Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Monday, April 29, 2013

Our World - Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul

The largest of the ancient grand palaces in the South Korean capital, Gyeongbok Palace  (Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven) is one of my favourite places to visit in Seoul. It is also one of the most historically significant sites in Korea. I find that the palace is very reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Beijing, although on a much smaller scale.

It was a beautiful start to autumn when we visited the area. Leaves began to change from green to other beautiful colours and the leaves covering the ground was a sight to behold.

Entering through one of the inner gateways, the palace takes you through a large square where you can see a fantastic view of the beautiful backdrop of National Folk Museum of Korea. We managed to visit the place too but I'll post them another time.

Within the complex, there are tons of ornate buildings with elaborate colored paintings signifying the royal power.

According to my research, the palace was built in 1395 and destroyed twice during Japanese occupation and were later restored 250 years later with additional buildings and architectures. Even now a little scaffolding can be seen.

It's kind of interesting to walk around the palace grounds and imagine how the royal family used to live hundreds of years ago.

Most of the buildings in the palace are quite small but the palace grounds are quite large. I wish I remembered more in detail about this particular building, but there was way too much to be taking in all at once just being there.

Moving along, it's also quite common to see these miniature statues standing on top of historical Korean buildings. Each of them represents a different animal, supposedly portraying an old folk story!

Another impressive building not to be missed  is Guenjeongjeon, the main throne hall of Gyeongbok Palace. This is where the King formally meets foreign envoys.

Our World

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Skywatch - Before the rain

Anyone who has been to Ayer Itam in Penang will notice the Kek Lok Si Temple standing majestically in the city's skyline.

The surrounding lush greenery, beautiful endless stretch of mountains was just soothing to the eyes.

These were some views of the sky before the rain started.

Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

As a tribute to Earth Day, I'm featuring a collection of nature's beautiful wonders. It is a good time to be reminded about the importance of doing our part to help protect mother earth.

Let's go green everyday.

Keep it clean and pristine.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

We need to cherish our precious planet.


Mosaic Monday

Our World

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Skywatch - A peaceful evening

There is nothing more soothing than to enjoy a calm, serene evening at the end of a hectic day.


Seopjikoji Hill, Jeju Island

Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Korean ginseng

Monday, April 15, 2013

Our World - Hofburg Palace in Vienna

Like many beautiful palaces across Europe, Austria also has its fair shares of palaces and I had the pleasure of visiting Belvedere Palace, Schonbrunn Palace and not to mention, the Hofburg Palace in the heart of Vienna.

The Hofburg Imperial Palace, which is currently the official residence for the Austrian Federal President, was once the palace for the Holy Roman Empire's ruler. I also discovered that the famous Hapsburg dynasty used the palace as their winter residence.

Museums within the Palace which have been preserved over the centuries consists of 18 wings, 19 courtyards, more than 2500 rooms and also several museums and collections, Imperial Library, riding school, horse stables and etc.

This particular section of the palace, is known as St Michael's wing. Due to limited time, we didn't manage to visit the interior of the building but it was rewarding taking a stroll around the surrounding area observing the architectural splendour and detailed sculptures up close. Based on the exterior decorations, I've to say that Belvedere remains my favourite palace in Vienna.

Here are some details of the Hofburg domes. The eagles sitting on top of the golden globe are a symbol of the Hapsburg dynasty which ruled over Austria.

The legend of Hercules is apparently a favourite of many, including the Hapsburg family. The southern entrance of Hofburg Palace is decorated with a series of totally awesome sculptures known as "The Labors of Hercules" by Lorenzo Matielli.

Here he's battling the mighty Cerberus, guardian of the Underworld!

As we walked around the palace, we came across a large monument dedicated to Emperor Francis I of Austria a.k.a. Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. The imposing monument, surrounded by four other statues was created in the 18th century, by the Italian sculptor Pompeo Marchesi.

At a different corner, we came upon the convention center. It's interesting to see flags from all different countries, decorating the side of the Hofburg. Every year Hofburg is hosting about 300 to 350 events and among the events include conventions and meetings as well as banquets, trade fairs, concerts and balls.

This is Neue Burg section as seen from Heldenplatz where Hitler gave his speech after Germany invaded Austria.

Aside from the amazing history and beauty of the medieval architecture, there are also benches to sit and relax throughout the garden. A great spot for some peace and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Our World

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Camera Critters - Tweeting birds

A few feathered friends enjoying their moments at Everland Theme Park in South Korea.


Camera Critters

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Skywatch - Good morning world


I wake up every morning to say thank you God for waking me up to see another beautiful day to enjoy life.

Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Go Ape


Escape Adventureplay Theme Park, Penang

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, April 8, 2013

Our World - Charmsori Gramophone & Edison Science Museum

As the name suggests, this is a place dedicated entirely to gramophones and science. The museum comprising of two separate museums, Charmsori Gramophone Museum and Edison Science Museum, is the first and largest of its kind with a variety of valuable vintage and antique gramophones and Edison awesome inventions.

What I find truly fascinating is that most of these antiques are not just for decorations and antiques but are totally functional instruments capable of producing live music.

From another corner, I also came across these decorative light bulbs, one of Edison's greatest inventions. They are  completely operable and are bright as the day they were new.

Another not to be missed is the movie reels of the same era. Even after decades, I still find these magnificent pieces of early technology to be endlessly fascinating.

There are also various types of retro radios produced around the world from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Here are the many faces of the late Thomas Edison, his inventions and innovations, as well as historic artifacts from his life. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world and I'm pleased that I had the opportunity to experience history and a chance to see inventions of a great inventor in this museum.

Our World

Friday, April 5, 2013

PhotoHunt - Peace and Tranquility, Quirky

The seafront Eastern and Oriental Hotel (E&O) is one of the best spots to find peace and tranquility in the heart of Penang.

I used to spend my time here watching the sun set while enjoying the beauty of nature.

At a different corner of the city, there are several quirky art pieces designed by international artist Ernest Zacharevic that have gained attention far and wide. They make me smile whenever I come across them. They brighten up old, boring walls and here are a couple  of his quirky creations that I enjoyed most.

Two children riding on a real bicycle at Armenian Street

and a boy perched on an old motorcycle at Ah Quee Street.

Sandi's PhotoHunt

Gattina's PhotoHunting

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Skywatch - Autumn skies

Fall foliage shows off its dazzling colors  in South Korea last November.


 Skywatch Friday