Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Water Worlds: Floating Towns in Asia

There’s only one Venice, but you might be surprised to find that you can get the same scenic and historic feel – complete with canal ‘streets’ and gondoliers – in several other towns across the globe. In fact, there are dozens of picturesque floating villages and islands that are so heavily populated, you can barely tell that there’s land under all the man-made structures. Here are some of the most fascinating water-based communities in Asia.


Ko Panyi, Thailand

Set against the dramatic background of picturesque Phang Nga Province in Thailand, the fishing village of Ko Panyi looks like paradise for people who love the water and tropical weather. The village was built on stilts by fishermen and houses about 2,000 people descended from 2 families. The coolest thing about this village is its floating soccer pitch, built by local children from old scraps of wood and fishing rafts.


Halong Bay Floating Village, Vietnam

Like Ko Panyi, the Halong Bay village in Vietnam is set up on the only flat space to be seen – the surface of the water. Except this one isn’t on stilts. It floats. Living directly on the bay makes it easy for the roughly 1,000 locals to catch fish and other seafood. The first two villages were formed in the early 19th century and the only time since then that the water hasn’t been heavily occupied with floating homes was during the war against the French from 1946 to 1954.


Wuzhen, China

Located in the center of six ancient towns south of the Yangtze River in China, Wuzhen is a scenic town full of canals navigated by water taxis reminiscent of those in Venice. Known as Wuzhen Water Town, the historic town is said to have been populated for at least 7,000 years and bears ancient stone bridges and wooden carvings.


Zhouzhang, China

Here’s another example of a Venice-like town in China, infused with ancient Chinese history and culture. Zhouzhang is a water township surrounded and divided by lakes and rivers and has 14 stone bridges, including one built in the Ming Dynasty.


Kay Lar Ywa, Myanmar

Myanmar’s Inle Lake supports 70,000 people in four cities including the small comity of Kay Lar Ywa. Many of the residents live in simple wooden houses on bamboo stilts, and support themselves by growing food in floating gardens. The Intha people have a practice known as ‘leg rowing’, hooking a leg around a long oar to propel a boat to navigate between their homes and gardens. Some 100,000 people live and work on the water.


Source: weburbanist

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A Dangerous Ropeway in a Chinese Village


For the residents of a remote mountain village in Central China’s Hubei Province, the only connection with the outside world is a precarious zip line, a kilometer-long stretched across a 480-meter deep gorge. The isolated village of Yushan is located in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hubei, 150 kilometers away from the nearest county town. Surrounded by cliffs and a deep valley, the village is without roads to the outside world. The rudimentary zip line consisting of a simple steel cage and powered by a diesel engine was built in 1997 to help local villagers travel and to bring in supplies.


Local resident Zhang Xinjian has been maintaining the ropeway for the past 15 years. “I started to work at this spot since the rope was set up. No one would take the job,” Xinjian said to the Daily Mail. “As my father was the village head he had to assign me to do it and it has been 15 years.”


Lubricating the cables once a week is a very dangerous job. Zhang has to take the cart and apply oil onto the cables along the way.


“In the beginning, my father, my younger brother and I took care of the cableway together, but later my younger brother quit and my father's health went bad, so it's only me that could do the job”.


The local government is currently building a road to the village, and plans to retire the cable car upon completion.


Yushan is just one of the many villages around the world that lack basic needs such as safer roads. Primitive ropeways and transportation system is very common in poorer nations especially among Asian countries where adults and kids take peril each day just to go about their lives.


Source: amusingplanet

10 Most Creative Food Art Examples By Hong Yi


Talented artist Hong Yi created series of unique artworks with using different fruits and vegetables will definitely inspire you to play with your food. Hong Yi, who goes by the nickname ‘Red’, is a Malaysian artist-architect. She was given the nickname because her surname, Hong, sounds like the word ‘red’ in Mandarin. She loves how a colour can stir up conflicting emotions – one of love and passion, and of danger and sacrifice. She is also known as the artist who ‘loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush’. Her painting of Yao Ming with a basketball and Jay Chou using coffee were Youtube hits, and she was featured in media around the world including Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, ABC and the Daily Mail. Her other work includes portraits Ai Weiwei using 100,000 sunflower seeds and Zhang Yimou with 750 pairs of socks and bamboo sticks.

The Scream

Up

Giant Squid Attack

Hello there, Richard Parker

Cucumber Landscape

My Butter Half

Owl-nion

Tiny Tutus

Louis Vuitton

All You Need Is Love


Source: themost10 

Monday, 28 April 2014

Seven Falls in Lake Sebu, Philippines

The Seven falls (every one of the seven has a name in Tagalog language) are a seven-waterfalls series located in the municipality of Lake Sebu, Philippines. There is a famous and breathtaking zip-line ride right next to the falls. The entrance fee is very affordable.







Baalbek - A Colossal Enigma


Baalbek is the name of an archaeological site in Lebanon. In Roman times it was known as Heliopolis or City of the Sun. An example of how ancient is the site can be found in that its holiest area (in pagan times) was the Temple of Baal-Jupiter — a hybrid between the ancient Canaanite god Baal (lord) and the Roman Jupiter.

Moreover, this temple was built on a “tel” or ruin mound, indicating a place that had long been held sacred, though what had caused this area to be significant or “sacred” is unknown.

How old are the ruins? 

Well, most date from Roman times. They, however, followed the pattern of building upon the “sacred” areas of cultures before them. This is also evident at Palmyra where the temple of Baal is also built upon a tel or ruin mound. The original Canaanite temples could be 2,000 years older than the Roman remains left today. 

The question is, had the Canaanites done what the Romans did? In other words, did they build upon the site as well? If so, what caused the site to be considered sacred to them? 

The oldest part of the ruins at Baalbek fit absolutely no known culture, and were originally employed for some mysterious purpose.


Questions constantly crop up concerning these blocks. Baalbek may become a focal point for the dichotomy being uncovered throughout the world today between the prehistoric past we assume existed and our earliest cultures of history.

The massive and elegant Roman stonework and columns pale by comparison to the megaliths they were built upon. The temple very visibly incorporates into its foundation, stones of some 1,500 tons. They are some 68 x 14 x 14 feet! They are the largest worked stones on earth! It is a mystery how such stones could have been moved into place, even according to our science and engineering knowledge of today. It is also a fact the Romans did not use this type of stonework.


To further increase their mysterious origin and original use, these megaliths are not “foundation stones” as they are always declared. They represent the top course of stones of the original edifice, whatever that may have been. Whatever its purpose, it was essential that the greatest stones had to be on top, not on the bottom. The whole edifice is inverted in concept, fact and layout. Below them at least 3 tiers of stones can be found, much smaller though still monumental in size.

Another example that they are separate to the Roman temple, is that while the Romans built the back of their temple wall flush with 3 of these stones, on one of the sides of the temple of Jupiter the perimeter clearly falls short of the width of the original megalithic structure, allowing a tier of megaliths to protrude obtrusively from the temple foundation— incongruous if they were simply foundation stones for the Roman temple. But it seems the Romans could not extend the building far enough to cover the layout of megaliths.


Another mystery is found in the stone wall on the far or backside of the temple, that side that is the most famous in pictures because it shows the remarkable proportion of the megaliths in contrast to other stones around them. This wall is made up of many ill-fitted stones, many of them reused from the ruined Roman temple by the Arabs, Crusaders, and Turks when the ruins were used as a fort. Some pieces of the Roman entablature can be seen, as well as slits cut into the rock for firing positions in the wall. 


Because all these stones are piled one upon the other, it is clear to see an evolution of stone working. This reveals some of the stones piled upon the megaliths to be even older than Roman. These are also huge stones. Yet despite their size, they are still dwarfed by the megalithic blocks.


Extraordinary picture. This shows the famous backside of the temple. The stones of the ruined Roman temple were piled up to form a wall. There is even a column base. But see the huge stones next to the break in the wall. They are as big as the Bimini stones and cut flush with the other, rather than neat squares. This architecture, “Cyclopean,” is the oldest we know of, yet it appears sloppy and small compared to the great megaliths below them.


These cyclopean stones are certainly not Roman. The square cut Roman stones are heaped on top of them by the Arabs or Crusaders, whoever turned the ruins into a medieval fortress. Look at how small the two men are compared to the cyclopean stonework, let alone the megaliths upon which they are built. 

The Funerary Temple of Kafre at Giza, 4th dynasty (about 2500 BC). Similar to the stonework seen above, noteworthy for economical cutting and fitting of imprecise angles in the blocks, unlike the precision seen in great megaliths here.


Left, the excavated walls of Kafre’s (Chefren) temple. It stands in the shadow of no less than the 2nd great pyramid at Giza, Egypt. Even this very ancient monumental wall seems later than the megaliths at Baalbek. They match some of the unascribed stones built thereon, however, possibly by later peoples or early Canaanites.

Their style is identical to the earliest cultures of monumental stone we know of like the Egyptian and the Pre-Incan Peru cultures, like those on Malta and, frankly, like those being encountered on the Bahamas Banks within the Triangle.


This evolution in stonework is remarkable. From the small Roman and Turkish blocks, we go further down to monumental blocks identical with our earliest cultures. Yet lower than this, we come not to primitive mud bricks or shanty-hut foundations, but to the greatest stones worked by man.

They are not clumsy artifacts, crude and compromised cuts like Stonehenge. They are perfectly fitted 1,500 ton stones forming a foundation not even a huge Roman temple could encompass.

Our own science and engineering today cannot explain them, let alone what their function was. It would seem some unknown culture could move these great stones, place them on top of others, in perfect fit and alignment, before the dawn of our most ancient cultures.

What caused them to pass away without leaving a clue as to who they were and to what purpose they built such a stupefying platform?


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Phi Phi Islands — Thailand


Once a backpacker’s secret, Thailand’s Phi Phi islands exploded onto the tourist map after the release of The Beach, a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio that was filmed on one of the islands. Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Lee are located between the island of Phuket and mainland Thailand off the West coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Ko Phi Phi Don is the larger of the two islands and is home to permanent residents and a myriad of accommodations for tourists. Ko Phi Phi Lee has spectacular white sand beaches and can be visited by boat only, with trips leaving from the larger island throughout the day. Visitors can enjoy diving, snorkeling and kayaking in the waters off both islands. 











The Grand Palace Complex in Bangkok


If there is one must-see sight that no visit to Bangkok would be complete without, it's the dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace, undoubtedly the city's most famous landmark. Built in 1782 - and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government - the Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, that continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people. Within its walls were also the Thai war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.


Within the palace complex are several impressive buildings including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which contains the small, very famous and greatly revered Emerald Buddha that dates back to the 14th century.


The robes on the Buddha are changed with the seasons by HM The King of Thailand, and forms an important ritual in the Buddhist calendar. Thai Kings stopped living in the palace around the turn of the twentieth century, but the palace complex is still used to mark all kinds of other ceremonial and auspicious happenings.


The palace complex, like the rest of Ratanakosin Island, is laid very similar to the palaces of Ayutthaya, the glorious former capital of Siam which was raided by the Burmese. The Outer Court, near the entrance, used to house government departments in which the King was directly involved, such as civil administration, the army and the treasury. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is located in one corner of this outer court. The Central Court is where the residence of the King and halls used for conducting state business were located. Only two of the throne halls are open to the public, but you'll be able to marvel at the exquisite detail on the facades of these impressive structures. 


The Inner Court is where the King's royal consorts and daughters lived. The Inner Court was like a small city entirely populated by women and boys under the age of puberty. Even though no royalty currently reside in the inner court, it is still completely closed off to the public. Despite the proximity of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, there's a distinct contrast in style between the very Thai Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the more European inspired design of the Grand Palace (the roof being the main exception). Other highlights are Boromabiman Hall and Amarinda Hall, the original residence of King Rama I and the Hall of Justice.


A strict dress code applies. The Grand Palace with The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves (no tank tops. If you're wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (in other words, no bare feet.) Women must be similarly modestly dressed. No see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc. If you show up at the front gate improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entrance that can provide clothes to cover you up properly (a deposit is required).





Source: bangkok