Saturday, May 30, 2009

Silk Road ~ # 1

Silk road ~~ journey along the ancient trade route between China and the western world - from Xi'an to Kashgar (XinJiang).

I just returned from the Silk Road Trip :)
(My dream had come true !)

22 of us, backpackers flied to Xinjiang, follow the route of ancient people (of course, our route is not difficult as like the past) to Silk Road China and ended the journey in Xi'an.

Our first itinerary was to Xinjiang Province.
A little bit background on Xinjiang : Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is one-sixth of China's total territory and the largest province in China. Xinjiang borders Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Xinjiang is home to 47 ethnic groups including the Uygur, the major ethnic group in Xinjiang.

We went to Tianshan Tianchi on the day 3 and spend 2 night there.

The postcard of Heavenly Lake (Tianchi)

The postcard of The Tianshan Mountains

4 of us climbed up to a hill , and we got this whole scenery captured ~~ snowy capped mountain and crystal clear blue lake.

We stayed 2 night here ~~ in Mongolian / Kazakh yurt.
(About 6 - 7 people can sleep in one yurt)

The temperature went down to negative 2-3 Celsius at night time (huh !! freezing cool !!!)

(Inside the yurt) ~~ Such colorful carpet and fabric attach.

So much warm inside the yurt, I covered myself with warm blanket while writing my journal.

The Kazakh people rent us the yurt and cooked for us the delicious kazakh food too ~ they are friendly & kind.

P.S. While you are visiting Xinjiang, it is important to be aware of the time zone being used. Although officially run on Beijing time, Xinjiang people also use there own system. If Beijing time is used it means that the sun doesn't raise until 9am and it is still light at midnight in the summer months. When making travel arrangements, be sure which time zone or system is being used or you could get caught out.

Friday, May 29, 2009

die Rosenauer Burg (from Romania)

I received this beautiful postcard from László Kállai , Romania.

About the postcard ......
Description: Rosa "town name" - die Rosenauer Burg

Keyword(s): 2003-1, Reconstituire de Radu Olteanu (, The fortress from Râșnov (German: Rosenau; Hungarian: Barcarozsnyó) - known from 1335, peasant fortress.

László collects all kind of ROSES related cards & stamps.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cahuita National Park , Limon of Costa Rica

Cahuita National Park was created on September 7, 1970, for the purpose of protecting the coastal flora and fauna, in addition to the coral reefs and marine ecosystems. Cahuita's main attractions are its white sandy beaches, miles of coconut groves, tranquil clear seas and a coral reefs. Cahuita Point is mostly swamp, with an abundance of coconut trees and the beach almond trees.

Costa Rica, which translates literally as "Rich Coast".

Costa Rica is composed of seven provinces.
The provinces are:

1. Alajuela
2. Cartago
3. Guanacaste
4. Heredia
5. Limón
6. Puntarenas
7. San José

The central government offers tax exemptions for those who are willing to invest in the country.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Greetings from California

Nickname of California : The Golden State

I like this kind of vintage postcard :)

As refer to the stamps , Archibald Alec Leach (18 January 1904 – 29 November 1986), better known by his stage name Cary Grant was a British-born American film actor.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rice Terraces, Batad

Stairways to the heavens

Rice terraces are common throughout Asia but nowhere are they as spectacular as in the rugged mountains of northern Luzon. The Ifugaos have resisted integration into mainstream society and still practice their traditional farming and religion although headhunting is on the wane.

As what I read from Eazy Traveller blog, Batad Village is located more than 350 km north of Manila: ten hours by bus, one and a half hours by jeepney over rough road, and another hour on foot. A 45-minute hike traversing the stairway of rice paddies will take you to the imposing Tappiyah Falls that thunders through a rocky gorge. During the pitch black of night, pockets of trees along the mountain slopes glow with the bioluminescence of fireflies, with a dozen of them waltzing their way into my room, attracted by incandescent lamps.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gorgeous Versailles !!

The postcard that I bought when my last time visit to Versailles .

The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles, the Île-de-France region of France. In French, it is known as the Château de Versailles.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Disneyland, Paris

Sleeping Beauty Castle

One cut out of Mickey head in the top right corner.

Electric Parade

Beautiful fireworks

I been to Disneyland, Paris in year 2002.
Stayed in Disneyland for 3 days. Earned more 'day' time (because it was SUMMER)
It's such a memorable moments in my life time.

One things that I regret was I did not bought the Parade Songs !!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Malaysia's First World Heritage Site

Another UNESCO postcard ~ Mount Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo

Wildflowers and brightly coloured foliage perch precariously among rocks at the edge of Low's Gulley. Kinabalu's deep abyss, a kind of counter spirit to the immense and majestic heights.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is one of Paris' most visit attractions.
This monument is devoted to one of France's most fearless leaders, Napoleon Bonaparte.

To get to the top, visitors must climb over 280 steps to the top. This can be a grueling climb, so be prepared. Although many say the Arc de Triomphe does not have an elevator, that is not true. Disabled visitors or those with strollers can take the elevator, although there are a few remaining steps after you leave the elevator

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Paradise cave

The Trinh Nu Cave

The Fighting - cocks islet

Ha Long bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Quảng Ninh province, the northeastern part of Vietnam and is 165 Km from Hanoi.

The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. The bay has a 120 kilometre long coastline and is approximately 1,553 square kilometres in size with 1969 islets. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, other support floating villages of fishermen, who ply the shallow waters for 200 species of fish and 450 different kinds of mollusks. Another specific feature of Halong Bay is the abundance of lakes inside the limestone islands, for example, Dau Be island has six enclosed lakes.

Ha Long literally means descending dragon(s) and according to local myth.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, a marine reserve established in 1974 and named after Malaysia's first Prime Minister. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park comprises of five (5) islands ~ Gapi, Sapi, Mamutik, Manukan and Sulug. It's only 10 - 20 minute speedboat ride from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The 49 sq-km reserve of which two-thirds are the waters around the islands, is a natural gallery of kaleidoscopic coral gardens and marine life.

The five islands of the Marine Park are characterized by shallow waters, sumptuous coral gardens and all boast splendid white sandy beaches. The Marine Park is the heavenly place for divers !!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ohio Universtity , Athens Ohio

Uptown Athens, Ohio University's Convocation Center, West Green, and Peden Stadium in an aeriel view from southwest, along Richland Avenue.

Tracy Keirns wrote to me that, "Greetings from Athens, Ohio. Athens is the home of Ohio University, a college with many international students. I have been using postcards to teach my elementary school students about the world."

Tracy, it's really a great idea , to use postcards as TEACHING AIDS.

Hopefully my postcard had reach to your door-step :)

* Ohio University is a public university located in Athens, Ohio that is situated on a 1,800 acre (7.3 km²) campus. Founded in 1804, it is the oldest public university in Ohio, first in the Northwest Territory, and ninth oldest public university in the United States.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mantova (Mantua) - I palazzi

Picture on bottom left ~ San Giorgio Castle, Mantua.

Picture on top right ~ Façade of Palazzo Ducale.

The Palazzo Ducale di Mantova ("Ducal Palace") is a group of buildings in the Italian city of Mantua (Lombardy), built between the 14th and the 17th century mainly by the noble family of Gonzaga as their royal residence in the capital of their Duchy. The buildings are connected by corridors and galleries and are enriched by inner courts and wide gardens. The complex includes some 500 rooms and occupies an area of c. 34,000 m². Although most famous for Mantegna's frescos in the Camera degli Sposi (Wedding Room), they have many other very significant architectural and painted elements.

Mantua is a beautiful little town with many "treasures". Museums, palaces, a beautiful park, unique landscapes (it lies on a sort of island on the river Mincio) .

According to Matteo, Mantova (Mantua) include in UNESCO list in July 2008.

The postcard was send by Matteo in envelope. Thank you so much for such wonderful stamps.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cameron Highlands

Terrace vegetables cultivation in Cameron Highlands.

The passing mist over the tea estate in Cameron Highlands.

The plateau was discovered by one William Cameron in 1885. He described it as " a fine plateau with gentle slopes shut in by lofty mountains". However, only in 1925 was the decision made to have the area developed as a hill station. Thus, Cameron Highlands appeared on the map of those who seek an extraordinary hideaway. Cameron Highlands enjoys a sub temperate climate of 21 Celsius during the day a cool 15 Celsius at night.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Greetings from Sunderland , UK

Durham Cathedral
On a splendid site overlooking the River Wear and defended on three sides by it, the Cathedral is one of the finest Norman buildings in the country. It was founded in 1093 and built on the site of a Saxon cathedral built a century earlier.

Picture on your Left : Lighthouse
Picture of your Right : Hylton Castle , Seaburn Beach

This is the Sunderland Bridge. The Sunderland football stadium is near here.

Thank you to Jaqi Wright from UK send me the 3 marvellous postcards from Boldon, Tyne & Wear (about 20 minutes drive from Sunderland) .

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Arras (Pas-de-Calais)

Arras is the capital of the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France.

The centre of the town is marked by two large squares, the Grande Place, the Place des Héros, also called the Petite Place. These are surrounded by buildings largely restored to their pre-war World War I conditions. Most notable are the Gothic town hall (rebuilt in a slightly less grandiose style after the war) and the 19th-century cathedral.

The postcard shows 4 house out of collection of 155 houses in the Flemish style.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Ayutthaya

I and Tham have our first private postcard swap.
She send me 3 postcards and I send here 3 of her preference postcards from Malaysia too.

The above is one of the postcard that I impressed with.

This temple, formerly known as Wat Pa Keo, most likely predates the Ayutthaya period.

According to Tham, all temples are destroyed by Burmese Army in the past.

This temple (Wai Yai Chai Mongkhon) is one of the most famous in Ayutthaya. The temple is now a museum.
Within the complex is a huge image of a reclining Buddha in brick and stucco.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I climbed Mt Kinabalu ?

Sunrise over Mt Kinabalu

Low's Peak, at 4095m, is the summit of Mount Kinabalu, the focal point of the immensely popular Kinabalu Park, established in 1964. Visitors from the world over flow into Sabah to visit this superbly managed Park to enjoy the scenery and the thousands of plant and animal species found on this unique tropical mountain, where biodiversity reaches its peak development.

Can you see little people.
How tiny was us.

(climbing trail of Mt Kinabalu)

Did I conquer Mount Kinabalu, 4,000+ m ?
I'm not. But my friend ~ Yeo did.

However, I wish to fly to Sabah and have enough stamina to climb to the peak :p

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

St Petersburg

The Beloselsky - Beloserskij 1800 ; 1846 - 1848
Thank you to Alexander.

St Isaac's Cathedral 1818 - 58
architect Auguste Montferrand
Thank you to Lana (RU37022)

Beautiful stamps pasted on the postcard

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Salt industry in Taiwan

Thank you to Brian Wu to send me this postcard from Taiwan.

According to Brian, the image shows the cargo train carrying salt in Bu Dai, Chia Yi, southwestern coast of Taiwan.
The salt industry in Taiwan has been on downgrade. The wagons, the diesel locomotives & the railways have been decommissioned & scrapped since about 20 years ago. There are only a few salt pans left there.