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Myanmar Trip 2017 - Temples in Bagan

Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 00:18      No comments

Shwesandaw Pagoda

The Shwesandaw Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda located in Bagan, Burma. The pagoda contains a series of five terraces, topped with a cylindrical stupa, which has a bejewelled umbrella. The pagoda was built by King Anawrahta in 1057, and once contained terra cotta tiles depicting scenes from the Jataka. Enshrined within the pagoda are sacred hairs of Gautama Buddha, which were obtained from Thaton.

Ananda Temple

he Ananda Temple, located in Bagan, Myanmar is a Buddhist temple built in 1105 AD during the reign (1084–1113) of King Kyanzittha of the Pagan Dynasty. It is one of four surviving temples in Bagan.

Myauk Guni

Myauk Guni Temple is also located in Old Bagan. It was built by the Queen Pwasaw during the reign of King Narathihapate or the Tayoke Pye Min.

Shwezigon Pagoda

The Shwezigon Pagoda or Shwezigon Paya is a Buddhist temple located in Nyaung-U, a town near Bagan, in Myanmar. A prototype of Burmese stupas, it consists of a circular gold leaf-gilded stupa surrounded by smaller temples and shrines.

Gawdawpalin Temple

Gawdawpalin Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Bagan, Burma. Construction of the pagoda began during the reign of Narapatisithu and completed on 26 March 1227 during the reign of Htilominlo.

Bupaya Pagoda

Bupaya Pagoda is a notable pagoda located in Bagan,Myanmar, at a bend on the right bank of the Ayeyarwady River. The small pagoda, which has a bulbous shaped dome, is widely believed to have been built by the third King of Bagan, Pyusawhti who ruled from 168 to 243 AD.

Mahazedi Pagoda

Maha Zedi Temple has a series of receding terraces, surmounted by a cylindrical or bell-shaped dome which continues into a finial of concentric rings.
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Myanmar Trip 2017 - Bagan - Buledi Pagoda

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 19:37      No comments

Finally, after 9 hours of bus ride we reached Bagan! We grabbed our bags and headed straight into the bus company's holding area avoiding the swamp of pushy taxi drivers. Stuck in the middle of Bagan at 4am, we decided to take on a sunrise tour before heading to our guest house in Nyaung-U.


After 20 minutes of drive, we arrived at our destination, Buledi Pagoda. Buledi Pagoda is one of the more popular locations for beautiful sunrise. The Pagoda was filled with people when we arrived. We sat at the 3rd tier of the Pagoda and waited patiently for the sun to crawl out of bed.



The sky lit up gradually as light creeps into the dark sky adding hues of violet and blue. We managed to see the beautiful view of Bagan from Buledi Pagoda; The vast grassland, ridges and numerous pagodas in front of us. The sky brightens quickly and the crowd starts leaving the pagoda. Still, we didn't catch the sun and were kinda disappointed. However, we stayed a while longer hunting for photo around the pagoda. Suddenly D. called out to me.



I turned around and saw the sun peering through the clouds. It seems to greet us on arriving at Bagan and welcoming us with its soft rays. I took a couple of shots before bidding goodbye to Buledi Pagoda. That's the first moments of our Bagan Adventures. Stay tune for more =)



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Myanmar Trip 2017 - Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda

Friday, April 6, 2018 at 22:50      No comments

Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar.

According to legend, Shwedagon Pagoda was constructed more than 2,600 years ago, which would make it the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world. It is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa.



We joined the locals and sat by the stupa. We said our own little prayers, enjoy the slow-pace and peacefulness. We spotted monks among the sea of tourists. They strolled past us in their striking maroon robe and stopped for a photo. There, I had mine too.



Discover your Burmese zodiac sign and pay your respects by pouring water on your zodiac sign animal statue at Shwedagon Pagoda.

Burmese zodiac animal is based on the day you were born.

Monday –Tiger
Tuesday – Lion
Wednesday morning – Tusked Elephant
Wednesday afternoon – Tuskless Elephant
Thursday – Rat
Friday – Guinea Pig
Saturday – Naga
Sunday – Garuda



Do take note that there's a dress code for Shwedagon Pagoda. Men and women should wear clothing that covers the knees. Tight or revealing clothing that expose shoulders should be avoided. Avoid shirts with religious themes or offensive messages (that includes skulls).

You’ll be expected to remove your footwear, socks or stockings which will be looked after at the counter. Longyi, a traditional, sarong-style garment is available to borrow at the counter too.



Last but not least, respect their culture, religion and enjoy yourself!

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Myanmar Trip 2017 - Yangon - St. Mary's Cathedral

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 22:31      No comments

Saint Mary's Cathedral is the largest Catholic cathedral in Myanmar.

The Cathedral was designed by Dutch architect Jos Cuypers. Construction was completed back in November 1899 under a land grant from the Government of India.

The cathedral was closed for lunch when we arrived in the afternoon. We spent 30-40 minutes admiring this impressive red-brick building. I love the twin peaks and the whole design of the cathedral.

Fortunately for us, the cathedral reopened and we managed to take a look inside the cathedral. Rows of benches stood in front of us. The bright red carpet lead us straight to the front of the cathedral and up to the beautiful stained glass windows.

The cathedral's quiet and peaceful with lots of photo opportunities. Would recommend shutterbugs like me to visit St. Mary's Cathedral.

Lastly, another perspective of St. Mary's Cathedral. Enjoy folks :)

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Poseidon Oysterbay Resort

Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 02:11      No comments

Poseidon Oysterbay Resort is a guesthouse on the sea located in Kota Tinggi, Malaysia.

No need for long ferry rides out into the open sea. Poseidon Oysterbay Resort is just 10 minutes away from Teluk Sengat jetty. Poseidon Oysterbay Resort is not only a vacation home but also an oyster farm which rear species from France like Belon and Gillardeau. Here's a short intro video on Poseidon Oysterbay Resort.

If you're looking for an escape off the bustle city life, here's the prefect place. You could go fishing, dip your legs into the sea and enjoy the breeze. Or even swimming if you're feeling adventurous. Read a book at the lobby or engage in conversations with the owner if you're in the mood.

Soothe your 'itching' hands with Mahjong or practice public singing at the lobby. They do have a karaoke system but don't expect good standards and, bring your own disks. Sunset there is pretty beautiful too.

If all fails, there's always good food! I can still remember how delicious the soup base for the steamboat was. I can taste the richness of the soup (but not too fishy). I bet it's brew with fish bones for hours? Other ingredients are fresh too.

Their baked fish is delicious too. Meat is tender and fresh. Do scrape off the skin as it does get salty. Last but not least, try their Oysters of course! Their oysters are amazingly delicious! Fresh right out of the farm with no tint of fishy smell. Squeeze some lemon juice onto it and pop it right into your mouth.

That's my trip to Poseidon Oysterbay Resort. Enjoy folks :)

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Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm

Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 22:14      No comments

Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm is located in the town of Seluk Sengat, Kota Tinggi in the Johor region.

The Crocodile Farm is owned by the Ng family and the farm is considered to be the largest crocodile farm in the peninsular of Malaysia. The farm houses more than 1,000 crocodiles, including a toothless 130-year-old croc.

Upon entering the crocodile farm, the friendly staff shared with us the anatomy structure of crocodiles and some facts about them. Gave a slight safety brief and toured us around the farm.

We learnt that the crocs do cry genuinely, not "shredding crocodile tears", ironically enough, they're crocodiles. They shred tears when they are chocked on their food when trying to consume food that's too large for them. They cry also when their eggs were taken away from them or lost a fellow comrade in crocs fights.

The crocodile farm is also home for the handicapped crocodiles. Crocodiles that are blind, without a tail, lost a limb or two etc. The farm has crocodiles that are over a century old.

Lastly, we learnt about how nutritious their eggs are and the owner's story. How she made a promise to her dying dad in taking over the farm and continue the family's tradition. She washed the 81 pools of crocodile clean and almost odourless (compared to other farms) when none of the people she approached is willing to combat the crazy stretch. She then reformed the farm putting in place educational tours and opened the farm to tourists.

I would recommend strongly to visit the farm when you're in the area and try some crocodile delicacies.

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Vietnam Trip 2016 - Hoi An - Hoi An Ancient Town

Monday, July 24, 2017 at 00:12      No comments

Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century.

Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.

Simply to put it to local context, it's Clarke Quay combined with Bugis Village with a touch of China Town. You would find a bunch of bars selling cheap beers. Sit back chill by the riverside and sip your beer.

It's a romantic place to be at dusk. The weather is much cooler and the town lit up beautifully by lights. Enjoy strolling down the streets and get a feel of the atmosphere around. There are cafes that serves delicious food or if you prefer, patronize street vendors for some street food. You never know what you might find.

Of course that would be shopping! The shops that covers a wide variety of products ranging from tiny souvenirs like magnets, bookmarks, lanterns, bangles and necklaces to premium coffee and tea. There numerous fashion stalls around.

Do visit Hoi An Ancient Town if you have the chance to. You would not regret visiting it. Enjoy folks!

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Vietnam Trip 2016 - Phong Nha - Paradise Cave

Monday, July 17, 2017 at 00:06      No comments

Thiên Đường Cave is 31km long and considered to be the longest cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

Thiên Đường Cave (Paradise Cave) is a cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, 60 km northwest of Đồng Hới city. The cave was discovered by a local man in 2005 and 5 first km of this cave was explored by explorers from British Cave Research Association in 2005.

This cave is easier and much more comfortable to trek than the Lod Caves in Thailand. Sturdy and clean wooden walkways were built and the cave was brightly lit. The walkways might be a little slippery so do take extra care while touring.

Admire amazing stalactites and the stalagmites of Paradise Cave. Let your imagination run wild! I love how the warm light glows and interact with the surroundings giving the cave depth and character.

The shot below reminds me of a Chinese deity, Tudigong (土地公). Did you managed too see his long white bread and hat?

The end is marked by purple tinted stalagmites with no further walkway. There's only an exit to the cave, so make a U-turn back to the entrance. While making your way back, admire the cave from a second viewpoint. You might find interesting structures that you missed previously.

Enjoy the photos folks =)

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Vietnam Trip 2016 - Huế - Khai Dinh Tomb

Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 22:31      No comments

The Tomb of Khải Định is located in Chau Chu mountain near Huế in Vietnam.

The tomb was built for the Nguyễn Emperor Khải Định, the twelfth king of the Nguyễn dynasty. It was built from 1920 to 1931 taking 11 years to complete. The tomb is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture.

The tomb is guarded by two rows of terracotta warriors believed to be the bodyguards of the Nguyễn Emperor. These statues are made of stone, a material very rare in Khai Dinh's tomb.

Climbing up further you will reach the Thien Dinh palace. The interior is densely decorated with elaborate glass and porcelain designs. The floor is covered with enamelled flowers bricks and the ceiling is painted with nine dragons, emerging from fleets of clouds.

The sarcophagus of the Emperor is located at the rear room of the Khai Thanh palace. There, you find statue of the seated Emperor Khai Dinh upon his throne. The whole room is decorated with stained glass and mosaics built ceramic based broken into pieces.

The room lit up an elegant golden glow by the lightings at the throne and the lamps in the room. Do visit this tomb folks! A place full of history and magnificent architecture.

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Vietnam Trip 2016 - Huế - Imperial City

Monday, May 1, 2017 at 20:49      No comments

You must have heard of the Forbidden City! But did you know that Vietnam had a similar city?

Like many countries in Asia, Vietnam used to be ruled by dynasties of families with a long list of emperors with harems and grand palaces. The Imperial City was a fortified palace of the Nguyen Dynasty for 140 years dated back from 1805 until 1945.

Inside the Citadel walls was once lavish and opulent, with ornate gardens and intricate pagodas. Much of the Imperial City was damaged or destroyed during the Vietnam War. It is now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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