Friday, 30 November 2018

Seeing The Shwedagon Pagoda In Yangon

The temple heavy in Yangon is definitely Shwedagon, a behemoth of a Buddhist complex on a hill. The place has room for thousands of people and they do come by the thousands to pray, walk around, hang out. It's a scene.

Main stupa.

Strolling the main promenade around the big stupa. An ersatz leprechaun-like figure, pointing you in the right direction.

Temple detail.

Buddhas everywhere, both big and plentiful.

In a quiet section, a relaxing elephant lineup.

Figures, practicing impressive high relief.

More Buddha? Sure, this time in the classic reclining position.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Old Architecture In Yangon

Yangon has some of the most impressive British Colonial and Art Deco architecture of any city in Asia. Most of the municipal buildings were built by the British and more recent architecture followed current worldwide trends. Between regime change, wars and tropical wear and tear, most buildings display various stages of disrepair and rot.

Old high school.

Telegraph office, intruding cell tower. Apartment building, both fading away and keeping up electronically.

The most important British Colonial building in the city, now being impressively restored, The Secretariat.

Old movie theaters in various amounts of Art Deco trappings.

St Paul school for girls, still in use.

Lovely details, stressing the amount of architectural detail.

The rot is real with many buildings in prominent locations still waiting for the renovation angel and the many kyats needed to bring them back to original splendor (with air conditioning, wifi, parking).

Monday, 26 November 2018

Back To Batu Caves In Kuala Lumpur

Batu Caves is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Kuala Lumpur area. And a series of Hindu temples. The caretakers have been busy restoring sections of the complex and the bright results have started to emerge. Time to take another look.

The entrance plaza, new temple on the left, fresh paint everywhere.

Burst of color details, the top of the plaza temple and the long set of stairs heading to the first cave. Josef Albers or Frank Stella would have been approving of the color field scheme.

The place is a series of active temples.

Plenty of gods, also restored to pure freshness.

Inside the ground level temple, new uber-level high relief friezes. Wow.

Proud peacock. Gopuram (tower gate) on the temple in the first cave. Neon and Hindu holy temple, who knew?

An immaculate restoration.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Seeing Seeing Kelip-Kelip In Kuala Lumpur

One of the must-do things in Malaysia is to wait for nightfall, head to a mangrove, hop on a little boat and go drift by some trees to see them glow with busy fireflies, otherwise known in Malay by the super-cute term: kelip-kelip.

Must be in the right place. It's an established thing.

Ahh, the anticipation of the experience. And boredom of picking your nose. Onto the boat, the adventure begins.

Not quite, lightning has moved in - and not the bug kind.

Flashing bright. Not the sun setting, it's lightning illuminating everything. Back to darkness, kelip-kelip show themselves. Basically impossible to photograph.

Happy customers.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Basking At Batu Caves In Kuala Lumpur

After over-shopping and over-eating, a pilgrimage to Batu Caves is probably the most popular activity for tourists visiting Kuala Lumpur. Sin and then get saved.

Batu caves is a Hindu Tamil shrine, dedicated to Lord Murugan. It's a series of temples nestled in actual caves. The development of the complex began in earnest once wooden steps were installed in 1920.

Main entrance area. The giant statue of Lord Murugan was erected in 2006.

Enjoying the natural environment. 

Side shrine. Divine.

Portrait of a temple priest. Other caves, of varying commercial slants.

Gazing skyward from the highest cave. Holy hole.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Seeing The Stuffed Animals At The Terengganu State Museum

The city of Kuala Terengganu has a big museum, a grab bag of textiles, local history, royalty, oil. And animals, a great room filled with taxidermy treasures. Take a little time to photograph them and the stuffed figures seem to come to life.