Sunday, March 30, 2008

Singapore Flyer

IMG_0034, originally uploaded by airam94564.

This is the Singapore Flyer, that country's answer to the London Eye, I suppose.

Reaching 42 stories high, the Flyer comprises a 150-metre diameter wheel, built over a three-story terminal building, giving it a total height of 165 metres. This exceeds The Star of Nanchang by 5 metres and the London Eye by 30 metres. Each of the 28 air-conditioned capsules are capable of holding 28 passengers each, and a complete rotation of the wheel takes approximately 30 minutes

It opened on March 1, 2008 and I took this photo while on a 15-hour layover in Singapore on the way to Dhaka last January.

This begins my SINGAPORE series.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Friendly City

One misconception I had about Bangladesh (it being a Muslim country) was the strict sets of rules and regulations regarding clothing and how one behaves. But as you can see with these photos, teens go out with their "friends" and meet outside just like here in the states; that makes me smile.

And with these pictures, I end my Bangladesh series. I start a new set soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Street Food

A typical snack booth found on a "mela".
Their version of chips, crunchy and mild.
This is the spicy version.
Another booth selling some more of the same I suppoose except they also sell sweet stuff.
This guy gamely pose; he's selling some rice stuff with boiled egg and tomatoes, a full meal.
Looks good to eat; I didn't, but I was busy with their chips.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kids On Fence

IMG_0388, originally uploaded by airam94564.

The middle one is extremely friendly and ignores the fact that there is a language barrier between us. She can talk; I just wish I understood her.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sonargaon Entry

Sonargaon 4, originally uploaded by airam94564.

Here's a close-up of the doorway from the side view of this beautiful ruin.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Panam City

Panam City, originally uploaded by airam94564.

This is the side view of yesterday's post. This is where you can enter the ruins.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sonargaon/ Panam City

Sonargaon/ Panam City, originally uploaded by airam94564.

This is the ruins of the ancient Bengal capital at Sonargaon (Panam City).

Due to the many threats to preservation (including flooding and vandalism) that this culturally and historically significant city faces, the World Monuments Fund placed it on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world.

This is a very popular local destination for school children and group outings. Inside the compound of what is termed as Bangladesh Folk Arts and Crafts Foundation, these ruins greet you first, behind it is the museum and to the museum's right a little walk away is a "mela" or fair (outdoor market).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dhaka University

Dhaka University 1, originally uploaded by airam94564.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Ahsan-Manzil, originally uploaded by airam94564.

Ahsan-Manzil was the residential palace and seat of the Dhaka Nawab Family. It is now a museum and a popular tourist attraction.

Friday, March 14, 2008


FROM THE MARKER: The construction of this palace fortress was begun by Prince Azam, son of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1678 AD. But eventually its construction was abdoned by the Mughal Subadar Shaista Khan in 1684 AD. It accommodates within its partly fortified perimeter a two-storeyed elegant audience hall-cum Hammam, a tomb, a three-domed mosque, and a tank. In addition, there are three imposing gateways at different points of its surviving defence walls. Moreover, the walls on the south and west are provided with facetted bastions at intervals.

For more info check:

I erased the background on this one. There are buildings at the back.

This too I removed the background.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Resting Place

IMG_0528, originally uploaded by airam94564.

Here's my favorite ruin. It still amazes me how much these structures have eluded many photographers both professional and amateurs lenses. I have seen quite an extensive collection of Bangladesh pictures on trek earth dot com, but they did not include these ruins.

I wish that the government will put this on the heritage list, if it isnt there yet. I wish to explore and study these more next time; yeah if there is a next time.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ruins at Dhaka Christian Cemetery

Another hidden gem I discovered in the heart of Dhaka are these ruins dating back from 1600 and 1700. The tombs of English colonizers are made of clay and bricks mostly. I have seen one dating back in the 1700, but most of them no longer have their writings visible/clear. I have googled for information about these ruins but I am left unsuccessful. They have amazingly withstood all the harsh elements.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mouchouk Market

Mouchouk is Bangladeshi word for beehive. This market is apppropriately named since there is a buzz of activity here. I found stalls here equipped with stools where shoppers can sit while making selections. In this stall, we shopped for shawls (pronounced as shall in Bangla) for gifts.

Shopping for sari in this stall. After a long time of selecting, these two were my top choices. Here, shopkeepers unfolded the fabric for my SIL's close inspection. Would anybody hazard a guess which one I chose to present to my new found friend Nisha as a token of my gratitude for her kindness and friendship?

Now we talk about the price. Here we see my SIL being triple-teamed into submission. Unfortunately, these guys did not know her calibre. In the end we got the price we wanted (of course that is what the shopkeepers wanted us to believe). And the haggling here is done so loud that if you don't know what's going on you would think there is a fight going on.

Saris come in fancy fabrics. I mostly love the ones made in georgette. On the day of my departure, I was gifted with a marvelous silk sari by my boudi(big brother's wife). I wonder when I would get a chance to wear it. Maybe when I go back to Bangladesh.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Much Needed Sign

One of the things I learned in my brief stay in Dhaka is that no self respecting Bangladeshi man or woman would use a public restroom, because they are more often than not dirty to digusting. Hence, whenever we were about to leave the house, I get reminded more than once to use the bathroom at home.

A problem arose when we were scheduled for a day-long trip around the city with a first stop in Panam City (Sonargaon),the old Bangladeshi capital and ancient capital of the kingdom of Bengal. To my delight, I spotted this sign, for which I had one eye always scouring my surroundings for one all the time. So, I went and it was clean, contrary to what I was told, probably because this is where tourists go, both local and foreign. They were all what the Singaporeans call "squat toilets". On the way out, I was told that I had to pay, it was a paid toilet. No wonder it was clean.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Man VS Crow (Winter In Bangladesh)

A man in lungi is scoring the trunk of the date tree to gather syrup, which is Bangladesh version of maple syrup. Date syrup is also used to make molasses, which makes their pitha (rice cake) really tasty.

As soon as the man moves on to another tree, crows take his place in search of the sweet delight.