Candi Prambanan, also known as Loro Jonggrang/Rara Jonggrang, is a 9th century Hindu temple complex dedicated to the Trimurti near Yogyakarta, the cultural capital of Java, Indonesia. Trimurti, a Sanskrit word meaning three forms, conveys the concept of creation, maintenance and destruction personified by the Hindu trinity of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer.
A memorable day trip to see the prehistoric stones on the eve of the summer solstice last month. Believed to be built somewhere between 3000 and 2000 BC, Stonehenge was enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
I had not heard of Fischli or Weiss, but, on my sister’s insistence I decided to go see what the fuss was all about while on holiday in London last month.
Congruous named, Rock on Top of Another Rock is the first public sculpture by the Swiss artist duo Fischli/Weiss. The art installation sits outside the entrance of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park [for those of you going to see Marina Abramović’s 512 Hours this summer, the sculpture will be to your left].
Banteay Srei or Banteay Srey is a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva at the foot of the Phnom Dei hill in Siem Reap. Consecrated in 967 AD, it is popularly known as the Citadel of the Women or Citadel of Beauty today, presumably due to the temple’s tiny dimensions and elaborate wall carvings.
Ah Petra, gobsmackingly magnificent, architecturally alluring, haunting and pink! Described by UNESCO as ‘one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage‘, as it features in their Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Additionally, the ancient Nabataean city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
Almost everyone has heard of or been to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, made famous by the cult indie movie Lost in Translation.
Kozue, the Japanese restaurant on the 41st floor has a delightful view (including Mount Fuji on a clear day) and menu, which is where we decided to eat on our 2nd day in Tokyo. We chose the lunch bento box, Waka, and there on started the most amazing journey!
My sister and I had endeavoured to spend a 4-day extended weekend in Lisbon, December of 2012. We were traveling from Grenoble, where it had snowed all day and all night. In spite of the snow, the bus taking us to Lyon International Airport left on time. However 20 minutes into the journey, it took a U-turn and dropped us right back where we started. No explanations were given, the bus driver and conductor brought the bus back to the depot, exited and left all the passengers wondering if they should wait, stay or go! Apparently, they expect us to all process inherent mind reading skills.
I just got back late last night from another exhilarating trip to Bali. 3 days in Ubud (Read: Rustic Green. Winging it with Airbnb in Ubud. 50/50) with a day spent on a group of 3 islands south-east of Nusa Dua, Bali that form part of the Lesser Sunda Islands – Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and tiny Nusa Ceningan sandwiched in between. Nusa Lembongan is a 30 minute speed boat ride from Sanur, Bali and is well worth the visit for its untouched beaches, gorgeous rugged landscape and clear blue waters.
A friend and I landed in Amman at the fag-end of May in 2009, bursting with excitement and a jam-packed itinerary with very little time to accomplish (4 days!). Travellers predominantly come to Jordan for Petra and/or the Dead Sea, using the modern desert highway to get to Petra from Amman. It’s faster, cuts right through the desert and doesn’t waste any time. We used the King’s Highway instead, starting at Amman, crossing Madaba, Mount Nebo, the Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib, Castle of Kerak and Lot’s Cave, relishing location specific stories and fables along the way. It’s longer, winding, and oh so much of fun as it skirts along the Dead Sea and dallies around the Jordanian countryside. Continue reading
Art, is the creative act of exposing the tender inner flesh of the unknown hidden behind expressionless reality, presenting itself at the threshold between reality and imagination
I enjoy art; in all its fluid forms and thought challenging seductive glory. I may not, however, understand all of it or pretend to. So, spending an entire week in Venice with the sole purpose of attending the Venice Art Biennale with my sister, to an amateur art enthusiast like me, was a mix of daunting and exciting. Continue reading
Bali with my mother over Easter in 2013. 3 days of sun, art, spectacular landscapes and monkeys!
My friends and I decided to travel to Syria over Easter in 2010. The old walled city of Damascus had been on the top of my travel list, along with Jerusalem since moving to Dubai. The city is lovely and quaint, bursting with history, great people and a very busy night life. I am very fortunate the trip panned out the way it did, when it did, since the civil unrest has made travel even harder now, if not impossible.
Damascus, founded in the 3rd millennium BC is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is believed to have been populated as early as 8,000 to 10,000 BC according to excavations at Tell Ramad on the outskirts of the city. Continue reading
Koh Lanta, the perfect holiday spot over the 2012 Chinese New Year holiday; secluded, relatively quiet with gorgeous long white sand beaches.
The island is easy to get to, with the airports of Krabi, Phuket and Trang in close proximity. Krabi and Trang have direct road and boat connections to Koh Lanta and are the best options if your plans do not include Phuket and/or Bangkok. We flew to Krabi from Singapore on Tiger Airways and then organised a car service from the villa we were staying at to pick us up from the airport. Continue reading
I had been waiting for a chance to visit Borobudur ever since I moved to Singapore in 2010, and finally put together a crazy 5 day trip to Central Indonesia with a friend in the early summer of 2011.
Borobudur, located in Java, Indonesia, is the single largest Buddhist structure in the world, with over 500 Buddha statues adorning it. The monument lies in a fertile volcanic plain called the Kedu Plain, between the twin volcanoes of Mount Merbabu and Mount Merapi to the east and Mount Sumbing and Mount Sundoro to the west. Although, there are no written records on the inception of Borobudur, it is believed to have been complete around 825 AD after taking over 75 years to build. Continue reading