Sunday, April 17, 2011

A walk in Katong, Singapore


I recently went on a walk in Katong, an area in the East of Singapore, near the sea, that does not fit the common image of Singapore as a modern, sterilised city. Back alleys often offer some unexpected and interesting photo opportunities.

Come with me on the walk and see another side to Singapore.

This house is on Joo Chiat Road. It is possibly owned by Malaysians as the warrior statue in the front garden is Malay. He is carrying a kris sword in its scabbard.

Traditional barbers shop, also selling

The morning light catches this house nicely.
A Buddhist shrine stands right in front of the
entrance. On the right is a chimney where the
Chinese worshippers usually burn prayers and

The front room really is the front room. Katong
was the location of many villas and mansions of
the wealthy elite in the late 19th to the mid
20th centuries

A more traditional shophouse front. Katong is
famous for its Eurasian and Peranakan
(Straits Chinese) communities and restaurants

These terraced houses are very traditional.
I haven't seen any others like this in Singapore

The houses have been recently

Something special that has been preserved
in this modern city

Love this colourful fence

A green form of transport with a very green

The whole street has these half doors and
half windows

In the heart of Katong there is also a Hindu
temple called Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple
It represents the Ceylonese Hindus who were
one of the earliest groups of immigrants in

The temple is situated on Ceylon Road. Lord
Vinayagar is more commonly known as Ganesha
the Elephant God. It is the second oldest temple
of Singapore, although it has been restored on
several occasions

The morning sun falls on this little shrine
at the entrance to the temple

The temple is built following the architectural
style that was favoured in the ancient Chola
kingdom of India. This is the Inside of the temple

Lord Vinayagar represents knowledge and is
considered to be the remover and destroyer of

These ladies adorn the left wall to the side of
the entrance

Great colour and lovely windows

The damage to the window looks like a gunshot?

Fabulous building

Detail of a beautifully refurbished

More colourful shophouses on the other side
of the road

These staircases at the back
are traditional

I posted these chappies on facebook. Just
dig the footwear!

The owner explained that the pavement gets
very hot so their paws need protecting

Another example of the traditional
back staircase

Now a few back alley photos

Fantastic urns, possibly used for burning. You
can see a grate on the side of the urn at the bottom
on the right

A metal door provides interesting
reflections of what's in the alley

A doormop!

Fancy a tartlet?

Chairs that have probably been washed and
put out to dry

Ceremonial products for burning at Chinese
funerals are an important part of burying the dead.
Most traditionally people burn paper (fake) money

The reason is that the deceased will
need money in the afterlife. Recently,
more and more elaborate paper
constructions of cars, electronic gadgets
and even houses and maids can be bought
to burn and ensure the deceased has a
luxury afterlife!

"Motorbikes" for burning

Thanks for coming. Next time some photos of
Spring in a UK park

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Hi, thanks for coming. I went to Canbodia in December 2010/January 2011. I have posted photos of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Angkor Thom, the Children of Cambodia, Ta Promh, and now this is the final posting of the famous of all - Angkor Wat. The sequence of photos follows sunrise, a day visit, and finally sunset. And as sun sets on Angkor Wat I know I have to go back there. It is an enchanting place in our world. If you haven't been I hope you go too.

At 5.30 am on a surprisingly cool morning we set off for the journey that so many have done before us - to see the sun rise behind Angkor Wat.
The first few photos were taken as the sun rose. It was magical.

Dramatic sky with reflection in the pond

The water lilies already saluting
the dawn

The morning crowd, all
hoping for the perfect photo

The sky lightens

And now it is light. Wonderful to witness.
Worth the early rise and time for breakfast!

It's best, for photography, to visit the temple
from the east entrance in the morning to get
the sun behind you.

A monk walks in the gardens

Angkor Wat was built in the
early 12th century. It was built to
be the state temple and capital city
of King Suryavarman II. At this
time the Khmer Empire ruled most
of what is now Southeast Asia.

Many stories, mostly of Hindu battles
are told on the walls of the temple

It was dedicated to the Hindu God,
Vishnu, the creator and destroyer
of all human existence

This is a very special (to me)
manifestation of human existence!

There are thousands of devatas (guardian spirits)
and apsaras (celestial beings) carved in bas-relief
on the walls of Angkor Wat. Devata is a: 'female
divinity', in Cambodia depicted in bas‐relief with
bare chest, wearing a long sampot'
(Brugier/Lacroix, p. 260). 'Apsara: nymphs of the
water, created at the churning of the sea.' Apsara
are creatures, not deities. Ravishing beauties,
they are dancing in the heaven for the amusement
of the gods. (Brugier/Lacroix, p. 259).

Angkor Wat is the world's largest religious
building. After it's Hindu origins it became
a Buddhist temple

Angkor Wat is a national symbol
and it appears on the Cambodian
national flag

Angkor was declared as a World Heritage
Site by UNESCO, in 1992.

Compelling sculptures of devatas.

I love the colour contrasts in
this photo

There are more devatas (the
standing ladies) than apsaras(the
dancing ladies).

It is thought there are about 2000
sculptures of devatas/apsaras at
Angkor Wat

Just to show we were there!


Love the lines on this one

Many armed form

It's so old!

Look closely at the figurines

And now it's sunset

Monks returning after their visit

This shows a small part of the moat that
surrounds Angkor Wat

A very different light to the sunrise

Children playing in the early evening

The sun sets and we begin to walk home

Our last night visit to Angkor Wat

Sad but heart-full

Committed to going back

Next time photos of an "old" part of Singapore!