Friday, August 31, 2012

Colors From My Wanderings

ORANGE and the monks of Chiang Rai, Thailand.  In a less popular temple in Chiang Rai, I chanced on these monks attending a meeting! Yes, they were discussing something, instead of doing their prayers or chanting.

Light is essential so people can discern the different hues that surround us. Colors make our surroundings vivid portions of our habitat, thus making our lives a little less boring. In this post, I am sharing lots of colors taken from different places all throughout the land. 

My blogger friend Ram - roped me into this contest, but I was unable to make it on time due to work, which was too bad. Nevertheless, I am posting my chosen photos.  This competition is organized by Travel Supermarket. The rules of the competition are given here: . Now as per rules of the competition I am supposed to tag five other bloggers to do the honors. Unfortunately, since I am very late, tagging five others at this point would be useless since I didn't make the deadline. 

But here's hoping these photos would give someone a smile on his/her face.

This is the Eye in the Sky


Taken at one of the ancient palaces in Hue, Vietnam.

A school of jelly fish at the Manila Ocean Park, Manila, Philippines

Steel sculptures  enshrined at the National Museum in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Young girls wearing a traditional dress in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal.

A temple along Jonker's street in Melaka, Malaysia.

A small Chinese Temple in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.

Flowers called gumamelas arranged at the well in Eden Nature Park, Davao City, Philippines.


A serenely beautiful tea plantation in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.

Children picking tamarind fruits in Beng Mealea, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Ruins and the trees in Beng Mealea, one of the sites where "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" was filmed, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Street delicacy (a version of the pancakes) in Bandung, Indonesia.

Ruins of the Prambanan Temples and the track leading to the woodlands in Prambanan, Indonesia.


A Catholic Church patterned after Paris' Sacre Couer right in the heart of Trichy, India.

A neglected roadside temple/altar in the bordertown of Gorakhpur, India enroute to Nepal.

A trike driver in Surakarta, Indonesia.

Horse drawn carriage at the desolate beach in Parangtritis, Indonesia.


One of the gorgeous Khmer palaces in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Detail of the roof and ubosot of a temple in Chiang Saen, North Thailand.

A Vietnamese painting on display in Hue, Vietnam.

Sumptuous meal in Negombo, Sri Lanka.

India's version of the Big Mac called Maharaja Mac in New Delhi, India.

How do you pick a single color in Thanjavur, India?

Colors abound in Agra, India.

Painting for faith in Swayambhunath, Nepal.

A fruit stall in Pudokottai, India.

Colorful trinkets in Bhaktapur, Nepal.


Taking the bus in Madurai, India.

One of God's most beautiful, natural creations in Pokhara, Nepal, the jump off point for travels to Everest.


A quiet sidestreet in Kuala Terangganu, Malaysia.

A quiet residential lane - with colorful winding stairs - in Kuching, Malaysia.


One of the sandstone-constructed edifices at the Lodhi Garden in New Delhi, India.

One of the stately tombs in Delhi, India.

A temple in Madurai, India.

Liuli Fountain at the Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Delicious concoction a la halo halo in Jakarta, Indonesia.

A reveler at a festival in Solo, Indonesia.


Pool at the Goa Gajah Temple in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Concrete Angkorian soldiers in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Melting red candles at the Santo Nino Basilica in Cebu City, Philippines.

Once, opium products were openly sold here at the Golden Triangle where 3 countries meet: Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

Crossing the waters in Sarawak River, Kuching, Malaysia.


Magnificent White Temple in at the fringes of Chiang Rai, Thailand.

A beautiful but mostly ignored temple in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand's shopping istrict.


One of the several Black Temples some 30 minutes from Chiang Rai, Thailand - as designed and maintained by one of the country's National Artists.

Blooming flowers in Da Nang, Vietnam

A painting for sale in Kathmandu, Nepal. I was gonna buy this but negotiations bogged down when I was charged 3x the original price I was initially given.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Malaysia Tourism Centre in KL's Jalan Ampang

I've come full circle. Visiting Malaysia Tourism Information Centre (MaTIC) again felt exactly like that. The first and last time I was here was some five years ago - on my very first visit to Malaysia, although it feels like eons ago. The place hasn't changed much, as it is beautifully tucked in a quiet place right in the heart of KL's commercial district. This 1935 mansion is beautifully framed by the rising skyline of the capital, with the Twin Towers beaconing nearby.

I wasn't sure I'd find this from memory. It had been so long and I haven't mastered the city trains of KL yet. However, the heavens have been good and I've actually "spotted" a billboard advertising the MaTIC. Had I been less attentive, it was easy to miss because I was jetting from KL Sentral to Imbi station. Visit us via Bukit Nanas, it said. I wasn't sure where Bukit Nanas is, which train to take, but I knew it was a station somewhere. Bahala na, whatever will be. If I find it, good. If I don't, it will be one more anecdote to tell about failed attempts on a journey.

From KL Sentral, I purchased my ticket - 2.10 ringgit, 8 train stops. Beautifully gliding through a continuously changing metropolis, I later found out that Bukit Nanas is located a few hops from one of KL's main attractions, the KL Tower. In fact, I was delivered safely at the foot of it. From outside the station, I found some directional sign saying "3 minutes to Tourism Malaysia". That should be my destination, right? I walked along Jalan Ampang. Nearby was Shangrila Hotel, and I could see the gleaming Petronas Twin Towers from a distance. I could have taken my train to KLCC and walked to MaTIC, but Jalan Ampang was closer.

The building used to be called Tuanku Abdul Rahman Hall, which was built in 1935. It was named after the first Supreme Head of State of the Federation of Malaya. His reign happened between 1957 and 1960. The building was the mansion of a wealthy planter and tin miner - Eu Tong Seng. Due to its distinct beauty, this was offered for important events, like the installation of the country's first King. With the passing of time, descendants of Mr. Seng thought of offering the place for government use. True enough, in 1988, this mansion was formally turned over, designed as a one-stop shop for tourists. There are counters for different concerns regarding travel within the country. They even have information about neighboring Singapore. Maps and brochures could be had from this center so if you're a newbie in KL, here's your easy access for information - and they're available for free!

Every Tuesdays and Thursdays, cultural dance performances are scheduled at their mini-auditorium. There's an open air bazaar at the adjacent lot. Floral bouquets abound inside the main hallway. The compound has a foreign exchange counter, a post office, souvenir shops an inside the main hall, and  an internet station for guests. The name is particularly fetching - Cafe Manila! Now, this is music to my ears because in a tourism center as efficiently run as MaTIC, they had to name their net station Cafe Manila - not Cafe Melaka, not Cafe Bukit Bintang! This actually puts emphasis on the close ties between the two countries. And it makes me proud. A visitor is allowed 20 minute browsing for free, you just have to ask for a password  from the counter.

Ask for your free KL and Malaysia maps and brochures here.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

A picturesque garden in front of the tourism center.

The lobby has a sungca (see below).

A free internet station is named Cafe Manila

At the open bazaar, I ordered Nasi Lemak Kukub at a very cheap 4 ringgit. This was tasty although the tendrils of feather stalks bothered me. This dish had chilly paste and peanuts.