“Thank you” (in Hawaiian) for the warm welcome to Hawaii! I had a truly unforgettable stay. In Honolulu, I stayed for two nights at Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani. The hotel opened only in 2019 and is the sister hotel of Halekulani, which is located right across the street. The boutique style hotel has 288 rooms, which I did not find too overwhelming with lots of guests, as the other hotels in Waikiki. The hotel is a block from Waikiki Beach and also a block away from the main shopping street. I flew to the island of Lana’i to spend the…

Art at Sensei Lana’i

I was awe struck by the wide variety of artworks at Sensei Lanai. One of the hotel staff mentioned to me that the collection is valued at $1 billion. Intentionally placed among expansive garden foliage, it is an impressive display of unique sculptures by world-renowned artists. The outdoor sculpture garden includes larger-than-life works by Jeff Koons, Fernando Botero, Jaume Plensa, Marc Quinn, Emily Young, Ju Ming and others.


The smallest publicly-accessible inhabited island in Hawaii, Lana’i is known as Pineapple Island because of its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation for Dole. Lana’i is only 14.5 kilometres away from Maui and as of 2012, the island is 98% owned by the chairman of Oracle Corporation. Aside from the three hotels in the island and the small town of Lana’i City, the island has no traffic lights, shopping malls, and only 48 kilometres of paved road. This is the perfect island for someone seeking tranquility and escape from everyday urban life. The Kolo’iki Ridge Hike is a 7.9 km…


It is my first visit to Hawaii and first stop for 36 hours is the island of Oahu or “The Gathering Place“. Oahu is the third largest Hawaiian island and home to two-third of Hawaii’s population. Hawaii‘s state capitol, Honolulu, is located in this island. I came across an art exhibit which was part of the Hawai’i Triennial 2022 and I was taken by Sun Xun’s art works, drawn on newsprint gathered in Hawaii in 2020 during the pandemic.

Feed Me

  Needless to say, I always look forward to the good food in New York. I half-jokingly said “How do I gain weight? Let me count the ways.” I went back to a few familiar favourite places and tried out some new ones as well. So let’s start the (calorie) counting… Just opened a few weeks ago is the Nordic-accented Great Northern Food Hall in the majestic Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal. Opened by Claus Meyer, a partner in Noma, the food hall offers pastries, smorrebord open rye sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and more.   As I mentioned previously, it seems inevitable…

The Met & MoMA

It’s probably been more than twelve years since I last visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Regarded as one of the world’s largest and finest art museums with more than two million works of art, somehow I keep procrastinating a re-visit. I made it back last week and was glad to see again their wonderful collection.   On the other hand, my last visit to the Museum of Modern Art was last year. I always enjoy dropping by when I am in town.

City so Nice

“City so nice, they named in twice” goes the saying. I was back in New York for a four day long weekend. There was some trepidation, as I remember during my school days here that the city gets extremely hot and humid this time of the month – worsen by the concrete jungle. Alas, it was bearable this time around.

NYC Gastro Weekend

There was some major catching up to do with old friends in New York last weekend — all the while we enjoyed libations and one excellent meal after another — from crochette di baccala, rabbit meat balls with ricotta, smoked duck with sour cherries and pistachio, garrotxa, red prawns, chorizo crepinette, whole boneless porgy ssam, heritage farms pork chop, salted cod and potato croquettes with aioli, and the list goes on…. and before I forget, the Popcorn Cake! Inspired by a rustic Roman pizzerie, chef Nick Anderer‘s Marta is definitely a must try – outstanding food, polished service and beautifully designed space!   After…

New York Minute

Well, it was more than a minute – closer to 5,700 minutes or an extended long weekend – of food debauchery in the gastronomic capital of New York City. What brought me here this time (not that one needs an excuse to be in this city) was primarily a reunion with dear friends from the old University days. Stories were told, bottles of wine were consumed and laughter all around while we reminisce and remember how we have always enjoyed each other’s company. [The food debauchery will be detailed in the next post.] I tried out a different hotel for this trip,…