Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Monday, January 31, 2011

Red Galore

This time of year, most Chinese decorate their homes and businesses with red lanterns and other auspicious items in preparation for the Chinese New Year. With just a few days left before the festive season kicks in, I'm putting up some photos of red decorations to share this moment with you.

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Ruby Tuesday

That's My World

Friday, January 28, 2011

PhotoHunt - Standing

There are plenty of options that came to my mind for this week's photohunt theme and it took me a while to decide what pictures to post. After much thought, I thought I'd share with you a couple of photos that I took on our trip to Salzburg last year.

This is a unique sculpture of Sphaera, which depicts a man standing on a large golden sphere at Chapter Square with the Hohensalzburg Fortress towering above it in the background.

When I first spotted this statue, I thought it was a real man standing on the golden sphere. He was so lifelike, that I had to take a closer look to convince myself that he was not real. This artwork project created by Stephan Balkenhol is known to be associated to the Mozart balls that are sold all over the city. Now don't start getting dirty images in your mind as what I'm referring to is chocolate balls. It's a great sales gimmick, but the sweet delicacies are simply irresistible.

I bought a selection of interesting fillings and those with novel combination from this store. A couple of cardboard cutouts of Mozart standing can be seen in front of the store as a tribute of what a great composer he was. And it seems like the sales person couldn't resist being a part of the photo op too. :)


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Creepy Crawlies from Aquaria KLCC


Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 24, 2011

A visit to Aquaria KLCC, An Ocean of Discovery

During our road trip to Kuala Lumpur last month, we made a visit to Aquaria KLCC which is an underwater park located beneath the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (KLCC). My kids enjoyed it so much that we stayed there for a few hours just for this attraction. Not as comprehensive or as big as the ones I've seen in Langkawi and Sydney but it's fairly modern and the enticing colours of aquatic life makes it a memorable experience.

Featuring 60,000 sq ft in two levels with a 90 metre long underwater tunnel, the Aquaria houses over 250 different species and over 20,000 land and aquatic animals from Malaysia and around the world.

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Our first adventure begins at the DNA touch Pool area where you can not only observe but feel and touch the underwater animals such as bamboo sharks, stingrays, starfish, and many species of fish, seaweeds and colourful corals.

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Have you ever experience putting your hands into the touch pool and touch those slimy and scaly critters? This has never been easy for me, but the fun is there. I think the adults were more reluctant and fearful than than the kids. Even though I was too scared to experience it, my kids told me that the sea creatures are friendly and not that scary.

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As we walked along, we encountered some beautifully preserved insects, butterflies and moths which are being placed inside the glass windows.

There are also some interesting exhibits like hermit crab, lizards, snakes, turtles, vice versa that were housed in glass tanks on both sides of the wall.

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Unlike other fellow creatures, this baby crocodile seems to be shying away from the camera but at least I managed to take a shot of its head.

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As we were descending towards the ground level, we noticed a huge cylindrical Flooded Forest Tube tank housing hundreds of fish species swimming gracefully around what looks like a really old tree trunk from the rainforest.

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After experiencing our close encounters with the underwater life, we headed to the water tunnel. The aquarium looks pretty clean and appear to be well-tended, and the inhabitants look fairly healthy and overall quite energetic.

Having to experience those sting rays and sharks swimming overhead you is such a big treat. I think this has gotta be the most enjoyable journey for me. I couldn’t really recall how many times I went through the tunnel. It's truly amazing to get an underside look at sharks, stingrays, and other sea creatures so up close. Even though the walkway seems to be constantly moving and quite dark, I was glad to be able to take a few good shots under low light conditions.

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On the ground level there are many tanks inhabited by all sorts of ocean life and there are detailed facts printed out beside each tank. It’s a wonderful way to introduce kids about marine life species that they don't often get to see and also learn about marine conservation, threats and issues facing marine life.

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And just when we think that we’ve seen the last of Aquaria’s exhibits, a specimen of a mega tooth shark greets us at the exit. I thought it was a fabulous, fitting end to the adventure.

Admisssion fees:

Adults – RM38, RM28 with MyKad
Children - RM26 , RM22 with MyKid,
- aged 3 and below (FOC)
Senior Citizens - RM18

That's My World

Ruby Tuesday

Friday, January 21, 2011

PhotoHunt - Hands


An Indian bride to be with her henna painted hands.

Sorry about the blurry pictures, the only camera available was my phone, so the quality isn't that good.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Skywatch - An evening in Taiwan

I'm sharing some sunset photos from the northern shores of Taiwan taken a few years ago.

If your hometown is covered in rain, ice or snow, hope these pictures will bring you a little warmth and comfort wherever you are.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - The Orthodox Church of Athens

Portrait of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Portrait of Virgin Mother Mary holding child Jesus


Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Festive Plants for Chinese New Year

With the Chinese New Year (CNY) fast approaching, streets and shops are filled to the brim with auspicious seasonal plants to usher in the Lunar Year of the Golden Rabbit. Most Chinese love to have live blooming plants to welcome the refreshing New Year and new growth.

Some of the popular plants would be pussy willows, cherry blossoms, lime plants, bamboo shoots and money trees.

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A combination of plum and peonies blossoms symbolize good luck and good fortune

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Lucky bamboos symbolize harmony and prosperity. They create positive energy and good balance to any room.

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I'm not sure how true this is but it is believed that twisted bamboos will make a person’s luck changed from bad to a good one.

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lime plants symbolize the arrival of good fortune and prosperity. These plants are usually displayed at the front door entrance to a Chinese home or office building.

Pussy willows are thought to symbolize goodwill and motherhood. They are also considered to represent protection for the home. We took these flowers while on one of our walks in Salzburg last year.

That's My World

Ruby Tuesday

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Celosia cockscomb (brain flower)

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I've always been fascinated and enthralled by cockscomb blooms and glad to see these blooms in my mom's garden have finally sprouted.

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The blossom is velvety textured , vibrantly coloured and eye-catching that I just had to take some photos. There are great big holes in the leaves though which are most often caused by insects or their larvae. I was surprised to find that these flowers can have every single leaf eaten off and still survive!

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I think I’m not the only one who is reminded of a brain tissue when glancing at a celosia. More often it is referred to as Brain Celosia but sometimes also known as Cockscomb since it bears a resemblance to the rooster's comb.

I hope you enjoy these flowers as much as I do!

Today's Flowers

Macro Monday

Friday, January 14, 2011

PhotoHunt - Shadow

Here are my shadow shots for this week's photohunt theme.

Such perfect shadows on a late afternoon in Ephesus, Turkey.

Sometimes the simplest things form a really nice shadow

shadow on delicate white petals

A quiet stroll in pleasant places sweeps the cobwebs from the shadows of my mind.

The fencing creates a beautiful shadow on a sunny morning.

You can count on your shadow to be always by your side. It's the closest thing next to you.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Sights around Selcuk, Turkey


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

The Schonbrunn Palace was one of the many impressive buildings that we visited in Vienna. It served as the summer residence of the Hapsburgs monarchs for some generations since the reign of Empress Maria Theresa.

We didn’t have enough time to go inside the palace but we managed to spend some time strolling around the extensive gardens and grounds.

The palace's vast complex include the Gloriette, Palmenhaus, Dessert house, mazes, Roman ruins, English and French gardens, countless sculptures, an orangery and the Schonbrunn Zoo, the oldest zoo in the world.

This is where the amazing Empress Maria Theresa lived with her 16 children and her husband Emperor Francis 1. After the downfall of the Hapsburgs dynasty in 1918, the newly founded Austrian Republic became the owner of Schonbrunn Palace and preserved the beautiful rooms and chambers as a museum for the visitors.

I was told that the palace was painted yellow because it was the Empress's favourite colour. There are 1,441 rooms, mostly rented-out for conferences or concerts but only 40 rooms are open to the public

I love the ornate railings lining the stairways

These grounds are accessorized with Roman ruins and statues of several Greek and Roman gods.

The view of Great Parterre on to the Gloriette. The Gloriette, at the far end of the palace sits above a hilltop overlooking the garden, palace and the grounds. The garden was perfectly symmetric and a joy to look at. I wish I could’ve gone up close to it but when I approached the gardens, it started to get pretty chilly, making it difficult to really walk around.

My World

Ruby Tuesday

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Macro Monday - Friendly grasshopper

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This little fella paid us a visit while we were having tea break yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised that it allowed me to get as close as I did.

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This critter was very co-operative and managed to deliver a few cool poses before hopping away.

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A great model and I think it likes being the center of attention .

Macro Monday