Tag Archives: culture

Manila – Same Same but Different

23 May
Traditional Guard - spanish style

Traditional Guard - spanish style

So I arrived in the Philippines (after some struggle with Thai Airways who made me pay my booking fee again, despite the fact I had already paid it). I can’t help but compare the Philippines (Manila) with the other countries I visited recently.

The phrase that comes to mind is ‘Same same, but different’. Indeed, there’s a similar Asian feel about the Philippines, but on the other hand you can clearly see the stamp that the Spanish & Americans left on the country.

Or as my guidebook put it: think of a Philippino as an Asian that spent 300 years in (Spanish, catholic) church and 50 years in Disneyland – very accurate!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Funny Malaysia Pictures

15 May
Buy your Buddha in the Buddha supermarket

Buy your Buddha in the Buddha supermarket

There’s quite some pictures in my Malaysia posts, but here are a few that I thought were funny, special, weird, different,… (for different reasons – read comments – hehe)

Continue reading

Life at the beach

13 May
Life's a beach - or was it bitch?

Life's a beach - or was it bitch?

I guess it was one of those moments where I just naturally slowed down after all the back’n’forth between cities and countries; Bali, JogJa, Solo, KL, Singapore, Melaka and Georgetown in less than 2 weeks was a bit too much. So what was planned as 2-3 days at the beach turned out to be a week.

The lovely guesthouse was part of the attraction – and I moved to a bungalow literally ON the beach for the last few days – so I would wake up walk 5 meters and take a refreshing bath in the blue sea. Gorgeous. At night I would fall asleep with the sound of the waves gently penetrating the antique wooden shutters.

So what does one do at the beach? Continue reading

(Gay) Trouble in (Malaysia) Town

12 May
The many flavours of Malaysia

The many flavours of Malaysia

Malaysia prides itself in being a great multi-cultural society in which different communities live peacefully together – and when walking around in KL the mix of different languages, religions and cultures seems to be harmonious. But when talking to different people, not everybody is as tolerant as the government might want to see it.

A Malay friend took me to a curry house, and when I asked if it would be Thai style curry (green, red, in claypot) or Indian style (the spicy stew you scoop on your rice), he was almost offended and said it was Malay curry (so that was my first faux pas). So there are some ethnic sensitivities in Malaysia (sounds like Belgium – hehe). The Chinese don’t like the Malays with their mosques and conservative attitude. And a Malay friend of mine said that the Chinese have poor hygiene and smell. So there seem to be quite some stereotypes around – and at the same time it gave me a chance to explore my own prejudice. Continue reading

Gorgeous Georgetown Picture Post

6 May
George Town clock tower at gorgeous sunset

George Town clock tower at gorgeous sunset

At the same time as Melaka, the coastal town of Georgetown, on Penang Island in the North of Malaysia, also got recognized by Unesco as World Heritage. So many buildings in the historical centre are restored and cleaned up, and maps and guided walks are plentiful.

No Dutch or Portuguese here – only British – which you can clearly see in the names of the streets which are a funny mix of an English name and the word for street, lane or road in Malay (e.g. Lebuh Bishop, Lorong Stewart, Jalan Buckingham, etc). For the rest there are too many temples, mosques and churches to describe, so I’ll just make this a picture post. Continue reading

Melaka – a bit of history

5 May
The Dutch old town with Stadhuys

The Dutch old town with Stadhuys

From Singapore I took the ‘massage bus’ to Melaka, about 3-4 hours drive in vibrating chairs further north. Melaka is a little town that got recognized as Unesco World Heritage only last year (at the same time as George Town on Penang Island), so there’s still lots of renovation and tidying going on, but there’s plenty of nice buildings to see. It’s like a polonaise of different countries, cultures and architectural styles that visited (invaded) this coastal town and trading port: Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, British… with a pinch of Sultan influence.

I’m not sure if I was very receptive to take in another city, after a few days running around KL, then Singapore in a nutshell and then another town for just a day. Definitely going too fast, so I’ll slow down soon. So I’ll post pictures instead of writing much. And I ended my day in Melaka with some Chinese mmmmmassage. Continue reading

Funny Singapore Pictures

5 May
Even the toilets are numbered - maniacs

Even the toilets are numbered - maniacs

There’s many pictures in the Singapore Posts because they represent the best what I found there.

But below is a collection of pictures that I thought were particularly funny, amusing, different, wicked,… (read the comments) Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: