Prambanan. Indonesia’s spectacular Hindu temple complex.

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.

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Stonehenge on the eve of the Summer Solstice. A Photo-essay.

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.

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Magnifique Provence! St Rémy de Provence & Avignon.

After our first day in Provence, driving to the idyllic village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie through the Gorges du Verdon from Aix [read here]; we decided to go west on the second day to the City of Popes, Avignon

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Rose red city, half as old as time. Petra. A photo-journey.

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.

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48 hours in Lisboa. Portugal.

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.

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Damascus. Syria.

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

Borobudur. Indonesia.

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