just taking a break.

When two parts of the land are separated by a river, bridges are the essential elements for connecting them back again. There is no exception at Cambridge. There are plenty of them spanning across River Cam. When there are combined, it is Cambridge.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

A Couple of Macro Shots

Location: Stutong Park, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Date taken: 17th July 2010
Camera equipment: Nikon D300 + Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D + Nikon Speedlight SB-800 + Nissin Speedlite Di622

Sunday 29 August 2010

First Day in Shanghai

On my trip to Shanghai during the end of year 2009, I was planning to take a ride on the maglev train to get to the city. However, it was raining cats and dogs on my arrival, so I took a taxi to my friend's place instead.

It was already past lunch time and I took only very light breakfast on board of the flight. My friend got off work earlier and he took me to the famous Nanxiang Dumpling Restaurant (南翔馒头店) to have our late lunch.

Since my friend told me that the dumplings here are just over-rated, so we ordered a few small dishes just for me to try out.

The smoked fish was quite nice. It came with very strong fragrant of the firewood.

This is what makes the restaurant chain well-known all over the world, the dumplings. They were good but not fantastic. My friend was very right, because he brought me to another place which serves fantastic dumplings at a fraction of the price here.

Our stomachs were only half full as we planned to have more variety of food somewhere else. We went to Yang's Fry-Dumpling (小杨生煎馆) just a few steps away from Nanxiang. It was already way passed lunch time, so the queue wasn't that long.

This is also a well-known restaurant chain in Shanghai for serving the pan-fried dumplings. All the dumplings are freshly pan-fried to order.

The small restaurant were full with patrons even though it was way passed lunch time.

This is a plate of the dumplings ready to be consumed. The dumplings were scrumptious! The bottom of the dumplings were pan-fried to perfect crispiness.

It was still raining cats and dogs after our late lunch, so we headed back to my friend's place to spend the rest of the afternoon catching up on things happening in Kuching, as my friend was away from Kuching for a while already.

Time passed by quite easily and without us knowing it, our stomachs started to grouch for food again. So, my friend brought me to a nearby restaurant called Lanxiang Sichuan Restaurant (榄香川菜) for dinner.

This is the cold-cut beef tendon which was very chewy, a very nice cold dish.

Another cold dish that we had was the bean curd with century eggs. This was very refreshing.

Then came all the hot dishes. We had the Sichuan spicy beef noodles.

Stir-fried spicy pork belly.

Stir-fried diced-duck meat with oats.

And finally the Chinese cabbage in chicken stock and chestnuts.

All the hot dishes were scrumptious. What made this meal even more wonderful was the 20% given to us due to my friend's charm on the waitresses! The total damage was ¥123.00, which is considered reasonable by Shanghai's cost of living.

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