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.
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.
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
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
Palmyra, founded in the 2nd millennium BC and subsequently abandoned in 1929 AD was also once known as the Bride of the Desert because it was an important city located in an oasis. The ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.
It took us over 3 hours in an old inter-city bus to make our way from the old walled-city of Damascus (ref: Damascus. Syria) to Palmyra. We were the only tourists on the bus filled chiefly with village folk going to Aleppo and it turned out to be quite an adventure, well, perhaps not as much as the journey back. An old man went row to row selling his version of ‘booza’, an ice cream with an elastic, sticky consistency commonly made in the Arab countries. The lady beside me decided to breastfeed her young son mid-jouney while her husband tried to give my friends useful tips on traveling in Syria. Continue reading