Giant Trees in Ta Prohm

Being surrounded by trees is a heavenly feeling for me. And it was a really heavenly feeling roaming around Ta Prohm. Huge trees that are hundreds of years old blend and grow out of the temple walls and the giant roots sprawl through the rocks giving the place that surreal atmosphere.ย These massive trees tower overhead making their leaves filter the sunlight, providing a welcome shade. It’s been said that Ta Prohm was pretty much left the way it was first discovered thus you can’t help but feel a little like Lara Croft. ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to post only about the huge trees here. More of the monastery/temple some other time. My photos can’t give enough justice as to how photogenic the place is but let me share it with you just the same.

A few minutes walk from the West Gate entrance are these two, tall trees. And then…

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This. Then you’ll be entering the main area.

Once you’re inside, lots and lots of massive trees await you.

The next set of photos is a tree leaning to one side. It’s one of my favorites and this was where I started to totally feel the place.

And here comes more giant trees and roots… ๐Ÿ™‚

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And of course, it’s not complete without seeing the Tomb Raider Tree! ๐Ÿ™‚

And then behind that…

I wanted to show you more but it’s all I have left, a lot of photos got deleted and my SD card got corrupted and I didn’t know what to do then, but still I hope you enjoyed this post.

Happy Thursday, homo sapiens! ๐Ÿ™‚

Gia Rai Tomb

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.

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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.

 

Viewpoint

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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.

The Monastery

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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!

Street Art – Penang, Malaysia

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.

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The Temple of Hercules

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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.

Photo of the Day

A view worthy of the 2-hour hike!

Petra, Jordan

Bun Cha

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…

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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.ย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

The best place, for me, is the one in Hang Manh.

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Yes, there are tables on the sidewalk, and that’s normal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ede House

The Ede (or Rade people) is one among the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.

Below is a photo of a typical Ede House.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Photo of the Day

Enjoying a view of The Treasury from the top of an opposing cliff. It looks rather tiny from up there. ๐Ÿ™‚ But awesome nevertheless.

The Treasury, Petra

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.

Bench

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Perfect spot to rest after a long day exploring Petra.

Red Cave Restaurant

I decided to have dinner here in Red Cave Restaurant just a couple of hours ago after reading good reviews about the place. I love the ambiance the moment I came in.

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I have been drinking lemon with mint since I got here and their version is definitely the best!

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I ordered mouhamara for starters…

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And Bedouin Ghaliyah for my main dish…

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The service was good, too. The staffs were friendly and willing to assist you. So all in all, it was a great dining experience for me!


I’d definitely recommend Red Cave Restaurant to everyone visiting Petra. The food is tasty at reasonable prices with hospitality at its best!

Photo of the Day

This photo is one of the many homes lining the walls of the canyons in Little Petra. I liked how casually the Bedouin man sits on his spot. I later had a photo of myself there, too. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Kuan Yin

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The 30.2 meter bronze statue of Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) in Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang.

Happy Thursday!

One of the most amazing things I’ve seen during my trip to Cambodia were the giant trees in the temples. The two photos below are taken from Ta Prohm. There were a lot of giant trees in and out of the temple but I’ll leave you with this one for now. I hope to post more of these huge trees in another entry so watch out for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Happy Thursday, homo sapiens!

Help! Egypt or India?

Hi there, homo sapiens!

I’m planning for a short trip sometime soon and I’m having a hard time deciding. So, I’m down to two options: Egypt or India.

I’m a budget traveler and I’ll be going solo (most likely) and I just want to go sightseeing. I’m contemplating between Egypt or India. I’ve always wanted to see the great pyramids since I was young and I’m currently residing in the Middle East so I really thought of going. I wonder if 5-7 days is enough for Cairo and Luxor? On the other hand, I’ve been thinking of going to India as well to explore Delhi, the Taj Mahal and some places near it.

If you guys were given these two countries to choose from, which one would you choose and why? I’d be happy to hear from you so please help me decide!

Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

Putra Mosque & Perdana Putra

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This is the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia. One of the best mosques I’ve seen there when I visited back in 2014.

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Adjacent to the Putra Mosque is the Perdana Putra — the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office.

Souvenir Shop

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A souvenir shop in Hoan Kiem Lake. Hanoi, Vietnam. 

St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi

It wasn’t just once that I got lost in Hanoi when I was there last May. And every time I got lost, I found something interesting. One of those is the St. Joseph’s Cathedral.ย DSC_3026

This is the oldest church in Hanoi and one of the first structures built by the French colonial government. It looks a bit unattractive outside but it’s definitely wow when you go inside. I lost more than a thousand photos of my trip including photos of the church’s interior, sorry about that, but if you happen to visit Hanoi, don’t skip the St. Joseph’s Cathedral. It’s definitely stunning inside!