Finding Warmth On A Cold Floor

Who can resist a cool marble floor on a hot day? A homeless dog seeks shelter under the watchful eyes of the statue of Buddha at an obscure and quaint Thai temple named Wat Meh Liew in little-known Kampung Siam in Kuala Lumpur.

I was sitting on the floor on Wesak Day last year when the dog came to lie in front of me. A wonderful moment for the camera. It also brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart.

The temple’s tolerance and acceptance of stray animals symbolizes the heart of Buddha’s teachings – Compassion.

Happy Vesak Day ahead.

#wesak #vesak #buddhism #buddha #thaitemple #dog #compassion



I was about to write a feature on Borobudur in Indonesia. The 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple ruins with stupas and statues in Magelang, Central Java, is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and also considered one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. With the historical landmark so near, I can see from my social media timeline, many Malaysians visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site, probably as a bucket list destination.

By a happy coincidence, I gained a recent Instagram follower named @sarasvati_borobudur_hotel. I contacted them and found out the account is run by the management of the hotel. A nice person by the name of Emir responded and a helpful Bambang sent me pics to feature. Touted as a boutique hotel with colonial design, Saraswati Borobudur Hotel offers free wi-fi, an outdoor pool and a restaurant. It also provides bicycle rental and Javanese arts classes. More importantly, it is a short walk or bicycle ride from Candi Borobudur. (see map at MyCen Hotels). I asked Emir if Saraswati is spelled with a V or W. He said they were registered as Saraswati but are in the process of changing to Sarasvati.

Check for low room rates and availability of the Saraswati Borobudur by Agoda or by

See the special page on Saraswati Borobudur Hotel for more pics, and to book at

See also: Pop! Hotel Kut Beach Bali.

#borobudur #indonesia #worldheritagesite #travel #hotels

Selfie Epicenter – FGS Dong Zen Jenjarom

The selfie and posing epicenter at Dong Zen was concentrated at the area where giant roosters stood. I like how the temple made a cascading water fountain out of three large ceramic dining bowls with cockerel emblems.

The rooster bowls were significant in ancient Chinese society when agriculture played an important role. The cockerel motifs paid tribute to the rooster as a symbol of hard work, abundance, wealth, fertility and prosperity. Another cultural observation is the prominence of the colour red in wardrobe for CNY. Red symbolizes good fortune and joy.

Rain or shine, selfies go on at Dong Zen. Since its beginning more than 10 years ago, Dong Zen’s CNY themes have always incorporated a lantern and floral fest.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f16, 1/200 sec.

#dongzen #fgs #jenjarom #buddhist #temple #selfie #2017 #cny #candid #rain #rooster #fountain

Selfie Paradise – FGS Dong Zen Jenjarom

The Buddhist shrine comes alive every Chinese New Year when thousands of visitors pay homage. They are attracted by the annual theme park like atmosphere created by the special CNY decor.

Every corner you will see a visitor attempting a selfie or groupfie. It will be even more interesting at night when the lights are switched on. I don’t want to stay until nightfall as it may be too many hours and too exhausting for my angelic volunteer and helper Tevanraj Elengoe.

Here; a group or family is attempting a groupfie with the camera on a tripod and self timer was used. Love how the ladies pose with fingers.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f14, 1/200 sec.

#dongzen #fgs #jenjarom #banting #buddhist #temple #selfie #groupfie #2017 #cny #candid

Wesak Day – The Compassionate Chief

I call him Chief. His official title is quite a mouthful: The Most Venerable Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana, Chief High Priest of Malaysia.

Always feel happy to see the man, albeit only once a year now. Before his ordination to highest office, I used to follow him on his many charity missions.

He is also the founder and driver of the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society that operates homes for children (orphanages), the elderly, the infirmed and also halfway houses for abused women.

Outside the community centres, the society provides Mobile Medical Clinics and Meals-On-Wheels for the underprivileged.

Incredibly, in spite his busy schedule and solemness required in official duties, he still retains his zany sense of humour and power of recalling little details.

Whenever he sees me, he’ll bring up a funny, forgotten, random episode from the past for us to reminisce about. We’ll both end up giggling or laughing to the bemusement and puzzlement of the people kneeling in line to get his blessings.

In the brief chat yesterday, we spoke about the time we were at a multi-faith prayer session for Dr M’s second heart operation. Then we ended up talking about his surprise visit to a Orang Asli home in the middle of a jungle.

The cramped office space at the Buddhist Maha Vihara temple required the use of the Samyang 14 mm FE ultrawide angle lens. Samyang just launched their Instagram at @samyanglensglobal. One of my previous pics is featured in their showcase there.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, T4, 1/160 sec.