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Photo of the week #19 Malacca

melaka

 

Malacca is the historical state of Malaysia, rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and colonial structures. It was here that colonial forces first made contact with Malaysia, which eventually shaped the country into its current economic and political system.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shown in the picture above is the Dutch Square with the Christ church and Stadhuys. Also seen is a beautiful Tang Beng Swee Clock tower.

Stranger #14 The gentleman who loves music and tea

‘I love Kurdish music. There is nothing like it! I never miss Kurdish concerts and sometimes I organize them myself!’

Saying this he opened his laptop and went on showing us his collection and played some nice music.

‘What are your other interests?’

‘I’m interested in Kurdish culture. As you can see all I talk about is related to our Kurdish culture 🙂

‘Yeah, I have always wanted to have my own tea garden and I built this one on my own! It fills me with happiness to see people flocking into it and having fun over tea!’

‘Do you like to travel? Please visit us in India.’

‘Thanks. But mostly I won’t. I’m happy here and I don’t think I’ll ever go anywhere else!’

Meet Fatin, our dear friend and host in Van, Turkey. He is the proud owner of a beautiful tea garden in town.

Fatin

Stranger #13 The proud father

‘How old are you?’

‘Thirty. What about you?’

‘Twenty nine. How many kids do you have?’

‘None.’

‘Haha. I win this time. I have two daughters. Look – ‘

with that he showed us the tattoos on his arm and forearm. On his arm was tattooed the pretty face of his 4 year old elder daughter and on his forearm was his younger daughter’s name!

Meet this young man from Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia who helped us find a room in the busy city and also entertained us by sharing some tidbits from his life. 🙂

 

Stranger #12 The gentleman who lives in the cave house

We made our way to the mystical village of Kandovan in the northwest of Iran. It was a short taxi ride away from Tabriz. We were completely in awe with the unique village – it looked like one big termite colony! Houses carved inside volcanic rocks were so peculiar.

As we were walking in the street, he approached us with a smile and greeting – ‘Salaam.’ He told us that he lived in one of the houses and offered to take us there if we were interested. We readily agreed.

‘I was born here and have lived all my life in this house. I learnt to speak English from my friend who lives in Tehran. Life here is quite simple. We have long periods of winter during which the entire village is covered with snow!

My children study in the school here. I want them to go to the city and have a better life.’

Meet this friendly stranger from Kandovan, Iran who owns a grocery store and gave us a lovely tour of the village. We even bought some juicy apricots from him 🙂

kandovan Here is a picture of the queer little village of Kandovan –

kandovan

Photo of the week #18 MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Singapore

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

 

Did you know that Singapore is ranked the greenest city in Asia?

This small city-country is truly a Garden City and is slowing inching towards being a City in a Garden. With careful planning, Singapore has been able to increase its green cover to 46.5%. The lush green cover and warm tropical climate make Singapore a haven for rich biodiversity despite the small land mass.

MacRitchie Reservoir Park is one of the several parks in Singapore and a popular spot for nature lovers and exercise enthusiasts. The TreeTop Walk (TTW) shown in the above photo is the highlight of several long hiking routes in this park which brings us through different stages of mature secondary forest. It also plays an important role in forest canopy research.

Photo of the week #16 Prambanan, Indonesia

Prambanan

Prambanan is a collection of massive Hindu temples (candi) built by the Mataram Kingdom, rulers of central Java and defeaters of the Sailendra Dynasty. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a masterpiece of the Hindu culture in the 10th century. 

Prambanan temple has three main temples in the primary yard, namely Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva temples. Those three temples are symbols of Trimurti in Hindu belief. 

In the wake of the May 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, some parts of Prambanan sustained significant damage.

Photo of the week #15 Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An

 

Hội An, also Faifoo, is a city of Central Vietnam. It is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its  Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port. 

The name Hội An literally translates to a “peaceful meeting place”. At sunset most of the people head to Bach Dang dock to take a peaceful and scenic cruise in one of the local boats along the Thu Bon river.