The Monastery – or Al Deir – is the largest structure in Petra. It requires a strenuous trek of more or less 800 steps with seemingly endless uphill slopes and lots of wonderful spots to admire the views. It took me an hour or so to reach the Monastery including tea breaks with some of the vendors selling souvenirs and several Bedouins. The hike was truly worth it and I was thrilled to bits the moment I saw it!
More about the Monastery and Petra on my next posts…
Happy Thursday, homo sapiens!
Apart from food, the street art in George Town in Penang, Malaysia was one of the highlights of my visit back in 2014. Armed with a map for my street art hunt and suggestions from other travelers I’ve met there, I was determined to track down as much as I could. However, on this entry, I’m just sharing my favorites among the many and these are the works of the brilliant Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic.
This is the Roman temple located in the Amman Citadel. It is more popularly known as the Temple of Hercules. It’s said to have been built in the same period when the Roman Theater was built between 162-166 AD.
This is the spot where Moses is believed to have seen the Promised Land thousands of years ago. I was lucky that the weather was great when I visited that I was also able to enjoy a view of the Dead Sea and few other places such as Bethlehem and Jericho.
A view worthy of the 2-hour hike!
Gia Rai is one among the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Funeral rites for the Gia Rai people are complex and expensive. Water buffalo and cows are usually offered as sacrifice. They follow a custom that all the people of the same matriarchy family must be buried in the same tomb when they die. Below is a replica of a Gia Rai tomb displayed in the Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi.
Thirty dead people can be buried in this tomb. It is also said that the tomb house is for the dead in the afterlife. There are totally 27 carvings surrounding the tomb and the most prominent are carvings of sexually-explicit figures of men and women and children seated in the corners of the tomb house.
The pictures below are some funerary statues displayed inside the museum.
I love Vietnamese food. Last month, I had the chance to go back to Vietnam and as an avid eater, I tried to eat as much as I could. There’s nothing I didn’t like. Everything was wow just like the first time I’ve been here and tasted their food.
For this post, let’s have bun cha…
Bun cha is said to have originated in Hanoi. It’s basically rice noodles, grilled pork in cold broth and herbs. So in a small bowl, you just have to mixed them all together then add some garlic, chili and lime. Most places include fried spring rolls when they serve bun cha and it perfectly complements the meal.
I noticed that bun cha is mostly served for lunch but I can eat it any time of the day. 🙂
The best place, for me, is the one in Hang Manh.
Yes, there are tables on the sidewalk, and that’s normal. 🙂
The Ede (or Rade people) is one among the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Below is a photo of a typical Ede House.
This Ede Long House was originally built in 1967 and was reconstructed in the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in 2000. The house reflects many aspects of Ede culture. I learned that Ede families are matriarchal. The head of the family is a woman, children bear their mother’s surname, daughters inherit family assets, the groom moves to his bride’s house after marriage, etc. A new compartment is added every time a girl in the house gets married. It is said that the longer the house, the more prosperous the family is.
An Ede House is divided in two parts: the Gah and the Ok. The Gah, basically the living room, as shown in the photo above, is used for gatherings. Jars and gongs are kept and displayed in this part of the house for the rich Ede families. The Gah occupies around 1/3 to 2/3 of the house and the rest is the Ok, mainly the area for sleeping.
The most interesting part of the house for me are the staircases. For rich families, there are two staircases in front of the house, one for males which are just plain and another for females, where a crescent and female breasts are carved.
Enjoying a view of The Treasury from the top of an opposing cliff. It looks rather tiny from up there. 🙂 But awesome nevertheless.
After a little more than a kilometer walk in The Siq, you will be fascinated by The Treasury — the most iconic sight in Petra. Despite its name, it is believed to be a royal tomb. I find it hard to believe that this carved structure is more than 2000 years old because the design and details are still very well-preserved.