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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seasons Greetings

Best Wishes For My Friends!! ♥
Wishing All Bloggers and Viewers

A Happy New Year 2011

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas -Then, Then & Now

Children and the maids

It is interesting to know that time changes people as well as places. Lum Chun See's blog on 'then, then and now' is a good example and I took the cue from him. My family celebrated Christmas anually and I have many photos to show the growth of my grandson Guy at each season. He had his first Christmas with the family when he was about 6 months old. A Philippino maid was employed specially to look after him.

Picture 1 - The maid carried Guy in front of a Christmas tree. He was my only grand-child then. The Christmas tree was a little bare with few decorations. There was only one children's present at the foot of the tree (not shown) and it was for Guy. My other grand children was not born yet.

Picture 2 - Guy celebrating his third Christmas in 2001. He was two and a half years old and he wanted to pose for the photo alone with the Christmas tree. There was more decorations on the Christmas tree indicating that it had grown. More presents were displayed at the tree also meant that I had more than one grand children.

Picture 3 - Guy is now 11 years old. On Christmas day I got him and the maid to stand in front of the same Christmas tree to pose for a photo. Time has indeed changes people. Guy has grown tall. He is slightly shorter than the maid. The Christmas tree had more ornaments and more children's presents too. This season we had many new family members celebrating Christmas together. They were my niece, nephew and their spouses, plus their children.




Thursday, December 16, 2010

Halong Bay

I have not been back to Vietnman for more than ten years. There must be a lot of changes by now. Yg's post on Halong Bay last Sunday reminded me of my visit to the same place in 1987. I was there with a friend. We put up at Bachdang Hotel which was very close to the bay. Many private boats were at the harbour waiting for passengers. We chartered a boat which could accomodate 10 persons. We had the privacy of two persons. As the boats cruised down the lagoon passing many limestone islets, we had beer while viewing the beautiful sights. The boat package included one sea food lunch cooked on board the boat. We paid additional charge for our beer.

Bachdang Hotel

At the harbour

We chartered this boat

Lunch on board the boat

Going up to the cave

Inside the cave

Outside the cave

Hawker stalls

Outside our hotel on the way to the beach there were many hawker stalls selling souvenirs, food and drinks to the tourists. At the beach there were many beer stalls with beach chairs for the tourists to relax and enjoy the drinks. Beer per can was very cheap at S$0.85 cents each. That was more than 30 years ago.

Enjoying beer by the beach

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cao Dai

In 1994 when I was in Ho Chi Minh City, I heard of the Cao Dai Sect in Tay Ninh District, Vietnam. A friend took me there in his car. It was about one and a half hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City to Cao Dai village. I was told that all the villagers were members of the Coa Dai Sect. As the car moved into the village, I could see many Cao Dai temples on both sides of the road. They were very colourful with unique architecture. Some temples had single tower (picture 7) and others with twin towers (picture 8). Their main temple (picture 1) was the largest of all.

The Coa Dai Sect believed in all major religions such as Buddhism, Toaism, Christinity and Hinduism. The Sect also worshipped influential and powerful people in their life times like Confucius, William Shakespear, Victor Hugo, Joan of Arc, Sun Yat Sen, red face Kuan Kong, etc. Foreigners referred to Cao Dai Sect as One Eye God believers because under the ceiling of the main temple hung a globe with one big eye painted on it (picture 3).

We arrived early but other tourists were already there. We were not allowed at the prayer hall. An usher directed us upstairs to join the others to watch the prayer ceremony. At 12.00 noon sharp members of the sect walked orderly into the prayer hall. They put on colourful clothing in groups from white clothes novices to red clothes elders. We did not know what was going on as there was no guide or interpreter to explain to us. We watched for while and left after taking some pictures.

Picture 1 - outside main temple

Picture 2 - prayer hall with dragon pillars

Picture 3 - the One Eye Globe

Picture 4-6 members of the sect praying

Picture 7 - Single tower temple

Picture 8 - Twin tower temple