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 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.

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2018 Journal

Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park

In the previous post, I mentioned about moving to the new camp base from Thung Salaeng Luang to another nearby national park called “Phu Hin Rong Kla” which located in another mountain range.

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The Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park has been developed to be a tourist attractive camp base. This national park is a notable historical former battlefield between the Thai army and communist during 1968 – 1980. All constructions during the fight are preserved for studying nowadays.

The national park located in the boundary of 3 provinces; Phetchabun, Loei and Phitsanulok, with mountain range-and-basin topography, result in low temperature, especially in rainy season and winter. The jungle is still plentiful and diverse of thickly growing trees, undergrowth and wild animals in tropics. 

We arrived in the late morning, after complete the registration at the national park office. We chose the layout to camp for a night (at least) and we will go up to Phu Thab Beok national park in the next early morning to see the fog ocean there. The officer informed us that the fog ocean is not usually happened in here, we better move and see from Phu Thab Beok which is located in higher MSL. 

But hang on!!, not every day you can expect to see the fog ocean. It depends on the weather and the rain (the ocean fog gesture in rainy season differs in winter). The officer told us that if the rain stopped a few hours before dawn there will have a good chance to see the fog ocean in the morning but if the rain stopped almost sunrise, so there will be only thick mist blinding us to see the fog ocean.

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In the late afternoon after having our lunch, we finished the tent. The mist started covering the park slowly and the temperature is getting low. We saw another beautiful scene of nature. 

In the evening there was a big group of the cloud ocean floated nearby our camp base, we were much delighted with the beauty of the colourful skyline before the sunset. The day is done, time to rest to be ready for the next mission tomorrow. Cheers!!

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

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2018 Journal

Thung Salaeng Luang National Park

Hey there!! I know it’s been a while I haven’t updated my blog. But I did spend my value vacation to find a new experience and explore a new unseen trip for reference and publishing here.

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The most recent journey I had is camping in the Thung Salaeng Luang National Park in Petchabun province, Thailand. It sounds pretty adventure, I used to go camping when I was a scout girl (a long time ago) and never camping again ever since.

After the trip planned and my vacation request approved, I headed to my hometown in Bangkok at first to arrange and prepare all necessary stuff for this trip and also met up with my partners. It’s the first thing you need to concern is safety, you mustn’t go to the jungle yourself.

My bags were packed, our provisions prepared then the trip started. We gathered in the early morning because our destination is around 400km from Bangkok. We will need to get there before sunset.

Thung Salaeng Luang National Park is located in Petchabun Province (upper central of Thailand). This National Park is also called Savannah of Thailand. There are plenty of plants, flowers, trees, pines and various wild animals. You can camp in the forest among those wild animals but the national officers also will take care of all securities.

We arrived in the evening a bit before the sunset, in time to shoot some beautiful photos of the stunning nature in front of us. It’s rainy season so you can’t avoid the rain that could pour down at any time. One thing that really surprised me, the LTE signal is very strong, more than 100mps, much faster than in Bangkok. How come? 😉

Actually, our mission is hunting for the fog ocean and wherever we are at the end of the day, we will camp there. That’s pretty adventure and we called it’s a blindfold trip.

It was raining all night and just stopped by the dawn so we could see a lot of mist in the morning but it wasn’t our target. Instead of seeing the fog ocean from the top view but we were in the middle in the fog. We decided to move to another camp base to the higher mountain. The rain was coming soon, we got to pack everything and move before the new rain comes.

We took some beautiful photos that morning before setting off. We drove to another mountain which we thought it has more opportunity of seeing the mist ocean. During driving, we stopped by a lovely coffee shop and of course, we didn’t forget to take photos again.

The next destination is Phu Hin Rung Kla National Park, Petchabun Province.

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

Posted in Photos, Travel, Year 2013 Journal

My first time in Signapore

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That was my first time visiting Singapore during my transit to Qatar, I had 6 hours to walk around this busiest city in South East Asia. My plane landed at Changi Airport in the afternoon amidst drizzle down. I passed through the immigration with an answer that I would like to walk around the city before the next flight.

My friend picked me up from the airport and the first place she took me is Merlion Park, it’s a symbolic landmark of Singapore. If you come to Singapore you must not miss shooting a photo with this Merlion. Unfortunately, the sky after the thunderstorm was pale blue.

There was a lot of tourists, I couldn’t walk through the crowd having a nice shot in the front view of the Merlion.

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We wish to go to Marina Bay Sand but didn’t have enough time. I kept in the list for the next visit. We headed to Orchard Road for a dinner and shopping with limited time before dropped me back to the airport. I observed the people there walk very fast with an unfriendly face, rushing in everywhere, nobody stop and give others with a smile unlike my country; Thailand where it named “Land of Smile”.