January 30, 2011

Bridges over Pearl River Delta

Not too long before I captured the sun setting on industry along the Pearl River posted here a few days ago, my amiable friend Allan stopped his car along the highway to allow me to quickly snap these photos of these couple of bridges for Louis' Sunday Bridges.

Guangdong, 2011

If you enlarge either of the images, you can see there are two bridges here. The Pearl River Delta is a complex network of tributaries and distributaries. To get from our place in Shenzhen to Allan's home town in Kaiping we cross countless bridges without names like this. Take a look at this map and you can see why when we made these trips in the 1980s and had to drive on narrow roads and cross water on small ferries, our travel time was nearly a whole day, instead of the three hours on the new highways and bridges of today.

January 29, 2011

Reflections in a Dew Drop

The Hong Kong Airport is one of my favorite airports. Besides being an attractive modern piece of architecture, inside and out, well laid out, well lit and convenient for travelers (free public PCs and WiFi, yay!), since 2005 there has been on display a wide and interesting variety of local public art.

I found this unique sculpture for James' Weekend Reflections:

Hong Kong, 2011

This polished stainless steel piece on base of granite was created by Danny Lee Chin Fai in 2005 and is called A Dew Drop. Using a technique similar to traditional Chinese carpentry, Lee grinds a piece of stainless steel to form this mirror-like surface, reflecting the view around it. 

You may be interested to read what the plaque says:
Nature is all around us. Yet often we look but do not see. Next time you see morning dew, take a look at just one small dew drop. See your surroundings reflected there. Look closely and you will see a reflection of yourself. So why not pause and try to look at ourselves, objects and people around us from a fresh perspective?
I say right on to that! 

If you enlarge the images and look at them closely, you'll find all kinds of interesting reflections on the various surfaces.

January 28, 2011

[SkyWatch] Sun Setting on Industry

On our drive south along the Pearl River Delta recently, I rolled down my window to snap these shots of the  setting sun as we were zooming past a heavy industry portion of the province.

Guangdong, 2011

Links to many more skies from around the world can be found at SkyWatch Friday.

January 27, 2011

P is for Painted Plane

We found this painted plane in Baguio, a city in the mountains of northern Luzon established by the Americans in 1900. Located 1500 meters / 5000 feet above sea level, the City of Pines has always been a favorite place to escape from Manila's summer heat for the well-to-do.

What we didn't find was any information about who painted this plane, why and when, and my internet search came up empty. So if you know the story, do tell.

Still I thought you might get a kick out of this funky jet fighter dressed in images of peace (better viewed enlarged).

 Baguio, 2008

This post is linked to Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday where the letter of the day is P. Go check out how other bloggers played with P words.

January 26, 2011

B is for Bench

For ABC Wednesday I am offering a series of benches for the letter B that I photographed last week while visiting friends in a town along the Tanjiang River in Kaiping County 

The photos pretty much speak for themselves. I do think each bench has its own special character that shows off better in a monochrome image (and if you have the time, enlarging the smaller photos tells a better story).


Kaiping, 2011

January 25, 2011

[MyWorld] Dessert Buns

In the weeks before and after Chinese New Year, family and friends gather to celebrate. As in every culture I know, food is at the center of the social activities. 

In southern China, these steamed or deep fried dessert buns are offered to guests in households and restaurants everywhere. 

Some make the buns at home; others buy them from makers like this.

Wuchuan, 2011

When they are fresh, still warm, they are mouth-watering delicious.

Eating (too much) with good friends was a big part of my world during my travels in China last week. I link this with the community at MyWorld Tuesday.

January 12, 2011

Z is for Zither

A zither is any stringed musical instrument whose strings are the same length as its soundboard. There are many styles of zithers. Typically it is composed of a flat sound box with 30 to 40 strings stretched over it and played horizontally with the fingertips, a plectrum, or a bow.

The yatga is a traditional Mongolian plucked half-tube zither and can have 10-21 strings with movable bridges. When I was in Ulaanbaatar, I heard this woman play a 12-string yatga.

Ulaanbaatar, 2007

If you'd like to hear the sound, here is a 23-second video taken in the same small theatre you see in my photo. This tune sounds to me like a pleasant traditional folk song. For a more sophisticated sound, listen to this award-winning player on what looks to be a 21-string yatga.

This is my Z contribution to ABC Wednesday. Check out how others fared with this challenging letter.


To my regular blogger friends, tomorrow I will slip behind the Great Firewall of China, so I may be unable to post or visit any blogs for the next 10-12 days. See you when I return!

January 11, 2011

[MyWorld] Rustic Elegance

In Ilocos Norte, already a few weeks ago, we stayed at a most delightful resort. Having a definite preference for uniqueness and character, this place may rank as one of the top ten I've ever stayed in. From the moment we entered the grounds and were treated to a bright smile and fresh wet towel to the moment we left four days later, we felt pampered and well-looked after. A bit of heaven on earth, one might say.

The resort cannot be considered the lap of luxury, but it far exceeded comfort through the meticulous attention to detail in historical design and decor, both inside and outside. There was too much of interest on the grounds to cover in one post, so today I share with you a few views of our own accommodation. [Details are best seen when photos are enlarged.]


 Ilocos, 2010

In the photos: the entrance to our suite, an antique wood carved angel, our bed, capiz shell panels and mirror in our bedroom, view from our sitting room (yes, no window), outdoor rain shower, door to small courtyard, and the scene as we leave our suite.

And for four glorious days and nights, that was my world... and I link with MyWorld Tuesday.

January 10, 2011

The More Things Change

The more they stay the same...

This building in Manila once housed the national waterworks and sewage authority and is now a hall of justice.

 Manila, 2011

Unfortunately, I can tell you nothing more about the building.

Yeah, I know, a very lame post. But sometimes I just want to express my exasperation with the never-improving status quo.

The color does qualify it to be linked with Mellow Yellow Monday.

January 9, 2011

Rustic Wood & Bamboo Bridge

Not a bridge I'd want to cross after an evening of merrymaking. Yet certainly an interestingly unique design and construction to add to the collection at Louis la Vache's Sunday Bridges collection.

Ilocos, 2010

January 8, 2011

Huts on Beach Reflected

After the brightest gold of yesterday's sunset had faded, my friend Svetlana and I took a saunter down the beach.

 Ilocos Norte, 2010

And there I found my shots for James' Weekend Reflections.

January 7, 2011

[SkyWatch] Sunset Silhouettes

Time for SkyWatch Friday, so I share with you a golden sunset I saw in Ilocos Norte. In the first photo are a pair of local boys walking along the beach; and in the second we get a magnificent pose by the daughter of a friend.

 Ilocos Norte, 2010

January 6, 2011

M is for Metal Monster

Some call it junk art.

 Guangzhou, 2010

What do you say? 

These metal monsters were modeled in front of one of the many massive exhibition buildings that in totality is loosely referred to as the Guangzhou Trade Fair... or, much to my mounting dismay, the old colonial term, Canton Fair. I've attended it as buyer, or in more recent years as seller, since 1985. This Jinhan Fair holds a multitude of exhibitors on five floors marketing their giftware and home decor.

There were lots of mesmerized local onlookers.

M is the letter at Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday, and there you will find links to many other posts on subjects starting with M.

January 5, 2011

Y is for Yakow

A yakow, you might guess, is a hybrid between the long-haired yak of the Himalayas and a domestic cow; a bovid hybrid also called dzo. The hybrid is larger and stronger than either the yak or the cow and is considered to be more productive in producing milk or meat.

I've seen these scruffy looking beasts on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau in the outskirts of Xiahe in Gansu as well as in Mongolia. Today I share with you a few of my China photos. [Click to enlarge.]

Gansu, 2007

And this post is linked to the team at ABC Wednesday where you'll find many interesting posts on subjects with the letter Y.

January 4, 2011

[MyWorld] Bringing in the Catch

In my [personal] world it is a rare occasion that I get up early; I am a confirmed night owl and subjected to a fair amount of [deserved] teasing about it from my friends.

But when I do get up at the crack of dawn, if it's not to catch an early plane, it's typically for something exciting. On our trip to Mindoro some months ago, I was roused from bed to go see the fishermen come in with their catches of the day. I'm so very glad I did.  Here is some of what I saw (all images can be enlarged).

Mindoro, 2010

I am linking to My World Tuesday and Ruby Tuesday.