Monday, 20 August 2018

Istana Jahar Museum In Kota Bharu

Wanna live like a royal in Malaysia? If you abide by all of the requirements proudly displayed at the Istana Jahar Museum of Royal Traditions, heavy will hang the head that wears the crown. There's no end to traditions that must be abided.

The museum is housed in an impressive former royal residence. It was built in 1887 by Sultan Muhammad II of Kelantan for his grandson Long Kundur. The museum opened in 1981.

Beautiful woodwork throughout and an impeccable restoration. On to ceremonies. Many examples are displayed, frequently for reasons that seem exhausting. There's an Earth Stepping ceremony, a Bathing ceremony, the required Seven Month Pregnancy ceremony and so on. You want to be royalty? You're gonna be busy.

Your wardrobe, like living atop a wedding cake. Sweet.

More displays of ceremonies. One consistent feature: a big, rubber chicken.

Royal bed, with instructions. You did not just encourage people to...move along.

Friday, 17 August 2018

A Look At The Town Of Kota Bharu

Kota Bharu is a city in the northeast corner of peninsular Malaysia, a mostly Muslim section of the country. There are a handful of historical landmarks to see when wandering around town.

Central gate, Koran holder in the middle.

Square with clock tower. Much of the city architecture is 1960's Soviet-looking brutal concrete buildings.

Promenade on the muddy river Kelantan.

More looks, colorful balcony, top of another tower, overlooking the river (and reaching into the sky).

Bold look for the stadium.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Temple Trimmings In The Brickfields Neighborhood Of Kuala Lumpur

It's natural that one of the Indian areas of Kuala Lumpur would have plenty of temples. You can only pray at so many 7-Elevens. Plenty of temples, plenty of nice details.

Classic South Indian temple architecture, the mighty gopuram. It's a tower over a temple gate, entrance.

Fantasy and reality, a temple sign in front of re-construction work. Temple gifts.

Stately figures.

Holy embellishment on top of embellishment. 


Monday, 13 August 2018

Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple In Kuala Lumpur

There's a little gem of a Buddhist temple in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It's a small, colonial-looking brick building with a nice, clean tiled interior. It was founded in 1895.


Buddha on high on an adjacent building. The interior of the temple.

Large reclining Buddhas, always popular.

Figure details, looking bright.

Buddha out back, taking advantage of a favorable reflection.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Sam Kow Tong Temple In Kuala Lumpur

Right in the middle of the Little India Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur is a lovely Chinese temple. That's actually not unusual. Despite the fact that several neighborhoods are drawn along ethnic lines, there's still plenty of intermingling of ethnicities.

Ancient butting up against modern. The Sam Kow Tong temple was established here in 1916. It's known for the sweeping dragons on the roof.

Inside altar. Busy.

Wax and paper imitations of flowers, fruits and details.

Memorial section dedicated to the dead.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Checking Out Brickfields, Little India In Kuala Lumpur

There's the original Little India in central Kuala Lumpur and then another Indian neighborhood farther south, where, we guess, Indians moved, once a little prosperity came their way. Just like in the US, movin' on up.

Welcome to Brickfields, bright colors, decorative elements and guys moving stuff - must be an Indian neighborhood.

Definitely the place to go for your Indian formal wear.

Biryani seller. Most Indians in Malaysia are from South India and their cuisine follows. Biryani is a specialty from the South Indian city of Hyderabad.

Barber, interesting mix of cuts to request. Affleck, big on the subcontinent. Small, streetside shrine.

Old school everything store.

Textiles, an Indian specialty. Get your sari blouse or something made at the tailor.

Because you've gotta look sharp.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Quickly Looking At The Monument To Dr Yang Kuang Sheng

Right in the center of the old Chinese cemetery in Manila is an impressive monument.

It's dedicated to the Consul General of China to the Philippines, Dr Clarence Kuangson Young.

The interesting detail is a plaque at the memorial, to another officer, Consul Dr. Yang Kuang Sheng. A moving story, no matter how one stretches the definition of "brief."

Friday, 3 August 2018

Murals At Wat Preah Prom

One of the highlights of Wat Preah Prom is an expansive mural that takes up an inner wall of the courtyard that surrounds the ordination hall. The mural, or series of murals, takes up all four walls and depicts a variety of Khmer legends, ancient life and stories of Buddha.

It's the loving, sometimes frightening, style of the murals that make the biggest impressions. On to the show.

The murals, complete with tiger cutouts. Buddhists love a colorful show.

Ugh oh. Getting eaten never looked so clear.

Bedding down. Notice the 3D plaster work.

Sneaky rabbit, snarky horse and busy bird.

Going all out to illustrate a crowd, heads receding to infinity. A Renaissance trick.