Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Monday, May 30, 2011

My World - An encounter with monkeys

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When I was over at Penang Botanic Garden recently, these little fellas were roaming freely around the park as I stood quietly from a distance. They didn't seem bothered by my presence there.


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This one stops for a brief rest on the fence and I think it's enjoying all that morning sunshine.


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It was keeping a watchful eye on me. It spotted me taking its picture and it looked quite grumpy but glad it didn't behave aggressively.


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It sat there for a few minutes and I wonder what it was thinking


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Then it went down the fence and it gave me an intense look. The eye contact can be scary but I wasn't that close as I'd like to be. The photos have been cropped for a closer look.


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I captured another shot of him sitting on the ground, looking curious and unafraid. And he too, sat just long enough for me to take a few quick shots. He seemed to be harmless and I think he enjoyed posing for a photo shoot but these primates can be quick to move. It's difficult sometimes to catch just the precise moment and opportunity. Sometimes I get lucky.


That's My World

Friday, May 27, 2011

PhotoHunt - Looking Down

Here are some pictures of a glorious spring day taken during our getaway in Santorini last year.

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A great view looking down from the top of Santorini's village of Oia. It was such a thrill to look down the cliffs that have fascinating shapes and colours.


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As we wandered around, we stopped at various points of the journey to take photos and from here you can see those villages and steeple perched precariously on top of cliffs.


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From another view, I love this shot from the top looking down into the cliff and the rays of light reflected by the setting sun.



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The tranquil turquoise sea looks so beautiful but looking down can a bit freaky as it's a long way down and I'd be afraid of toppling over at any time.


PhotoHunt

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Skywatch - Kuala Lumpur skyline at night

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A view of Kuala Lumpur skyline as seen from Look Out Point, Ampang. The Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower can clearly be spotted. While the Petronas Twin Towers may no longer be the world's tallest buildings, I think they are still quite iconic and the skyline of Kuala Lumpur looks fabulous at night.

Skywatch

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

My World - Honouring Lord Buddha

Buddhists from all walks of life flocked to temples and association premises to offer their prayers for Wesak Day last week. I've been paying homage to Lord Buddha for the past two decades to seek blessings for good health, prosperity and good fortune and this year is no exception.

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Wesak Day falls on the 15th of the fourth moon (lunar calendar) and is the most auspicious day in the Buddhist calendar, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha 2,555 years ago. This year the festival falls on 17th May but the date changes each year, because Wesak is a lunar festival.



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As we entered the premises, a sitting Buddha and other miniature statues welcomed us warmly. The gold- coloured statue of Lord Buddha, was artfully adorned with twinkling lights, pineapple candles and various kinds of flowers.


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The highlight of the celebration was the bathing of the miniature statue of Lord Buddha.


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The queue was extremely long when we arrived at the Kedah Buddhist Association and together with other devotees, we waited patiently for our turns to bathe the little Buddha statue with scented floral water filled with petals.


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Even Hindus joined in the line for the spiritual ceremony. The ritual was a symbol of purification and spiritual cleansing from bad omens.


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While I have not obtained a deep knowledge of Buddhism, I've been captivated by the glowing statue since I was small. The details and beauty of the Buddha's peaceful face was truly inspiring. Standing so close to Buddha, I'm really thankful for all of his blessings in my life.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. ~Buddha

That's My World

Friday, May 20, 2011

PhotoHunt - Cluttered

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A view of cluttered buildings and fishing boats on the shore of the Bosphorus straits in Istanbul. These buildings are located on the European side of the shore.


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And here is one corner of a nicely cluttered shop selling a wide range of Turkish products, in Spice Bazaar, also in Istanbul.

PhotoHunt

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Skywatch over Lycabettus Hill and Athens

A wonderful view of Lycabettus Hill and Athens from the Acropolis. Lycabettus Hill or Mount Likavitos is the highest point in Athens at 277 meters (908 feet) above sea level.

What a pleasant treat it was to see the bright, beautiful sky and gentle cool breeze that greeted us at that moment. Hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as I do.


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Skywatch

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Look Who's Croaking?

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Aquaria KLCC

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 16, 2011

My World - St Peter's Cemetery, Salzburg

St. Peter's Cemetery (Petersfriedhof) is the oldest Christian cemetery in Salzburg dating back to the 16th century.

I was not even aware that I was in a cemetery until someone pointed it out to me. This is one of the nicest cemeteries that I have had the pleasure to wander around taking pictures and I think it is just amazing to see each grave so highly ornate and well tended with loving care by respective families.

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You might find it odd but I like to check out old cemeteries, the older the better. They are really fascinating and I like beautiful head stone designs and and the atmosphere helps to add a sense of calmness to the whole surrounding.

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Not to mention, the exquisite wrought iron artwork throughout the cemetery brings a lot of character to it. I was told that many of the aristocratic families of Salzburg lie buried here along with many other notable person.


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The cemetery was also used as a setting in the Sound of Music movie. All the cemetery scenes of Maria and the Von Trapp family hiding from Nazis were filmed back in the Fox studio at Hollywood. Although the setting was made to mimmick this cemetery, I still think it's worth a visit as it really does capture the atmosphere of the scenes.

That's My World

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cannonball tree flowers

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While taking a walk along the trail in Penang Botanic Garden, I spotted several flowers of the cannonball trees blooming along the pathway.


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It flowers in all its glory all year round.


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Unlike anything I've experienced before, I found myself smelling the fragrant blossoms over and over again. Trust me, the scent of the flowers are so refreshing and pleasurable, possibly superior to many commercial perfumes I've encountered!


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The tree was named the cannonball tree for a good reason because of its brown cannon-ball-like fruits.


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Both the fruit and the flower grow from stalks which sprout from the trunk of the tree.


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From another perspective, I found this tree with long dangling branches to be bizarre and creepy, which kinda reminds me of Medusa of Greek myth.


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Although the tree was said to have originated from South America, it has great sacred and religious significance to Buddhists and Hindus.


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And here's young cannonballs beginning to sprout.


Today's Flowers

Macro Monday

Saturday, May 14, 2011

PhotoHunt - Missing/Missed

Spotted these female statues with missing head and limbs at the Library of Celsus in Ephesus. These statues were replicas and the originals were taken to the Vienna museum when the library was being excavated.

Here are three of them:


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This one representing knowledge (Episteme).


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Statue of Arete (virtue)


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And this one symbolizing Sophia, the Goddess of wisdom

Blogger was down for over the last 24 hours and as a result, my previous posts and comments went missing. However my posts seemed to have been recovered this morning but a number of comments were still missing. I hope the problems will be resolved soon and I want to thank those who left comments, they are much appreciated.

PhotoHunt

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Skywatch - Windmills of Santorini

Typical windmills standing guard on the hills overlooking the villas and the Aegean Sea in Oia, Santorini.

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Skywatch

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Turkish cuisine

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Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My World - The Arch of Constantine, Rome

Like many ancient architectures in Rome, the Arch of Constantine is one of the best preserved monuments we've seen and it stands right next to Colosseum.

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The monument was built to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312AD. It was dedicated in 315 and is one of three Triumphal Arches still standing in Rome, with the Arch of Titus and Arch of Septimius Severus. The hill seen in the background is Palantine Hill.


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I noticed that every inch of the wall had intricate details and each seems to tell a story or symbolise something significant.


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These two roundels depict Licinius (Constantine's co-emperor during the era) on a lion hunt and Constantine sacrificing to Hercules. The friezes shown below the roundels were from the period of Constantine. It was the style of the 4th century where people were depicted with shorter bodies and large eyes.


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I was told that a good vantage point from Colosseum offers an impressive view of this imposing monument but we didn't manage to go inside the Colosseum as it was already closed when we arrived. Nevertheless, it was rewarding taking a stroll around the surrounding area observing the architectural splendour and sculpted images up close.

That's My World