Tag Archives: Architecture

The best posts about architecture and architecture photography will be included in this section.

Bahrain World Trade Center: Wind Turbines on Twin Towers?

The most interesting architecture in the world?

Where’s the most interesting architecture you’ve seen? Have you ever seen a building with its own massive wind turbines? I found the Bahrain World Trade Center to be fascinating! It might be the best example of wind energy integration.

The first thing you’ll notice is the unique shape. Those twin tower triangle shapes are to help maximize the wind power.

This is what I look like on less than an hour of sleep. Impressive architecture though!

How big is it?

The Bahrain World Trade Center is 787 feet (240 meters), 50-floors, with three wind turbines in between twin towers. The turbines are 29 meters, 68 tons, and generate 1100 megawatts per hour. Impressive!

Did you know

Bahrain World Trade Center was the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design.

Wind Power, in an Oil country!

It’s great to see a country with an oil economy innovate. I never would have guessed that the first country to have a building with wind power integrated is an oil rich economy.

I was fascinated to learn how it was specially designed to maximize wind power. Perhaps you will be too –

Bahrain actually has two skyscrapers with twin towers right near each other. The Bahrain Financial Harbor is even larger than the Bahrain WTC.

How the technology in the Bahrain World Trade Center works:

The tapered, elliptical towers act as airfoils, channelling offshore winds to drive three massive wind turbines set between the towers on a series of skybridges. Engineers say the turbines are designed to generate between 11 percent and 15 percent of the centre’s energy needs.

– Otis (full case study linked here)

Engineers say they used computational fluid dynamics and sophisticated wind-tunnel tests to determine the ideal shape of the towers to maximize the power generated by the wind turbines. Their analysis led to an elliptical, tapered design that funnels offshore winds between the towers and creates negative air pressure (or lift) from behind. That innovative design accelerates the wind’s velocity as it hits the turbines “

More info on the design

The elliptical plan forms and sail-like profiles act as aerofoils, funneling the onshore breeze between them as well as creating a negative pressure behind, thus accelerating the wind velocity between the two towers. Vertically, the sculpting of the towers is also a function of airflow dynamics. As they taper upwards, their aerofoil sections reduce. This effect when combined with the increasing velocity of the onshore breeze at increasing heights creates a near equal regime of wind velocity on each of the three turbines.

research by Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Bahrain World Trade Center - Visit50
Bahrain World Trade Center

More from my Bahrain trip

I found Bahrain to be really interesting! My Bahrain trip was compressed into just 19 hours on my way to Jordan.

The “500 camels” might have been my favorite part of my Bahrain trip, and I hadn’t even planned to visit!

The Bahrain WTC isn’t the only fascinating architecture in Bahrain

500-Camels-in-Bahrain-Visit50
one of the many camels I met in Bahrain

Endangered Animals Light Up NYC

Cecil the lion and other endangered animals are projected on to Empire State Building in an impressive light display

Images of endangered animals were crawling and swimming across the facade of New York’s Empire State Building, as part of the first light show of its kind in ESB history. It was such an awesome display!   It was also a timely reminder of the impact and devastation caused by incidents like the hunting of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe.

I captured photos and put them all into a few animated gif images below:

Empire State Building - endangered animals - 2
Endangered species grace the south side of the Empire State Building

Empire State Tribute To Endangered Animals

How: It was all done with 40 light cannons projecting images of endangered animals upon the Empire State Building. Design firm Obscura Digital put it together, with a cost of around $1 million, according to the NY Times.

Endangered Animals Empire State Building projection
The eyes of the world were on the Empire State Building

Who put it together?  It was organized by the Oceanic Preservation Society and the filmmakers of the new Discovery Channel documentary, Racing Extinction, (#RacingExtinction), an upcoming documentary about humans’ impact on threatened species. Racing Extinction is set to air in December 2015.  Director Louie Psihoyos was also the director of The Cove.

animated photos of endangered animals Empire State Building projection nyc - 21
Endangered Animals projected on the Empire State Building

160 species were featured — including Cecil, the lion that was killed by an American in early July.

You’ll notice from the videos that I couldn’t hear most of the music from where I was set up, but the show featured music from the director’s upcoming movie, Racing Extinction, according to the director’s Facebook page.

Photos of endangered animals on the Empire State Building:

Tiger at ESB-17

endangered animals empire state building projection nyc - 14

160 species were featured on the  Empire State Building skyscraper – here’s some in group shots:

Endangered Animals Empire State Building - pic 01
We found Cecil the Lion (on left)!

they projected images of Endangered Animals on Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is typically lit up with colors for weekly occasions and even light shows, but this was a first.

Endangered Animals Empire State Building -002Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -004Endangered Animals - Empire State Building -003

Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -008

Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -007Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -006Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -005

Click the below thumbnail for a full-size image:

endangered-animals-empire-state-projection-nyc-17
photography by mariacelestearraras

Endangered Animals on Empire State Building -009
Proof of American disillusionment towards endangered animals (on right)

cheetah - as part of endangered animals light show at the Empire State Building -11
Cecil the Lion projection at the Empire State Building 13 endangered animals at the Empire State Building nyc -12Animals pics on Empire State Building

More videos:

More great photos of the endangered animals Empire State Building event can be found on NBC, Daily Mail, and Gothamist.

Image credits: mariacelestearraras / empirestatebldg / Visit50.com

Bayon Temples Cambodia -216 smiling faces

Bayon temples – 216 gigantic faces

Welcome to the Bayon temples, built end of the 12th Century. The Bayon temples feature 216 faces, a nearly surreal masterpiece unlike any I’d ever seen. Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman’s capital, Angkor Thom, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The Bayon temples, along with Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm, are easily the best 1-2 day trip you can take in southeast Asia. Here’s a 29 photo tour:

Reflections of Bayon in Angkor Thom
Reflections of Bayon in Angkor Thom. Brilliant photo by Mike Behnken

Bayon temples in the Angkor Thom area of Siem Reap, Cambodia near Angkor Wat
it’s 90-degrees fahrenheit, but I kept reading about killer mosquitos. They said it’s crucial to get vaccinated, and cover yourself from head to toe.

Who are the faces of?  They Bayon faces are said represent Lokeshvara, a Buddhist deity that projected benevolence outward to the four directions, or even the king himself. Here’s the explanation:

Initially the faces were believed to represent Brahma, the Hindu God of creation depicted with four heads. When it was later established that the Bayon was not a Hindu temple but a Buddhist one, archeologists believed the faces to be of Lokeshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion. The similarity of statues of Jayavarman VII and the face towers had led some to believe that it is the King himself whose face is depicted on the towers.

Bayon Cambodia -003

History:  Bayon was the state temple of Jayavarman VII, a powerful ruler in the late 13th century (Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII). The temple sat at the center of Angkor Thom, a walled city that served as the capital of the Khmer Empire.

There are 216 gigantic faces on the Bayon temple towers, in the Angkor Thom area of Siem Reap, Cambodia near Angkor Wat
There are 216 gigantic faces on the Bayon temple towers

There are 216 gigantic faces on the Bayon temple towers, measuring as tall as 7 feet just for the face, across 37 towers.

The white and green spots on the face are lichen (fungus, green alga).
The white and green spots on the face sculptures are lichen (fungus, green alga).

Photo by Tartarin2009

The Bayon temple was “intended to evoke the form of Mt. Meru—the cosmic mountain at the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. In keeping with this cosmic symbolism, the plan of the temple is based on a ‘yantra’, a symbol used by Tantric Buddhists as the basis of mandala diagrams that represent the layout of the universe. The temple honored not just one deity, but a host of gods found throughout the Khmer empire. Its central shrine held an image of Jayavarman VII, who perhaps imagined himself as a god-King ruling in the name of the Buddha” [source]

Bayon temples, built end of the 12th Century, capital of the Khmer Empire , Cambodia
Welcome to Bayon, built at the end of the 12th Century, capital of the Khmer Empire

our guide explains how the bas-relief is showing Khmer soldiers going to war
our guide explains how the bas-relief is showing Khmer soldiers going to war

our guide explains how the bas-relief is showing Khmer soldiers going to war

Facing in four directions on each Bayon tower, the faces are thought to represent Lokeshvara, a Buddhist deity that projected benevolence outward to the four directions.. Cambodia
Facing in four directions on each tower, the faces are thought to represent Lokeshvara, a Buddhist deity that projected benevolence outward to the four directions.

Bayon In the Golden Hour Bayon temples in Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia
photo by Lee Phelps Photography

Aspara dancers at the Bayon temples Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Aspara dancers

great photos of the Bayon temples in Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia
so many great photos of the Bayon temples in Angkor Thom

photo from from the vantage point of the Bayon temple's the upper terrace, Cambodia
photo from from the vantage point of the Bayon temple’s the upper terrace

Bayon temples at Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia, near Angkor Wat
photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Smiling face of Avalokiteshvara at the Bayon temples at Angkor Thom, Cambodia
Smiling face of Avalokiteshvara

nearly every wall of the Bayon temples were sculpted. Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia
nearly every wall of the Bayon temples are sculpted

Central structure tower of Bayon, in Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Central structure tower of Bayon

A scene from the eastern gallery shows a Khmer army on the march in the Cambodia ruins
A scene from the eastern gallery shows a Khmer army on the march

scene from the outer gallery at the Bayon temples. Our guide said it shows Chinese expats negotiating with Khmer merchants at an Angkorean market.
This scene is from the outer gallery at the Bayon temples. Our guide said it shows Chinese expats negotiating with Khmer merchants at an Angkorean market.

walls of Angkor Thom in Cambodia walls of Bayon in Angkor Thom in Cambodia

face to face at the Bayon temples
face to face at the Bayon temples of Angkor Thom near Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

faces of the Bayon temples, in the Bayon ruins in Angkor Wat Angkor Thom area in Cambodiafaces of the Bayon temples, in the Bayon ruins in Angkor Wat Angkor Thom area in Cambodia -014

my face between the faces of the Bayon temples, in the Bayon ruins in Angkor Wat Angkor Thom area in Cambodia

wide shot of the Bayon temples in Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia
photo from Tushar Dayal

faces of the Bayon temples, in the Bayon ruins in Angkor Wat Angkor Thom area in Cambodiafaces of the Bayon temples, in the Bayon ruins in Angkor Wat Angkor Thom area in CambodiaBayon temples in Angkor Thom are an impressive display of Khmer architecture

entrance to Bayon temples, in the Bayon complex - Bayon ruins in Angkor Wat Angkor Thom area in Cambodia
entrance to Bayon temples area

I’ve included links to learn more of the history of the Bayon temples at the center of Angkor Thom, in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

How to get there: it’s a short flight from Bangkok, Thailand. Do it!

Amazing Angkor Wat in Photos

35 photo tour of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temples

Angkor Wat is one of the most impressive sites in the world, and was immediately a highlight of my southeast Asia trip. The temples are breathtaking!  While you need to visit them in Cambodia to appreciate it, below is a photo tour of the experience.

Angkor Wat at sunrise
Angkor Wat at sunrise. This brilliant photo is from one of my favorite travel photographers, Trey Ratcliff at Stuck in Customs

Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap, in Cambodia. Along with Angkor Thom, Bayon, and Ta Prohm, Angkor might be the best two-day trip you can take in all of Asia.

Angkor Wat, in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat was built by the vanished Khmer empire. It was constructed during the reign of King Suryavarman II, who ruled from 1113 to at least 1145.

the walls of Angkor Wat are filled with details carvings, each depicting the rich history
the walls of Angkor Wat are filled with details carvings, each depicting the rich history

Angkor Wat in Cambodia
photo by JonJon Pascua

Buddhist monk explores Angkor Wat
Buddhist monk explores Angkor Wat

The Library at Angkor Wat.
The Library at Angkor Wat. Photo from one of my favorite travel photographers, Trey Ratcliff

There are more than 1,860 carved Apsara dancers in Angkor Wat.
There are more than 1,860 carved Apsara dancers in Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat entrance - Angkor Wat at Visit50.com
“Angkor Wat” translates to “The city that is a temple.”

The Battle of Kurukshetra is the subject of this bas-relief at Angkor Wat.
The Battle of Kurukshetra is the subject of this bas-relief at Angkor Wat.

Count the arms...VERY powerful!
Count the arms…VERY powerful!

Scholars say the temples of Angkor Wat were built for funerary purposes, since its bas-reliefs are meant to be viewed anti-clockwise, a direction that was associated with death in the Khmer empire. This is Angkor’s only temple with tombs, despite the “Tomb Raider” movie being shot at nearby Ta Prohm, where there’s no tombs.

naga - the long causeway is decorated with mythical snake-like animals called naga
naga – the long causeway is decorated with mythical snake-like animals called naga

 this stone sculptures depicts the 8 arms of Vishnu, the powerful Hindu god, but with the head of Buddha. When Angkor Wat became a Buddhist temple, the head of Vishnu was replaced with the head of Buddha - Angkor Wat at Visit50.com
This stone sculpture depicts the 8 arms of Vishnu, the powerful Hindu god, but with the head of Buddha. When Angkor Wat became a Buddhist temple, the head of Vishnu was replaced with the head of Buddha.

“Angkor Wat” translates to “The city that is a temple.”

a devata graces the walls in Angkor Wat. Devata is another word for deva, the Hindu term for deity
a devata graces the walls in Angkor Wat. Devata is another word for deva, the Hindu term for deity

a youthful monk learns to read the future
a youthful monk learns to read the future

a monk at - Angkor Wat - Visit50.com
They say Angkor Wat took 30 years to build, which seems like a long time, until you see all the rich detail on nearly every wall

Angkor is located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Siem Reap literally translates to ‘defeat of Siam,’ which is today’s Thailand. It’s a conflict that goes back centuries, between the Siamese and Khmer people.

Raided. They stole the heads!
Raided. They stole the heads!

 

"Angkor Wat" translates to The city that is a temple - Visit50.com
“Angkor Wat” translates to The city that is a temple

Cambodian wedding photo shoot
Cambodian wedding photo shoot. I saw wedding photo shoots both times I visited, so perhaps it’s a popular spot for wedding photos.

Anchor Wat was under repair when we went
under repair when we went – the green tarps typically aren’t there

reflection of the temple towers in Siem Reap, Cambodia - Visit50.com

The walls of Ankor Wat tell stories of war heroes and battles from their troubled past - Visit50.com
The temple walls tell stories of war heroes and battles from their troubled past

Ankor Wat and the reflecting pond
my first time in Cambodia and the reflecting pond

amazing Angkor Wat - temples in Cambodia
Photo from ITLWMT

temple - Visit50.com

"Library" - their true purpose remains unknown. Most likely they functioned broadly as religious shrines rather than strictly as repositories of manuscripts
“Library”. While its true purpose remains unknown, scholars say it most likely functioned broadly as a religious shrine, rather than strictly as repositories of manuscripts

devata at the entrance
devatas at the entrance

guarding the walls
guarding the walls of Angkor Wat

The walls at the entrance are 8 meters high and 3 km long, and flanked by a moat.
The walls at the entrance are 8 meters high and 3 km long, and flanked by a moat.

The "swimming pool" - looks good for being 1000 yrs old!
The “swimming pool” – looks good for being 1000 yrs old!

Cruciform gallery separating the courtyards
Cruciform gallery separating the courtyards

look closely at everything - from a distance this looked like a pile of rocks
look closely at everything – from a distance this looked like a pile of rocks

tower - Visit50.com
closeup of one of the towers at Angkor Wat

Impressive Petra!

Petra, one of the 7 Wonders of the World

Petra in Jordan is impressive – established sometime in the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans – they carved the entire city out of the rock. They didn’t build columns – they kept carving the rock until they had columns. Given the back-story, it’s some of the most impressive architecture I’ve seen.  I highly recommend visiting Petra.

The Monastery at Petra, The Monastery of Petra, (aka Ad-Dayr or Ad-Deir in Arabic), in Jordan
The Monastery of Petra, (aka Ad-Dayr or Ad-Deir in Arabic)

Petra was named one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007; it was  declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

The Monastery is massive - Petra, Jordan
The Monastery is massive! Petra, Jordan

at the Siq, the narrow passageway to Al Khazneh ("The Treasury") at the ruins in Jordan
at the Siq, the narrow passageway to Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”)

You may recognize this spot (above photo) in Petra from the film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The movie’s fictional “Canyon of the Crescent Moon” was modeled on this 250-foot-high (76-meter-high) sandstone slot canyon known as the Siq, which that leads directly to Al Khazneh (the Treasury). Siq pictured above.

in front of Al Khazneh ("The Treasury") in Petra, Jordan
in front of Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”) in Jordan

Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, the site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”.

camel at the ruins in Jordan

Indiana Jones and the  Last Crusade – where was Petra featured?

At the film’s climactic final scenes, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery burst forth from the Siq and walk deep into the labyrinths of the Treasury in their quest to find the Holy Grail. But, as usual, archaeological fact bowed to Hollywood fiction when Indy came to Petra.

In reality, the Treasury is nothing more than a facade with a relatively small hall once used as a royal tomb.-Nat Geo

petra by photo by seetheholyland.net
photo by seetheholyland.net

There are dozens of tombs and other carved or constructed structures and sites within Petra.

photo by Maureen

Petra!

Petra’s located in Jordan, in the Middle East. Other highlights of my trip to Jordan included the Dead Sea and the Wadi Rum desert.

Hong Kong architecture photography

Incredible Hong Kong photography that makes the Hong Kong architecture look surreal

Photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captured Hong Kong’s architecture  in his Vertical Horizon photography project. He’s made it into an 80-page book of photos from his 2012. The 26-year-old French photographer captures the city’s skyscrapers from vertical angles – all looking up. So cool!

Hong Kong photography by Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze

Quarry bay - Photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captures Hong Kong’s soaring heights in his new book, Vertical Horizon. It's a Hong Kong photography project featuring Hong Kong architecture
Quarry Bay

These vertical angles were captured through a wide-angle Sigma lens with a 10 mm focal length. Unlike a fisheye lenses, he says a sigma lens avoids distorting the urban landscape’s straight lines.

This photo reminds me of the Guggenheim museum in NYC, but it's actually in Hong Kong. The photo is part of the Vertical Horizon photography project, a Hong Kong photography collection featuring Hong Kong architecture
This photo reminds me of the Guggenheim museum in NYC, but it’s actually Tai Hang.

Hong Kong photography - Vertical Horizon of Hong Kong architecture
love the brilliant colors

Hong Kong photography - Vertical Horizon of Hong Kong architecture Hong Kong photography - Vertical Horizon of Hong Kong architecture

French photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze shot these in 2011 and 2012 for this Hong Kong photography project
French photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze shot these in 2011 and 2012

Wan Chai, an area known for nightlife. It's part of a Hong Kong photography collection featuring Hong Kong architecture facing up
Wan Chai

Hong Kong photography of Tsim Sha Tsui, an urban area in south Kowloon
Tsim Sha Tsui, an urban area in south Kowloon

Check out the full 80-page book of photos at the link below –
Vertical Horizon (English and Chinese Edition)

Book - Vertical Horizon photography project, featuring Hong Kong architecture facing up

The Vertical Horizon project is a similar style to the awesome architectural photography of Peter Stewart.

To see more posts on Hong Kong, including some of the best Hong Kong architecture.

 

Brunei architecture – stunning!

Brunei architecture

Introducing the tiny Islamic sultanate of Brunei, located in Borneo, between Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysia), and is one of the smallest countries in the world. Brunei architecture was stunning!

My trip through Brunei began in the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB), where there’s impressive mosques. We also strolled through Kampung Ayer, a entire village on stilts.

Below are some views of their illuminated golden-domed Omar Ali Saifudien Mosque and Jame Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque (29 golden domes!)

Brunei's Jame Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque (29 golden domes!)
Brunei’s Jame Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque

Above is my photo of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, with its gleaming gold dome.

Brunei is about the size of Delaware, with a population of 415,000, and the government provides free education, health care, pensions and low-interest loans for the purchase of homes and cars. The Brunei sultanate become the richest man in the world in 1984, at $40 Billion, and reportedly now has $20 Billion.

Oil is the source of all wealth, and when Shell began pumping in the 1970s, it soon became known as “the Shellfare state.”

Brunei has such amazing architecture! View from inside the Brunei mosque
Amazing architecture! View from inside the mosque

Brunei - inside the mosque - Visit50.com

Although a tiny state with a small population, Brunei has one of the highest standards of living in the world thanks to sizeable deposits of oil and gas. A guy was telling us the Sultan gives every citizen a stipend, and keeps raising the minimum salary, so everybody’s making good money if they have a job. Any job! Rumors persist that they’re running out of oil, and he just gave the citizens more free money to bribe their acceptance.

Brunei only gained independence in 1984, but has the world’s oldest reigning monarchy and centuries of royal heritage. The Sultan is the only remaining Malay Islamic monarchy in the world; he comes from a family line that dates back over 600 years. The first sultan ascended the throne in 1405, founding a dynasty of which the current sultan, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, is the 29th ruler. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has been on the throne for 38 years and is one of the world’s richest individuals.

Sharia law??

This post has focused on the architecture, but that doesn’t mean I’m a supporter. Brunei captured the world’s attention when Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah unapologetically implemented sharia law. “Theory states that Allah’s law is cruel and unfair but Allah himself has said that his law is indeed fair.”

Vanity Fair has an excellent article about the latest, which came to attention when celebrities started boycotting a new Beverly Hills hotel that the Brunei Sultan owns:

Sharia calls for, among other punishments, public flogging of women who have abortions and amputation of limbs and death by stoning of homosexuals, adulterers, and thieves.

Homophobia

Brunei is homophobic, to say the least. And – it’s getting worse.  Last year they added laws that include

“fines and jail time for offenses such as missing Friday prayers, having a baby outside of wedlock, propagating religions other than Islam, and engaging in indecent behavior. But more draconian measures are on the way – including flogging and amputation of limbs for heavier crimes. The final phase, which allows stoning as a possible punishment for sodomy, will begin in 2015.” —  from MSNBC.

New Year’s Eve: Sydney, Hong Kong, Taiwan

The New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration in Sydney (see below video) might just as impressive than my last two years of New Year’s.  Last year I kicked off my 5-month trip in Hong Kong for New Year’s Eve, and the year before I was in Taiwan. Both of their fireworks celebrations were impressive!  After being out of the country the past two years on New Year’s Eve, I’ll be back in New York City! Videos for all 3 are below

That might even be more impressive than my past two years – check out the videos, with fireworks coming from the sides of a building, I was just across the harbor – aka Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade. The Hong Kong skyline is one of the world’s best. I highlighted some of the Hong Kong architecture here. Happy New Year!

(click the bottom right corner to expand to full screen)

2009-2010 at “Tapei 101” – the largest building in Taiwan. At the time it was the largest in the world, but that lasted less than a month. Check it:

Hong Kong - International Commerce Center on New Year's Eve 2010-2011

NYE at the International Commerce Center in Hong Kong. Such a cool fireworks display!

 

Happy New Year from Hong Kong! 2010-2011
Hong King New Year’s Eve 2010-2011, from the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade.

 

New Year's Eve in Sydney - firewords out of the Opera house and Syndey Bridge
New Year’s Eve in Sydney, Australia

Kuching – Malaysian Borneo

Kuching might have been my favorite city in Malaysia, and served as my home base for the Sarawak region of Malaysian Borneo (west of Brunei, population 600,000). It’s perhaps the most multi-cultural city in Borneo.  While cities aren’t generally a big highlight for me, after such limited selection in little towns and rest stops in my transportation, I was excited to get to Borneo’s culinary capital.  Kuching also served as an excellent jumping off point for my days in Sarawak, which feature Semenggoh Wildlife Rehab Centre and Bako National Park.