An Adventure in Bread Tasting

By Xue Feng

Being Addicted to Bread

I wasn’t  that addicted to bread a year ago. However, after a half-year stay in Japan, my love towards bread is unstoppable. I drool in front of any bakery store and fascinate about their texture and aroma; wonder what kind of jam or cheese to pair with; give a deep thought about what kind of liquid to soak my bread in. Is it milk or hearty soup? Coffee or congee? Read More

Frozen, Toronto Islands

Winter in Toronto Islands

I don’t trust any country that looks around a continent and says, “Hey, I’ll take the frozen part.” – Jon Stewart

It may be -30 degrees Celsius with the windchill and half a meter snow. Welcome to the Canadian winter!

One day in February, a winter storm hit Toronto. The perfect timing to go out and confront the nature with a camera.

Fresh snow covered the city, and amazingly, for a metropolis such as Toronto, there is a oasis of peacefulness: the Toronto Islands. A 15 minutes ferry ride from Downtown Toronto and you are in the wilderness, well just during a winter storm! Read More

Christmas on Four Continents

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

It is the time for Christmas – a time for joy, celebration and reflection, a time to look back to the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.

Looking back many years, the Christmas caught me in some unusual places such as in the airplane flying from Toronto to Bucharest, in a deserted lounge of the Lagos airport, near the bridge over the river Kwai in Thailand, on the top of Carpathian Mountains or at a cabaret show in Havana. Read More

Dog enjoying the view from the car

High Contrast Black & White Images from Thailand

Seeing the world in black and white allows you to discover details and shapes that may not be visible at a first look. It may help you concentrate to essentials.

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” – Robert Frank

To take high contrast photos I mostly used the Ricoh GR camera with the “High Contrast B&W” mode setting. The location is in Thailand. Enjoy the selection! Read More

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The Border Crossing from Nepal

India is a country of huge contrasts. In 2010 I visited just a small part of the country, the North-East India including Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The first impressions can be shocking when you pass the border from Nepal to India.  The crossing was done by walking and what a difference few meters can make! Read More

Lens Flare

8 Funny and Not So Funny Stories of Taking Photos

Did you ever try to take a shot by using your nose tip to press the shutter button? How many times did you get in trouble with the authorities while taking a photo? What is your best accidental shot? Read the stories and find out. Read More

Zombies

The Zombies Resurrection

It happens every year: the zombies take over Toronto!

What is a Zombie?

“The Walking Dead. Scientific name Homo Coprophagus Somnambulus.” – Urban Dictionary

“Zombie” definition extracts from the Urban Dictionary:

“A deceased human being who has partially returned to life due to undeterminable causes. The brain retains base facilities, namely gross motor function. In its near-mindless state, it grasps no remains of emotion, personality, or sensation of pain. In rare cases, some of the reanimated have reflexively preformed routine activities from their past lives.” Read More

Sam Pan Bok Canyon

Sam Pan Bok (3,000 Holes)

One of the lesser known attractions of Thailand is the impressive Sam Pan Bok – the Grand Canyon of Thailand, located near Ubon Ratchathani, close to Laos.

Made up of sandstone cliffs that run along the Mekong River, the Sam Pan Bok canyon can be best seen by taking long tail boat tours from the Song Khon village. The boat stops in few places allowing the tourists to step on different rock formations and sandy beaches. Read More

Kyoto Railway Station

“The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Kyoto Station 京都駅

Kyoto Station is one of the largest railway stations in the world. It opened in 1997 commemorating Kyoto’s 1,200th anniversary. The architecture is stunning, mixing a futurist style with traditional Japanese elements. Read More

Havana, Cuba

“My mojito in the Bodeguita del Medio and my daiquiri in the Floridita.” – Ernest Hemingway

Cuba, one of the last bastions of communism in the world, a forgotten country so close to USA and so far away…

My first trip to Cuba was in 2008. I joined an international Cuban tour organized by Cuban Adventures. And from then on, a life of Cuban adventures has started!

Havana (Habana)

Passing through the José Martí International Airport in Havana, is like being in another world, a world stopped in time 50 years ago: aged buildings, grandma fashion and smell of cigarettes. People were smoking while waiting to pick up their luggage!

I accepted a ride to my hotel from two men inside the airport. Their “taxi” was a very old, broken Lada soviet made car. Of course, no safety belt or taxi meter. The men were very friendly and smiling all the time, until they frown up…

Japanese aesthetics

Japan is a country like nowhere else on earth, a country of extremes: traditional and modern, simple and complex, conservative and wild. The beauty of Japan is astonishing. How they can do it? How can I show a glimpse of Japan without going through the city-by-city travel stories? A good start would be by defining the principles of beauty or the aesthetics of Japan. Read More

Burning Man

“A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreamers and doers.”

Burning Man” is an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance that takes place annually in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, USA.

The Burning Man event is guided by ten principles: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy.

This year the event starts now, August 28, and culminates with the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, which is set alight on Saturday night, September 3, 2016. Read More

Nepal children

A Photo Essay

Nepal is one of my top destinations with incredible historic sites, stunning landscapes and wonderful people.

The “Children of Nepal” is a photo essay inspired from my 2010 trip to Nepal. The images are from Kathmandu, Annapurna Mountains and Chitwan.

Everywhere in Nepal the children were very happy to have their photos taken and see themselves on the LCD screen of the camera. Despite the hardships of life in Nepal and the poor areas I came across, the children never asked for anything, but gifts in toys or school requisites were welcomed.

Meet the children of Nepal! Read More

Travel Quotes

Inspirational Travel Quotes, Stories and Photos

Enjoy my favorite travel quotes coupled with stories I lived and photos I took during my travels.

1.

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure. You have no idea of what is in store for you, but you will, if you are wise and know the art of travel, let yourself go on the stream of the unknown and accept whatever comes in the spirit in which the gods may offer it.” – Freya Stark, Baghdad Sketches

Read More

Vienna

“When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

What a city, Vienna! It is one of the most tranquil and civilized cities in the world!

Get a glimpse of the imperial grandeur by visiting the Belvedere, Schönbrunn and Hofburg palaces, or just walk through the old city centre starting from the Stephansplatz. The sound of music will follow you: Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Liszt, Brahms and many others. Read More