Rule of Thirds in Bali

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds in Bali

This weeks Photo Challenge, compose your subject off-center, obeying the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is a photography concept that puts the subject of the photograph off-center, which usually results in blank space in the rest of the image. The “Rule of Thirds” one of the first things that budding digital photographers learn about in classes on photography and rightly so as it is … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds in Bali

The old town with all its canals

China’s “Small Venice” or ‘Garden of Clear Ripples’ at the Summer Palace

The Summer Palace in Beijing started out life as the ‘Garden of Clear Ripples’  in 1750. It served as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Cixi, who diverted 30 million taels of silver, originally designated for the Chinese navy, into the reconstruction and enlargement of the Summer Palace. Personally I think it was money well spent for this is such a beautiful part of this palace structure. … Continue reading China’s “Small Venice” or ‘Garden of Clear Ripples’ at the Summer Palace

Ta Prohm Temple

Root shrouded Ta Prohm Temple

The ancient city of Angkor used to be a capital of the ancient Khmer Empire of Cambodia and one of the largest cities in the world. This huge complex of buildings, covering about 600 square kilometers, was known far beyond the Khmer Empire until it was destroyed by Siamese troops in 1431. Till the end of the XIXth century, more than 100 palaces and temples … Continue reading Root shrouded Ta Prohm Temple

Cau Dai Temple

Asia’s most Colourful and Gaudy Temple ever

I quite enjoyed my visit to this very colourful and very kitch temple. It doesn’t look so inviting from outside but once you are inside the colours and dragons and pink is definitely eye catching. I wonder who chose the colour scheme and decided that gaudy dragons is the perfect adornment for a collective religion. The colourful Cau Dai Temple is in Tay Ninh City, … Continue reading Asia’s most Colourful and Gaudy Temple ever

Mom and I infront of the Cloud-Dispelling Hall

The Fabulous Summer Palace and its Amazing Gardens in Beijing

Walking through the Summer Palace where once only Royalty could enter was very high on my Beijing wish list. Our China Odyssey group took taxis to the Summer Palace and unfortunately the taxi drivers dropped us off at different entrances so we were split up for the day. This ended up not being a huge problem as we had all arranged to meet again later that day … Continue reading The Fabulous Summer Palace and its Amazing Gardens in Beijing

The Temple of Heaven

Exploring China’s Temple of Heaven where they Performed Sacrifices for Good Harvests

During our fabulous China Odyssey tour we got to visit a couple of different temples and shrines but the Temple of Heaven ended up being my favourite. The Temple of Heaven, literally translated as the Altar of is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. The complex was … Continue reading Exploring China’s Temple of Heaven where they Performed Sacrifices for Good Harvests

The Giant Buddha, mom and me!

The Worlds largest Buddha and the Leshan Dafo Temple on China’s Mount Emei

The hot and humid July weather of China was something I just couldn’t get used to while on our fabulous China Odyssey. So I was quite glad that we started most days early, before it got too hot to even breath properly and I still had the energy to walk up countless of stairs. We climbed up the 300 steps that lead to the top … Continue reading The Worlds largest Buddha and the Leshan Dafo Temple on China’s Mount Emei

Wuhou shrine with its fragrant incense

Walking through Wuhou Shrine and kissing a Sacred Lion.

The next stop on our big China Oddyssey was the beatiful city of Chengdu in Southwest China. Our speed train from Chongqing to Chengdu reached the speed of 199km per hour! This was definitely the fastest moving train that I have ever been on. The countryside zoomed past through the windows along with the countless new construction sights sprouting up all over China. When we … Continue reading Walking through Wuhou Shrine and kissing a Sacred Lion.

Nothing-To-Be-Done-Bridge

Exploring Ghost City where the souls of the dead go to enter the underworld.

Our cruise ship docked close to Fengdu where the famous “Ghost City” is found. This is where the Chinese believe the souls of the dead go. It is situated about 170 kilometers downstream from Chongqing on the north bank of the Yangtze River. Walking up those steps from the boat to the road I thought I might actually pass out from the heat. Already the sweat … Continue reading Exploring Ghost City where the souls of the dead go to enter the underworld.

fragrant incense

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Focus. This week’s challenge is inspired by Matthew George’s post on focus, in which he introduced us to the basics of depth of field and aperture.  In the first shot taken at the Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong the focus is on the fragrant incense with the foreground blurred, giving a bit more depth of field to the photo. In contrast, the focal point of the very … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Cruising down the Li River on a powered bamboo raft

Cruising China’s Li River and exploring the historical Xingping village

While staying in Yangshuo for a couple of days we went for a cruise on the Li River. The Li River or Lijiang is a river in China ranges 83 kilometers from Guilin to Yangshuo. The scenery along the river was breathtaking. That morning all the hills were shrouded in mist and the river covered in small boats and rafts. Cruising on a bamboo raft down the Li River felt like a scene from a … Continue reading Cruising China’s Li River and exploring the historical Xingping village

The Prayer Wheels I got to turn all the way to the top!!

Fortune sticks and Prayer wheels in shrine filled Miyajima

Miyajima is a small island close to Hiroshima that I visited when things at the memorial service got to emotional; for me. This island’s real name is Itsukushima , and Miyajima is just a popular nickname meaning “Shrine Island”. While at the floating shrine, Itsukushima I really wanted to do the Chinese fortune telling sticks but unfortunately everything was in Japanese. Kau Chim or Chinese Fortune Sticks is a fortune … Continue reading Fortune sticks and Prayer wheels in shrine filled Miyajima

Great Buddha Statue was bigger that I expected

Great Buddha and thousands of Jizo statues

Kamakura was Japan’s capital for more than 100 years beginning in 1192 and is filled with shrines and temples. It is also here that the Great Buddha statue is found. My friend Yvonne and I walked around the Kamakura area one sunny Saturday and on our way to the Great Buddha we stopped of at Hase-Dera temple. Hase-dera is one of the great Buddhist temples in the … Continue reading Great Buddha and thousands of Jizo statues

This temple is covered in Gold leaf

Temples of gold and singing floors in Kyoto

Kyoto is a shrine and temple filled city and it was quite difficult to decide which ones to see and which ones to skip. My friend Michael and my first site for the day, while exploring Kyoto was Nijo Castle. Trust me it sounds better than what it looks. It looked more like a stately home than a castle. It had peaceful gardens with small … Continue reading Temples of gold and singing floors in Kyoto

Kiyomizudera ("Pure Water Temple")

Healing water and Lucky love rocks in shrine filled KYOTO

Kyoto is a city filled with countless temples, shrines and other historically significant buildings. It was Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868. Over the centuries, many wars and fires destroyed Kyoto, but due to its historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and spared from air raids during World War II. I … Continue reading Healing water and Lucky love rocks in shrine filled KYOTO

Mist shrouded Nikko, shrines and hot springs.

Nikko is a small city situated about 135km North of Tokyo between picturesque mountains and waterfalls surrounded by lakes, wild monkeys, hot springs and hiking trails. It’s a 3-4 hour journey by train from Shinjuku station on the Tobu-Nikko line and cost me about ¥1320 one-way, ideal for a long weekend get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I packed my bags … Continue reading Mist shrouded Nikko, shrines and hot springs.