Rediscovered Memories – Ta Prohm, Cambodia

I was overjoyed yesterday when I accidentally discovered my Angkor Wat photos which I thought were lost for the last six years.

We took a trip to Angkor Wat in March 2007 and were totally fascinated by what we saw.

One of the places we stopped by was Ta Prohm, a beautiful temple built in Bayon style in the 12th and 13th centuries and has been left pretty much the same condition which it was found. However, this temple has been taken over by large trees and their massive roots, making it pretty dang cool looking.

The large tree shown in the photo is the silk-cotton tree. This temple has been used as a location for the film Tomb Raider. The photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors.

Angkor scholar Maurice Glaize observed, “On every side, in fantastic over-scale, the trunks of the silk-cotton trees soar skywards under a shadowy green canopy, their long spreading skirts trailing the ground and their endless roots coiling more like reptiles than plants.DSC_0220

The image was taken using a Nikon D40 entry level DSLR camera which came to the market just a few months before the trip. I must say it is not of the best quality but it does show  the temple’s details and the eerie qualities.

Yellow Monday (2)

This is Yellow Monday again; but I can assure you that it will not be another week of all Thai colors.

After posting every day last week ( continuous eight posts including this one), I am sort of exhausted.

When I first blogged, out of naivety, I called this blog – RetireeDiary, thinking I was going to write something everyday in a second language. Last week has taught me the lesson that doing so will be more like work ( and not retirement)!

I love the yellow fields of canola / rapeseed flowers in Luoping, Yunnan; so I am posting another picture of it to uplift my spirit and wishing you all a good start of a new week leading almost into Easter!DSCF3122

Travel Theme: Shadows

Ailsa’s Travel Theme for this week is Shadows.

Do I like shadows? Many times, the shadows just fall on my subject of interest leaving them in the dark or partially in the dark. In those cases, I only have the option of taking a bad picture or not at all. Sometimes, you clearly knew that, you may only pass through this place only once in a life time. So, reluctantly, you took a picture, hoping it may come out alright.

Other times, a shadow may make things more interesting. It may add to the atmosphere or making things more real by giving readers an idea where light is coming from and what funny shadow it casts. I like taking pictures with long shadows but I only have a few of those.

In this collection, I hope to show how shadows add to the picture rather than being a negative.

While walking the narrow streets in Lithuania, I noticed that the street was covered in the shadow resulting in the left hand side having a darker color contrasting with the bright color and details on the right hand side.DSC_0381

While strolling the shores of Hvar island, Croatia, we came across these white balustrades with interesting grey shadows.DSCF0471

The coastline of Hvar island never failed to impress us, these unoccupied benches by the seaside looked inviting. Their shadows imparted a sense of loneliness.DSCF0505

We found this garden by the side of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The fountain was delightful; but I also like the tree with its shadows on the grass.DSCF1165

Walking around downtown Zurich, there was this statute casting a shadow in the background, making this statute really stood out three dimensionally from the background.DSCF1149

Down under in Australia, we enjoyed the tranquility of Lake Barrine not far from Cairnes. The boat trip on the lake brought us close to trees on the landside, with branches hanging down to the water. While the trees were in the shadows, the aquatic plants and lilies just stood out from the dark background as if the light have chosen just to illuminate them.CIMG0543

We have always enjoyed travelling to Langkawi, Malaysia. The setting sun was low down almost touching the sea. It cast long shadows on the chairs and tables by the beach side.DSC_0216

Again in Langakwi, the palm created a wavy but interesting shadow on the white sand on which it stood.DSC_0083

Last year, on our way to the YunGang Grotto, China viewing some of the biggest buddhas, we passed through this bridge which leads into the site. The bridge piers were basically in a shadow. Still, it couldn’t hide the fine details on the piers.DSCF2338

My pictures with shadows were taken mainly to highlight the portions not covered by the shadows. I must admit that the shadows in the pictures are not the main subject but help to enhance the overall quality. An inspiration from this Travel Theme is that, in future, I should also be shooting pictures with interesting shadows as the main subject.

A Word a Week: Island

This week from Sue Ellen is the word Island.

Have always liked islands – I like islands which are sort of small and idyllic.

Of the recent islands I visited, they include Langkawi (Malaysia), Koh Samui (Thailand), Hvar island (Croatia). I have also visited Guam, SaiPan, Hainan island and the outlying islands of Hong Kong (China) but consider the first three islands  more attractive. Some of the islands are in fact countries, like the UK and Japan, I do like their coastlines but they are so big that I rather prefer the smaller ones.

My post on Koh Samui – Island Hopping (https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/koh-samui-islands-hopping/  was  published in April last year. Recently, there has been a big surge in the number of readers. Many of the readers like the photos of the islands showing their different shapes and environment. There is one more photo, belonging to  the same family, which I would like to share – it shows four islands with different shapes and disposition. Together withe blue sky and blue sea, they look surreal.DSC_0664

Are we islands?

In a way, we feel we are all islands, in a common sea ( a quote by  Anna Morrow Lindberg).