Sunday, September 19, 2010

one trip ends and another begins

upon returning to korea we spent a couple more days seeing more of seoul and  where i live.
i had a birthday.

the coast near where i live.
fantastic time.

had an open class at school last week that went much better than i had anticipated.  we also had field day on friday which was a blast.  my camera was dead though so i don't have any shots.  soccer has been good, we currently sit with 3 wins and 1 loss for the season.  we have this weekend off as next week is chuseok, korean thanksgiving.  i did the chuseok thing last year, so this year i'm going to taiwan!  i'll be there for six days come tuesday.

singapore: day 5

singapore has 4 officially accepted languages:  english, malay, tamil and mandarin chinese.  as for the english, it's a dialect that is almost incomprehensible to anyone but singaporeans.
this 5th day, the last full day, was jam-packed with temples and mosques.  as it turned out, it was their independence day so everywhere was bustling with people.  first up is the sri veeramakaliamman temple, a hindu temple.
a short walk up the street brought us to sri srinivasa perumal temple, another hindu temple.
this is the sakaya muni buddha gaya temple, aka temple of 1000 lights.  this buddha is 15 meters tall and the guide book said you could go into it via the back, but while there,  i didn't get the sense that you could go anywhere but the front room.
just next door was a really small yet immaculate temple, name unknown, but no photography was allowed.
just across the street was the leong san see temple, a toaist temple.  it's name means dragon mountain temple and is dedicated to the goddess of mercy, kuan yin.
after walking a bit we stopped for some refreshments.
next in line was the sti krishnan temple, yet another hindu temple, there were so many.
just up the street was thekuan im thong hood cho temple, that was a real spectacle.  no photography was allowed inside, but there were hundreds of worshipers.  we stood in the back caught in the rhythm of the shaking prayer sticks.
as we made our way to the arab quarter we happened upon the kampong glam cemetery.  apparently it's all malay royalty, but you'd never know with the state of  it.
the malabar mosque was really nice.  mosques are so subtle and simple compared to most of the hindu, buddhist and toaist temples i've seen.
this is the hajjah fatimah mosque.
this last one is the sultan mosque but by the time we got there they had closed to tourists.
we decided to head to sentosa island because everyone we had talked to kept asking if we had been or were going.  i personally was not that interested in it given what i had read about it.  it's all artificial and overpriced, i think there's a universal studios there just to give you an idea.  anyways, it was a two part trip.  first we took the cable car up to mt. faber for a quick view.  we then caught the cable back down and over to sentosa island.
here it is.  that merlion stands at 37 meters.
here's a shot of the artificial beach with its imported sand and palm trees.
we caught the cable car one more time to get back to harbour front station.
as mentioned earlier, it was independence day and there was a big firework show, but we managed to be in the subway when it was happening.  but we caught the tail end of it on tv at cafe le caire (al majlis), a middle eastern restaurant, that night.
the next day we made our way back to korea.
excellent trip and i would have no problem going there again.  thanks for coming jules.