Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

Rafflesia arnoldii

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Miscellaneous with tags , , , on August 21, 2014 by Thim Kwai

Rafflesia arnoldii is considered being the largest flower in the world. It grows in the tropical rainforests of the Malay Archipelago, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, south of Thailand and reaches a size of 1m in diameter and a weight up to eleven kilograms. Rafflesia arnoldii is named after Stamford Raffles and the botanist Joseph Arnold.

Pay a visit to the whole article on ‘Rafflesia arnoldii‘…

Rafflesia arnoldii, Sketch

Rafflesia arnoldii

Know…

This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘Rafflesia arnoldii’. Read here the whole article on Rafflesia arnoldii.

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Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender

Garuda

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Miscellaneous with tags , , on January 24, 2014 by Thim Kwai

A Garuda is a mystical animal in the Hindu religion. Garuda is a bird, or half bird half human, equipped with supernatural attributes. In the Hindu mythology the Garuda is the vehicle for the god Vishnu. Garuda is also an antagonist of the nagas, the mystical snakes who frequently appear in the Hindu cosmos – and in Buddhist temples.

The Garuda came to Southeast Asia with the early Indian cultures. In later centuries, when Buddhism was introduced in Angkor and the early Thai civilizations, the old Hindu mythology wasn’t abolished but rather combined or intermixed with the new, more sober Buddhist teachings.

The origin of the Garuda in nature is presumably an eagle. As the eagle in many western countries, the Garuda is used as an emblem for powerful institutions as in the military or as state symbols in Indonesia and Thailand.

So, the Garuda is the emblem of the Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand. Garuda Indonesia is the biggest Indonesian airline. Garudas are also appearing often in temples, Hindu as well as Buddhist.

Know…

This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘Garudas in Southeast Asia’. Read here the whole article on Garuda.

Keep yourself up-to-date

Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender

Monsoon in Southeast Asia

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2013 by Thim Kwai

Tourists tend to avoid Southeast Asia in the monsoon months, for many expect it being rainy every day and all-day. They fear mosquito-born diseases and floods.

Well, in fact it’s not all that bad. Rainy season can be a very rich and beautiful time in the tropes. There are many more animals active, it’s all green around and it’s considerably cooler than in most of the dry season.

Another positive aspect of the monsoon season is the lack of tourism; prices drop, places are not crowded, life is more relaxed.

Besides it’s not raining all-day long. It’s mostly rather raining for an hour or two, or there is a shower coming down, while it afterwards might be sunny again or cloudy only. In north Sumatra, let’s say Bukit Lawang or at Lake Toba, one can almost set the clock for the afternoon rain, what starts usually around four o’clock. There it comes mostly as heavy pouring and continues over many hours, sometimes over the whole night. Next morning it’s clear and sunny again. One can be very active over most of the day outdoors.

As a rule of thumb one can say as closer one approaches the equator, as more rain is to expect.

Know…

This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘Monsoon in Southeast Asia’. Read here the whole article on Monsoon in Southeast Asia.

Keep yourself up-to-date

Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender

On Religion and Science

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Miscellaneous on April 27, 2013 by Thim Kwai

Homo sapiens is about 160,000 years old. That’s not very much, compared to many other species on earth and above all compared to the age of life generally or even the age of the earth, the solar system or the universe as we see it now.

One of the peculiarities of homo sapiens is that he became able to reflect himself and his place in nature. Where are we coming from? Where are we going to? There is still no answer to these basic questions of our existence, our creation as a new being at the point of procreation and what about our death. We just know that we are born and can predict that we, by absolute certainty, will die sooner or later. Potentially it’s possible at any moment.

That’s not the only puzzling questions. Where is all the nature coming from – the animals, the plants, the non-organic environment?

Continue reading the article ‘On Religion and Science‘…

A Case of Highway Robbery

Posted in Countries, Latest of Asienreisender, Miscellaneous on April 25, 2013 by Thim Kwai

The Laotian – Cambodian Border at Veun Kham / Dong Calor

The Laotian-Cambodian border of Veun Kham / Dong Calor is one of the worst in Southeast Asia. Although I was warned from several sources that the Cambodian officers would charge a private ‘fee’ of two dollars I was surprised that already the Laotian officers did that. When I appeared they first completely ignored me. After a while one of the two officers in the wooden booth commanded me: “Pay two dollars!”. When inquiring for what, he told: “For stamp”. They wouldn’t stamp one out without extra money. Pure blackmailing. Arrogant robbers in uniforms, they are. Funny thing to ask for a receipt – they just don’t answer.

One has to pass next a ridiculous medical quick test, getting checked the temperature on the open road. Behind that are the Cambodian officers in two simple, wooden booths. They send one from the first booth to the second. There I had to pay another five dollars US extra on top of the regular 25 dollars for an ‘ordinary e’ visa. Then one get’s sent back to the first booth to be stamped. It comes with three forms to fill in. Without paying extra there is no visa. There are reported cases where people refused to pay and were sent back to Laos.

I came in a talk with a Swiss couple who came with a car and was involved in much more trouble. They were refused to take the car into Cambodia, despite all the information they got before. In the time I stayed next to the Cambodian booth I met more people who had problems with the officials. Besides everybody has to pay there extra money.

Photographing is explicitely forbidden at this border. The gentlemen don’t want evidence about what’s going on there.

I saw a small boy and a small girl playing around some fifty meters from the Cambodian border check. Short before I left, one of the Cambodian officers took some stones and threw them after the boy. What locals do sometimes with dogs. Bye bye Laos. Welcome to Cambodia. They are even worse here than in Burma at Tachileik or Kawthaung.

The border is inmiddle of a forest. There is no village on either side of the border. On the Cambodian side there is a huge new custom building under construction.

You find the original article ‘A Case of Highway Robbery’ here…

Songkran by Asienreisender

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Miscellaneous on April 24, 2013 by Thim Kwai

The ‘water festival’, called ‘songkran’ marks the Buddhist new year and is celebrated since several centuries. It’s every year in April, according to a Buddhist lunar calendar. This year, 2013, it came from April 13th to the 15th. Songkran is celebrated in Thailand as in Laos, partially also in Burma/Myanmar, south China and Cambodia. In it’s old tradition there is a custom to sprinkle people’s hands with a small amount of water. That happened in a very gentle way, meaned symbolically. Since April is the hottest month in Indochina it’s kind of a relief to be cooled down with a bit of water.

But things are no more as they were. Songkran run wild…

Read the whole article on songkran