Sunday, May 31, 2009

Taking A Break For Great Wall Of China !

I am taking a short break for almost 2 weeks for my Great Wall China Tour begin this June and I'll be back with more photos for posting. With 2 cameras in hand and 14 gigabyte of memory space, that will keep my time occupy travelling solo and lots and lots of stuffs to post about after my return. For the time being, kindly browse around my previous post and I hope you'll enjoy watching them. Do drop me a line at the 'comment' if you happen to drop by, so that I will know. Or you can also visit my photo blog at Sri Kebakat. I will be back soon.
And here is a lovely flower to accompany your day. Thanks for dropping by..

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Closer To Great Wall..

Photo from tour-beijing.com
I was thinking of dropping the idea of touring overseas after the spread of swine flu H1N1 world wide for some period of time, but after reconsidering the tickets I've already bought, I might as well go ahead with my plans but to take precautionary measures where necessary, such as wearing mask in crowded areas.
This will be my first time going for a holiday on a solo basics after I got attached. So the feeling of guilt and reluctant does mingle in my mind, although I have to accept the fact that the kids have grown up and I have to make use to it and be prepare to do everything on my own just like during my bachelorhood days or at least with my other half.
Going on a photography-solo tour independently to the Great Wall Of China is one of my wish since a very long time ago. This time I am going to make it happened !
And here are my tour itinerary:
Day 1 - Depart KB - KLIA (LCCT) @ 11.35 pm (Fare RM31.50)
Arrive 11.30 pm
Over night at Tune Hotels.com @ RM16.18 / night
Day 2 - Depart KLIA (LCCT) - Tianjin Binhai Int. Hotel @ 8.30 am (Fare RM336.50)
Arrive 2.35 pm
Proceed to Beijing by Express Train / Bus which ever convenient
Overnight at Youth Hostel @ RMB100 /bed (8 beds per dorm)
Free and Easy.
Day 3 - 7 am - Break fast on my own
8.30 am Tour Badaling Great Wall and Ming Tombs by tour-beijing.com
Evening - Free and Easy
Day 4 - 7 am - Break fast on my own
8.30 am Tour Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden city, Temple of Heaven and Summer
Pallace by tour-beijing.com
Day 5 - Visit Xicheng District
Places of Interest - Hutong Travel, Beihai Park, Gong Palace Garden and Beijing Zoo.
Day 6 - Visit Mutianyu Great Wall Of China on solo climb.
Haidian District - Beijing University, Botanical Garden, CCTV, Beijing Film Travel City
Evening - Beijing Kungfu Night Show @ Chongwen District
Day 7 - Proceed to Tianjing
Day 8 - Tianjing, Free and Easy.
Depart Tianjin Binhai Int Airport @ 3.50 pm (Fare RM336.50). Arrive @ 10.05 pm
Overnight at Tune Hotel.com at RM31.00 per night
Day 9 - Deapart KLIA (KLCT) at 7.30 am (Fare: RM31.00)
Arrive @ 8.25 am. Proceed to Office for Work !
Total Flight Fare by Airasia : RM 735.00
Tune Hotel.com 2 Nights Accommodation: RM62.00
Budgeted Accommodation in China: RM600.00
Budgeted Meals: RM 10.00 per meal x 3 meals per day x 9 days = RM270.00
Entrance Fees and Transportation: Budget RM300.00
Total Budget For Flight, Tours, Accommodation and Food : RM1,967.00
My advice to those who are looking for cheap tours, go for package guided tours. Very likely is that you get a cheaper package with a tour guide, accommodation, meals and entrance fees to tourist spot with shorter stay.
The difference is that I stay longer, the price include flight from my home based and I get more coverage and travel at my own sweet time, without strict schedule.
Most importantly is that I can take photos on my own sweet time and the lesson and the adventure I am going to experience while I am capable. Learning the language and the city on my own and the experience is something I am unable to set the price will sure last a life time for sure..

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wat Pathumvihara, Kg. Balai, bachok, Kelantan

Not far from Wat Phothikyam Phutthaktham is Wat Pathumvihara, which is about a stone throw. This Siamese Temple is not as popular as Wat Phothikyam Phutthaktham and is only visited by the regulars. I personally have not know much about this temple as well even though it is so close by to the 'Dragon Temple'. I only visited the temple a couple of times.
For tourist, when visiting the 'Dragon Temple', I do suggest you do drop by this temple as well as they also have much to offer especially it's ancient architecture which is still been maintained.
Most of the design in this temple is still very traditional even though some new designs has been introduced. However, since the temple is still short of funds, a few blocks of buildings constructed half way long time ago has been prolonged.
The above is one block which is of a typical old design of a Siamese temple which is hardly seen now a days.
Above: The front portion of the wall which is uncomplete due to lack of funds.
Above: The uncompleted building of the temple facing the main entrance.
For more details on donations to the building funds of the above temple, kindly double click on the above photo to get an enlargement.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wat Phothikyan Phutthaktham

Wat Phothikyam Phutthaktham at Kampung Balai, Bachok, Kelantan is one of the famous Siamese temple in Kelantan. Among the locals, it is usually called Wat Balai or the Dragon Temple as the entrance to the temple has a pair of dragon.
The actual temple about 20 years ago was a simple traditional house make of wood. It was said until a Thai Buddhist came to settle over there, and start to organize various activities during festive celebrations to collect funds through donations and charity drive from the public until the temple is what it is today.
As at now, it is a tourist attraction in Kelantan. And many people of different races and places come here for it's traditional herbal steam treatment which is open to all with minimum payment via donations.
Photo: Entrance to the temple
Photo: Statue Of The Buddha
Photo: the wishing tree
Photo: the interior in one of the temple

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kok Seraya Buddhist Temple

Located at the other side of Kelantan, Kok Seraya Buddhist Temple or also called Wat Kok Seraya by the local Siamese, the temple is easily accessible and known by almost everybody in Tumpat as the name of the temple is obtained from the name of it's village Kok Seraya. If you are driving from Kota Bharu / Wakaf Bharu to Pengkalan Kubur, you have to take a turn on the left when you reached the traffic light at Cabang Empat Tok Mek Goh. The temple is about 5 kilometres on the left.
Occasionally they have celebration and festivals but you have to check with the temple first. Besides that, the temple is normally very quiet and peaceful. Worth a visit as there are other temples as well at the surrounding Tumpat area.
They also have a statue of a standing Goddess Of Mercy. If I'm not mistaken, this is the second highest standing statue of Goddess Of Mercy in Kelantan after the one in Wat Balai, Bachok. I will blog about that at a later time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Recalling Back My Oversea Trips - Vietnam

Photo of shops in HaNoi, Vietnam
Thailand is the most traveled overseas trip I have ever being. Not because of what you male fellow Malaysian or Singaporean would think off, I used to go there because my cousins are Thai, and besides Thailand is so near to my place, especially Sg. Kolok. I drove to Sg. Kolok to Hadyai and Yala, fly to Phuket, and by train to Bangkok, Cheang Mai and by van to Cheang Rai.
I stopped going into Thailand since it's political situation getting unstable with many bomb blast at the Southern Thailand since 6 years ago.
And my second most frequent country is Singapore. It's because my former work requires me to travel there and also my liking towards the clean city. However due to it's currency exchange unfavoured us Malaysian, I can't afford to go there often anymore. Moreover, we have better exchange rates over other Asian countries, and standard of living which is at par as Malaysia. Anyway those two countries was during the past. It wasn't during my digital era, so I have no digital photos of them to show off.
My real digital era started during my Vietnam tour after a long break from traveling overseas. I bought my first DSLR Canon EOS400D camera to bring along. I also brought the whole family along. And everyone was very happy and excited about it as it was their first long distance trip by airasia, especially to country which is foreign to us in kind of language and culture.
Photo of HaLong Bay
Photo of hill tribes at Sapa, Vietnam
For more photos and details about my Vietnam visit, please click 'here', 'here'and 'here'.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wat Chonprachumthat

It was almost 5 pm, while driving on my way back from a site visit along Tumpat road, I took a diversion along the road to Palekbang. It was quite windy, as such I wind down my window and had a slow drive while feeling the breeze along Sungei Kelantan.Then I came across a beautiful entrance with a Thai architecture of a Buddhist Temple along this isolated road called Wat Chonprachumthat at Kampung Dalam, Tumpat, Kelantan. Actually I have came here before long time ago, but with the donations collected, they have reconstructed the temple again from an old wooden temple. Since than, I have not visit the place again. And I am amaze the see the great changes.
Actually the temple is just a few kilometres down along the way from Wat Maisuwankiri if you are driving from the opposite direction which most people do. And most tourist stops at Wat Maisuwankiri without knowing there is another beautiful Temple down the road. I suggest those of you visiting to proceed further down next time while you are there as Wat Chonprachumthat is less than 2 kilometres away and is worth the visit. You can even walk there.
I didn't manage to take the photos of the buildings at the temple as it was almost dark and looks like it is going to have a heavy rain pour minutes after I went in. And it does rain after that. Maybe next time.
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