Myanmar

Favorite Buddha Statues from Across Asia

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in Destinations, Featured, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand, Travel Photo Thursday | 45 comments

Welcome to week 238 (07/23/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday. When I think of Asia I almost always  think of Buddha statues, and the many that I have gazed at over the years. I don’t think I’ve ever been in an Asian country where I haven’t admired (and sometimes fallen in love with) one. This Travel Photo Thursday I am sharing with you some of my favorite Buddha statues from across Asia. 

On our 238th week of Travel Photo Thursday I am thrilled to welcome Jan Robinson as a co-host for our photo weekly link-up. Jan blogs at Budget Travel Talk. Jan and her husband, Marty, have just returned from a 10 week European adventure. Please give Jan a warm welcome!

Leave your comment and a link at the end of this post. Guaranteed, magic will happen! 🙂

 

The sitting Buddha at Korea’s Mt. Seoraksan’s Shinhungsa Temple is huge. I think the second shots puts the statue’s height into perfect perspective.

 

Sitting Buddha, Shinhungsa Temple, Mt. Seorakson, Korea

 

This is one BIG Buddha!

 

Sitting Buddha, Shinhungsa Temple, Mt. Seorakson

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Favorite Travel Quotes for Travel Photo Thursday

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Destinations, Egypt, Featured, Myanmar, Spain, Travel Photo Thursday | 27 comments

Welcome to week 231 (06/04/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday. Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that Korea is trying to come to terms with an outbreak of MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome). As of an hour ago my classes have been canceled for next week (make-up week), so I have loads of time to prepare for my exams the following week. This is definitely the summer that I do not want to be here, but it looks like I will be, or at least for most of it. I am moving to Seoul, and will be starting a new job in September. Those changes are both good, but it means getting rid of my apartment here, and finding new digs in Seoul. I never knew that most apartments for rent don’t get advertised until 3 weeks before move in date! On that note, I have been reading a lot of inspirational quotes lately to get myself inspired to travel Korea this summer. Of course, that’s when I’m not packing boxes! 🙂  There is so much to see and do in country, but habits like traveling out of country are so hard to break. Hopefully, these favorite inspirational quotes will help me get inspired to visit and enjoy the beauty that is right outside my ‘back door’.

Don’t forget, leave a comment and the link to your post!

I have never been a huge Mark Twain fan, but I have always loved this quote. Egypt was an epic journey for me (2004), and I was a little leery of traveling solo. The thing is I really dislike organized tours beyond a day or two. However, I knew that there were things that I might have a difficult time doing on my own in Egypt. Visiting the Pyramids wasn’t one of them, but that visit turned out to be magical even with a tour group. We pretty much had the place to ourselves that morning, and no idea why! There are no tour buses in this photo! Although there were things about the tour that I disliked, without the tour, as a solo traveler, I would have had a difficult time sailing down the Nile on a Felucca, sleeping under the stars in the desert after I rode a camel through a mountain pass, or a trip to Abu Simbal in an armed convey. Okay, the guns definitely put me way out of my comfort zone! Even the camel ride had me questioning my sanity!

Would I have been disappointed if I hadn’t gotten to sleep in the desert, sail down the Nile, or wander through ancient Abu Simbel with its amazing huge carvings and take your breath away hieroglyphics …YEP!

Pyramids at Giza, Egypt

Pyramids at Giza, Egypt

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Travel Photo Thursday — October 16, 2013 — Must see Asian Temples

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in Bangkok, Destinations, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 25 comments

Welcome to another week of  Travel Photo Thursday. Anyone traveling in Asia knows that there are a lot of temples here. I think it’s impossible to come to this part of the world and not spend time wondering around temple grounds and inside the buildings. I’m one of those people who almost never tire of exploring any temple that crosses my path. Here are few of my favorites from my travels in the past few years.

 

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog.

Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

The Twitter hash tag for Travel Photo Thursday is #TPThursday.

As a courtesy please post a link to Budget Travelers Sandbox.

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Wat Rong Khun, “The White Temple”, Chiang Rai, Thailand

This temple is the work and vision of Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. He has dedicated his life to building this temple. However, it will not be completed in his lifetime To describe this temple and the vision behind it is no easy task.

In the words of the artist….

“Money and possessions are insignificant. They are not mine, but are only make-beliefs. Merits belong to me; therefore, money is of no value to me. Money is valuable only as a way to make merit for further journey of the soul.”

 

Wat Rong Khun "The White Temple", Chiang Rai, Thailand

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Temple of the Emerald Buddha at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Probably the biggest and busiest tourist attraction in Bangkok, and not to be missed. Be sure to go early, and dress properly. If your arms and legs aren’t covered, you be given a sarong to cover yourself. Ignore the crowds, take your time, and enjoy the beauty.

 

Temple of the Emerald Buddha

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Myanmar is a temple wonderland, and there are some beauties here.

Bagan’s Shwezigon Temple was one of my favorites. Love all that gold and the awesome architecture. What better place to view this than from a hot air balloon. I could never have gotten a shot like this from ground level.

Shwezigon Zedi, Bagan, Myanmar

 

Of course, there is also Yangon’s Shwedagon Temple. The amount of glittering gold is almost blinding. Shwedagon is a UNESCO site, and I was told by a guide that UNESCO has warned Myanmar to stop the constant renovations and improvements or the temple will loose its heritage designation!

 

Shwedagon Temple, Yangon

 

To read more about these temples follow the links. 

Shwezigon

Shwedagon

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Korea also has its share of  lovely temples. 

Donghaksa is just a short bus ride from Daejeon. The temple is at the foot of Gyeryongsan Mountain, popular with hikers. A beautiful location to view the spring cherry blossoms and magnolia. Very crowded on the weekends, so best to visit during the week. If you do go on the weekend, get there early!

Donghaksa Temple

Read more about Donghaksa here.

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Two of my favorite Chiang Mai temples…with over 300 temples in the city it’s easy to have a favorite or two.

Wat Sri Suphan — Silver Ubosot

Not to be missed! Only men can enter, ladies not permitted.

 

Wat Sri Suphan Silver Ubosot, Chiang Mai

 

Wat Sri Suphan

Wat Chedi Luang…

The ancient chedi at the back of the temple grounds offers some great photo ops. Best to go early in the morning, or at dusk. This shot was taken early morning.

Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

Wat Chedi Luang

Travelers Tip

With the exception of the Temple of the Emerald Budha in Bangkok (admission 400Baht), all temples are free to enter. Temples are open from early morning to evening. Best to visit early in the morning or early evening if you want to avoid the crowds and in some cases the heat. Lots going on around the full moon, and various Buddhist holidays. Think great photo opportunities!

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This is the 147th post for Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.

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In Celebration of Budget Travelers Sandbox 3rd Birthday…My Personal Travel Trivia

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in Canada, Destinations, Halifax, Korea, Myanmar, Uncategorized | 12 comments

Yes, BTS was launched on December 9th, 2009, and in celebration I wanted to share some of my personal travel trivia…

Daecheon Beach, Korea...November 2012(A Korean sunset.)

Did you know?…..

1. I was bitten by the travel bug in 1967 when I visited Expo 67 in Montreal. Our school trip traveled from Halifax to Montreal by train. I fell in love with trains and Montreal on that trip.

2. I traveled to Europe 3 times before I turned 20.

3. I met my first boyfriend in Venice.  No, he was not Italian. He was on the same school trip.

4. I’ve been to Venice 3 times, and would go back again in a moment.

5. I have a picture of myself and two friends taken in a storage room in the Doges Palace in Venice. We are wearing ancient helmets and brandishing swords. The next time I get back to Halifax I’ll find the photo and post it. How did we get into the storage room?? I’m not telling 🙂

Sunset on the Danube, Budapest

(Sunset on the Danube, Budapest)

6. I have traveled to every province in Canada except Saskatchewan.

7. I was held in a locked room at the railway station in East Berlin because we did not have the correct tickets. That was a bit stressful for a 19 year old.

8. I hit a deer one time when I was traveling between Bathurst, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Thankfully, I was on Main Street in some small town, so I wasn’t going very fast. Just the same, I think my heart stopped.

9. I have sat under Hypocrites Tree on the Isle of Kos.

10.  I have slept under the stars in the Sinai Desert.

Halifax's Wave

(Halifax’s Wave)

11. I rode both a camel (twice) when I was in Egypt and a goat. Enough said!!

12. I have visited 36 countries, and quite a few of them more than once.

13. I have snorkeled at Sipidin Island off the coast of Semporna (Borneo). (Highly recommended!!)

14. I have seen an orangutan in the wild. (Also in Borneo, and an awesome experience.)

15. I was almost arrested at the Suez Canal for taking a photo. Apparently, that is a big NO NO.

16. I have taken the train to the top of Jung Frau.

Suez-Canal(The Suez Canal)

17. Back in 70’s I took the train from Banff, Alberta to Halifax. I didn’t have a sleeper, so I set in the observation car for the entire trip. Very LONG trip… The incredible scenery made it worthwhile!

18. I have experienced the magic of feeding, bathing and walking with elephants, in Northern Thailand.

19. I’ve cruised China’s Yangtze River.

20. I’ve walked on the Great Wall of China. However, I need to go back and get a photo. I lost the memory card (:

21. I took a photo of the Chinese farmer who discovered the Terracotta Warriors. As you can see he was not amused!! 🙂

Yangtze River Sunset, China
(Yangtze River, China)
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Xian Farmer Who Discovered the Terracotta Warriors
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Xian Farmer who discovered the Terracotta Warriors, Xian China

(Farmer who discovered the Terracotta Warriors, Xian, China)

22. I became a cross dresser all in the name of travel. Here I am dressed as the “Korean Bride Groom.”

23. I once traveled back from the Quebec Eastern Townships with two butter pecan pies in my hand baggage. It was the best butter pecan pie I have ever eaten!

24. I stayed in a room one time at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City that was so small it could only fit a single bed and the TV was built into the wall. The next day I was upgraded to a huge room with a river view.

25. My first solo trip was to Scotland in 1979,  a beautiful country, with too much rain. When I got back home I had to throw out my jeans and runners. They were moldy!

26. My second solo trip was to Australia/New Zealand in 1980 (or maybe 1981). I traveled by bus, including Alice Springs/Ayers Rock. My clothes were orange when I arrived home!

Korean Traditional Wedding Outfit

(Dressed as a Korean bride groom!)

27. I flew over Ayers Rock in a 4-seater. Awesome way to see it!

28. Fast forward to 2010 for another above the ground adventure; a hot air balloon ride over Myanmar’s Ancient Bagan. I loved this even more than the airplane ride at Ayers.

29. I have played a round of golf in Bermuda.

30. I kissed a cod in Newfoundland 🙂

Balloons over Bagan...close to the river

(Balloon’s Over Bagan, Mayanmar)

 

Which of these destinations have you been to, and which was your favorite?

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Food and Markets Around the World for Travel Photo Thursday

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Canada, Food, Korea, Myanmar, Nova Scotia, Spain, Spain -- Madrid, Thailand, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 53 comments

Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday. As we move from the heat of the summer into fall  and now winter, my mindset seems to shift to food. This is the time of the year that I will cook up a huge pot of vegetable soup and eat it everyday until it’s just a memory. Food is also a welcome indulgence when I travel, and I love trying the local fare. This week I am sharing food and markets discovered in my travels.

To join in the Travel Photo Thursday fun simply post a photo on your blog. Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

The Twitter hash tag for Travel Photo Thursday is #TPThursday.

As a courtesy please post a link to Budget Travelers Sandbox.

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Out of this world Nova Scotia lobster….

Actually, I have to ‘fess up here. I bought this lobster at Costco here in Daejeon, but it is imported from Nova Scotia. If you ever go to Nova Scotia, don’t miss the experience of our local delicacy. Seafood restaurants abound. The other alternative is to buy live lobsters at the local pound and cook them yourself. Easy to do if you have a large pot and a stove.

A Taste of Nova Scotia in Korea

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Spanish olives…….hmmmm.

If you are in Madrid, the Mercaso San Miguel is a must see. Just steps from the Plaza Mayor, your taste buds will love you!

Olives, Olives and More Olives at the Mercado San Miguel

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Spain’s churros and hot chocolate…

I don’t think anyone can understand how good they are until….you know 🙂

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Jeonju Bibimbap (Korea)…

Every region of Korea is famous for different dishes. This one hails from the historic city of Jeonju. Don’t worry about the egg. The dish is very hot, and the egg cooks as you stir the rice, veggies and egg together.

Jeonju Bibimbap

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Northern Thailand’s famous Khao Soi…

 

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China’s Peking duck…

, or as it’s known these days…Beijing Duck. One of the best meals I had in China, and so cheap!

Peking Duck (or as it's politically more correct name...Beijing Duck

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Budapest’s Great Hall…the largest indoor market in the city.

Easily accessible by tram, with a fabulous river view. In addition to all the great food, you can find fab, reasonably priced souvenirs. I loved the painted egg Christmas ornaments. If you’re in the market for authentic Hungarian paprika, look no further. The secret is, go to the back of the hall where you’ll find vendors with carts. You’ll find the best and cheapest paprika here. I bought mine from a lovely lady who could have passed for about 80. 🙂

Budapest's Great Market Hall

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Market ladies in Myanmar selling their goods.

Market Ladies 2, Myanmar

Market Ladies, Myanmar

The flower lady in Myanmar…

 

Flower Lady, Myanmar

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And finally, no foodie post would be complete without my favorite…Thailand’s famous Som Tom Salad…


The Best Som Tom Salad in Chaing Mai

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Do you have a favorite market or food that you would travel far and wide to taste again and again?

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My Top Three Travel Memories from the Past Decade

Posted by on Sep 25, 2012 in Destinations, Egypt, Featured, Myanmar, Thailand - Chiang Mai | 20 comments

A blogger relay is currently underway, and I have been tagged by the Blue Team to carry the baton. I’ve been thinking about what to post for a few days now. The first thing I realized is that I don’t have photographs available earlier than 2002. Although I have loads of great travel memories prior to that, I’ve decided to focus on my top three from the past decade.

 

NUMBER ONE …Hands down, it has to be the month I spent in Egypt in 2004. It is such an amazing country. I loved every moment; from the museum in Cairo, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor,  Abus Simbel, sailing down the Nile in a Felucca, camping in the desert…and and and…

 

THE GREAT PYRAMIDS AT GIZA …

 

Great Pyramids at Giza

 

THE  SPHINX AT GIZA

 

Sphinx at Giza

Nothing I had ever read or seen prepared me for these two iconic landmarks.  For some strange reason, there were very few tourists at Giza on the day I was there. I felt like I had been transported to another place, and definitely a different century.  As weird as it may sound, I still get goose bumps when I look at these photos. 

Then of course there was King Tut’s sarcophagus at the Egyptian Museum; thousand of years old and made from solid gold.

 

KING TUT

 

 

m_King TuT

 

Never in a million years had I ever expected to visit a REAL camel market. When I heard of the Barqash Camel Market,  just outside of Cairo, I had to go.  I found another American traveler and we headed out in a taxi. The market was in full swing by the time we got there.  It was only after offering him money if he would allow us to take his photo that we realized he was a buyer, so probably a wealthy man. He didn’t take offense and seemed to enjoy having his photo taken. 

 

BARQASH CAMEL MARKET

 

Camel Buyer Barqash Camel Market

 

SUNSET ON THE NILE…

 

Sunset on the Nile, Egype 2004

 

TAKING NUMBER TWO SPOT IS…BALLOONS OVER BAGAN…hot air ballooning over the ancient city of Bagan at sunrise. 

 

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was worried about oversleeping and my alarm clock wasn’t overly reliable. I was staying at the Eden Hotel in Bagan, ten bucks a night and no back-up power generator for the nightly black out. Sleep did not come easy, and the hotel was still black when I crept out to meet the Balloons Over Bagan bus. From start to finish it’s a morning I will never forget. 

 

AERIAL VIEWS OF ANCIENT BAGAN, MYANMAR

 

Another View of Ancient Bagan from the air

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SUNRISE…

 

Sunrise, Ancient Bagan

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CLOSE TO THE RIVER (NOT UNCOMMON FOR BALLOONS TO “CRASH LAND” IN THE RIVER)

 

Balloons over Bagan...close to the river

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Ancient Bagan from the air

 

The THIRD and final spot goes to the ELEPHANT NATURE PARK, where I spent two incredible days frolicking with the elephants.  This is a sanctuary, just outside of Chaing Mai, Thailand, where abused elephants are basically given a second lease on life. They eat, bath, and wallow in the mud to their hearts content, and it really was a privilege to spend two days getting up close and personal with these beautiful giants.

 

 EATING IS THEIR FAVORITE PASTIME. 

 

Feeding Time...I'm Waiting!!

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BATH TIME…

 

m_DSC_0715_edited-1

 

PLAY TIME…

 

Play Time...Elephant Nature Park, Thailand

 

RIVER WALK

River Walk

 

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL…

 

Up Close and Personal...Out for a walk with the "guys and gals"

 

ENOUGH WITH THE PHOTOS!

Enough With The Photos!!

 

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I definitely did. 

 

I am passing the baton onto Becca at RWeThereYetMom.

 

 

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