Photo Friday: Chinatown (Singapore)

Asia, International Travel, Photography

I’ve been trying recently to include more people in my photography and also to dabble in a little street photography. I decided to attempt this during a walk about Singapore’s Chinatown. The name Chinatown was used by the British while the locals went by these names: In Chinese, Singapore’s Chinatown is known as Niu che shui (“bull-cart water”) as a result of the fact that, because of its location, Chinatown’s water supply was principally transported by animal-driven carts in the 19th century. The name is also echoed in the Malay name, Kreta Ayer, with the same meaning.

Photos taken April 2014.

Photo Friday: Beihai Park (Beijing)

Asia, International Travel, Photography

Beihai Park is an imperial garden to the northwest of the Forbidden City. First built in the 10th century, it is amongst the largest of Chinese gardens, and contains numerous historically important structures, palaces and temples. Since 1925, it has been open to the public as a park.

At the center of the Park is Qionghua Island. The Bai Ta (White Pagoda) is a 40 meter (131 ft) high stupa placed on the highest point on Qionghua Island. Its body is made of white stone. Destroyed in 1679 by an earthquake, it was rebuilt the following year and restored again in 1976 because of an earthquake which occurred at Tangshan, near Beijing.

Photos taken July 2012.

Photo Friday: Scottish Parliament Building (Edinburgh)

Europe, International Travel, Photography

When one comes to Edinburgh, they’re usually not thinking of modern architecture, but that’s exactly what one gets with the Scottish Parliament building. Not surprisingly, the building has brought about its share of controversy: the choices of location, architect, design, use of non-indigenous materials (granite from China instead of Scotland), and construction company were all criticized by politicians, the media and the Scottish public. I find it to be both beautiful and delightfully out of place.

Photos taken July 2011.

Photo Friday: Durbar Square (Nepal)

Asia, International Travel, Photography

Durbar Square is the generic name used to describe plazas and areas opposite the old royal palaces in Nepal. It consists of temples, idols, open courts, water fountains and more. Before the Unification of Nepal, Nepal consisted of small kingdoms, and Durbar Squares are most prominent remnants of those old kingdoms in Nepal. There are numerous local guides around, should you want to gather a bit more information on the location.

Photos taken June 2012.

Photo Friday: Hill of Crosses (Lithuania)

Europe, International Travel, Photography

While the precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain, over the centuries, not only crosses, but giant crucifixes, carvings of Lithuanian patriots, statues of the Virgin Mary and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. The exact number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put it at about 55,000 in 1990 and 100,000 in 2006. One can buy crosses of varying sizes to leave on the hill, which has now expanded well beyond the original location.

Photos taken July 2013.