November 01, 2016

CHINA | THE END (15)

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

This post is sort of a culmination of the last few days of my trip, where I just stopped taking pictures. There was a family member who passed away in the last few days, so a lot of our time was dedicated to that, and it would be disrespectful to take any pictures there at all.

IMG_7472

IMG_7474

We went to an EXPO centre of sorts where they were having a huge sale of books and back to school supplies. There were also many vendors who were practising different arts such as candy art...

IMG_7475

Kurt Von Hahn at the Vancouver Airport... It was lovely to listen to him play especially since I had a 6 hour layover before my last flight to get home. As this is the final leg of my journey, this will be my last post of all the pictures I took in China. This is definitely one of the longest series I have featured on the blog (also extremely sporadic because of the time management), but I am planning one last post that should be up quite soon! Thanks again for joining me...

IMG_7477

IMG_7480

October 31, 2016

CHINA | PORT CITY (14)

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

Shamian is a small community that is located in the middle of Guangzhou. Historically, it was a port during the Qing Dynasty and housed consulates from Europe. Currently, there are hotels, restaurants and cafes - more importantly, it has so so much character and beauty.

IMG_7378

IMG_7379

IMG_7380

IMG_7388

October 30, 2016

CHINA | NIGHT LIGHTS (13)

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |

Towards the end of the trip, I didn't take as many pictures because I spent a lot of time at home due to being sick (of course...) One night, I went to my aunt's new apartment and witnessed this beautiful skyline...

IMG_7355

IMG_7358

IMG_7372

IMG_7376

October 29, 2016

CHINA | VILLAGE (12)

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

This was definitely one of my favourite days throughout my entire trip because we spontaneously decided to go on a trip to a small village a few hours outside of Guangzhou. I don't have a lot to say about it as it was just a really small and quaint village with a lot of character. I think this set of pictures are my most-favoured from my time in China both because of the composition and the colours.

IMG_7149

IMG_7150

IMG_7151

I was walking and playing around with my camera and took a random show and it turned out kind of interesting! I'm actually quite a fan of the way it looks... As I continued throughout the village, I started noticing how much more greenery and nature there was. One of my favourite things was the river running throughout the village with small boats flowing through the canals.

October 28, 2016

CHINA | URBAN (11)

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Being an avid coffee drinker, it was hard for me to resist going cafe hopping despite being in China. Surprisngly,  there was actually a plethora of cafes and this does not even begin to scratch the surface. One thing I noticed, however, was the way that each shot of espresso would be accompanied with a cup of iced water as if I would make my own iced Americano. (I assume it's because most people in China don't need black coffee like me)

IMG_7017

IMG_7018

IMG_7032

October 20, 2016

CHINA | RURAL (10)

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 

We set on this day, around 20 of us, ready to go to a farm to pick long-an. Every farmer usually had their own restaurant attached to the farm, which I thought was a very clever business strategy! Who wouldn't want some food after trekking through the forest and mud? Anyways, upon arriving, we realized that we were late into the season, and there was only one tree left for us. The whole point of arriving in such a large group is being able to walk around and explore a farm of trees to pick, so we decided to leave and find a restaurant to eat at instead.

IMG_6960

During my trip, I started reading r/nosleep, coming across stories about a Park Ranger coming across creepy ass stairs in the middle of the woods. This reminded me of that, so I decided to take a picture! The more I look at it, the more creeped out I feel...

IMG_6961

October 17, 2016

CHINA | THE 1920 (9)

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
The following morning, we went to what I would call a more elite neighborhood featuring a circular plaza with gardens, fountains at the center, and cafes and restaurants along the perimeter. 

IMG_6887

IMG_6889

IMG_6892

I thought the set up was very nice and quiet, with an ambiance that was completely different from most restaurants in China. Because of the neighborhood this restaurant was in, it was definitely a lot more expensive and high class. In hindsight, I like how I chose to have German food in China...

October 10, 2016

TRAVEL | CHINA - PART 8

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Continuing on from the previous post, we ended up going to the restaurant as pictured below. It was within a small community with many restaurants, apartment buildings, and general amenities that was entirely closed off from the main road. It was definitely a lot quieter and the air almost felt fresher just being a bit away from the big roads. Everything was covered in ivy and many people came to this area to take pictures too!

IMG_6843

IMG_6845

IMG_6846

October 06, 2016

TRAVEL | CHINA - PART 7

Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

The following day was also a long day of walking around the entire city. We started our day watching The Secret Life of Pets. One thing to note is the definitive difference between China and Canada when it comes to watching movies and its etiquette. While there are reminders before movies to turn off our phones and to be silent, people in China pick up their phone in the middle of the movie and even talk throughout! 

We continued the theme of pets for our next adventure, walking about 30 minutes to an apartment-like complex to a cat cafe! There was a cat cafe about a month before I left for China but I had to work that day. Honestly, this was a fun experience but it didn't live completely up to my expectations. Yes, there were cats, but I'm not entirely sure how to explain what was wrong.

IMG_6748

IMG_6773

IMG_6791

September 29, 2016

TRAVEL | CHINA - PART 6


As you progress through the pictures of this post, you'll notice the lighting getting darker, and darker. The day that I left for China, the sunsets in Edmonton were still around 9 or 10PM, but arriving in China, it was getting dark around 7PM. Their sunsets definitely pale in comparison to the ones we have in Canada, in my opinion. The amount of smog really just dampens the beauty of nature in such a big city.

IMG_6631

IMG_6632

IMG_6634

September 22, 2016

TRAVEL | CHINA - PART 5


Continuing from the previous post, we began a long walk around the city once again after having our afternoon tea "meal"! The weather wasn't too hot, but as usual, the smog made breathing feel a little bit more difficult. Throughout the duration of my trip, I found myself missing the fresh air of Edmonton, and moreover, the fresh air of the mountains. Nevertheless, Guangzhou did have a pretty nice skyline and city centre.

IMG_6572

IMG_6577

One of my favourite parts would definitely be the pedways. Even in Edmonton, I loooove walking across pedways because they're just such a beautiful and perfect spot for photos - portraits, landscape, anything!

IMG_6578

September 15, 2016

TRAVEL | CHINA - PART 4


After having lunch at the Piggy Restaurant, we headed to my other great aunt's house just to pay her a visit. As we left to go to another shopping centre, we decided to take a more scenic route - an intersection between a busy road and a water canal.

IMG_6484

IMG_6486

IMG_6489

IMG_6492

September 12, 2016

TRAVEL | CHINA - PART 3


My third day post shall be split up into multiple posts as I walked 24000 steps this day and took a lot of photos. We shall start off with the morning to noon time of Friday, August 5. This morning, I went to Zhonghua Shopping Centre with my cousin, grandma, and great aunt. After a bit (a lot) of walking around, we decided to settle in for lunch! We went to a restaurant called "Piggy Restaurant" that served Korean food. 

IMG_6447

September 08, 2016

TRAVEL | CHINA - PART 2


My second day (Thursday August 4) in Guangzhou was pretty lame as it was my time of month - which combined with a bit of jet lag just incapacitated me for most of the day. In the morning, my grandparents, brother, and me went out with my grandparents' friends for dim sum. Although back home it is more common to have dim sum around noon, the elderly love to go out for dim sum in the mornings around 8 or 9.

IMG_6434

This particular restaurant was based off of streets found in Hong Kong and we were even able to sit and talk with the owner of the restaurant for a bit. Here are a few pictures of the food we ate there, as the dim sum in China can be quite different than what is found here. My mom and I actually discussed this afterwards - about how restaurants in China are constantly having to come up with new presentations of food in order to make it interesting to customers as there are SO MANY RESTAURANTS. The fact that the competition results in delicious food is definitely not a problem for me.

September 01, 2016

TRAVEL | CHINA - PART 1

I recently returned from my trip to Guangzhou, China and this is part one of the photos from that trip. Leaving on August 1, 2016, from Edmonton, I arrived in Guangzhou around 5PM. The day before my flight, my relatives were telling me about the possible monsoon-type weather that was going on there. As I was waiting for the boarding call during the layover in Vancouver, more news was coming up about many flights to Guangzhou being cancelled. Despite all of this, my flight took off as planned and even arrived a bit earlier than expected.

However, the flight was a bit rough. With about 4 hours left, we hit really bad turbulence - to the point where my water was spilling. I rarely experience anxiety on flights, but I definitely felt a bit nervous. The turbulence did make all the chase scenes in Batman a whole lot more exciting!

IMG_6373

This is my grandma's back as she's making Banana Pancakes (song reference anyone?!) for a late night snack!

The following pictures are from my first full day - August 3, 2016. This time, I really wanted to capture both the good and the bad. Instead of living in a hotel as I have previously done, I lived with my grandparents! Although I have visited their home several times during my past visits and even slept there a few times, it was definitely a different experience living there during my entire stay. 

August 24, 2016

BOOK REVIEW | MARY GREEN BY MELANIE KERR


I was provided with an ARC by the author and publisher to give an honest review.

OK I'm going to start this thing where I talk about the covers of books because (gasp) I always judge a book by its cover. The picture on the screen isn't necessarily the right colour - more orange than it is red in real life. Overall, I think it has a very elegant design that really does represent the story. The only thing I would change would be the author's name, which is just barely visible. Maybe putting it in a different colour and possibly even below the frame would do it more justice.

Onto the review...

August 17, 2016

BOOK REVIEW | THE ART OF FIELDING BY CHAD HARBACH

I was extremely surprised by how much I loved this book. Not having been a fan of baseball pretty much my entire life, I was actually expecting to have difficulty getting through this book as it was about 500 pages long.

Despite there being many, MANY, baseball terms that I completely did not understand, it was really easy to just keep reading because I was just so interested by the characters. I always love a book that is told from multiple POVs and this one was told from FIVE. It seems like a lot, but it did not feel cluttered or confusing at all. Each character's storyline started off separate, and slowly they all just came together. This is my favourite part of multiple POVs.

Most important, however, would be the lessons learned from the challenges that each character faced. Each of them found themselves in a situation that caused them to question their morals. The book dealt with the issue of success and failure, and what that means to different people based on one's experience.

My favourite thing about The Art of Fielding was the way that character development was intertwined with plot development in that, the plot developed mostly because of the ways the characters were finally being honest with themselves.

August 10, 2016

BOOK REVIEW | ABOUT A BOY BY NICK HORNY

When I first started this book, I had difficulty trying to get through it mainly because I couldn't relate to any of the characters. Although that isn't always necessary for me to enjoy a book, it certainly makes it more difficult when I don't particularly care about the story.

The more I read, the more interested I became mostly in how the fates of the characters would turn out. The plot began to develop as the characters' lives became more intertwined with each others'.

Moreover, I loved seeing the way the characters slowly developed and matured in different ways, and in different aspects of their lives. Personally, I would have liked to see more surrounding the topic of depression but considering the point of views from which the book was told, it was understandable.

Overall, it was a short and sweet book that had a good overall message. I think it would definitely be suitable if you were looking for a short and enjoyable read!

August 03, 2016

WHAT I'VE BEEN READING | COMPILATION OF BOOK REVIEWS

I'm going to try and catch up with a few of the book reviews I should have done months ago before posting the reviews of books that I have just read. Because of school, I mostly just read without thinking about writing a review, but I definitely still retain enough of what I read to compile a few short reviews!

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

After having read All The Light We Cannot See, I read several reviews that drew lines between the two books and I can definitely see why. However, even with their similarities, they are still very unique in their own ways. One of my favourite parts of The Book Thief was just witnessing the compassion of Liesel's parents, as well as from Liesel herself. It's a great reminder of all the goodness and kindness that people possess despite all the horror that is unravelling around them. 

I would definitely recommend this as a must-read. Despite being marked as a fiction novel, I always love novels that attempt to recreate the reality of WWII without focussing on Hitler and his abysmal actions. Do yourself a favour and read this book.

THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeanette Walls

Despite its tiny size, this book still took a bit of time to get through. What started off as a genuine interest to see how everything turned out in the end, slowly warped into impatience with the writing style. I do not in ANY WAY want to doubt the integrity the events as described in the book, but at times, it was just described in a way that felt almost like fiction. Perhaps, however, that was what Jeanette Walls was trying to achieve - to show that her life, even to her, felt almost like fiction; that such events occur all the time to many people in the world, yet their stories are left untold, or treated as fiction. 

419 by Will Ferguson

This one was also a little difficult to get through, and I'll admit to falling asleep on the LRT several times while reading this (though because I was tired or because of the book is hard to tell) I didn't feel entirely satisfied at the end either, it seemed like a lot of building, building, building - then just nothing really. I thought that the entire premise of the book was good, especially considering the extent to which everyone is connected to the internet now. Most people can probably relate to having a parent or aunt who, although connected to the internet, has no idea what an e-mail is. Or how anything works.

THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Alan Bradley

OK 3/4 of this post is of books that I had a hard time getting through, I'm sorry. But not really - it's just my opinion. This also wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't my style. Although I enjoy challenging myself by reading books of different styles (as I started reading non-fiction this year) I just couldn't bring myself to truly enjoy this book. The type of mystery I enjoy borders with thrillers, so this just didn't pack a punch for me. If you're looking for a lighter, more humorous type of mystery, I would definitely recommend this.

July 31, 2016

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS | HOT, HOT, HOT

After going out for lunch on Friday, I decided to just take a walk around downtown Edmonton without realizing that it was actually 30 degrees out that day. Unsurprisingly, I got extremely hot and a little bit sticky with sweat, but it was also such a nice and refreshing walk. I started at the Alberta Legislature, enjoying the occasional splash of water on my skin as the water sprayed up and down. 

IMG_6254

IMG_6259

I started to just take pictures at hip level, just to see what I got. Unfortunately, I didn't really check my settings and a lot of them turned out a bit (quite) blurry - except for this one. I have been struggling with being creative with my photography over the past few months. I don't really know why but I'm just trying my best to recapture that passion I had, and to take pictures I like. This walk itself was a challenge, as I kept changing my settings, and continued to be dissatisfied which prevented me from observing everything around me. Being caught up with my mistakes and unable to overlook them, I missed the opportunity to capture other moments. At the end of the day, I saved 25/78 pictures which is pretty normal, and most of the shots I thought were bad - they turned out OK.

The moral of the lesson: Don't focus on the mistakes, just try to learn from them and keep moving on. Otherwise, you'll just miss other opportunities.



IMG_6273

IMG_6285

Onto 104th Street: I always see this little bike/trolley around downtown when I'm on my walks and I love it. Although I don't personally shop at Earth's General Store, I am a fan of stores and farmers' markets that strive to provide fresh and local products to Edmontonians.

IMG_6289

IMG_6293

I saw this outside Evoolution... not sure what this means - free olive oil?? Or do I have to pay? I did not inquire further... 

IMG_6296

IMG_6302

Similar to the picture of the radio station, I love that we are still able to see remnants of the past on these buildings throughout downtown. I think I will make it a mission to get a picture of as many of these as I can because I really do think that they're pretty unique.

IMG_6307

Habitat etc. is a cute store selling local products as well! I love all these small stores mostly because they always feel like a small house. They had the Alberta shirts, journals, bath stuff and just all kinds of knick knacks!

IMG_6312

OK, this is probably my favourite picture from the walk. One of the benefits of walking around downtown by yourself is not being afraid of embarrassing your friends. I literally stood and turned my camera straight up as people walked beside me. I got a lot of funny walks but I'm getting to that point in my life and photography where it just doesn't bother me that much.

IMG_6317

IMG_6321

#YEGdtBigE: I tried to play around with framing in this picture and am still not entirely sure how I feel about it. P

IMG_6325

IMG_6331

IMG_6332

IMG_6338

IMG_6339

I ended my little adventure in City Hall, remembering how it was only (but also ALREADY) a month ago that I was standing there with all my classmates - graduating. I felt a bit nostalgic about the past, nervous for the future, but needing some sort of change in my life again to just throw me off course, and build me up even more.