Categories
City Guide

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village

As the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics is finally around the corner after postponed for a year, the organisers revealed the newly built Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Village in Harumi waterfront district of Tokyo. The athlete’s village is surrounded by seas with the views of Tokyo Bay and it will start hosting both Olympians and Paralympians 10 days before the opening ceremony.

The village is divided into different areas: the Residential Zone is where athletes will reside during the Games and includes the main dining hall; the Operational Zone is where the main functions required for the operations of the village is; and the Village Plaza is a facility that supports the daily needs of the athletes including a cafe, store, media centre and more.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics & Paralympics Athletes Village tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 athletes village
The Athletes Village
Photo / Tokyo 2020
Residential Buildings

There are 21 buildings in the residential zone, each with 14 to 18 floors and consists around 3,800 units, 18,000 beds for the Olympic athletes and 8,000 beds for the Paralympic athletes.

The bedrooms are equipped with windows or doors to enable sufficient ventilation to keep the air fresh. To encourage sustainability, bed frames in their rooms are made of cardboard and are 100 per cent recycle, and there will be blackout curtains as well, allowing athletes to sleep and rest at any time.

Tokyo 2020 Athletes Residential buildings tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 residential building
The residential buildings
Photo / Tokyo 2020
Single bedroom for athletes in the residential building tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 single bedroom
Single bedroom
Photo / Tokyo 2020
Twin bedroom for the athletes in the residential building tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 twin bedroom
Twin bedroom
Photo / Tokyo 2020
Main Dining Hall

With the main dining hall opened 24 hours, they are able to serve about 45,000 meals daily for the athletes. The hall has about 2,100 seats for the Olympians and 1,700 seats for the Paralympians.

Main dining hall of the athletes village during the Olympics tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 main dining hall
Main dining hall
Photo / Tokyo 2020

The organisers prepared 700 food options, offering a wide selection of meals depending on the athletes’ eating habits, cultures, and religions from different backgrounds. Nutritional components will also be displayed for each of the food serving to enable the athletes to plan their dietary intake. If they are not clear of the details of the meals, the athletes can always refer the nutritional help desk which they will be assisted by certified dieticians.

700 food options for the athletes of Olympics and Paralympics tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 Food options
700 food options for the athletes
Photo / Tokyo 2020
Multifunction Complex

The multifunction complex is a space where the athletes can relax after a tiring day as there will be medical care, casual dining, recreation and fitness services.

Multifunction complex for the usage of Olympians and Paralympians tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 multifunction complex
Multifunction complex
Photo / Tokyo 2020

While the athletes may have to adhere to a strict protocol regarding leaving the Games’ area, the organisers assigned a casual dining area where the athletes can try different Japanese cuisines from traditional to contemporary foods.

Medical clinic in the athletes village tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 medical clinic
Medical clinic
Photo / Tokyo 2020

For the first time in Olympic history, a dedicated treatment programme that provides comprehensive medical care for female athletes is available at the clinic complex. The physical therapy department will also provide services in conjunction with the conditioning area in the fitness centre. Other services includes emergency care, internal medicine, dentistry, orthopaedics, ophthalmology and clinical examinations.

Village Plaza

The Village Plaza is where the athletes can relax and take a stroll when they’re not in competition. It is constructed from timber given from local municipalities throughout the country as an expression of diversity and harmony. There will be various services available to support the daily needs of athletes including a hair salon, dry cleaner, courier counter, bank, photo studio and many more.

Village Plaza in the Olympics Athletes Village tokyo Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Athletes Village Tokyo 2020 Village Plaza
Village Plaza
Photo / Tokyo 2020

Once the Olympic and Paralympic Games is over, the buildings will be renovated for use as general residential apartments. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has been working on compiling “the model plan of the post-games-use of the Olympic and Paralympic Village”, and aims to establish a new community where a diverse range of people can interact and live comfortably at the site.

Are you ready to cheer for your national team in the Games?

Categories
City Guide

Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China

Shanghai is one of the most populous urban area in China and perhaps among the world cities too. A global center for finance, research, technology, manufacturing, and transportation; the port of Shanghai is the world’s busiest container port. With the development of the city, the Chinese government has built multiple iconic skyscrapers and buildings in Shanghai.

Here’s the list of some of our favourite architectures in Shanghai, China.

Shanghai Tower
Shanghai Tower shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China Shanghai Tower
Photo / @minzcha

A 128 storey skyscraper at 632 meters, Shanghai Tower is the tallest building across the city. It is not only tall, it also has the world’s second-fastest elevators at a top speed of 20.5 meters per second (74km/h).

The Shanghai Tower incorporates numerous green architecture elements and received certifications from the China Green Building Committee and the U.S. Green Building Council for the building’s sustainable design.

The building is designed to capture rainwater for internal use, and to recycle a portion of its wastewater. The rain and waste water are recycled to flush toilets and irrigate the tower’s green spaces.

The double-layered insulating glass façade was designed to reduce the need for indoor air conditioning, and is composed of an advanced reinforced glass with a high tolerance for temperature variations. In addition, the building’s heating and cooling systems use geothermal energy sources.

Shanghai World Financial Center
Shanghai World Financial Center shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China Shanghai World Financial Center
Photo / @shallwe0317

Located inn Pudong district of Shanghai, the 101-storey tower was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, one of the largest architecture firms in New York City.

Park Hyatt Shanghai is the Shanghai World Financial Tower’s hotel component and it is one of the highest hotel in the world.

The skyscraper is occupied by many international financial companies, including those involved in banking, insurance, securities and fund management, such as Ernst & Young, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Bank of Yokohama, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Korea Development Bank.

Jin Mao Tower
Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China Jin Mao Tower
Photo / @blairsugarman1

Jin Mao Tower, also in Pudong district, means ‘Golden Prosperity’ building in Chinese. The tower contains shopping mall, offices and the anchor tenant, Grand Hyatt Shanghai hotel which starts from the 53rd floor onwards.

The building made news several times due to controversial happenings including the unauthorised climb of the building by French urban climber Alain Robert. He was arrested, jailed for 5 days and expelled from China.

Shimao International Plaza
Shimao International Plaza Shanghai shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China shimao
Photo / Hanne Therkildsen

Shimao International Plaza is a 333.3 m tall skyscraper of 60 floors in Shanghai’s Huangpu District. It was completed in 2006 under the design of Ingenhoven, Overdiek und Partner, East China Architecture and Design Institute.

The tower has two spires on its top, which make its total construction height to 333.3 metres. Most of the building (the upper 48 floors) houses the Le Royal Méridien Shanghai hotel with 770 rooms. The building also includes a 9 floor shopping mall and 3 floors of exclusive clubs.

White Magnolia Plaza
White Magnolia Plaza or Sinar Mas Center Shanghai shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China White Magnolia Plaza
Photo / @rexzou

The White Magnolia Plaza, also known as Sinar Mas Center, is a tower whose construction was earlier suspended, but resumed construction in 2013, and was completed on January 4, 2017. It is located north of the Bund, the river-front district of Shanghai, adjacent to the international cruise terminal. The original proposal called for a 388-meter tower, but it was later scaled down to 260 meters, and then the third and final design was changed to 319.5 meters.

Shanghai Wheelock Square
Shanghai Wheelock Square shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China Shanghai Wheelock Square
Photo / @studiosz_photo

Shanghai Wheelock Square is a skyscraper located in Puxi, Shanghai. The building has 58 floors, and just over 100,000 m2 of prime office space. It is located across the street from the Jing’an Temple Station on Shanghai Metro Lines 2 and 7.

Plaza 66
Plaza 66 Shanghai shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China Plaza 66
Photo / Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

An office building and integrated commercial complex, Plaza 66 is the space for many luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Celine, Escada, Bvlgari, Fendi, Loewe, Prada, Versace and Lanvin.

They were also the spot for a famous Shanghai nightclub, M2 until the year 2010 where they moved to another location.

Tomorrow Square
Tomorrow Square, Shanghai shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China Tomorrow Sqaure
Photo / @sleepingforest1226

Tomorrow Square is a building located near to the People’s Square in Huangpu, Puxi. This multi-purpose building contains a 342-room JW Marriott hotel, and 255 executive apartment units.

Starting from a square base, the all-concrete Tomorrow Square tower transforms itself into a diagonal square as it rises to a peak. Engineers of the exterior vertical support system were faced with a unique challenge as a result of this unusual shape.

K11
K11 Shanghai shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China k11 shanghai
Photo / Artsy

K11 is an office building and shopping mall, located near Huaihai Park ,Xintiandi area , in the former Luwan District of Shanghai. It is 278 meters high and was designed by Bregman and Hamann Architects. It overlooks the People’s Square across the Yan’an Elevated Road.

Formerly called the Hong Kong New World Tower, the building was reopened on May 28, 2013 as K11. Planned by Hong Kong billionaire Adrian Cheng, renovations aimed to create a union between retail and art.

One Lujiazui
One Lujiazui Shanghai shanghai Iconic Skyscrapers and Buildings in Shanghai, China One Lujiazui
Photo / Nikken Sekkei

One Lujiazui, previously known as Development Tower, is a skyscraper in Shanghai.

Completed in 2008, the tower stands at 269 metres tall. The glass highrise’s primary use is as an office building, though it also offers over 6,000 square metres of residential space. One Lujiazui is located near the Lujiazui Central Park, by the Huangpu River.

Categories
Living

What is slow living and what is the concept all about?

If you have heard about slow living before, it has become a lifestyle and gained significant attention to some community. But what is the concept all about?

Essentially, living slowly means allowing yourself the time to enjoy all the little things and do everything as well as possible rather than as fast as possible.

If you’re looking for a way to take a step back from the daily hustle and hectic life, this lifestyle approach might be suitable for you.

As technology and development accelerates, so does the speed of our life. Imagine a business execution might take a couple of days during the last generation, but with the current technology, every action seems so instant. This has cultivated a culture of daily hustle, grind and need to keep up with the speed of others. Everyone wants to be faster than the other person. This ‘hustle culture’ could have contributed to burnouts and stress.

Hence, the concept of slow living lifestyle is introduced – to slow down our life and appreciates the details.

slow living What is slow living and what is the concept all about? living the moment of slow living
Photo / twenty20photos

“It’s quality over quantity. It’s doing things with presence, being in the moment. Ultimately, it’s about doing everything as well as possible instead of as fast as possible,” says Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slowness: How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed.

What is Slow Living?

Slow living is an approach to everyday life that goes from what you eat, how you work to how you plan your vacation. It’s a set of values that says faster isn’t always better, and there is a choice.

It can be difficult to sink into this reflective, purposeful lifestyle but doing so promises to prioritise wellbeing over achievement – all too often we focus on ticking off a list of tasks accomplished rather than enjoying the experience. 

Slow living is about doing things at the right speed. So, understanding that, sure, there are times to go fast and be busy—but there are other times when it pays to put the brakes on and slow down.

Honoré

“I think in our fast-forward culture, where the taboo against slowness runs so deep, we just assume that the only way to slow down is for everything to become incredibly slow motion, which would be absurd,” says Honoré.

What is the important feature of slow living?

Slow living is about creating opportunities to disconnect, slow down, and be more present. “It’s knowing when to go on and use that incredible thrilling speed of technology—and then knowing when enough is enough and to stop scrolling through Instagram or stop surfing the net while watching Netflix or just simply stop being in front of a screen,” says Honoré.

The other feature of slow living is letting go the fear of missing out and instead of trying to do every single thing, focusing on the things that matter. It’s about learning how to politely say no, and spending your time doing what you’re passionate about.

slow living What is slow living and what is the concept all about? the good slow living life
Photo / twenty20photos
Why is slow living worth your time?

So many of us have experienced the consequences of a fast-paced, hustling lifestyles that we risk losing many important things. Have you heard of some of our friends that got ill or suffering from depression due to over-working? Or a person regretting for not spending enough time with their closed ones? Or how someone did not enjoy a quality life when they have the energy to do so?

“We are bumping up against the limits now of how much speed the human mind, body, and spirit can take, and I think we’re paying a price across our lives to this ‘go fast’ or ‘do everything at once’ attitude,” says Honoré.

The slow living movement allows us to actually living our lives instead of racing through it.

Similar to the German idea of gemütlichkeit and the Dutch gezelligheidhygge is all about wellbeing and embracing Danish culture is a simple step towards embracing slow living.

Categories
Arts & Culture City Guide Travel

Amazing free museums and galleries in London

London, being one of the largest cities in the world, is a popular spot for many people especially for those who are interested to visit museums and galleries.

The capital city of England and United Kingdom is definitely not short of such places for visitors. They provide wonderful information about histories and exhibition of arts and paintings. The best thing is that most of them are free and you do not have to pay for the entrance.

Of course, there are certain exclusive sections and exhibitions that you might have to pay a fee to visit.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum of London exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. 

If you have the interests for dinosaur skeletons and other wonders of the natural world, this is the place to visit.

Natural History Museum London london Amazing free museums and galleries in London towers of the natural history museum XNK7GME 1

Website nhm.ac.uk

Location:
Cromwell Road,
London SW7 5BD

National Gallery

The National Gallery, founded in 1824, houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. It is located at Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster.

National Gallery London london Amazing free museums and galleries in London National Gallery London

Website nationalgallery.org.uk

Location:
Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DN

Science Museum

The Science Museum’s mission is to create a society that celebrates science, technology and engineering. The museum has different sections that tells stories about the Industrial Revolution, space exploration, clockmakers, telecommunications, mathematics, flights, and many more intriguing science topics.

Website sciencemuseum.org.uk

Location:
Exhibition Road, South Kensington,
London, SW7 2DD

National Maritime Museum

Part of the Royal Museums Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum comes with a vast collection that spans artworks, maps and charts, and thousands of other objects. 

National Maritime Museum london Amazing free museums and galleries in London Royal Greenwich London

Website rmg.co.uk

Location:
Greenwich,
London SE10 9NF

British Museum

The British Museum is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest which documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

British Museum London london Amazing free museums and galleries in London British Museum

Website britishmuseum.org

Location:
Great Russell Street,
London WC1B 3DG

Tate

Tate is an institution that houses, in a network of four art galleries, the United Kingdom’s national collection of British art, and international modern and contemporary art.

Tate Britain London london Amazing free museums and galleries in London tate britain

Website tate.org.uk

Location:
Millbank
London SW1P 4RG

Imperial War Museum

The museum was founded with the intention to record the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire during the First World War. Since then, it has since expanded to include all conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces have been involved since 1914. As of now, the Imperial War Museum aims “to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and ‘wartime experience’.

Website iwm.org.uk

Location:
Lambeth Road
London SE1 6HZ

Royal Academy of Arts

Founded in 1768, the Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position as an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects. Its purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

london Amazing free museums and galleries in London Royal Academy of Arts 1024x1024

Website royalacademy.org.uk

Location:
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London W1J 0BD

Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection is a museum and library that displays a mixture of medical artefacts and original artworks exploring “ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art”.

Wellcome Collection London london Amazing free museums and galleries in London Wellcome Collection

Website wellcomecollection.org

Location:
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE

Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Museum and Gardens has displays of anthropology, natural history and musical instruments, and is known for its large collection of taxidermied animals. 

Website horniman.ac.uk

Location:
100 London Road
London SE23 3PQ

Categories
Travel

Where to go for the best views of Istanbul

Istanbul, which straddles the Bosphorus straits and lies in both Europe and Asia has mesmerising views across different points in the city.

The city in Turkey has a lot of different histories and cultures, considering being influenced by different empires of the past, namely the Romans, Byzantine and the Ottoman.

Despite the change of different rulers since centuries ago, many of the buildings and architectures are still being preserved, hence, it gives a wonderful view from different parts of the city.

Here’s some of the view that is worth exploring.

Galata Tower

The nine-storey Galata Tower’s vantage point is undisputed, seeing as it was built by the Genoese in 1348 and used as an observation tower to spot fires by the Ottomans. It is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic view of Istanbul’s historic peninsula.  For a breathtaking view of Istanbul’s skyline go at sunset but be prepared to stand in line as there’s often a queue of people waiting to enter.

Maiden’s Tower

Also known as the Leander’s Tower, visit this famous Istanbul landmark by boat from Uskudar on the Asian side. In existence since the medieval Byzantine period, legend has it that an emperor put his daughter in the tower to protect her from a prophecy that had predicted she would be killed by venomous snakes. You might have noticed this famous tower in blockbuster movies and TV shows as it is featured in two James Bond films, The World Is Not Enough and From Russia With Love as well as Hitman and The Amazing Race 7.

Otağtepe Park

Located by the Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridge, along Kavacik, in the Beykoz district on the Asian side, the Fatih Grove Tema Vehbi Koç Nature Culture Center (formerly known as Otağtepe Park) offers spectacular views of Istanbul and so called as fake heaven. You can see the two bridges and the city’s best scenery with a bird’s eye view, and combined with the unique Bosphorus view. 

Ciragan Palace Kempinski

The palatial surroundings of the Ciragan Palace Kempinski counts as a must-see spot in Istanbul, which is a former Ottoman palace. Once known as the Kazancioglu Gardens, this historic 17th-century structure was home to seven sultans and hosted celebrities, nation leaders and VIPs. Walk out from the palace, and you’ll be able to have a good view of the strait and the other side of Istanbul.

Buyuk Camlica Tepesi / Camlica Hill

If you happen to find yourself on the Asian side of Istanbul, pay a visit to the Buyuk Camlica Tepesi that’s situated 268 m above sea level. It has a panoramic view of the southern part of Bosphorus and the mouth of Golden Horn. Easily reached by bus or taxi, there’s a number of cafes dotted about the park where a cup of Turkish coffee and a snack can be enjoyed along with the sunset.

House Cafe Ortakoy

Few cafes will offer as good a setting as the House Café in Ortakoy. Its patio seats look out directly on the Bosphorus Bridge and the sublime Ortakoy Mosque.

Sakip Sabanci Museum

Set in a 1920s mansion – known as Atli Kosk (or Horse Mansion) – that was once the residence of an Egyptian prince, it is now a private fine arts museum dedicated to calligraphic art, paintings, religious and state documents of the Ottoman era. Situated in the wealthy Emirgan neighbourhood, the mansion’s lush garden and terrace has a view looking towards the Anatolian side of Istanbul.

This museum has also gained attention when exhibited the works of Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin.

Buyuk Valide Han

Buyuk Valide Han which means ‘great inn of the Sultan’s mother’, is located close to Grand Bazaar in the Mahmutpasa ramp. It was founded in 1651 by Kösem Valide Sultan, the mother of the Ottoman sultans Murat IV and Ibrahim. The terrace of the Inn has become very popular in the recent year with the photo lovers. 

Mikla Restaurant

Istanbul has a number of restaurants and bars that boast a sky-high perch with the view of the amazing Bosphorus but Mikla Rooftop Bar has a distinct advantage. With a cool outdoor terrace, that’s heated in the winter months, you can enjoy a great view of the historical city.

Pierre Loti Cafe

The on-site café has existed since the 18th century – this is reason alone to visit. It overlooks the Golden Horn from an elevated vantage point and reachable via walking up a hill or riding a cable car just adds to the experience. Go for the view but linger on to explore the numerous historical buildings including a double epigraphy, wooden Kasgari Tekkesi (religious establishment belonging to Sufis) dating back to 1813.

Categories
City Guide Travel

Iconic Architecture in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, colloquially referred to as KL, is the capital city of Malaysia. As the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia, there are many iconic architecture in Kuala Lumpur. From skyscrapers with Islamic motifs to British colonial-era landmarks, you will be amazed by the architectural gems awaiting you.

Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers is the world’s tallest twin structure with 88-storeys, standing at 452 metres tall. They were once the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 until they were surpassed by Taipei 101. Both towers joined at the 41st and 42nd floors by a 58 metre long, double-decker Sky Bridge. The towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs in Islamic art as a reflection of Malaysia’s Muslim religion. As one of the landmarks of Kuala Lumpur, Petronas Twin Towers primarily house the headquarters of Petronas Company, other offices & a shopping mall. Besides, it is also a host to Petronas Art Gallery and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, as well as Petrosains Science Centre.

Kuala Lumpur Tower

Constructed in 1994, Kuala Lumpur Tower stands at 421 metres with its viewing deck at 276 metres. The viewing deck is at least 100 metres higher than the Petronas Twin Towers’ Sky Bridge. Erected atop the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, this building is primarily used as a communication infrastructure. The tower’s architectural-style reflects Malaysia’s vibrant Islamic heritage with Islamic tiles, typical Islamic floral and abstract patterns. Besides, the building has ‘Muqarnas’, a form of ornamented vaulting in Islamic architecture. Moreover, KL Tower also hosts a revolving restaurant, Atmosphere 360. Hence, visitors are able to enjoy the highest viewpoint in Kuala Lumpur.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a late-nineteenth century Moorish-style building. It originally housed the offices of the British colonial administration in its early years. It once housed the superior courts of the country. And now, it is home to the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia. Built in 1897, the building is constructed entirely with brick. It features strong gothic, western and Moorish-style influences with a porch, arches, curved colonnades topped with shiny copper cupolas and a domineering 41.2m high clock tower.

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was Kuala Lumpur’s third railway station. It is a Moorish-style building, adopting a mixture of Eastern & Western styles. It resembles a typical glass and iron Victorian-era English railway building. Standing opposite the Malaya Railway Administration Building, it used to house the offices of the Federated Malay States Railways. But, it’s now the administrative head office of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu.

Putra Mosque

kuala lumpur Iconic Architecture in Kuala Lumpur Putra Mosque 1024x1024
@boscocch

Putra Mosque in Kuala Lumpur is one of the modern mosques in the world. Its Islamic-architecture artistically blends traditional designs, local craftsmanship and the use of indigenous materials. Located next to the Perdana Putra and man-made Putrajaya Laka, Putra Mosque incorporates Malaysia, Persian & Arab-Islamic architectural designs. The mosque is constructed in rose-tinted granite which gives its desert-pink hue that offsets the cengal woodwork on doors, windows and panels.

Perdana Putra Complex

Perdana Putra Complex is a 6-storey natural stone clad office complex comprising the Prime Minister’s Office, the offices of the deputy Prime Minister and Chief Secretary to the Government. Located in Precinct 1, the complex overlooks Putrajaya Lake, Putra Mosque and Dataran Putra. The design of Perdana Putra Complex incorporates elements of Islamic-Mogul architecture. For instance, the green-pitched roof converges at the onion-shaped glazed mosaic dome, wrought iron bunga raya motifs and more.

Istana Budaya

Istana Budaya is also known as The Palace of Culture. It is Malaysia’s National Theatre – the main venue for all types of theatre including musical theatre, operetta, classical concerts and opera from local & international performances. Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, it is nestled next to the National Art Gallery. The building was designed by the local architect with the inspiration of a traditional moon kite in flight. Istana Budaya is one of the most striking structures in KL due to its turquoise-blue tiled roof. Besides, the main building takes the shape of the sirih junjung, a traditional arrangement made of betel leaves used during Malay wedding and welcoming ceremonies.

Thean Hou Temple

Also known as the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven, Thean Hou Temple is one of the oldest & largest temples in Southeast Asia. This six-tiered temple is dedicated to Tian Hou, the Chinese Sea Goddess Mazu. Built by KL’s Hainanese community in 1894, the temple is set on a hill and offers wonderful views of the city. Thean Hou Temple is a representation of a successful combination of modern architectural techniques and authentic traditional design. For instance, the pillars, roofs, ornate carvings and intricate embellishments.

Masjid Jamek

Masjid Jamek is also known as Friday Mosque. It is officially known as Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad. Built in 1907, Masjid Jamek is one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur. Overlooking the Klang River, the design of the mosque has been described as Moorish, Indo-Saracenic or Mughal architecture. This building has the similar style as the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. With its strategic location, Masjid Jamek offers spectacular photogenic scenes due to its architectural styles and flourishing surroundings.

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Categories
City Guide Travel

Cafes You Should Visit in Jakarta

Indonesia is known for its coffee culture and is the 4th largest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. And, drinking coffee has become a tradition and a part of everyday lifestyle. Jakarta is a bustling city and hence, a caffeine fix is in continual demand no matter a cuppa before work, afternoon tea or a warm evening cappuccino. Let’s find out some of the cafes you should visit in Jakarta. 

Tujuhari Coffee

Tujuhari Coffee is a coffee shop and multipurpose space located in the South of Jakarta. As it promotes a productive and collaborative culture, it is designed to be more than just a coffee shop but an open platform for programmes that are related to work, art and culture. Hence, with the office work setting, it is a place that is suitable to have a meeting or get work done alone. Tujuhari Coffee stands out with a striking steely facade. Furthermore, their coffee culture is a symbol of modern, progressive and productive lifestyle for urban consumers.

Kokonut & Curtains by Wakimukudo

As its name suggested, Kokonut & Curtains is a cafe with outdoor seating surrounded by lush trees, green lake and white curtains. It is an indie cafe with strong chilled and relaxing island vibes. With the combination of clean white ornaments and greenery landscape, every corner of the cafe is very instagrammable. Speaking of the menu, they are serving a wide variety of beverages along with Asian and Western food. Although the price range is a bit on a high side, the plus point of the cafe is their vibe and environment.

Kopi Manyar 

Nestled in Bintaro area, the South of Jakarta, Kopi Manyar is a place where coffee meets art exhibition. The overall interior is simple, clean yet cozy. The seating area of the cafe is separated into three sections: homey sofa in front; long communal table in the middle; and casual seating in the minimalist zen-like garden at the back. Although the exterior looks like a home office, the interior looks like it’s come out of the pages of a magazine. As for the menu, Kopi Manyar serves espresso based coffee and some light food as well as some comfort food.

Lucky Cat Coffee & Kitchen

Lucky Cat Coffee & Kitchen is a two-storey establishment with a catchy white brick facade. The cafe is designed with a homey, cozy yet modern vibe. The interior focuses on lush green plants, marble tables, wooden furniture and a glass see-through roof. The place is spacious and it’s suitable to hang out among friends and family. It is also a spot to have your caffeine and all-day breakfast craving fixed.  

JimBARan Outdoor Lounge

Located in Ayana Midplaza, JimBARan Outdoor Lounge is a semi-private lounge space. It has sophisticated digs with a lush garden that feel like entering an oasis. It is a meeting place, where business and social networks intertwine. JimBARan Lounge is one of the best places to relax and enjoy creative cocktails and eclectic global fare.

Onthree

Onthree is a cafe tucked in the Senopati Suites Building at South Jakarta. With bright accent walls, fun geometric furniture and eye-catching arts, Onthree is a trendy loft that combines both stylish and comfort. Besides indoor seatings, this cafe has an outdoor seating area with a cozy wooden patio surrounded by tall buildings. Onthree is a place that fits business meetings and casual hangouts. For the menu, they are serving espresso based beverages and some Western delights. 

Kopi Nako Tebet

Having more than 10 branches in Jakarta itself, Kopi Nako is the official brand while Tebet is Indonesian subdistrict. Kopi Nako Tebet is a cafe that displays a minimalist impression on the architecture of the building. The cafe is a light and bright steel structured combined with concrete wall architecture. With see-through windows, natural light is optimised through the skylight. It is a place where local coffee meets urban concepts.

1/15 Coffee

One Fifteenth Coffee opened in June 2012 and was one of the first coffee shops that serves specialty coffee in Jakarta. 1:15 is a well-known coffee-to-water ratio that yields an ideal cup. This cafe is a community space where good coffee and good conversation meet. It incorporates Australia coffee culture into Indonesia’s and has a lot of branches all over Jakarta but the homey vibe always takes place. Besides aiming to bring the community the best possible coffee experience, 1/15 Coffee also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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City Guide

Insta-worthy Spots in Ipoh City That is Worth Visting

Ipoh is the capital city of Perak, located in Northwestern Malaysia. It was developed into one of Malaysia’s main cities from the early 19th century due to the tin mining boom. Ipoh is known for its rustic beauty and food. And, there are plenty of places to capture gorgeous Instagrammable shots. Check out some of these Insta-worthy spots in Ipoh and plan to visit the places in your next itinerary. 

Victoria Bridge

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@syafiqariffin

Victoria Bridge is a single track railway truss bridge located in Karai, a small town near Kuala Kangsar, Perak. These railway bridges were constructed between December 1897 and March 1900 by the Perak Government Railway. Victoria Bridge is one of the oldest railway bridges in Malaysia. It remained in use until 2002. Although the old bridge is closed to rail traffic, the adjoining footbridge is publicly open to pedestrians and motorcycles. This place is increasingly popular among the locals, especially photographers, because of its aesthetic and nostalgic vibes. 

Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village

Qing Xin Ling means “serene hill” in Mandarin. Located between the famous cave temples of Sam Poh Tong and Kek Lok Tong, it is a cultural village with mountains and lakes. Qing Xin Ling is a 20-minute drive away from Ipoh old town. The place is captivated by stunning landscapes of mountains and jungles. Besides taking photos at the village, visitors can also do jungle trekking, bicycle riding, barbeque, fish feeding, and campfire.

Kong Heng Square

Located just a stone’s throw away from Concubine Lane, Kong Heng Square is a cluster of pre-WWII buildings. It was abandoned and now it  has been restored. Kong Heng Square now combines heritage walks, boutique hotels, restaurants and a weekend artisan market. Started with humble unique craft shops, the square now is where artists and artisans promote their handiwork in Ipoh.

Birch Memorial Clock Tower

Birch Memorial Clock Tower is located in a square inside the Old Ipoh. Constructed to commemorate James W. W. Birch – the first British Resident of the State of Perak, this four-sided clock tower stands in front of Ipoh State Mosque. The four sides represent the four pillars of British administration: patience, justice, loyalty and fortitude. Birch Memorial Clock Tower consists of these four panels illustrative of the growth of civilization. On a side note, it has a mother bell and four smaller bells to strike the chimes.

Tasik Cermin

Tasik Cermin is literally translated as “Mirror Lake”. The lake probably derives its name from the water where it reflects the surrounding which makes it an Insta-worthy place. It is not recognised as a tourist attraction yet this picturesque lake is one of most photogenic places in Ipoh. Tucked in between greenery and limestone mountains that have earned the city the nickname “Guilin of Malaysia”, Tasik Cermin is located at a 20-minute drive from the heart of Ipoh.

The Concubine Lanes

According to the locals, Concubine Lane was built by mining tycoon Yao Tet Shin for his three wives. Each lane was gifted to his 3 wives respectively with the names of Wife Lane, Concubine Lane and Second Concubine Lane. Meanwhile, some locals said it was the place where rich men hide their mistresses. Concubine Lane is the most lively with its colourful little shops, stalls and a vibrant vibe. Concubine Lane has been transformed into a popular hangout spot in Ipoh among the locals and tourists.

Ipoh Town Hall

Ipoh Town Hall was completed in 1916. The building was originally used as the main administrative offices in Ipoh, while the back portion housed the former Post Office. From 1948, the Town Hall served as the District Police Headquarters for several years. The building was designed in an Edwardian Baroque architectural style. The architect, Arthur Benison Hubback also designed the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Jamek Mosque (near Merdeka Square) and more colonial buildings. Ipoh Town Hall currently serves as a function space.

Ipoh Railway Station

Ipoh Railway Station was officially opened in 1917. It was affectionately known as the Taj Mahal of Ipoh by its locals. It was initially meant to be a hospital and used before the 20th century before being turned into a station. This building is also designed by Arthur Benison Hubback (same as the architect of Ipoh Town Hall). This railway station is an impressive landmark which combines Moorish architecture with modern decorative features.

Sam Poh Tong Temple

Sam Poh Tong Temple is also known as the Three Buddhas Cave. It is a Chinese temple built within a limestone cave. Moreover, it is the oldest and the main cave temple in Ipoh. There is a stunning landscaped garden designed around a large fish pond in front of the temple. Besides, the temple also contains artwork such as a reclining Buddha figure.

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City Guide Travel

What To Do When You Visit Melaka

Melaka is a historical city. It was one of the greatest trading ports in Southeast Asia. This historical place is rich with the imprints of British, Portugese and Dutch forces left behind in forts, churches, museums and towers. Besides the European arts and cultures, Melaka is also a hotchpotch of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya and other more influences. Other than having delicious Nyonya cuisine, what else to do when you visit Melaka? Check out the 8 things below.  

Visit The Stadthuys and Christ Church

The Stadthuys and Christ Church are two of the most famous landmarks of Melaka city center. The Stadthuys, meaning city hall, was built by the Dutch in 1650 as the office of the Dutch Governor and Deputy Governor. Located beside the Christ Church, the remaining building is now home to the History and Ethnography Museum. Christ Church Melaka is an 18th-century Anglican church and one of the oldest functioning Protestant churches in Malaysia. This red-coloured square that was built by the Dutch during the colonisation is one of the most photogenic places in Melaka.

Walk the Jonker Street (Night Market)

Jonker Street is the centre street of Chinatown. Filled with historical houses along the street, it is also a central hub of activity that serves as a heaven for antique collectors and vintage fashion enthusiasts. The best part of Jonker Street is the night market on Fri and Sat that sells everything from tasty treats to cheap keepsakes. Moreover, there are a lot of tourist attractions along and around the street, such as Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Cheng Ho Cultural Museum, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and many more.

Explore the street arts

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@ieydaisma

The murals in Melaka are mostly paintings and categorically more diversified. For instance, Lorong Seni Art House, The Orangutan House, Kiehl’s Mural and more. Besides, the Melaka River is home to a collection of various artworks. Thus, a walk along the river side would make you feel like you have entered an open-aired art gallery It is not that extraordinary but it is definitely a nice surprise to see the street arts in Melaka. Simply wandering around with no specific direction, there would be something that is able to catch your attention. 

Walk along the Melaka River

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Strolling along the river side of Melaka River especially right after the sunset is extremely beautiful with the combination of colourful buildings and artificial light. The Melaka River was once dubbed the “Venice of the East” by the European seafarers as it was a prominent part of entry for traders from Europe and Asia. It is now a popular tourist attraction with the 45-minute River Cruise. However, we would recommend you to do the Melaka River Walk on foot because there are a lot of places to explore along the way. You could find a place to sit with a nice glass of mocktail or have a delicious dinner – while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Melaka River. 

Visit Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is claimed to be the oldest functioning Buddhist temple in Malaysia dated from the 17th century. This temple is the main place of worship for the local Hoklo (Hokkien) community and Buddhist Chinese community in Melaka. The temple is dedicated to Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy hence, it is also known as the ‘Merciful Cloud Temple’. All the building materials for the temple and even the artisans were brought from China. Thus, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple features very strong Chinese architectural influences such as ornate gates, gold leafing and ruby red Chinese lanterns.

Check out A Famosa Fortress

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@zulaikhaziz

A Famosa Fortress is another main attraction in Malacca. Built in 1511, it is one of the oldest surviving Portugese architecture in Asia. In the 16th-century, A Famosa housed the entire Portugese administration, inclusive of hospital, churches, elongated stockades and four key towers. In 1807, the British destroyed most of the fortress. The Porta de Santiago gateway, and the restored Middleburg Bastion, are the only parts of the fortress which remain until today. A Famosa is more than just quick photo stops for the tourists, it is a spot which is rich in history.

Visit St. Paul’s Church

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@georgiusdarren

Built in 1521, St. Paul’s Church is considered to be the oldest church building in Southeast Asia. St. Paul’s Church is part of the Malacca Museum Complex comprising the A Famosa ruins, the Stadthuys and other historical buildings. Hence, a little walk along the path behind the Stadthuys museum will take you all the way up to the fort. As a former Portugese church, it has now turned into a lighthouse. Though it has been in ruins for more than 150 years, it is still a beautiful sanctuary set in Melaka city.

Explore Padang Pasir Klebang Melaka

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@tianchad

Padang Pasir Klebang is a hidden spot in Melaka. Also known as “Desert in Malaysia”, it is a photogenic place resulting from a land reclamation project in the Klebang area. Well, it does not matter if it does not look like the real desert, it is still a great place for photography. On a side note, you might need to do a lot of walking as there might be risks where your car ended up having tyres got sink into the sand.

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City Guide Food + Drinks

Industrial Style Cafes You Shouldn’t Miss in Kuala Lumpur

Finding out the exact amount of cafes in Kuala Lumpur is quite impossible as they are growing like mushrooms after the rain. However, you can still categorise them according to their specific themes. Regardless of time, industrial style cafes would simply click with everyone. Here’s a few industrial style cafes you should not miss in Kuala Lumpur!  

Wú, means the void, an empty state where idea and light could shine. Located at Kota Damansara, Wú Coffee Gallery aims to provide a space with chill good vibes where suitable for one’s own good time, coffee with friends and creative events, with delicious coffee and Japanese-inspired mains. The cafe is full of grey raw concrete and exposed brick walls, a rough trace of cement on the ground. Meanwhile, the decoration is mainly circle. Hence, there are many circular designs in the cafe.

Bean Brothers MY Sunway Damansara

Bean Brothers is a coffee brand from Korea. They first started off by supplying coffee beans online and as their fan base increased, they opened a cafe in the name of Bean Brothers in Hapjeong, Korea. Besides having a few branches across Seoul, Korea, Bean Brothers opened their first oversea outpost at Sunway Damansara, followed by a second branch at The Linc KL. The cafe at Sunway Damansara retained the original spaces of a cavernous two-level warehouse. It gives a strong urban industrial design style through its fading greyish tone, hanging light bulbs, dangling cables and dark steel pillars.

Hide and Seek Coffee

Previously located at Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur, Hide and Seek Coffee was rather a hidden cafe with retro concept and vintage design. It was a place for coffee and cakes in the day time and a hidden bar during the night time named Shuang Xi. Now, they finally have their own storefront located right at PJ Taman Paramount. Designed in cement industry style, Hide and Seek Coffee has a special patio water design. It consists of a variety of different designs and colours of chairs, serving good coffee, staple food such as rice bowl, and desserts.

Dou dou bake

Speaking of good croissants, sourdough and coffee, a lot of people might recommend Dou Dou Bake at Petaling Jaya’s Taman Rasa Sayang. With the concept of the combination of industrial and plantscaping design, Dou Dou Bake focuses on neutral tones and basic forms. Besides having custom made furniture, the walls and columns are left exposed. Meanwhile, it also has an almost wild desert garden which the designers hope to create oases of calm in the city. According to one of the designers, the space is dominated by a cold palette. Hence, this will allow their pastries to shine.

Ground Coffee

Located at Damansara Utama, Ground is a cafe with minimalistic design and good ambience. The cafe has simple cement walls and ceiling, wooden flooring, and luscious greenery throughout the space. Ground serves a variety of coffee, pastries and Western mains such as Grilled Lamb Shoulder, Fish & Chips, pastas, and more. Quite a great spot to go to for some good coffee, pastries and a small catch up with your friends.

The Third Letter

The Third Letter cafe is a comfy industrial style designed cafe in Shah Alam. The decor is all about space and minimalism, greyish and original tone with a touch of greenery. This cafe is well-known for its brunch and casual dining. It could be considered as one of the best choices for brunch. The menu consists of a wide variety of selections such as salad, pasta, pizza, grill, pastries and more. Definitely an Insta-worthy place with good food and great vibes. 

Greyskymorning

Tucked in a semi-industrial estate, Greyskymorning is a two-level cafe with a photogenic look and easygoing vibes. The cafe focuses more on black decoration. However, it has huge floor to ceiling glass windows with lots of natural lighting. The cafe is quite spacious and has plenty of quiet and space. Hence, it is one of the cafes that people who like to go to – simply order one or two cups of iced latte – sit around for hours to get their work done.

Cureé 

Cureé, pronounced as Ka-Ray, is a cafe near Berjaya Times Square KL. It has spacious outdoor and indoor seatings, with the former goes more on minimalism, white theme with wooden furnishing. Using a touch of popping orange and yellow to create a cheerful and warm environment, the cafe is filled with lively and vibrant vibes even with the use of industrial style decors such as raw and exposed brick walls. For their menu, Cureé serves Japanese-inspired Hokkaido style food and desserts that could surprise and impress you!

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