Bridge on the River Kwai – on location

Bridge on the River Kwai
Bridge on the River Kwai

Bridge on the River Kwai, is the bridge that the Japanese built with civilians and Allied POV’s during WWII (1943) to complete the rail-line between Bangkok and Rangoon in Burma (now known as Yangoon in Myanmar). As many as 12,000 people perished during the construction. A Movie with the name “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was made in 1957, starring Alec Guiness and William Holden and directed by David Lean.

A view of the Bridge on the River Kwai.
A view of the Bridge on the River Kwai.
Looking out over the River Kwai.
Looking out over the River Kwai.
Train stop on the River Kwai.
Train stop on the River Kwai.
The Bridge.
The Bridge.
Unexploded ordinance at one end of the bridge.
Unexploded ordinance at one end of the bridge.
Train coming over the Bridge.
Train coming over the Bridge.

Hotel Majestic – Kuala Lumpur

Hotel Majestic, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - main entrance.
Hotel Majestic, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – main entrance.

As the name implies, the Hotel Majestic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is just that, really really – Majestic. It is full of old world charm and the staff is fantastic, they all take such pride in their jobs and it is all centered on making you feel as welcome as it is humanly possible to make you feel, it is just a really great hotel and well worth the trip all on it’s own!

Hotel Majestic logo by the main entrance.
Hotel Majestic logo by the main entrance.

If you are lucky, Reza, the guest services manager of the Hotel Majestic will meet you upon your arrival and escort you up to your suite. Beforehand, he will have reached out to you to inquire about any dietary restrictions or other requests that you may have – all to make you feel so very welcome to the Hotel Majestic. At least this is true if you are lucky enough to have status with United Airlines Mileage Plus program that translates into status with the Marriot Rewards program.

Hotel majestic 14th floor suite, entrance.
Hotel majestic 14th floor suite, entrance.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room desk area.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room desk area.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, bedroom.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, bedroom.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, bedroom with a view of the bathroom.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, bedroom with a view of the bathroom.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, view from the bedroom window.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, view from the bedroom window.

The highest looking building is the KL Tower (a.k.a. menara KL) which is not the tallest building, the tallest is the Petronas twin towers, but because the KL Tower sits on top of a hill in downtown KL, they appear to be the tallest. In the above picture there is a sideview of the Petronas twin towers which appear to be the third tallest in this picture. I recommend not trying to get up into the Petronas twin towers, you can not book tickets less  than 24 hrs into the future and the staff at the towers are extremely rude and unhelpful. There is also no outside viewing area in the Petronas towers, but there is in the KL Tower where you also get a nice view of the Petronas towers which you will not get if you go up in those towers.

Breakfast time at the Hotel Majestic, waiting for the Oatmeal porridge to arrive.
Breakfast time at the Hotel Majestic, waiting for the Oatmeal porridge to arrive.
Teatime in the salon at the Hotel Majestic KL.
Teatime in the salon at the Hotel Majestic KL.

If you feel like being a bit British while in Malaysia, you may take tea in the salon or Library at the Hotel Majestic in KL. You can enjoy some relaxing piano music and indulge in the goodies with your tea!

Tea time at Hotel Majestic.
Tea time at Hotel Majestic.
Tea time goodies at Hotel Majestic.
Tea time goodies at Hotel Majestic.

Charles Cham Artist in Melaka – Malacca City Malaysia

Orangutan House in Melaka functions as Charles Cham's studio.
Orangutan House in Melaka functions as Charles Cham’s studio.

If you visit Melaka, and I really think you should  – You will need to go visit Charles Cham at the “Orangutan house”. Charles is an artist who creates beautiful paintings and in addition to this, he also designs and sells t-shirts in his studio in the “Orangutan house”.

Charles got his inspiration to paint when he at 5 years old watched a movie about a painter with a magic brush. As soon as he got home from the movie he started drawing and painting and never stopped. Charles worked as an editorial artist in Kuala Lumpur fo a few years before he one day decided to go to France to paint. Charles became a member of “Association des Artistes Indépendants Aixois“, he exhibited at the Salon des Independants in 1990 and 1991. He returned home to Melaka Malaysia in 1991 and set up his studio in the old part of town and named it “The Orangutan House”.

Charles takes a picture of yoiu and the art you buy for use on his facebook page if you consent to that use.
Charles takes a picture of you and the art you buy for use on his facebook page if you consent to that use.

Charles is a very nice person and if you want to talk art with him he is very happy to do so. He is a renowned artist around the world and has exhibited in places such as, Singapore, Hong kong, Bali, Australia, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Portugal, Hungary and Malaysia. His paintings are generally based on the philosophy of Ying and Yang – “the duality of life and the attraction of opposites”.

Melaka river runs through the beautiful city of Melaka.
Melaka river runs through the beautiful city of Melaka.

Chiang Mai – crossroads of cultures

Dragons in Thai culture as in many Asian cultures has magical or, supernatural powers.it often protects temples, bring water and is often associated with wisdom and longevity.
Dragons in Thai culture as in many Asian cultures has magical or, supernatural powers.it often protects temples, bring water and is often associated with wisdom and longevity.

Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand (localized, but in Western alphabet it is one word – “Chiangmai”. In Thai it is “เชียงใหม่”) , this region is a part of Thailand that gets its influences from many different countries and cultures. It is close to the border with Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Laos. China is not very far away either, but Thailand has no direct border with China. The development of the region centered on the rivers and the river valleys that cut through the mountains of the region. The climate is tropical and due to the higher elevation it has more pronounced seasonal differences in temperature as compared to lower lying areas.

Outlying parts of Chiang Mai as seen from the air.
Outlying parts of Chiang Mai as seen from the air.
 Chiang Mai airport designation - CNX - with the terminal building as seen from the tarmac.
Chiang Mai airport designation – CNX – with the terminal building as seen from the tarmac.
Typical Chiang Mai building, I believe it is an administrative building or maybe a school.
Typical Chiang Mai building, I believe it is an administrative building or maybe a school.
The wall around old town Chiang Mai still stands in places.
The wall around old town Chiang Mai still stands in places.
Headed for the bike mountain in China?
Headed for the bike mountain in China?
Lanna Folklife museum is housed in a former courthouse, it is a colonial style building.
Lanna Folklife museum is housed in a former courthouse, it is a colonial style building.
Here is a diorama in the museum depicting an early settlement in the area.
Here is a diorama in the museum depicting an early settlement in the area.
Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center.
Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center.

Across the street from the Lanna folklife museum is the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. Here you can learn about Thai customs and symbolism, in particular as it pertains to this area of Thailand.

Here is a closer look at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center.
Here is a closer look at the front entrance to the Old Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center with the Three Kings monument.

The three kings monument is dedicated to the three Laotian kings, King Mengrai who is believed to have founded Chiang Mai in the 1400’s and his friends King Ramkamhaeng of Sukothai and King Ngam Muang of Payao. Legend has it that the three kings worked together to lay out the city of Chiang Mai and also entered into a pact for the defense of the city. Here you can find out more about the last king of Laos.

A river runs through the city of Chiang Mai.
A river runs through the city of Chiang Mai.