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Grand Palace @ Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace was built in 1782 which was once the residence of the previous Kings of Thailand.  The Grand Palace today houses government offices and is an important venue for official ceremonies.  With more than 200 years of history, new buildings were added and new architectural ideas were incorporated, resulting in  a complex of buildings with eclectic architectural styles.   Continue reading

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Hangzhou West Lake 101 – Best of West Lake

The West Lake (西湖, Xi Hu) in Hangzhou is an iconic landmark with beautiful gardens, temples and sceneries.  A World Unesco Heritage Site dubbed as “heaven on earth” in a popular Chinese saying.  It has awed many poets for centuries and it is also an exemplary where garden architects seek their inspirations from.   To truly appreciate the beauty of West Lake, you will have to be around it for a full year because the lake has different faces during the four seasons and during different times of the day.  The best of them has been selected to represent the West Lake, collectively known as The Ten Scenes of West lake (西湖十景), including

1.  Dawn on the Su Causeway in Spring  (蘇堤春曉)
Su Causeway West Lake
The Su Causeway Continue reading

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Yue Fei Temple @ Hangzhou China

Yue Fei Tomb Hangzhou China 10
The Yue Fei Temple (岳王廟)in Hangzhou was originally built during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279) to commemorate the patriotic hero.  Yue Fei fought tirelessly and played a big role in protecting northern China from the invasion by the Jerchen people of Manchuria.  Despite Yue Fei’s true loyalty to the country, Emperor Gaozong took advise from the evil official Qin Hui,  who framed Yue Fei for jail under false accusation, arranged for an assassination, resulting in the death of Yue Fei at a young age of 39.    Continue reading

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Hupao Spring (Running Tiger Spring) @ Hangzhou, China

Hupao-spring-running-tiger-hangzhou 17
The Hupao Spring in Hangzhou is one of the top three springs in China.  The Hupao Spring, literally meaning Running Tiger Spring, came about because it was thought to be dug out by tigers.  Once upon a time, there was a monk who came to spread the teachings of Buddhism in Hangzhou.  He wanted to settle in for long-term but was unable to find a water source nearby and hence had to look around for another location.  During the night, he dreamed of two tigers, digging the ground with their paws, releasing spring water from underneath.  As he woke up, the two tigers were indeed next to him, digging out water for him.  The word digging in Chinese (刨), has the same pronunciation as “running” (跑), and hence the spring is commonly known as Running Tiger Spring (虎跑泉).  Continue reading

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