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.

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Sad Resort Pool

The brochure looked nice. Great location, the words "resort" and "spa" thrown about. Bring on the luxury vacation. Ugh, no.

From a distance, the curvy pool looks inviting. Let's head downstairs.

Pass on the sad slide. Forgettable float.

Mushroom shower. Things are looking funky.

What to call the concrete decorations? Hard nature? The water features are missing the main ingredient.

The solid turtle may have the right idea, stay on the land.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

A Walk Around Kuala Terengganu

Time to clean the SD card, see what stays hidden and what's thrown against the wall, perhaps to stick.

Hello Terengganu. Surreal development in the foreground.

Parking lot mural.

Lights at night.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Islamic Civilization Park, A Model Attraction

You want to visit 22 of the world's most important Islamic monuments but only have a couple of hours? Concorde booked? No worries, head to the Malaysian city of Kuala Terengganu and go visit the interesting Taman Tamadun Islam, the Islamic Civilization Park.

They've created an amazing place, scale models of famous Islamic sites. Sure, you're thinking, big train sets, big whoop.  Nope, the structures may be small, but they're not miniatures. The scale is 1:10, maybe as large as 1:2. Think big when going small.

First stop, Süleymaniye mosque in Turkey.

Wait, how can one tell how big that mosque is? We need a lovely model for scale. Here's Sarah, pointing at Al Haram mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. There's a nice variety to the places and time periods displayed - a romp around the globe and eras. On the right, the great mosque of Agadez, Niger.

Foreground, great mosque of Samarra in Iraq. Background, an Indian bauble, Taj something...

Getting big, the grand jewel of the park, a scale model of the Dome of the Rock from Jerusalem, Israel. In the park, it's called Kubbah As-Sakhrah, Baitul Muqqaddis in Palestine. One thing that's not open to interpretation is the size of the model. Yes, you can walk into the mosque, complete with replica interior. Dare we say, it rocks?

Sheikh Lufallah mosque in Iran. Squint for Sarah (quietly reading) for scale.

More variety, Al-Hambra palace in Spain, Kudus Minar in Indonesia

A more complete look, the iconic angle of Mecca.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Visiting a Madrasa In Malaysia

One of Sarah's jobs in Malaysia is recruiting students for educational exchanges. A good place to look for talent is a Madrasa, an Arabic institution of learning. Let's go check it out.

In rural Malaysia, a madrasa under construction.

Students are living in old huts until the new school buildings are finished.

At another madrasa, touring the mosque.

The resident imam, kindly hosting the embassy delegation. With lunch, bagus! (Malay for good)

Portrait of a madrasa boy.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The National Museum Of Cambodia

Right in the center of Phnom Penh is Cambodia's most important museum for Khmer art and other archeological artifacts. It opened in 1920, somehow survived neglect under the Khmer Rouge and,  today, is a popular place to visit.

The museum is built in traditional Khmer style. Center courtyard.

Illusionistic guard elephant. Inside, the collections.

Here's King Sisowath Monivong, who served from 1927 to 1941. His father witnessed the building's opening. Nice medal rack.

The heart of the collection is Khmer art, many pieces from Angkor. It's nice to get a good look at the sculptures, something hard to do among the temples and throngs of people at Siem Reap.

Family outing.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Wat Langka In Phnom Penh

Cambodia is a Buddhist country with plenty of Wats around. One of the more centrally located Wats in Phnom Penh is Wat Langka. It was founded in 1442. Seriously. The Wat survived the Khmer Rouge era by being a storage facility. Whew.

Today, it's restored and golden.

At one of the temples, footwear is left outside.

Looking like a big Wonder Woman fan. The stupa section.

Busy monks.