We had the chance to visit Burma (aka Myanmar) recently. Burma is a very large country, the second largest in South East Asia and with population of over 60 million people. You can discuss at length whether one should visit Burma or not, as of course, it is still a sanctioned country due to violations to the human rights (genocide, systematic rape, child labour, human trafficking etc.) and almost all things you do when visiting Burma will mean you directly, or indirectly, help fund the military of this country. After the release of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2011 (see link by clicking her name), the country have taken some steps towards a more open, and hopefully, a more fair place.
Anyway, we decided to travel to Burma. I did not intend to make this entry too much about politics, so for those interested, you can also read here about the ethical decision one need to take before travelling to Burma.
We stayed in Rangoon, the previous capital of Burma. The city is the largest in the country (population of 4+ million) and is still where almost “everything happens”. When you come to Burma you realize a few things:
*You have never really met a friendly person before; this is what friendly means
*Men should wear skirts all over the world, I bought one but have not dared to wear mine yet
*Traffic conditions are “special”, with the steering wheel on the right hand side but with right hand side traffic.
These are some few photos from strolling around the down town area of Rangoon. The last two photos are from a market “across the river”.
I have always, since being a teenager, been very hung up by Japan in general. It always seemed to me like such an amazing country with an interesting culture and great food. In addition, I was always fascinated by the high speed train system in Japan; the Shinkansen. According to Wikipedia, Japan was the first country in the world to build a dedicated high speed train rail. I have been lucky enough to visit Japan, and I even got to travel from Tokyo to Osaka on the Shinkansen. It is amazing, during the peak hours, the line between Tokyo and Osaka have up to 13 departures per hour (16 cars and a capacity of 1332 seats per departure), and transports some 150 million passengers per year.
Transportation is this weeks Travel theme at the Where’s my Backpack blog, and the below is the Shinkansen I got to ride from Tokyo to Osaka. A great experience!
This weeks photo challenge is Delicate. This small guy was captured about a year ago at Koh Lanta, Thailand.
The theme of the week at the Daily Post is; Changing Seasons. This photo to me reflects the entrance of fall with all the leaf-less trees. Also, the water looks really cold in addition.
This weeks photo challenge from the Daily Post is Reflections. This one is taken with my Samsung Galaxy and the star of the post is Rasmus, the Chipin.
Lovely to come to the office and see this; been a long time since we saw some sun!
Got this pretty cool picture of our dog when hiking around last Sunday. He is a mixed breed, Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher (chipin), and like any dog he loves to be let loose and just run around like a maniac.
The Daily Post today announced a Special Photo Challenge: Inspiration. So, what inspires me? I guess I am a focused, hard-working person. One of the reasons why, is my daily moments where I drift away dreaming of the next time I get to jump off the dive boat to start exploring a new dive site. These moments really inspires me.
The travel theme at the Where’s My Backpack blog this week is Mystical. This to me is pretty mystical; get’s you wondering what is around the next corner.
This weeks photo challenge is GREEN. I took this photo in the Swiss Alps (the Braunwald Area), maybe the most relaxing and greenest place I have seen.
We spent some hours walking round this magnificent temple. Of course, the whole area of Siem Reap is just stunning, but the main attraction of Angkor Wat is amazing.
Some info from Wikipedia. Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. The temple was built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Angkor Wat was dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.
Where’s my Backpack? is this week asking for photos with the theme of SOFT. I thought it was a tough challenge, but then found this photo from a winter a few years ago. This is from the northern parts of Sweden; Lappland.
This weeks photo challenge is Renewal. We saw this hawk/falcon (?) with it’s prey an afternoon back in Hong Kong. It sat there for a few hours, just staring out in to the air and guarding the smaller bird. Hopefully the little prey was brought back to a nest to feed some younger ones and secure a new generation of this beautiful predator.
As we reach mid November, the winter is closing in each day. Cold yes, but much better than the last weeks that brought so much rain.
This weeks photo challenge is Geometry. My photo is from MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art). It has been a while since I went, and what I remember clearly, except for all the skateboarders outside, is the actual architecture of the building, which carries a lot of geometry. Beautiful place.
With some clear days the temperature is now below freezing, and that means the ground is getting rock hard. Quite a difficult day yesterday at the golf course. At Kjekstad Golfklubb. Snow on the greens and hail on the fairways.
This weeks Photo Challenge from the Daily Post is: Foreign
Being from Scandinavia and doing business with any North East Asian company will certainly make you notice some cultural differences. One of the moments I remember was the first time visiting a customer in Imabari, Shikoku Island, Japan. Here I was asked to take off my shoes and wear the office slippers. I guess this may happen from time to time in Japan, but this, the first time, was just “interesting” to me.
When we thought we’d never see the sun again until next summer, it finally showed up!
From downtown Oslo, Norway – Samsung Galaxy photo.
This 10th century temple is just amazing. Come here and study the exact carvings and beautiful details everywhere. The temple, which is built in red sandstone, was built by a Yajnavaraha, a courtier and counsellor to the King at that time. There are a lot of depictions of the Hindu gods Siva and Vishnu here, but also a great deal of carvings of women, which may be the reason the temple is named “Citadel of the Women”.
Be aware, to get here you will probably sit in a tuk-tuk. The distance is some 25-30KM from “the other” temples of Angkor. But we surely found it worth it!
This weeks challenge from The Daily Post was Silhouette. This is from the beach on lovely Boracay Island, Philippines earlier this year. Such a nice place!
After arriving the office soaking wet for 3 weeks straight, one truly miss the days where you could actually see the blue sky. Like this, as photographed with my Samsung Galaxy.
Some photos taken on a Norwegian golf course, with my Samsung Galaxy. The season is very close to come to and end now in Norway.
The Tian Tan Buddha, or the Big Buddha, in Lantau Island Hong Kong, is BIG. If you happen to be in Hong Kong and the weather is nice, a trip to go see the Big Buddha using the Ngong Ping 360 Gondola is highly recommended.
Just like Ta Prohm, the Preah Khan temple was built by/for Jayavarman VII in the 12th century. This temple is mostly flat in design and much unrestored, so there are trees and other vegetation growing through and around the actual temple. Just magic to walk around here and wonder how life actually was here some 1000 years earlier.