One of the faintest memories I remember of my childhood adventures was riding a train. The anxious crowd, the bells and whistles, the pickpockets, the street vendors, the ticket counters, the giant clock, the parallel tracks, the cabin windows, the busy platforms, the children cries. While I cannot recall most of the details now, the remnants left me a very fond connection with train travels. There is something about it that reels me in.
This photo was taken through my window on a train ride from Zurich to Paris. Such an exquisite morning with the mist covering most of the lake and the warm sunlight turning the trees golden in late autumn. Meanwhile the shadowy hills across the still waters added some mystery and intrigue. In my awe, I wonder to myself how lucky it must feel to live in the beautiful lakeside home. Such a haven.
The structure of Dhammayazika Pagoda is unique amongst all the temples in Bagan because its base is pentagonal in shape rather than a typical square. It has three receding terraces and a small temple on each of its five sides housing an image of the Buddha, unlike other temples where they normally house four images facing the cardinal points.
In this photo, the pagoda is portrayed in the centre rising out of the forest amongst the surrounding temples at dusk.
Buddhist monasteries in Myanmar offer both monastic and academic curriculum for young children to provide them with basic education for their future. Most of these kids are orphans.
Shwezigon Paya is considered one of the most significant stupas in Myanmar. It is located in Nyaung-U, a little town in Bagan harbouring on the eastern banks of the Irrawaddy River. Legend has it that the site of the pagoda was chosen by a sacred white elephant and that it is said to enshrine relics of the Buddha.
Share the Load
A cute scene of two friends sharing the workload in Bagan, Myanmar. The young monk was curious of me, I knew. So I waited for him to give me another look.
Two adult monks bridging conversation as nightfall approaches along U Bein Bridge near Amarapura in Myanmar.
The Place Beyond the Pines
A house surrounded by serene forest of pines in beautiful Swiss autumn colours.
One beautiful autumn morning in Zermatt, Switzerland with the mighty Matterhorn in the background and a clear blue sky above.
A man admiring the winter vista surrounding the Matterhorn, Switzerland.
Last light of day shines on three sister temples in Bagan, Myanmar.
A village boy in red riding home on his buffalo in the mountainous region of Kalaw, Myanmar.
The North Guni temple sits against the Bagan mountains in the background. A less crowded spot to watch the sunset than the famous Shwesandaw Pagoda. Alas the secret’s out, so head down early to get the best seats in the house.
A cyclist looked on in awe at the colossal Thatbyinnyu Temple. It is the tallest remaining structure in Bagan.
Beautiful tree branches hanging outside the Sulamani Temple in Bagan. The name itself means the Crowning Jewel.
Located in the city of Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site in Myanmar.
The Great Dagon West Gate
The less popular entrance gate to the Great Dagon Pagoda (or more commonly known as Shwedagon Pagoda) in Yangon, Myanmar.
Istanbul basked in the warm glow of its sunset.
Built in 19th century, Dolmabahçe Palace of the late Ottoman Empire is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world.
In Her Sacred Valleys
Months leading towards this trip, I remember I was through quite a rough patch. Nepal gave me my much needed break. Given my dreadful predicament, I thought the timing was rather apt. I needed to get away. I needed to hide away. Just like the saying goes, everything has its time. So this was mine, and mine alone.
I expected the trek to Poon Hill to be challenging as I have never been much of a trekker – this was my first trail that spanned over several nights. Unfortunately the wretched weather up on the mountains did not make it any easier. It started fine on the first day but by the second day, it was just constant rainfall. I was drenched and soaked wet in my own sweat mixed with rain throughout two straight days. No sunshine, nothing. Just mist and water all around. It was so cold at one point that I decided to take shelter and have something warm in one of the teahouses along the trek. I was shivering and I could not stop.
I did not make it to Poon Hill. The mist was too thick at dawn, swallowing the trek altogether. I was disappointed. I wanted it to mean something to me, that I had made it there. But that’s life I guess. Although I could stay another night at Ghorepani to try my luck the next morning, I decided to continue on since the weather did not look like it’s clearing up anytime soon. Perhaps another time I told myself.
By the end of my journey in Nepal, I did not experience any miracle enlightenment – yes, just my own wishful thinking. None of my problems had vanished. I just took a break from them and I was convinced I was ready to get back to the real world. To tell you the truth, things got worse after I returned. Unfortunate but that’s how my story goes. Since then, however, things have slowly cleared up and I find myself in a better place now. A place not as mystical, as serene, as sacred as the high Himalayan peaks and valleys, but a much better place than where I was nonetheless.
My trip took me to three main Nepalese cities: Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Bhaktapur, in this order. The timelapse footage captured the places in the same sequence I had visited them. Hope you like it and thanks for watching my first feeble attempt at timelapses.
Shrine of the Holy Wisdom
The famous interior dome of the Hagia Sophia, whose name was derived from its Greek origins meaning the Holy Wisdom.