Monday, March 17, 2014

Go Malaysia...Truly Asia

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To travel is to live” -  Hans Christian Andersen

I have been reading or hearing this quote from almost every travel junkie I know of over the years when I was growing up, but never really understood it. Well I was never one, - a travel junkie that is. Never really got what the big deal was about travelling to a new place. For me travelling meant going to a predictable touristy place, booking a hotel room, spending half the day running around a new place managing to catch glimpses of the most popular tourist destinations, and then rushing back to the hotel room exhausted, half dead, wanting to do nothing but sleep away into oblivion. I would need a week to recuperate from my 'vacation'. I think I actually hated it. There, I said it. I hated the thought of travelling. Probably because I did not even understand what it is to travel.

My moment of enlightening came when I was going through a (kind of a) quarter life crisis some time ago and on an impulse decided to book a week -long trip to Thailand(cause it was the cheapest during peak season of December ). And along with a close friend (also in the same boat as me), I took off to the land of smiles hoping and knowing this experience would change my life. Oh boy did it change my life! Instead of taking the regular packaged tour, we went for customized package which left us plenty of time to explore the place, it cuisine and culture at our leisure. Though it is not possible to see the whole of Thailand in just a week, we did take our own sweet time to discover this new place. I came back wanting more and actually feeling rejuvenated. For the first time I understood what it meant when people say – “To travel is to live”. Well since this blog post is not supposed to be about my travel experience in Thailand, I will be writing about it later (soon ).

What is this post about you ask? My trip to Thailand has actually given me itchy feet and left me hungry for more such beautiful experiences. And when I saw this tweet about “Win a Trip to Malaysia”, I decided to grab this opportunity. So here I am writing a about my top 5 dream experiences in Malaysia (when my colleagues are thinking I am actually working hard on a project document). Browsing through the official website of Malaysia Tourism virtually transported me there.
So here are my top 5 things I would want to experience in Malaysia:

Luxurious underwater living – Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah

This island located at the coast of Kota Kinabalu(Sabah) is made up of 5 islands - Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The names of all these islands are symbolize their discoverers and history. Since all the islands have stunning beaches I would be sure to get my fill of diving and snorkeling experiences. Jungle trekking at Pulau Gaya island would be an experience to remember as its something I have never done before. Pictures of all the island resorts look so heavenly, I can’t wait to just pack my bags and leave.


A glimpse of the underwater flora and fauna

Mystery, myth, legend – Langkawi, Kedah

Officially known as the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is a cluster of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea. This place opens ways to numerous activities I would love to indulge in. The Malaysia tourism website lists - Field of Burnt Rice, Hot Springs, Telaga Tujuh (The Seven Wells) and the Beach of Black Sand, boat tours Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), Gua Cerita (Cave of Stories) and Gua Langsir (Curtain Cave) as popular places/activities in Langkawi. Just thinking about it has transported me to heaven :D.


Langkawi Islands

Afternoon tea and scones – Cameron Highlands, Pahang

One of Malaysia’s most extensive hill stations, Cameron Highlands is blessed with a tropical highland climate which makes it a perfect spot for relaxation. Dotted with honey bee, strawberry, butterfly farms this place also good ol’ style inns which take you back in time when life was so much simpler. And yes, walking thought he little villages, enjoying the blissful scenery. Also I’ll be sure get a panoramic view of the townships of Ringlet, Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Tringkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja.


A view of Cameron Highlands
Seafaring tales, old world charm – Melaka City, Melaka

Wikipedia tells me, Melaka or Malacca City - the capital city of Malacca State, is located on both sides of the Malacca river near its mouth into the Strait of Malacca. This city has a lot of culture and heritage to see and explore. With plenty of Malay, Chinese, European settlements like temples, churches, mosques, temples, museums there is no dearth of sights to see in Melaka City. Rich in historical and cultural heritage, this city also has British, Portuguese and Dutch influences. This would be the best place to get glimpse of the old-world Malaysia and its colonial architecture.

Melaka City

The living cultural museum – Sarawak Cultural Village, Sarawak

This Living Meuseum located at Pantai Damai, Santubong is just the place to get a taste of the local culture, tradition, cuisine and lifestyle. Catching a glimpse of the local tribes going about their life creating handicrafts, processing sago, performing dances for tourists is just what is needed to complete the Malaysian experience. And I might just take up wood carving, basket weaving and wine tasting at my own leisure ;)

Serawak Culture Village

Pity there were just five dream experiences to choose from. Sigh! If this was a dream I'd never want to wake up :D

I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with BlogAdda.com.

Ankita: Portrait Painting

This weekend I made my first attempt at painting portraits. This is portrait of my cousin Ankita. For this painting, I have used watercolors on paper. I am still learning the basic techniques of water color painting.




I have also uploaded my work at here .

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Some Watercolor paintings...at last

I am a novice at painting and sketching. I had been having this mental blocks for months before I was finally inspired to start painting again. Here are some of my recent paintings...all are referenced from other sources of course.

Medium used: I have used watercolor on paper for all three paintings

Don't Let Go: This painting pretty much sums up my situation right now. No. I'm not explaining.
I used Kory Fluckinger's book 'Watercolors for the first time' as a guide for this painting.

Radha Krishna: An attempt to copy Rachana Saurabh's(from The Essence of Arts) original painting

Radha Krishna: For this painting I used painter Jamini Roy's original work as a reference.
Here's hoping I will always make time for things I love doing.

Khap-khun-kha Thailand

 Some random clicks from my trip to Thailand :)

Para-sailing at Koh Larn
Para-sailing at Koh Larn island: Thats me! :)

Whatever..

Pieces of corals collected from the beach.

Nong Nooch village
A view of the Nong Nooch village

Thai Cultural Show
Beginning of the Thai cultural show

Beautiful bright colors

This kitty sneaked up on us every time we returned to our hotel room.

Sunshine Resort, Pattaya
Sunshine Resort, Pattaya

Sawadeekah
Look as if its saying Sawadeekah :D

BMW Tower at Bangkok

tuk tuk
Me with by friend in a tuk tuk

Graffiti
Wall Graffiti on the streets of Bangkok. No idea what it means.

Erawan shrine
Locals at the Erawan shrine, Bangkok
One blog post would not suffice to write about this trip :)

Go Malaysia

Visit blogadda.com to discover Indian blogs


To travel is to live” -  Hans Christian Andersen

I have been reading or hearing this quote from almost every travel junkie I know of over the years when I was growing up, but never really understood it. Well I was never one, - a travel junkie that is. Never really got what the big deal was about travelling to a new place. For me travelling meant going to a predictable touristy place, booking a hotel room, spending half the day running around a new place managing to catch glimpses of the most popular tourist destinations, and then rushing back to the hotel room exhausted, half dead, wanting to do nothing but sleep away into oblivion. I would need a week to recuperate from my 'vacation'. I think I actually hated it. There, I said it. I hated the thought of travelling. Probably because I did not even understand what it is to travel.

My moment of enlightening came when I was going through a (kind of a) quarter life crisis some time ago and on an impulse decided to book a week -long trip to Thailand(cause it was the cheapest during peak season of December ). And along with a close friend (also in the same boat as me), I took off to the land of smiles hoping and knowing this experience would change my life. Oh boy did it change my life! Instead of taking the regular packaged tour, we went for customized package which left us plenty of time to explore the place, it cuisine and culture at our leisure. Though it is not possible to see the whole of Thailand in just a week, we did take our own sweet time to discover this new place. I came back wanting more and actually feeling rejuvenated. For the first time I understood what it meant when people say – “To travel is to live”. Well since this blog post is not supposed to be about my travel experience in Thailand, I will be writing about it later (soon ).

What is this post about you ask? My trip to Thailand has actually given me itchy feet and left me hungry for more such beautiful experiences. And when I saw this tweet about “Win a Trip to Malaysia”, I decided to grab this opportunity. So here I am writing a about my top 5 dream experiences in Malaysia (when my colleagues are thinking I am actually working hard on a project document). Browsing through the official website of Malaysia Tourism virtually transported me there.
So here are my top 5 things I would want to experience in Malaysia:

Luxurious underwater living – Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah

This island located at the coast of Kota Kinabalu(Sabah) is made up of 5 islands - Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The names of all these islands are symbolize their discoverers and history. Since all the islands have stunning beaches I would be sure to get my fill of diving and snorkeling experiences. Jungle trekking at Pulau Gaya island would be an experience to remember as its something I have never done before. Pictures of all the island resorts look so heavenly, I can’t wait to just pack my bags and leave.


A glimpse of the underwater flora and fauna

Mystery, myth, legend – Langkawi, Kedah

Officially known as the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is a cluster of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea. This place opens ways to numerous activities I would love to indulge in. The Malaysia tourism website lists - Field of Burnt Rice, Hot Springs, Telaga Tujuh (The Seven Wells) and the Beach of Black Sand, boat tours Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), Gua Cerita (Cave of Stories) and Gua Langsir (Curtain Cave) as popular places/activities in Langkawi. Just thinking about it has transported me to heaven :D.


Langkawi Islands

Afternoon tea and scones – Cameron Highlands, Pahang

One of Malaysia’s most extensive hill stations, Cameron Highlands is blessed with a tropical highland climate which makes it a perfect spot for relaxation. Dotted with honey bee, strawberry, butterfly farms this place also good ol’ style inns which take you back in time when life was so much simpler. And yes, walking thought he little villages, enjoying the blissful scenery. Also I’ll be sure get a panoramic view of the townships of Ringlet, Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Tringkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja.

 

A view of Cameron Highlands

Seafaring tales, old world charm – Melaka City, Melaka

Wikipedia tells me, Melaka or Malacca City - the capital city of Malacca State, is located on both sides of the Malacca river near its mouth into the Strait of Malacca. This city has a lot of culture and heritage to see and explore. With plenty of Malay, Chinese, European settlements like temples, churches, mosques, temples, museums there is no dearth of sights to see in Melaka City. Rich in historical and cultural heritage, this city also has British, Portuguese and Dutch influences. This would be the best place to get glimpse of the old-world Malaysia and its colonial architecture.

Melaka City

The living cultural museum – Sarawak Cultural Village, Sarawak

This Living Meuseum located at Pantai Damai, Santubong is just the place to get a taste of the local culture, tradition, cuisine and lifestyle. Catching a glimpse of the local tribes going about their life creating handicrafts, processing sago, performing dances for tourists is just what is needed to complete the Malaysian experience. And I might just take up wood carving, basket weaving and wine tasting at my own leisure ;)

Serawak Culture Village

Pity there were just five dream experiences to choose from. Sigh! If this was a dream I'd never want to wake up :D

I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with BlogAdda.com.