Posted in Inspiration, Photos, Travel, Year 2018 Journal

In Remembrance of my beloved King

It was the darkest night.

There was no sunlight. 

We could feel the coldness inside.

You were gone.

Although years have passed you are always in my heart.

Deepest in my soul you are there. 

You are the King we call “father” and will always be our beloved father.

You told us not to cry, wipe the tears and smile.

Today we are here, remind ourselves what you cheer. 

And we smile, we are strong.

In Remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej

The photos are snapped from The Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majesty The Late King, October 25 – 29, 2017

 

 

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2013 Journal

My first Winter in Washington D.C.

After saying Good Bye to my cousin in Texas, I left Dallas at 4 am which was so early for me to fly to Washington D.C., the capital of United State of America. I was really dead to the World on the plane the coldness from the winter outside didn’t help me stay awake.  I struggled to open my eyes once the plane arrived in Boston, Massachusetts. I was half-awake walking to Terminal 3 for a flight to Washington D.C. in 30 minutes. My luck, the Terminal is connected to each other otherwise, I could have missed the flight.

After picking up my luggage from the belt, I walked out and looked around with the question “Where am I?” Then a text from my old classmate alerted, “Where are you?” and yes I definitely replied “I don’t know” It didn’t help her to find me exactly where I was. After trying to communicate the location, she got me finally.

Actually, she lives in Maryland but works in Washington D.C. She will just drop me at the hotel then I will make a tour myself. I was told about the Metro Station stop but totally forgot once I got there. Then an exciting blindfold journey began. I only remembered the station where I departed so I will have to find the way back there and get a cap home. Sound fun!

It was my first time in Washington D.C. and also my first winter in the U.S.A, I shouldered my backpack which contained my MacBook and DSLR camera (I really had no idea why didn’t I leave the laptop in the hotel), it was very heavy. Although I wore winter gears except for earmuff, it couldn’t make me feel much warmer, my nose tip, fingertip was frozen and I couldn’t feel my ears! I had a difficult time taking photos with my camera, I needed to take off my gloves and focus on the object while my hands were shaking with a cold breeze. I tried so hard but I didn’t take many good photos and low temperature there made everything looked grey.

The first thing spotted my sight was Washington Monument, the white large tall stone which I used to see on TV. I thought “Oh dear, it is here in front of me”

I looked around finding a way to walk with no destination, just walked. A red bus passed by me while I was waiting for a green light to cross the road. An open roof bus for sightseeing. Sound interesting but it’s required booking and I didn’t have one.

Strolling by the Smithsonian Castle, observed sparse snow on the ground. The far side was the Lincoln Memorial which is fascinating for visitors, the other side was the White House but they were so far by walk. My tiredness, fatigue stopped me from walking, I saw the White House ahead but my legs didn’t move. I was only walk to the nearby place “Smithsonian Institution; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden”

Later evening the sky became dark, and I will need to go back home. Being alone in the place which you arrived just the first day at the first time visit is amazing and also dangerous, I rather quickly get a train.

After a while, I recalled my good memory helping me getting the right station and line, I reached the station I had departed earlier but in the opposite exit. 😦 Actually, I didn’t notice until the chauffeur told me but he said no worries, I will get you home. I doubled the fare for tips. He smiled and I was happy.

At the end of the day, I stumbled on the bed and slept like a baby again.

 

 

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2016 Journal

Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)

If you are in Qatar, you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art. The museum is located in Doha, alongside Corniche street. The main building was designed by Leoh Ming Pei (the Chinese-American architect who design the Louvre Pyramid in Paris)

The museum is built on an island off an artificial peninsula near the traditional dhow harbour. A purpose-built park surrounds the edifice on the Eastern and Southern facades while two bridges connect the Southern front facade of the property with the main peninsula that holds the park. The Western and Northern facades are marked by the harbour showcasing the Qatari seafaring past.

Source: Wikipedia

Once you get inside you will see the cream colour staircase with circle lantern hanging above your head. The design of the lantern reminds me of a snake. There are a souvenir and a cafeteria inside, in the middle of the ground floor is a fountain in a granite basin.

From the 1st floor, you will see masterpieces of Islamic art, including metalwork, ceramics, jewellery, woodworks, textiles and glass collected from three continents, dating from the 7th to the 19th century. The admission is free.

The last top floor is the specific exhibition area for Muhammad Ali; the famous American professional boxer. It is very interesting, I walked around and read all documentary. Also, there is a mini theatre showing his biography.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

Outside the Museum is a park which is open 24 hrs, there are a playground, lawn yard and a restaurant near the seashore. During the Winter time, they will have MIA Bazaar every Friday and Saturday. They are selling various traditional food, handicraft and art pieces. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the Bazaar.

MIA is one of a recommended landmark in Qatar that you should visit.

Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2016 Journal

Offroad in Zekreet Peninsula

A message popped up on my phone screen in the late afternoon. “Hey! What do you think about having an offroad trip this weekend? We can drive our cars there, I got a plan” She was new in Qatar, so everything in this desert country looks exciting for her. Going offroad in Qatar is kind of a very rough test drive of your car capacity. You will really need a 4×4 car to rock and roll the trip. We will need to arranged and prepare carefully because the place we are going is a desert place far away from Doha and full of rocks and cobbles.

 

After checked the air tyre pressure and filled a full tank of gas, we headed to Zekreet Peninsular by taking Dukhan Expressway leading to the West. The speed limit is 120 km/hr, there are speed cameras every 1 kilometre. Her car led and mine was following. After one hour and a half drive, we arrived at our first checkpoint. It’s call Zekreet.

 

The landscape of the Zekreet peninsula has a unique and fascinating geology. Salt flats, plateau rocks and open desert dominate this scenery. There are no sand dunes, but bizarre rock formations and great views over the blue water of the gulf. We stopped for a few minutes for taking photos then moved to another checkpoint called “film city”

Why are they called “film city”? Because a film set was made in the middle of the desert to mock up an ancient Arabian Village. We parked our cars near the village and walked to enter the main gate. The buildings show how a traditional village in the region might have looked in the past. There was a ladder lean to the roof that we can climb up through the square open to observe the view of the village. We were welcomed with a keeper there, he can’t speak English but kindly welcomed us with local tea drinks free of charge.

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Then the next checkpoint is “the Mystery Village” or known as “the Ghost Village”. The Mystery Village is just behind the Film City. We also can see the Village from the roof deck of Film City.  Nobody lives in this Ghost Village, it also was used in the same TV series.

 

After spending hours driving along Zekreet Peninsula, we followed the GPS to go back to Doha. Along the way, we spotted 2-3 Oryx. We carefully move our car not to panic them. The Oryx can defend their young ones and might attack if you get closer than 30-40 metres. We took some photos but unfortunately, it was long distance and I couldn’t change the telescopic lens in time.

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We arrived Doha in the late afternoon and had lunch at a golf club. I found out that my tyres were damaged and needed to change. Such a bad luck 😦

Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2016 Journal

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

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Late morning in the early of September, the weather was nice, the sunshine was bright. I was spending my second visit to Missouri with my friend’s family. It was a BBQ reunited family party. We departed from Grandview where my friend’s house is, headed to Hult-Diamond Acre. It is a big farm belongs to their siblings. They are a huge family. I was introduced to them with a very warm welcome. It was a very fun time, there were a lot of games we played and also volleyball. I went back home in the afternoon and dropped her mother’s in law at her place. I was told that she will bring me to Kansas City tomorrow.

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We spent around 45 minutes driving to Kansas City and arrived Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. After having a bit difficult time finding a park, we finally got one. We parked below the slope. Then we need to walk upward the slop steps (Oh, I forget to tell you that my friend is 73 years old but she is strong). My friend was delighted and greeted people all along the path. See! being with positive people, gain more positive energy in you.

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Once we reach the main entrance, the door was closed and locked by inside. We couldn’t open and there was no sign that the museum was closed. After a while to figure out what happened, we understood that it was closed for some reason (but it was Tuesday, it shouldn’t be). So I could only take a few photos of the lawn in front of the museum and walked around before we left. We changed our plan to a shopping mall instead. She persuaded me to come again next September so we can do shopping on the labour day with big discount 😀

Of course, I’m planning to go back there again. Especially, Nel-Atkins Museum of Art.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is an art museum in Kansas City, Missouri, known for its neoclassical architecture and extensive collection of Asian art. In 2007, Times magazine ranked the museum’s new Bloch Building number on its list of “The 10 Best (New and Upcoming) Architectural Marvels” which considered candidates from around the globe.

Source: Wikipedia

Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2015 Journal

Autumn in Nara, Japan

This is one of my memorable trip to the lovely town named Nara in the early of October. It was the beginning of the Autumn, the weather was a bit cold (12°C). I travelled by Shinkansen from Yokohama Station in the morning to Kyoto Main Station then connected with the local rail train to Nara.

At first, I stepped out from the train I saw all welcome deer sign and mascot. Yes, it is the mascot here. The another charming in this city is deer, you can see deer in all places here walking along by people.  I went to an information centre and asked a few questions about the bus but I decided to walk eventually. Unbelievable I really did walk almost the entire city all day long that because walking could make you see the story surround and you won’t miss a chance to have great photos shots.

The rain just stopped when I reached then the sky was a bit grey, I walked out the station heading to the North path, those tree leaves started changing colour from green to yellow or orange. This is what they call the colour of season change in Japan.

Later the sunshine changed to a bright blue sky with warmer weather, I observed a lot of ancient temples and big boards hung with Ema (small wooden plaques in which Shinto and Buddist worshippers write prayers or wishes.) and yes! deer everywhere in Nara park.

I spotted some souvenir shops alongside the walkway are all decorated with woodwork. There are stalls selling deer feed, once I bought a deer came directly to me for a feed and if I was slow, he starts eating my jacket 😀

The highlight is Todai-Ji Temple, it is one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara. There was a bit crowded with tourists, I will need to purchase a ticket to go inside the temple. After waiting for 15 minutes then I could pass through. There is Japan’s largest bronze statue inside the great Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden). Todiji Temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage site nowadays.

Nara is the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture in south-central Honshu. The city has significant temples and artworks dating to the 80th century when it was Japan’s capital. Deer roam in Nara Park, site of Tōdai-ji temple. Daibutsu, Tōdai-ji’s 15m-high bronze Buddha, is displayed in a large wooden hall. On the park’s east side is the Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha, which dates to 768 A.D. and more than 3,000 lanterns.

Source: Wikipedia

I spent around 3 hours in Nara and need to catch a train to go back to Kyoto Station because a tourist using JR Pass will only take a specific round of Shinkansen and mine was at 4 PM. On the way back home I met an old Japanese woman sat beside my seat, we tried to communicate by using a translator through a smartphone, she was very kind and nice. She said that she travelled from Hiroshima alone and her stop was before mine. We said goodbye and she gave me a lovely Japanese sweet. It was really impressive, such a beautiful country with nice and welcome people.

Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2016 Journal

Spring break in Columbia, MO

Why was Missouri? Why did I go there?

For some reason made me cut half of my trip to Thailand during Thai New Year to Columbia, Missouri. The place that has never been on my list, the state and city are not attractive as much as the big City such as Los Angeles or New York City.

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I shifted the flight to Thailand to the second week and managed the new booking to MO, USA for the first one. I had to plan it very well, packed my bags for 2 different trips and weather. Here was the trip; Doha to MO, MO to Doha, then Doha to Bangkok. I had 6 hours layover in Doha, sufficiently for jumping from the airport to my place and grab another bag prior to flying to Bangkok.

There are 4 domestic flights to Columbia Reginal Airport operated by American Airlines; 2 from DWF – Texas and another 2 from ORD – Chicago. I travelled from Doha to Dallas Fort Worth airport by Qatar Airways, luckily got upgraded to business class free of charge. Big WOW!! That really amazing and made my 16 hours long flight was like heaven.

Columbia is not the capital of Missouri but it is known as the educational city due to many colleges founded there. The schools were on the spring break during my visit, the city was peaceful and quiet.

I stayed in the Tiger Hotel all along the trip, in the morning I had a walk around the city, took photos by my cell phone. There were 2 Thai restaurants which I tried both of them and found Thai people working there. They were delighted and told me that only a few Thai live there and I was the one they met in years.

It was the beginning of the spring so the weather still cold after sunset, I learned this from a student there, I met him in the University of Columbia and asked him to accompany me for the city tour.

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This guy is from New Jersey but he chose to study in Columbia because of the tuition and admission fee are cheaper. We spent an hour and then said goodbye.

Most of the building structures in the campus are old but stunningly beautiful, presenting the memorable histories such as the Green Chapel, the walkway in front of Stanley Hall and the memorial hall that curved the name of heroic of Missouri who died during the great war in 1917 – 1918.

 

The highlight building is the great dome at the main entrance with 6 pillars relic where graduates will shoot photos with. I saw at least one there.

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At night I was struggling with jetlag, then walked out of the hotel to find a coffee shop. I was lucky, the boy in the coffee shop gave me a cup of hot chocolate for free. No worries about walking at night alone, it was quite safe.

I fell in love with the peacefulness city eventually, it is such a lovely city with nice people and it has snow in the winter ha ha ha 😀

Posted in Food, Photos, Travel, Year 2018 Journal

Street Food in BKK

I’ve been far away from my homeland more than a decade and the thing which makes me homesick every single time is the street food in Bangkok.

Wherever you are and whenever you are hungry, all street food is available there almost 24 hours (some open at daytime, some at night time). Although you wake up at midnight, there is also has nighttime restaurants open until sunrise.

What food you can find in Bangkok? It’s various I can say. But if you don’t mind to have experiences with street food, you should try.

Street food is easy to find all over places in Bangkok and nearby area. You can also try in Silom Area or China Town (I will write about China Town in Bangkok later). Various type of food i.e. Chinese, Thai traditional food & sweet, Indochina food or contemporary food.

 

My recent visit to Thailand, I went to Suan Lumpini (opposite the Red Cross Building) to have some street food. If you want to have an original taste of Thai food, you should eat in Thailand.

I started my breakfast with Indochina pan-fried eggs with topping, seasoned whichever sauce you prefer. Followed with Roti with sweet condensed milk served with a cold drink.

 

In the evening I had my dinner in Pathum Thani Province. They are famous in noodle dishes. I picked egg noodle with red BBQ pork, my aunt went with red BBQ pork with rice. The red BBQ pork with rice is a bit sweet because it is topped with sweet sauce and serves with hot squad soup.

 

About the sweet, there is also plenty of Thai traditional desserts.

Tong Yord (Round Egg York Tart)

Egg yolk, sugar and flower water are boiled in sugar syrup and formed into round balls to create this sugar lover sweet.

Foi Tong (Shredded Egg Yolk Tart)

It’s basically the same ingredients used in two Thai desserts above; Egg yolks and sugar are boiled in sweet syrup and then formed into hairlike shapes.

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Khanom Chun (Thai Jello)

Sugar, coconut milk and flour mixed and set in cookie pan to harden into a jelly is a very popular Thai dessert.

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Khanom Moa Gang (Thai Custard Cake)

Thai custard cake baked and sprinkled with deep fried red onions.

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Ta-Ko (Thai Pudding with Coconut Topping)

Authentic Thai dessert which is not as sweet as all above. This is full of the rich flavour of coconut milk.

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Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

 

Posted in Food, Photos, Travel, Year 2016 Journal

Dining at Mizumi – NY

It was the second visit to NY but the first visit to my dear friend, we haven’t met since graduated, I left to Qatar and later she moved to New York. After struggling for several years to get in contact with her since I lost my cell phone. Thanks to all technology and social media which brought us to meet each other again. She was my first friend in Engineering School, we knew each other because I borrowed her pen at our interview examination. 

She picked me up from JFK airport and headed to my hotel. After checked in and dropped my luggage there, it was time to eat. I was starving and hadn’t eaten anything since morning.

She took me to “Mizumi Restaurant” in Queens. It’s Japanese Cuisine buffet. You can eat as much as you want. As my eyes became bigger than my stomach,  I picked everything I saw on the serving table. There were variations of Sushi, Seafood, Soups and my favourite miso soup. I ate a lot until my stomach didn’t any room to fill in. I love the food and taste was great. But it’s quite a busy restaurant, very crowded. I am not sure if now the reservation is required or not. If you are looking for a Japanese Restaurant in New York, I would recommend Mizumi as a good option. 

Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2015 Journal

WaterWorld – Singapore

A few years ago my family and I went to Singapore spending our Summer weekend there. It was a quick trip and we did surprise my little niece like nothing was going to happen. They will just see me off at the airport and then Boom!! She was already on the airplane with us. She smiled broadly after figured the booming plan. It was her first time in Singapore but second of mine.

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Be frankly, I lost a lot of photos of this trip due to my hard drive was extremely damaged. I was able to retrieve a few photos and one of those are the WaterWorld. The WaterWorld located in the same area with Universal Studio, you can have a walk for a few minutes.

The second day we went to the WaterWorld, we didn’t have to purchase any ticket because my friend had already bought from a shop since before we were there. She is an amazing friend. Big thanks to her if she is reading this message.

It’s such huge aquariums, a lot of things surprise us. A lot of Sea creatures swam over our head and beneath our feed. There is also a large aquarium which you can see many Stingrays and shark. Some station was demonstrating the living of starfish. We are allowed to touch a starfish delicately. My niece was a bit scared at first but later she felt OK.

We spent many hours there, I began to lump. My niece had a good time on her first trip there and I am also thinking to return there again 🙂

Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. All photos on this post were taken by me unless stated otherwise.