Singapore 2017: Week 2 – Bugis Street

The term “Bugis street” is misleading. It really isn’t a street any more. The original Bugis Street had some un-savoury history behind it. It was a place of bars, pubs, foreign sailors, other assorted foreigners with specific sexual preferences, and groups of transvestites who provided services to them… Indeed, the whole affair with the transvestites was really Bugis Street’s claim to fame, or notoriety.

The Bugis Street of today sits across the road from where it used to be. The old location has become part of a large shopping mall and a reputable (and expensive!) high-class hotel. The new Bugis Street is a low-priced bazaar-style shopping mall selling cheap clothes, gifts, accessories and tourist souvenirs.

Singapore 2016: Bugis Street Bazaar - The I Love Singapore ShopSingapore 2016: Bugis Street – The Tourist Souvenir Shop

Now to answer an important question – is it worth visiting? Continue reading

Singapore 2016 Week 45: Architecture And Malls (Gallery)

Singapore 2016: Orchard Central LayersSingapore 2016: Orchard Central Layers
Nikon D610, 22mm, f/8, 1/60 ISO 800

The Orchard Central Mall occupies one of the top spots among the list of most interesting mall designs I have ever seen – though the decision for innovation in architecture may not be voluntary. It is built on a strip of land that is unusually long and also unusually narrow. The traditional “large open space in the center with retail levels rising around it” would limit the retail space available to individual shops and cause a feeling of being uncomfortably confined. Continue reading

Seoul 2016: LINE Store In Itaewon

The world should finally be coming round to recognising what LINE is due to their recent, much-publicised IPO. I have been using it for nearly 3 years, and currently it is my favourite messaging app. Sure in my part of the world most people use Whatsapp, but I use LINE for communicating with the seriously cool people whom I like. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seoul 2016: Line Store InteriorSeoul 2016: Itaewon Line Store Interior
Nikon D610, 18mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO 200

Seoul 2016: Line Friends Cafe 2Seoul 2016: Itaewon Line Store Interior
Nikon D610, 18mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO 360

Funny thing is, LINE’s parent company Naverline is actually a Korean company. The story is that Naverline realised they could not compete with the long-established messaging heavyweight Kakaotalk in South Korea, so they went to start in Japan. In Japan it became a roaring success. Indeed looking at the platform, the cartoony mascots, the huge amount of Japanese-licensed IP available, one might sincerely mistake it for a Japanese creation! And perhaps it really is to a certain degree – “born in Korea but raised in Japan”.

The LINE store is really a thing to marvel. Pay a visit to one if you can! – WY

Photo Essay: Streets Of Seoul 2016: Between Sinchon And Hongik

(A collection of images I have already posted before into a single coherent photo essay.)

Streets Of Seoul 2016: Sinchon And Hongik 7Streets Of Seoul 2016: Sinchon And Hongik 7
Nikon D610, 60mm, f/2.8, 1/400, ISO 100

In Seoul, there is a unique shopping area between two subway stations. The Sinchon station gives access to a number of private universities such as Ewha Womenโ€™s University. The Hongik station gives access to Hongdae which is an area around Hongik university. These two subway stations are literally located one-after-the-other on the same subway line. So the area around and between them has developed into a kind of young people’s go-to place. Clubs, cafes, eateries, shops, malls – all stylishly young, trendy and (relatively) affordable (although there is a less approachable Hyndai mall with premium goods and matching price tags around the corner). Continue reading

Streets Of Seoul 2016: Sinchon And Hongik 8

Streets Of Seoul 2016: Sinchon And Hongik 8Streets Of Seoul 2016: Sinchon And Hongik 8
Nikon D610, 60mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 220

And that concludes my wanderings between Sinchon and Hongik earlier this year in April. Yes, my pictures are hopelessly back-dated. I’m working on trying to get images processed and updated ASAP, but I guess being able to shoot so much that I could not keep up with posting is sort of a good thing too. ๐Ÿ™‚ – WY

Streets Of Seoul 2016: Sinchon And Hongik 7

Streets Of Seoul 2016: Sinchon And Hongik 7Streets Of Seoul 2016: Sinchon And Hongik 7
Nikon D610, 60mm, f/2.8, 1/400, ISO 100

To be honest I am no longer sure whether I was wandering in Sinchon or Hongik. Where one becomes the other is lost on a foreigner like myself. Still, fun place to explore. It gets really exciting and busy on the weekends as selected roads are closed to traffic and pedestrians get to walk on the roads. Unfortunately I could only drop by on a weekday. There is a closed tourist station with a notice stating that it is closed due to “declining number of foreign visitors”. Perhaps it is no longer as busy as it was two years ago. Still, an interesting place to drop by. Make sure it is a weekend to get the full experience! – WY

Streets of Seoul 2016: Shopping Couple In Sinchon

Streets Of Seoul 2016: Shopping Couple In SinchonStreets of Seoul 2016: Shopping Couple In Sinchon
Nikon D610, 60mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 100

A defining characteristic of these streets is probably the messy power lines overhead. Among the alleys, narrow roads, shopping and shops, they really add a lot of character to the place. – WY