Yangon: Temples

IMG_5829

Yangon is filled with hundreds of pagodas and other religious monuments, and you could spend days exploring them. But this was the first leg of our trip and we didn’t want to get temple-fatigue, so we only visited a few.  The following are some of our favorite religious shrines found around the city:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Photo of the Week: Stone Face

IMG_4352Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Thom, also known as the “Great City” was the last capital of the Khmer empire.  The city was founded by Jayavarman VII, one of Angkor’s greatest kings who came to power in 1181 AD, ruling his city of over a million people. The spectacular Bayon temple was built at the heart of the ancient capital as the official Buddhist temple.

Pictured above are the distinctive stone faces atop the towers of the temple.  The serene smiling face of the bodhisattva faces outward, keeping a sharp watch at each compass point. After almost a thousand years, these stone carvings are still awe-inspiring to look at.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home. Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.

Day 9: On the Road in Bagan

IMG_1008

This morning we woke up early and rode our bikes out to one of the temples to watch the sunrise, and were rewarded with the sight above. The hot air balloons rising over the temples of Bagan in the early morning makes for a magnificent sight.  In addition, with the thick fog rolling in from the river, it also creates a sense of mystique to the whole shot. 

Day 4: On the Road in In Dain

IMG_8227

We were fortunate to be visiting In Dain during a festival. People traveled from villages all over the Inle lake  region to congregate at the temple. Women got dressed up in their finest garb; men set up the family shrine and sat back and had drinks with their friends; while kids ran around in excitement.  The mood was festive.  As the afternoon approached, the sound of the drums got louder.  Monks from all around came and joined the procession going from the top of the temple down to the market area.  As they walked by, bowls of alms filled with rice are offered to the Buddhist monks, some of whom are quite young.

Day 1: On the Road in Yangon

///IMG_6004

After flying for two days, we finally made it to Yangon.  We’ve only been here for a day and we’re already head over heels in love with this country.  As my mom likes to point out  “you like everywhere you go”, which is true, but there is also something special about this place.  At first glance, it reminds me a lot of Thailand, especially the golden pagoda and temples.  “Same same but different,” as they say.  Here at Shwedagon Pagoda, instead of hoards of tourists, you’ll see Burmese people in their colorful longyi.  Visiting the pagoda as a family affair.  Even though it’s a sacred religious place, people bring their food and have a family picnic in the temples after praying.   

Photo of the Week: Notre Dame

IMG_4331Montreal, Quebec

As you know, last week we took a family road trip to Quebec for Thanksgiving.  If you’ve ever been in a car  with 6 people plus countless luggage for an  eight hour drive, you’ll know it’s an effective torture method.  Aside from the  fact that my body was contorted into many weird positions, the trip was a success.  We had a little too much food, but that’s to be expected on a Nguyen get-together.  We also got to visit a few nice churches a long the way.

Notre-Dame is the famous basilica located in the heart of Old Montreal. The interior is filled with intricate wood carvings that would rival any European church.  The altar is back lit with a deep blue light, creating contrast and drama to the elaborate design.  The only drawback is that there is an admission fee of $5 to get in, which makes this feel less like a holy site and more like a tourist stop. 

Every week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the Follow button.

Photo of the Week: Pagoda

IMG_2136Hanoi, Viet Nam

This picture was taken of Tran Quoc pagoda, located on a small island near the southeastern shore of Hanoi’s West Lake. This temple dates back to the sixth century, making it one of the oldest in the city.  The main tower consists of eleven octagonal floors representing the various stages of of Buddha’s life. On the grounds of Tran Quoc, you’ll find a bodhi tree, supposedly grown from the  cutting taken from the original tree where Buddha sat and achieved enlightenment.

Standing on the shore, you can see the pagoda clearly reflected on the surface of West Lake. Even though it’s in the middle of a noisy bustling city, there is a sense of calm and tranquility when you step onto the island.  People speak in hushed tones in deference to the religious silence observed throughout the temple.   Like many people over the years, we had gone there to pray and pay homage to Buddha when we visited Vietnam a few years ago.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.