Postcard Friendship Friday 078: The reclining Buddha in Bago, Myanmar

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My entry this week is from Myanmar, my first one from our ASEAN neighbour.
The largest Buddha statue in Myanmar is found in Shwethalyaung pagod in Bago, Myanmar. pagoda

According to Wikipedia:

The Shwethalyaung Buddha is a reclining Buddha in the west side of Bago (Pegu), Burma (Myanmar). The Buddha, which has a length of 55 m (180 ft) and a height of 16 m (52 ft), is the second largest Buddha in the world, after the 74 m reclining Buddha in Dawei (Tavoy). The Buddha is believed to have been built in 994, during the reign of Mon King Migadepa. It was lost in 1757 when Pegu was pillaged. During British colonial rule, in 1880, the Shwethalyaung Buddha was rediscovered under a cover of jungle growth. Restoration began in 1881, and Buddha’s mosaic pillows (on its left side) were added in 1930.
Although I live in Phnom Penh where Rangoon, the capital of Burma, is a short plane-ride away, I have never ever set foot there yet. Perhaps with the recent opening up of the country, my dream of visiting Myanmar will finally be realised in the coming months. 
It is difficult to find someone from Myanmar to arrange postcard swaps with. So I have to thank my good friend, Lee Hock Peng, for sending me this postcard. I’m so grateful for friends like him, albeit virtual, who never forget to include me in their “mailing list” every time they go on a trip.

Godspeed, Lee.

Postcard Friendship Friday 076: Riga, The Gem of the Baltics

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My entry for this week is from Latvia. It shows the capital city of Riga:

Riga, the gem of the Baltics.
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 650,468 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia’s population (Wikipedia).

Riga has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the collection of art nouveau buildings that is one of the largest in the world, as well as a city in whose architecture the entire history from 1201 to the present day is reflected (Official Latvian Tourism Portal).

This is my second postcard from Latvia. The first one is a artcard, a reproduction of Villinson’s artwork by Baddog, and one of the most interesting cards in my collection.  Baddog is an advertising company known for reproducing local artists works into postcards that have social messages, ranging from teenage issues to that of messages seen on labor law posters.

Postcard Perfect 054: Kek Lok Si, the Temple of Supreme Bliss

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I hope Willa forgives me for being forgetful about the Postcard Perfect meme. This week is no exception. The recent news of the tragic demise of a fellow Nagueno, Philippine Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo left me in sadness and without motivation to do anything. Running errands to pick up the translucent plastic business cards  that my husband took to the printers  three days ago had to be scheduled the next day at my request because I am just too not in the mood to go out.

Anyways, today I felt that I need to post lest I lose my visitors (ahem, just imagining I have). Here is a postcard from Malaysia:

Kek Lok Si Temple at night. Penang, Malaysia.
The Kek Lok Si Temple is one of the best known Buddhist temple sitting on a hilltop in Penang, Malaysia. It consists of a series of monasteries, prayer halls, temples, and landscaped gardens.

Founded more than 100 years ago by benevolence Beow Lean, a devout Buddhist from Fujian province, the temple was once given the name of “Huock San” (Crane hill) due to the hills resemblance of crane spreading its wings. – Source

Penang is one of the states of Malaysia and its capital town of Georgetown is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Postcard Friendship Friday 075: Santiago de Compostela

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Guess what I got from the Post Office today?!? A beautiful postcard direct from Santiago de Compostela! This is a souvenir from one of my dear blogger-friends, Sheila over at A Postcard A Day, who was on holiday there with her husband a couple of months ago. Muchas gracias mi querida amiga. This surely cheered me up as I am experiencing a postcard drought of sorts these days.

The magnificent Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Many thanks, Sheila!

Santiago de Compostela is a World Heritage Site and a world-renowned pilgrimage town in the northern part of Spain where, legend has it, the remains of the apostle James is buried. Sitting at the heart of this city is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. As you can see in the postcard above, it is a very impressive structure bearing the Romanesque-Baroque style of architecture. 

The 1,000 year old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is known as the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James. Every year, hundreds and thousands of visitors from all over Europe and around the world arrive in the city through the different pilgrimage points in Europe. Sheila described atmosphere there vividly as wonderful with an amazing spread of diverse people – school groups, visitors, cyclists, and the pilgrims.
In 2004, my then-single husband embarked on cycling tour that included the camino pilgrimage. The camino part of his tour he said was the best cycling trip he has ever done. He camped along the route or stayed at refugios or hostels if there are available. He also said that it’s a trip that is truly life-changing. 

Postcard Perfect 053: Kazan Cathedral, Russia

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A bird’s eye-view of the Kazan Cathedral and the Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg, Russia:

From this angle, the long stretch of Nevsky Prospekt (Nevsky Avenue) opposite the impressive neo-classical Kazan Cathedral looks like a huge  conveyor of vehicles. 

The Kazan Cathedral, or  Kazanskiy Kafedralniy Sobor, is a Russian Orthodox Church dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, the miraculous patroness and protector of Kazan and one of the most-highly venerated icons in Russia. Built in the 1800s and is said to be modeled after the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the dome of Kazan’s Cathedral is about 80meters high and the colonnade has about 96 columns facing the Nevsky Prospect!
The Nevsky Prospekt is the main thoroughfare in St. Petersburg – the most popular in the whole of Russia – and is where most of the city’s upscale shopping destinations, nightlife,  priciest apartments and notable landmarks like the Cathedral are located. The Nevsky Prospekt, named after the medieval warrior prince Alexander Nevsky, was planned by Peter the Great, the founder of city, and of the French architect, Alexandre Jean Baptiste LeBlond, who worked alongside with him.

Postcard Perfect 052: The Free State of Saxon, Germany

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A mapcard showing the whole entire Freistaat Sachsen, or the Free State of Saxon, in Germany.

The map card also shows the two cities of the Free Saxon state, Leipzig and Dresden (which is also the capital of the state), as well as the different places of interest spread across its ten districts.

Here are interesting information about the Free State of Saxon:

The Free State of Saxony (German: Freistaat Sachsen is a landlocked state of Germany, bordering Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with an area of 18,413 square kilometres (7,109 sq mi), and the sixth most populous of Germany’s sixteen states, with a population of 4.3 million. Located in the middle of an erstwhile German-speaking part of Europe, the history of the state of Saxony spans more than a millennium. It has been a medieval duchy, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, a kingdom, and, from 1918 to 1952 and again from 1990, a republic. – Wikipedia

The Free State of Saxony represents an area of unrivalled natural beauty, a rich cultural landscape, and centuries old traditions. In addition to world famous craftsmanship from the Ore Mountains, people also maintain Sorb traditions, and the Vogtland dialect. – Source

Postcard Perfect 050: Dragon-head of Thang Long

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Eversince our host at Postcard Perfect announced the new schedule for this meme, I had only posted two, including today’s entry. I’m ashamed to say that in both instances I posted late *cringe* After the Wimbledon, I joined my husband in the veranda garden, pulling out weeds and sweeping dead leaves. Luckily we do not have a lawn, becase we live in an apartment, so I don’t have to worry too much about grass.  Otherwise, I would really demand a push reel mower to make my life easier, lol.

 No more excuses though. Time for the postcard… here’s one showing an important artifact, and still intact, that was discovered in the relic site at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi, Vietnam.
A well-preserved terracotta dragon head (Ly dynasty, 11th-12th century) is one of the hundreds of  artifacts excavated at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.

The central sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi, which has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage, covers about 18,000m2, consisting of the archaeological site at No. 18, Hoang Dieu Street and the area of the old Hanoi Citadel. –      Discover Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi,

This postcard, although showing a Vietnamese relic, was sent to me by my friend Cheerful, aka, the Postcrossing Mom, who is now based in Thailand. She seldom updates her postcard blog now due to  her mommy duties but, I assure you, she is still a very active postcrosser. You can find her blog link on my blog list, on the right sidebar. Khap khun kaa, Che.

Postcard Friendship Friday 074: Belgrade, the City of White

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I’m late, I’m late. I got carried away reading the “tweetings” of THE GOAT, aka, PseudoFed and other parody Twitter accounts of tennis players that I missed yesterday’s PFF. What can I say, it’s the Wimbledon and the slots for the final matches for the gentlemen’s singles and ladies’ doubles were being contested last night. Oddly enough that my reserved emergency Christmas Candy remains unopened despite the exciting action… Lol. 
Anyways, here’s a postcard from Belgrade, Serbia. The hometown of tennis player and world number one Novak Djokovic. He lost to Roger Federer, aka THE GOAT, in last night’s first half of Wimbledon semi-finals. I am no Novak fan but, yeah, you could say that I chose this postcard with him in mind. As a consolation, perhaps.
No info about this view but I am taking a guess that this building can be found in Belgrade’s Republic Square.

Belgrade is the beautiful capital and the largest city in Serbia. It sits strategically at the confluence of Sava and Danube rivers, much similar to Phnom Penh which is also located at the confluence of the mighty Mekong, Tonle Sap and Tonle Bassac. According to Milan the sender, it’s English name is derived from Beli Grad, meaning white city, and is a Slavic name written for the first time in the 9th century. Belgrade is putting its tumultous past behind. These days, the city is a modern metropolis and enjoys a new era of freedom and prosperity.  
Unfortunately, there was no information at the back of the postcard nor from the sender to tell me which building is this.  A quick Google search yielded nothing.  Anyone knows?

Postcard Perfect 049: Colourful Corfu

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Back to joining weekly meme’s again. I hope I can keep up. Here’s my entry for this week:

Corfu is one of the most popular and favourite destinations in Greece and the Greek Islands.
It is a beautiful island, the biggest and the greenest part of the Ionian Islands. It boasts of a beguiling landscape and lush vegetations, amazing beaches, superb venetian architecture, picturesque villages, lively nightlife and a great cosmopolitan way of life.

Postcard Friendship Friday 072: The Gentle Smile of the Giants

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Here’s one of my favourite temples in Cambodia – the Bayon Temple. Angkor Wat is amazing but, to me, the Bayon Temple is exceptional and, therefore, my personal favourite.

The massive smiling faces are serene and staring at the horizon. I cannot imagine how the ancient Khmers have created Bayon Temple, or Prasat Bayon.

What you are looking at is one of the many (54 all in all) giant smiling faces that are carved on sandstone towers. Each tower is hoisted and carved with four smiling faces looking in four directions. It was a sight to behold!
The last time I visited Bayon temple I saw a tourist sitting on the ground with his back resting on the temple wall just across one of the towers. On his hand was an unlit cigar, like one of those cheap humidors I’ve seen around, and pretended to puff a smoke. I bet he is enjoying the moment, looking at a very, very old structure. Perhaps imagining how the ancient Khmers built it and pondering the mystery about who these faces represent. This question actually remains mystery up to the present.