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Hlawga National Park

Yangon
Do
Hlawga National Park, Yangon, Republic of the Union of Myanmar
National Park More of a Roadside Attraction
Driving time to the park from Yangon is minimum one hour despite being only 27km. The good news is that the majority of the park is made up of attractive marshland which surrounds a central lake. Picnic sites are scattered throughout. Wildlife-wise we saw a variety of bird species, deer, wild pigs and water buffalo. One has two options when entering the park, either paying to come in on the single track-one way dirt road in your own vehicle or pay for the “park shuttle” which is more or less a 15 seat golf cart (ks500 pp, 4 buggies total/ or 1 hr. private 24 seat buggy ks15000 total). The bad news is that guests are sold kilos of bananas at the park’s entrance. You’re encouraged to throw these bananas to packs of monkeys which descend on the cart throughout the entire 30 minute loop. It’s a 101 in promotion of evasive species. In addition to the lake-loop, Hlawga also has a mini-zoo. The atmosphere of this feature is depressing at best. It’s dilapidated, overgrown and without many actual animals. Those that are there are kept in huge sad enclosures. There were two massive areas which housed some version of Asiatic Black Bears which guests were encouraged to feed with loafs of white-bread sold at stalls nearby. There were several cages that did have a variety of bird species, including hawks and vultures, however none were particularly well looked after. Though it was unavailable when we were there, the zoo supposedly offers elephant rides on Saturdays & Sundays.
National Park More of a Roadside Attraction

about 3 hours ago

Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana
Do
Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Rainy day gets better with a little imagination
Rainy days are nothing to fear. It certainly doesn't mean you should stay indoors and hide. This probably goes for any city and is definitely true of Ljubljana. On one very rainy day we took our kids to explore the beautiful castle perched on top of the hill in the center of Ljubljana. Even though the castle was never home to kings and queens and was used in more sinister ways - as a jail and a fortress, we made stories about what it was like back then. We came up with dragons and knight fighting in the courtyard, we tried to protect the castle from the siege standing bravely on the walls. We pretended we were prisoners wanting to escape the jail and we counted the many coat of arms painted on the ceiling of the chapel and pick the best ones. After a few hours of walking around, we realized we had a great time, no bad weather managed to interrupt our play and despite our imagination running wild, we still learned something new.
Rainy day gets better with a little imagination

about 3 hours ago

Song's Kitchen/Song Chu 宋廚菜館

Xinyi District
DrinkEat
Song's Kitchen/Song Chu 宋廚菜館, Xinyi District, Taiwan
The Art of Peking Duck in Taipei
This place is so famous among foodies in Taipei that booking requires a month in advance. After a 30-day long wait, I finally have the chance to taste the famous Peking duck Song Chu has to offer. To say it's an art is less than an exaggeration. A sensei-like bearded old man pushes out the duck in whole to the table side for you to see, takes out his special knife, and carves out the soft meat and the crispy skin, separately (how do you even do that?), slice after slice in a fluid motion, almost gracefully. A peking duck feast requires the duck skin, the meat, the hoisin sauce, thin pancakes and green onion. And in Song Chu, every element works in sync. Besides the juicy skin and chewy meat, their hoisin sauce is just to the right balance (not too sweet or salty), and you can see the effort they put in at preparing the green onion by making a ruffle-like end to both sides of the stalk. The pancakes could've been better, I admit, if they had kept it in a steamer to keep the warmth like some other restaurants. I'm not sure it is the BEST peking duck in Taipei, but you won't be disappointed, and it is totally worth the wait.
The Art of Peking Duck in Taipei

about 5 hours ago