Monday, February 21, 2011

The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.

While Waiting for the (forever late) birthday girl.

The first view of Vientiane

I didn't get to see Vientiane from the air as I was allocated on the aisle. It was rather dark when we arrived. Since there was no more air tickets available from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, our best bet is the bus.

They call it VIP bus but nothing VIP about the bus. Perhaps the driver was the VIP. He got to drive slowly and listen to the (locals) music as he wished, and the level of volume he desired. It was a long 10 hour rides to Luang Prabang. My behind was numb! Remind me of my bus trip from Yangoon to Mandalay.

The bus stopped in the middle of no where, midway I believe, for passengers to have supper / dinner. In the same area there were rows of stalls selling almost identical products : dried fresh water fish. I have no comment since I don't really like fresh water fish.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rozz @ No Black Tie

I have watched her several times, in Bagan Bar in Penang and No Black Tie in Kuala Lumpur.

I love her crazy medley and she can really carry high notes.

Extremely funny and entertaining.

She was in No Black Tie again recently. We booked a table right in the centre.


Happy Birthday Babu Canana

She has been everywhere with my.

A wife (not mine!), mother of 2, runs at least 15km on Saturdays.

My biking buddy, cycling buddy, trekking buddy - one of my bestest friends.

May the blessing of Allah be upon you, forever.

Trekking @ Forest Research Institute of Malaysia

Training for Mount Kinabalu climb.

FRIM is not really the place for that. Too easy.

It's like walking in the park

Broga Hill, Semenyeh. (White & Black)

Revisited Broga this early morning again, but this time partly with another bunch.

I decided to go black and white.

Not quite a good day for shooting as it was a cloudy day. Major disappointments to my friends and fellow trekkers who have their fancy DSLR with them as the sun decided not to show up.

It was, still a great trekking day.

Mental note to self: next trip bring some garbage bags. Perhaps I can collect some garbage and create awareness. Its a beautiful place.

I even saw a group of people performed solat subuh.

What a surreal kind experience.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Broga Hill, Semenyeh.

There is a nice sunset (and sunrise) in a place called home.

Woke up at 4.45am this morning for trekking with a bunch of friends.

The climb was moderate to easy, 45 minutes to 1 hour depends on your fitness and skill.

Its worth going through the darkness with a torch.

When we reached the top we were rewarded by the sight in the blue and red in the horizon, I said to myself, its well worth it... and more.

I have seen sunsets in many places in the world, ours is definitely breathtaking too. Nothing less.

Happy Sunday all!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Human dedication to their belief.

These are a pair of carvings from hundreds of other intricate carvings depicting the teaching of Buddha.

Like in places of worship in other religions, man delivers their best skills they have to their religion / belief.

Take a look at the work on great mosques and churches around the world. They are meticulous work of art.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Au revoir les enfants

Luang who?

I don't know who this is but I certainly like the lighting.


Pasar Malam (night market) Prabang style

Despite the myrad of colors oflocal crafts sold in the night market, the market itself is very well organized, clean and pleasant to stroll through - every evening.

Again, no hard sell. You can have your own sweet time to appreciate their work of art.

Most of the traders, a typical local culture, are very courteous.

River beach

Some stretches of the river are also perfect location for picnics and sunbathing and of course, swimming.

Mekong golden sunset

Sunset over the Mekong River - derived from "Mae Nam Khong". "mea" meaning "mother" and "nam" meaning "water" or "mother river". "Khong" is derived from the Sanskrit "ganga", meaning the Ganges.

The Mekong is an important source of drinking water, irrigation, food such as fish and riverweed, transportation.

I was quite nervous when I was told that the Mekong will also be a source of hydro power soon.

When the damn dam arrives, the ecology will be disturbed. I hope they will hadle this delicate issue well, before its too late.

Another day in a life of a monk

Do you know that monks shave their heads every 15 days?

The attend schools, learning are focused on the teachings of Buddha.

Novices also study a variety of academic subjects like English and Math and computer.

Afternoon Ritual

This is one of the 3 monks playing the percussion instruments at 4 pm in the afternoon.

A cymbal, an enormous drum (compared to size of the monk) and 2 small gongs.

The beat was quite monotonous yet dramatic.

I was there for at least 20 minutes enjoying the sight and sound of the whole ritual.

Her work station

I enjoy exploring local markets.

The Luang Prabang fresh morning market is surprisingly very organized, clean and most importantly very quiet compared to local markets I have been to in this region.

Quiet because there is no "hard sell" gong on. The atmosphere is very friendly and it nice to take a stroll.

I went to the fresh market every morning. It was interesting. Besides there were so many kinds of food available for you to try.

They are simple yet very delicious.

A day in a life of a monk in Luang Prabang

Scores of teenager monks walking the street of Luang Prabang in the afternoon, on the way to their respective schools normally located in a bigger wat or monastery temple.

They hardly speak to each other on the street. Briskly and silently, more often than not, they will try to avoid contacts with tourists with cameras.

They normally appear very shy, but very friendly once you greet them "sabaidee".

Unlike some "tudung" ladies in Malaysia, all the monks I met so far respect the saffron robes they wear. The monks do not misbehave when they are clad with the sacred robes.

Luang Prabang

More than 5 years ago, one of my friends went to Luang Prabang. Luang what????
He shot some photos, black and white on film.

Impressed by the beauty of the place and the people and their culture, I decided to explore Luang Prabang myself oevr the Chinese New Year holidays recently.

Named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995, Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its unique, remarkably well-preserved townscape illustrates a key stage in the blending of these two distinct cultural traditions.

Besides the bilingual street signs (Lao and French) you can find baguettes and crêpes at almost every corner of this wonderful quant town. I ordered "deux chocolat chaud s'il vous plaît" and got 2 mugs of perfect hot chocolate - a great night cap after a whole day of photo hunting and food sampling.

Regardless weather you are an outdoor person or not, Luang Prabang has something to offer to most of us - from elephant ride to upmarket spa. Do consider this little town north of Laos to be your next holiday destination.
It has been a while............