Saturday, April 30, 2011

Men of Mussoorie

These four men were sat on a bench on the famous Camel's Back Road in Mussoorie, umbrellas at the ready for the incessant rain and mist that rolled down from the hills. Mussoorie is a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas close to Dehradun ain India and offers a cooler climate and relief from the heat of the lowlands. These men were probably labourers or porters waiting on their next job.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Time Keeper

As we walked through the small streets of Hangzhou this strange character came along with his strange hat and swinging lantern beating out a rhythm on the bamboo stick he held. We found out later that this was the way they used to tell time before clocks and watches. The timekeeper would walk around the streets marking time by playing on the bamboo stick marking the hours.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Clio Coddle

In China this store can be seen which is a take-off of a Singapore brand Crocodile which itself is a ripoff of the famous Lacoste brand name, Clio Coddle being the Mandarin sounding pronunciation of "crocodile".

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

KTM Berhad Building

Opposite Kuala Lumpur main railway station is this wonderful old moorish style building which is now headquarters of and administration building of KTM Berhad. 

The building is a fine example of Moorish architecture reflecting the Ottoman and Moghul glory of the 13th and 14th Centuries blended with Gothic and ancient Greek designs of the 14th Century. The ground floor is adorned with 97 large frontal Gothic arches and 4 smaller arches. The high and wide verandahs skirting the building create a cooling effect and are suitable for the constant high climatic temperatures in Malaysia. 

The first floor has 94 large arched windows of Gothic design and 4 circular arches of smaller size. The second floor has 171 Gothic arches and 4 large and 12 smaller circular arches. Five domes sit majestically on top of the building, each surrounded at four corners entwined columns. They are of orthodox Greek design typical in the 14th century. 

This historical building suffered serious damage twice in its lifetime, firstly during the Second World War when its North wing was bombed and secondly when the same wing on the second floor was gutted by fire in 14 November 1968.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Homeless in Hangzhou

This homeless man was wrapped up tight at the doorway of a building in Hangzhou, China. Ironically he had manage to find a large plastic bag which he was using as a sleeping bag with the appropriate wording "Nordic casual Style" on the side.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Islamic Light

This ornate light was seen in the entrance of the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia houses more than seven thousand artefacts, as well has an exceptional library of Islamic-art books. The art objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The aim is to create a collection that is truly representative of the Islamic world. Instead of concentrating on works from the heartlands of Persia and the Middle East, IAMM also puts the emphasis on Asia. China and Southeast Asia are especially well represented. The third component of the Malaysian melting pot is India, which is also given special status. India, China and the Malay world are in an exceptional category.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


The term Yakitori can also refer to skewered food in general. Kushiyaki (skewer grilled), is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled. Both Yakitori and Kushiyaki mean the same, so the terms are used interchangeably in Japanese society.
The average yakitori is made from several bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, or chicken offal, skewered on a bamboo skewer and grilled, usually over charcoal.
Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it cooked with salt (shio) or with tare sauce, which is generally made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the skewered meat and is grilled until delicately cooked.
  • hatsu (ハツ) or kokoro (こころ), chicken heart
  • rebā (レバー), liver
  • sunagimo (砂肝), or zuri (ずり) chicken gizzard
  • tsukune (つくね), chicken meatballs
  • (tori)kawa ((とり)かわ) chicken skin, grilled until crispy
  • tebasaki (手羽先), chicken wing
  • bonjiri (ぼんじり), chicken tail
  • shiro (シロ), chicken small intestines
  • nankotsu (なんこつ), chicken cartilage
  • toriniku, all white meat on skewer

Saturday, April 23, 2011

St. Heinrich Church and Cemetery

Beckenried is a small town on the banks of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland and this image shows the beautiful St. Heinrich Church and Cemetery. In the background you can just see a cable car which is the longest cable car in central Switzerland bringing tourists up to Klewenalp, a major holiday resort.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Water Calligraphy

As I walked around the perimeter of the West Lake in Hangzhou I started to notice some strange markings on the tiled pathway. At first I thought it was just water marks but then recognised these as Chinese symbols. Further down the path I eventually found the source of these marks, a man with an oversized calligraphy brush and a can of water was meticulously practising his Chinese calligraphy in each square of the tiled pathway. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011


The Birch Road Christian Cemetery in Kuala Lumpur is a wonderful place to wander through and take photographs. The place is run down and overgrown offering a multitude of moody and atmospheric images portraying decay, collapse, death and destruction. I don't know why but I really like the place and although you have to suffer from the many mosquitos that inhabit this place you usually get some worthwhile images, particularly if you are shooting multiple brackets for some HDR post processing.
This shot is a normal 3 bracket shot post processed in Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro, then converted in Silver Efex Pro 2 and the colour recovered in the red lettering for effect.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Streets of Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain is full of interesting streets to wander through with some excellent architecture such as this street here just off Las Ramblas with classical wrought iron balconies and distinctive street lights. As well as the beautiful and historic buildings there is always something to watch going on in the streets with street vendors, musicians, street artists or just observing the local Catalans at work.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Three Umbrellas

These brightly coloured Chinese umbrellas were hung from the roof of a shop in Huangzhou as decoration. Always remember to look all around you and especially up as you never know what you may find to photograph.

Monday, April 18, 2011


This is a view of Bukit Tagar in Malaysia where rampant deforestation is ongoing. An earlier post I made some time back also highlighted this issue. The timber business in Malaysia is big business and combined with the ongoing corruption and lack of governmental controls or enforcement means that this problem persists. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pasar Malam

Pasar malam is an Malay and Indonesian word that literally means night market, "pasar" being related to "bazaar" in Persian. A pasar malam is a street market in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia that opens in the evening, usually in residential neighbourhoods.
It brings together a collection of stalls that usually sell goods such as fruits, vegetables, snacks, toys, clothes, shoes, alarm clocks, and ornaments at cheap or at least reasonable prices. Pirated DVDs, CDs and computer software are often sold at a pasar malam. A pasar malam often takes place only one to a few days of the week, as the traders rotate around different neighbourhoods on different days of the week. Haggling over prices is a common practice at such markets.
Pasar Malam are often differentiated by ethnicity. A Malay pasar malam will often contain stalls selling Islamic books, kopiah hats, sarongs and other Malay specialty items. Chinese pasar malam may sell Mah Jong sets, incense, joss sticks, joss paper and various Chinese prayer supplies. Indian pasar malam may contain Hindu prayer supplies

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Candi Lumbung

Candi Lumbung is located in the Prambana archaeological Park on the northwest side of modern Yogyakarta. It is a Buddhist temple dating from around 850AD and is situated between between Candi Prambanan and Candi Sewu. The main sanctuary is surrounded by to be surrounded by 16 smaller temples, most of which contain a raised altar with spaces marked for three images. In addition, there are niches in the back and side walls for additional deities.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frankfurt Frankfurter

The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages served in a bun similar to hot dogs originated. These sausages, Frankfurter Würstchen, were known since the 13th century and given to the people on the event of imperial coronations, starting with the coronation of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor as King. Wiener refers to Vienna, Austria, whose German name is "Wien", home to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef (cf. Hamburger, whose name also derives from a German-speaking city). Johann Georg Lahner, a 18th/19th century butcher from the Bavarian city of Coburg is said to have brought the Frankfurter Würstchen to Vienna, where he added beef to the mixture and simply called it Frankfurter. Nowadays, in German speaking countries, except Austria, hot dog sausages are called Wiener or Wiener Würstchen (Würstchen means "little sausage"), in differentiation to the original pork only mixture from Frankfurt. In Swiss German, it is called Wienerli, while in Austria the terms Frankfurter or Frankfurter Würstel are used.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

f 1.2 Glasses

This becak driver in Yogyakarta, Indonesia had the biggest glasses I have seen for a long time. In photographic terms of f stop this was "big glass" and must have been in the order of f 1.2. This guy obviously spent his money on his eye wear and had none left over to attend to his teeth!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Colombo Architecture

This wonderful old building in the centre of Colombo, Sri Lanka exhibits some classic architecture although now run down and dilapidated. Colombo has wildly varying architecture that span centuries and depict various styles. Many colonial buildings influenced by the PortugueseDutch and British exist alongside structures built in BuddhistHinduIslamicIndian and Contemporary architectural styles. No other place is this more evident in the heart of the city the Fort area. Here one may find new towering skyscrapers as well as historic buildings dating far back as the 1700s.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wayang Topeng

Javanese masks are worn by actors in traditional dance dramas known in the Indonesian language as wayang topeng. The plots of the dramas are taken either from traditional Javanese stories about the hero Panji or from the two great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Both epics came originally from India, but for more than a thousand years have been an integral part of the cultures of Indonesia and other countries in Southeast Asia.
Wayang topeng performances are held at night and last for at least several hours. The performers are professionals who may be permanently employed at the courts of the sultans of Solo and Jogjakarta (or Yogyakarta) in Central Java, may be supported by government cultural agencies, or may be hired by wealthy villagers or townspeople to help celebrate a marriage or other festive event. Performances outside the royal courts are traditionally free for everyone who lives in the neighborhood. In the days before movies and television, they were exciting events for rural people, anticipated for months ahead of time and discussed for months afterward.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yellow Bank River

The Huangpu River, literally "Yellow Bank River", is a 97km-long river in China flowing through Shanghai. It is the last significant tributary of the Yangtze before it empties into the East China Sea.
Huangpu River is the largest river in Shanghai, and Suzhou Creek is its main branch.
It is an average of 400 meters wide and 9 meters deep. Shanghai gets most of its drinking water from the Huangpu, which thus plays an important part for the metropolis. It divides the city into two regions:Pudong (east) and Puxi (west). The Bund in Shanghai is located along the river.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Red Flag in Guangzhou

This traffic cop is taking great pride in directing the traffic in downtown Guangzhou, China. With the power of the red flag and the whistle he has complete command over the traffic flow. With all the whistles I have seen in Asia being used by the various police forces I really wish I had invested in the whistle business ... I may have been retired by now!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Howard International Hotel - with Revolving Coffee Shop

You've got to hand it to the Indians who are marketing this hotel ..... "International Hotel" .... "Revolving Restaurant with Coffee Shop" .... all the trademarks of an upmarket, high-class, 5-star resort! But where is this fine establishment you ask ..... well it is in Mussoorie, Dehradun, North India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. This photo I think depicts the reality of this "tourist haven" .... more of a "Blackpool at 5000'ft" than anything else.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Fullerton Hotel

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a five-star luxury hotel located near the mouth of the Singapore River, in the Downtown Core of Central Area, Singapore. It was originally known as The Fullerton Building, and also as the General Post Office Building.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Chinese Lanterns, Shangcheng, Hangzhou

These colourful Chinese lanterns advertised a light shop in Hangzhou, China. This part of the city, known as Shangcheng, was full of shops and restaurants and even though the evening was bitterly cold many people were out shopping, eating and enjoying the many spectacles along the streets.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Hill Station Porter Uses His Head

This porter in Mussoorie, India has certainly used his head for this job. Mussoorie is a city and a municipal board, about 34 km from Dehradun and in Dehradun district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This hill station, situated in the foothills of the Himalaya ranges, is also known as the Queen of the Hills. The adjoining town of Landour, which includes a military cantonment, is considered part of 'greater Mussoorie', as are the townships of Barlowganj and Jharipani.
Being at an average altitude of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft), Mussoorie, with its green hills and varied flora and fauna, is a fascinating hill resort. Commanding snow ranges to the north-east, and glittering views of the Doon Valley and Shiwalik ranges in the south, the town was once said to present a 'fairyland' atmosphere to tourists. The highest point is Lal Tibba with a height of over 2,290 metres (7,510 ft)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Kampong Kuala Lumpur

This traditional malay kampong style wooden house sits right in the middle of the city in Kuala Lumpur on Jalan Raja Abdullah. The stark contrast between buildings like this and the high rise development around it highlights the rapid development that has taken place in Kuala Lumpur over the last few years.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Wing Wah

The bright red shop of Wing Wah really stood out in the surrounding drab buildings of Guangzhou, China. Wing Wah is a famous food manufacturer and specialises in moon cakes. This image was post processed using Aperture and by reducing all the colour saturation sliders to zero except the red colour slider I highlighted and emphasised the red colour.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.
The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the 14th-century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then the British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Szechuan Cuisine

Szechuan cuisine, Szechwan cuisine, or Sichuan cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine originating in Sichuan Province of southwestern China famed for bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavour of theSichuan peppercorn. Peanuts, sesame paste and ginger are also prominent ingredients in Szechuan cooking. Although the region is now romanized as Sichuan, the cuisine is still sometimes spelled 'Szechuan' or 'Szechwan' in the West. There are many local variations of Sichuan cuisine within Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality, which was politically part of Sichuan until 1997. The four best known regional sub-styles are Chongqing style, Chengdu style, Zigong style, and Buddhist vegetarian style.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Class M at Secretariat Halt, Colombo

Sri Lanka Railway Department, branded "Sri Lanka Railways", is a key department of the Sri Lankan Government under the Ministry of Transport with a history that begins in 1858. Sri Lanka Railways (formerly CGR – Ceylon Government Railway) operates the nation's rail network linking Colombo - the commercial capital of Sri Lanka - and many population centres and tourist destinations.

Diesel locomotives of Sri Lanka Railway categorized in to several classes and their sub classes.

  • Class M - Main Line Locomotives (Diesel Electric)
    • Class M2 General Motors G12 locomotives are considered the most successful - being in service since 1954.
    • Class M9 Alstom Prima model has been the most unsuccessful.
    • The most powerful locomotive is Class M8 WDM-2, with 2,600 hp.
  • Class W - Main Line Locomotives (Diesel Hydraulic)
  • Class S - Diesel Push Pull Trains (Diesel Multiple Units)
  • Class Y - Shunters
  • Class N & P - Narrow Gauge