Friday, December 19, 2014

Essaouira - Morocco

Last month Brigitte travelled to Morocco and visited a few of the country's UNESCO sites, including Essaouira, one of my missing sites. We agreed on a swap and she sent me this nice card from there.

Situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Essaouira is the gateway to the deep south of Morocco renowned for the hospitality of its inhabitants, the mildness of its climate and its superb architecture.
Essaouira is an ancient historical city, founded in the 7th century BC, and has been inhabited by the Phoenicians, Berbers and Romans. In the 15th century under the rule of the Portuguese, it became an important trading post. The city was then named Mogador a name it retains to this day.

In 1764, Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah undertook the construction of a new harbor for European trade. A Frenchman, Théodore Carnut, was then commissioned to draw the plans of the city, using the fortified town of Saint Malo, in France, as a model. Thus, Essaouira is one of the few cities around the world, which was completely planned before its construction, which gave it the name of Es Saouira, the Well Drawn. The city later played an integral role as an international trade port with the rest of the world until the early 20th century.
The city amazes with its stunning architectural features, and multi faceted cultural influences. It is home to an incredible convergence of many cultures united in peace and facing the inspirational influence of the ocean.
Since 2001, UNESCO has listed the Medina of Essaouira as a World Heritage Travel Site. The Medina, in the heart of Essaouira is an eloquent testimony to its glorious past. - in: http://www.moroccotraveltours.com/morocco/essaouira

Tun Sakaran Park - Malaysia

An aerial view of the islands of Tun Sakaran Park. This marine park located off the east coast of the state of Sabah in Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. 
The card was sent by SL. 

Photograph © Michael Patrick Wong
The park comprises 8 islands, surrounding reefs and sea. The hills of Bodgaya and Bohey Dulang islands are all that remains of the rim of an ancient volcano. 
The park is a famous spot for divers and rich marine life may be found when diving in the park area. 

Nai Harn Beach - Thailand

This card was sent by the same postcrosser who sent me this chinese card, Yanzi. 

Photo by Somkiat Hansukklaw * © In4 World Media
Nai Harn is a very nice spotless beach, tucked between grassy hill  s and tiny islands on the rocky shores of Phuket's southernmost tip. 
The beach is powdery and almost white, the waters calm (at most times of the year) and crystal clear, and development on the beach itself is minimal. It is popular among expats and locals.
The protected bay offers great anchorage for sailing boats and luxury yachts.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bayon Temple - Cambodia

These two cards are both from Bayon Temple in Cambodia. The 1st was sent as an official from Indonesia and the 2nd was sent back in 2008 by Mian "so_blessed" from the Philippines. 

 ID-118232, sent by Arati.
"Bayon Temple is the spectacular central temple of the ancient city of Angkor Thom, which is located just to the north of the famous Angkor Wat in Angkor, Cambodia.
Angkor Thom was built as a square, the sides of which run exactly north to south and east to west. Standing in the exact center of the walled city, Bayon Temple represents the intersection of heaven and earth. Built around 1190 AD by King Jayavarman VII, Bayon is a Buddhist temple but it incorporates elements of Hindu cosmology.

Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point. The curious smiling image, thought by many to be a portrait of Jayavarman himself, has been dubbed by some the "Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia." There are 51 smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own.
Bayon Temple is surrounded by two long walls bearing an extraordinary collection of bas-relief scenes of legendary and historical events. In all, there are are total of more than 11,000 carved figures over 1.2km of wall. They were probably originally painted and gilded, but this has long since faded." - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/cambodia/bayon-temple.htm

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Memorial Hall - Taiwan

Another card from Taiwan but this one was in my favorites. It was sent by Ying Sui.

© Nisan International Co., Ltd. All rights reserved
This is the main entrance gate to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial in Taipei. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TW-1413704

An official from Taiwan with the most famous of the many rock formations at Yehliu Cape, in the town of Wanli. This cape is mainly composed of sedimentary rocks; the formation of sea bays is due to the impact of sea erosion on softer rock layers, while those hard and solid ones may therefore turn into sea capes eventually. 

Photo by Yuyen
TW-1413704, sent by Sharon. 
Yehliu's trademark Queen's Head is an example of a mushroom rock. As the Earth's crust rises in the vicinity of Taiwan, differential erosion by the sea has shaped the rocks around Yehliu into their current forms. An estimate made on the basis of the average rise in the Earth's crust in northern Taiwan suggests that the Queen's Head is nearly 4,000 years old. After it fractured along the grain of the rock in 1962, it has resembled the profile of England's Queen Elizabeth when viewed from a certain angle, which is how it has come to be called the Queen's Head.
Thanks to its unique shape, the Queen's Head has become a Yehliu landmark, but it has also suffered the ill effects of its great fame. Apart from the erosive forces of wind, sun, and rain, visitors' inappropriate behavior has also accelerated the rate of erosion. According to 2008 measurements, the neck of the rock formation is only 138 cm in circumference at its narrowest point. - in: http://www.taiwan.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=36885&CtNode=2200&mp=1006

Sunday, December 14, 2014

HK-286501

A chinese dragon from Hong Kong. 

HK-286501, sent by Karen.
Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in chinese mythology and folklore. In chinese art, dragons are typically portrayed as long, sclaed, serpentine creatures with four legs. Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength and good luck. With this, the Emeperor of China usually uses the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power.