Sunday, March 29, 2009

Koh Yao, Thailand, Putting Things In Perspective

Ko Yao (Thai: เกาะยาว) is a district (Amphoe)
Ko Yao (เกาะยาว), sometimes written Koyao, is a group of islands between Phuket and Krabi. There are two main islands, Ko Yao Noi ("Small Long Island") and Ko Yao Yai, with Noi being the more developed of the two.


Ko Yao Noi remains a beautiful island, where most people still believe that the island should be preserved from human degradation.

Sea Gypsies (Moken people) were inhabiting the Bay before anybody else, except maybe other nomadic people like forest hunters and collectors (Sakai, Negritos). The 3,500 or so inhabitants of Koh Yao Noi are thought to be recent migrants from the Malay Peninsula (Satun, Trang).

The Mon population, linguistically and culturally belonging to the Khmer ethnolinguistic group, did settled in peninsular Thailand since ever, ruling maritime states like the one of Ligor (Nakhon Si Thammarat). They melt continuously with Southern migrants from Malaysia and with Northern rulers (Thai), over centuries of commercial exchanges and political conflicts. Most probably the Mon stock remains prevalent for most of the people living nowadays in Southern Thailand, including people of Koh Yao.

Numerous cave paintings hidden in the many islands of the bay, extending from 2000 years ago to last century, attest the influence of distinct communities in the emergence of a mixed origin population, living now in the provinces of Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi and Satun.

The most recent migrations (17th-18th century) from Satun and Trang to Ko Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi is attested by the fact that the particular dialect spoken on the island still bear obvious Malaysian lexical traces, particularely regarding toponyms and vernacular names of the flora species.

The main industries on the island are fishing and rubber planting. A little rice farming and some fruit, palm and coconut plantations are evident. Boat building and farming techniques here have been passed from father to son and, while some of the youngsters leave Ko Yao to seek the bright lights of Phuket, most return to their tight knit community

more in wikipedia


"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler



Digg!






Friday, March 27, 2009

up to Himalayas...


Anthony Bourdain discusses life as a television host in the Himalayas while suffering from lack of oxygen. This is the extended cut that you won't see in the final show.



Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations premieres Monday, July 30th at 10PM E/P on Travel Channel.
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler



Digg!






Thursday, March 26, 2009

Koh Phi Phi Don islands, Thailand.

a Water Magnet,

The Phi Phi Islands (Thai: หมู่เกาะพีพี) are located in Thailand, between the large island of Phuket and the western Andaman Sea coast of the mainland. Phi Phi Don, the larger and principal of the two Phi Phi islands, is located at [show location on an interactive map] 7°44′00″N, 98°46′00″E. Both Phi Phi Don, and Phi Phi Leh, the smaller, are administratively part of Krabi province, most of which is on the mainland, and is located at [show location on an interactive map] 8°02′30″N, 98°48′39″E.

Ko Phi Phi Don ("ko" (Thai: เกาะ) meaning "island" in the Thai language) is the largest island of the group, and is the only island with permanent inhabitants, although the beaches of the second largest island, Ko Phi Phi Lee (or "Ko Phi Phi Leh"), are visited by many people as well. There are no accommodation facilities on this island, but it is just a short boat ride from Ko Phi Phi Don. The rest of the islands in the group, including Bida Nok, Bida Noi, and Bamboo Island, are not much more than large limestone rocks jutting out of the sea.

Phi Phi Don was initially populated by Muslim fishermen during the late 1940s, and later became a coconut plantation. The Thai population of Phi Phi Don remains more than 80% Muslim.But the actual population if counting laborers, especially from the north-east, from the mainland is much more Buddhist these days.

Ko Phi Phi Leh was the backdrop for the 2000 movie The Beach. Phi Phi Leh also houses the 'Viking Cave', from which there is a thriving bird's nest soup industry. There was criticism during filming of 'The Beach' that the permission granted to the film company to physically alter the environment inside Phi Phi Islands National Park was illegal. [1] The controversy cooled down however, when it was discovered that the producers had done such a decent job of restoring the place that it finally looked better than it had done before.

Following the release of The Beach, tourism on Phi Phi Don increased dramatically, and with it the population of the island. Many buildings were constructed without planning permission.[citation needed]

Ko Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, when nearly all of the island's infrastructure was wiped out. Redevelopment has, however, been swift, and services like electricity, water, Internet access and ATMs are up and running again, but waste handling has been slower to come back online.

from: Wikipedia



"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler



Digg!






Sunday, March 22, 2009

Scotland, UK a Frozen Corona


Frozen Corona, originally uploaded by antsplan.

Partialy frozen circles of ice surrounded by a completley frozen loch in Highlands, Scotland.

This was an 8 mile hike wih my mate David to get this shot and it was worth every bit of effort. It was brutally cold and my fingers and toes ceased to feel about half way in. We sheltered from the wind and had a bit of food in an old hut by the side of the loch. The food tasted great...

It was actually a pleasure just to see this phenomena with my own eyes and the cherry on top just to get a shot. I'd have loved for the bottom part of the frame to have been out of shadow but as David said, "the big guy controlling the lights just wasn't playing ball"

Crackin' day out. This for me is what photography is all about, experience, feel, live it first, the shot comes second (well sometimes ;-) )

a great photo and a great quote


"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler



Digg!






Saturday, March 21, 2009

Castle of Platamonas, Thessaly, Greece


Castle of Platamonas, originally uploaded by maksid.

The Byzantine Castle of Platamonas (platamonas = a long beach) is located in the southern part of Pieria, on the side of the national motorway, on the top of a small hill by the sea.
It is built at a key-position, jist opposite the "passage" of the Valley of Tempi, which has connected Thessaly to Pieria since the remote antiquity.
It has been supported reasonably that the city Heraclia or Heraclion which was probably built in the 5th century BC, was located in exactly the same place. The castle -its greatest part at least- was built by the Franc king of Thessaloniki, Bonifacius e Monferèt, in 1205, upon a Byzantine castle that had previously existed there, as parts of its castle walls -dating from the 6th, 9th and 10th centuries- confirm.
During the years 1218-1224 AD, the castle was seized by the Duke of Hepirus, Angelos Komninos, who gave an end to the Franc Occupation in Thessaloniki in 1224 naming this city the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

The Castle of Platamonas was conquered -about in 1389- by the Turks, who, thus, could have the overall control over the "passage" of the Valley of Tempi, leading to Southern Greece. Later on, nevertheless, while Mourat was encirclinf the Bay of Thermaikos, the Venetians took over the administration of Thessaloniki in 1423. The castle of Platamonas was fortified, then, on a parallel with the fortification of Cassandra, Chalkidiki, so that control over the entire Bay of Thermaikos would by possible.

During the years of the Turkish Occupation, the Castle of Platamonas was considerably fortified very early, owing to its strategic position and the commencement of the nationalistic liberating movements and recolutions taken up by the Greeks, the epicentre of which uprisings being the Olympus.
Even more, Captain Lazos' -coming from the district of Olympus- son, John, managed to conquer the castle after a row of tremendous battles against its Albanian defenders.

When, later on, Southern Greece was liberated and Thessaly was attached to it (1881), the Castle of Platamonas at the Greek-Turkish of that time, regained a new and consederable significance for the Turks.
Nevertheless, it was abandoned afterwards as its defence would be of no avail to the conquerors.

Pictures of Platamonas' Castle 
Archaeology - Monuments

Castillo Wulff, Chile



Atardecer en el Castillo Wulff, originally uploaded by B'Rob.
Centenary Castle Wulff of Viña del Mar is always a good subject for photography. It caught me composition of this late afternoon. I really love this place.

For this residence construction in above mentioned place Wulff had to request a special law that was allowing its constructuin since sea shores belong to Chile State. Areas were acquired by Wulff in 1904, taking effect construction of this chalet between 1905 and 1906 giving end to the building in 1906.

Naval Museum occupied these dependences until ends of 1990 decade, when it is implemented there the Sea Culture Museum.

Castle remains uninhabited a brief time until Municipality recovers it and at present, its spaces have given content to Local Municipality Patrimony Unit.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA



Rust and Surf # 2, originally uploaded by PatrickSmithPhotography.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay onto the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County.
The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed during the year 1937, and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California. Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. It still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. In 2007, it was ranked fifth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

Nervi, Riviera Levante, Italy

Nervi is a former fishing village , now a seaside resort in Liguria, in northwest Italy. Once an independent comune, it is now a quartiere of Genoa. 

Nervi is 7km east of central Genoa.
Located 25 meters above sea level, Nervi is the oldest winter resort on the Riviera di Levante, the part of the Italian Riviera east of Genoa. 

At the beginning of the century, it's mentioned as being surrounded with groves of olives, oranges and lemons, and beautiful gardened villas. The climate is moist and less dusty than the Riviera di Ponente, the part of the Italian Riviera west of Genoa, and is especially in favor with those who suffer from lung complaints.

from wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nervi

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cultural aspects of the March Equinox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


  • The Persian new year, Nowruz, is held annually on the vernal equinox, as the beginning of spring.
  • Wiccans and Neopagans celebrate the Sabbats of Ostara on the spring equinox, and Mabon on the autumnal equinox.
  • The September equinox marks the first day of Mehr or Libra in the Persian calendar. It is one of the Iranian festivals called Jashne Mihragan, or the festival of sharing or love in Zoroastrianism.
  • Sham El Nessim was an ancient Egyptian holiday which can be traced back as far as 2700 B.C. It is still one of the public holidays in Egypt. Sometime during Egypt's Christian period (c. 200-639) the date moved to Easter Monday, but before then it coincided with the vernal equinox.
  • The Jewish Passover usually falls on the first full moon after the Northern Hemisphere vernal equinox, although occasionally (4 or 5 times every 19 years) it will occur on the second full moon.
  • The Christian churches calculate Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox. The official church definition for the equinox is March 21; however, as the Eastern Orthodox Churches use the older Julian calendar, while the Western Churches use the Gregorian calendar, both of which designate March 21 as the equinox, the actual date of Easter differs. The earliest possible Easter date in any year is therefore March 22 on each calendar.
  • The March equinox marks the first day of various calendars including the Iranian calendar and the Bahá'í calendar. The Persian (Iranian) festival ofNowruz is celebrated then. According to the ancient Persian mythology Jamshid, the mythological king of Persia, ascended to the throne on this day and each year this is commemorated with festivities for two weeks. These festivities recall the story of creation and the ancient cosmology of Iranian and Persian people. It is also a holiday for Azerbaijan,Afghanistan, India, TurkeyZanzibarAlbania, and various countries of Central Asia, as well as among the Kurds. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday, it is also a holy day for adherents of the Bahá'í Faith and the Nizari Ismaili Muslims.
  • The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms (節氣, literally "climatic segments"), and the vernal equinox (ChūnfēnChinese and Japanese: 春分; Korean춘분;VietnameseXuân phân) and the autumnal equinox (QiūfēnChinese and Japanese: 秋分; Korean추분VietnameseThu phân) mark the middle of the spring and autumn seasons, respectively. In this context, the Chinese character 分 means "(equal) division" (within a season).
  • In Japan, (March) Vernal Equinox Day (春分の日 Shunbun no hi) is an official national holiday, and is spent visiting family graves and holding family reunions. Similarly, in September, there is an Autumnal Equinox Day (秋分の日 Shūbun no hi).
  • The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, oftentimes near the autumnal equinox day, and is an official holiday in many East Asian countries. As the lunar calendar is not synchronous with the Gregorian calendar, this date could be anywhere from mid-September to early October.
  • Tamil and Bengali New Years follow the Hindu zodiac and are celebrated according to the sidereal vernal equinox (April 14). The former is celebrated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and the latter in Bangladesh and the East Indian state of West Bengal.
  • In many Arab countries, Mother's Day is celebrated on the March equinox.
  • The harvest festival in the United Kingdom is celebrated on the Sunday of the full moon closest to the September equinox.
  • Modern innovations:
    • The September equinox was "New Year's Day" in the French Republican Calendar, which was in use from 1793 to 1805. The French First Republic was proclaimed and the French monarchy was abolished on September 21, 1792, making the following day (the equinox day that year) the first day of the "Republican Era" in France. The start of every year was to be determined by astronomical calculation, (that is: following the real Sun and not the mean Sun as all other calendars).
    • World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling, celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn equinox in the southern.
    • World Citizen Day occurs on the March equinox. 
    • Earth Day was initially celebrated on March 21, 1970, the equinox day. It is currently celebrated in various countries on April 22.

Myths, fables and facts

  • For a Latin word like nox the plural is noctēs. Although this root is retained in English in the adjectiveequinoctial — it is not commonly used for the plural, which is equinoxes, rather than equinoctes.
  • One effect of equinoctial periods is the temporary disruption of communications satellites. For all geostationary satellites, there are a few days near the equinox when the sun goes directly behind the satellite relative to Earth (i.e. within the beamwidth of the groundstation antenna) for a short period each day. The Sun's immense power and broad radiation spectrum overload the Earth station's reception circuits with noise and, depending on antenna size and other factors, temporarily disrupt or degrade the circuit. The duration of those effects varies but can range from a few minutes to an hour. (For a given frequency band, a larger antenna has a narrower beamwidth, hence experiences shorter duration "Sun outage" windows).
  • A modern folk-notion[clarification needed] claims that on the March equinox day (some may also include the September equinox day rather than leaving it out), one can balance an egg on its point.[5][6] However, one can balance an egg on its point any day of the year...if one has enough patience.[7]
  • Although the word equinox is often understood to mean "equal [day and] night," as is noted elsewhere, this is not strictly true. For most locations on earth, there are two distinct identifiable days per year when the length of day and night are closest to being equal; those days are commonly referred to as the "equiluxes" to distinguish them from the equinoxes. Equinoxes are points in time, but equiluxes are days. By convention, equiluxes are the days where sunrise and sunset are closest to being exactly 12 hours apart. This way, you can refer to a single date as being the equilux, when in reality, it spans from sunset on one day to sunset the next, or sunrise on one to sunrise the next.
  • What is true about the equinoxes is that two observers at the same distance north and south of the equator will experience nights of equal length.
  • The equilux counts times when some direct sunlight could be visible, rather than all hours of usable daylight (which is any time when there is enough natural light to do outdoor activities without needing artificial light). This is due to twilight; a particular type of twilight which is officially defined as civil twilight. This amount of twilight can result in more than 12 hours of usable daylight up to a few weeks before the spring equinox, and up to a few weeks after the fall equinox.
  • In a contrary vein, the daylight which is useful for illuminating houses and buildings during the daytime and is needed to produce the full psychological benefit of daylight, is shorter than the nominal time between sunrise and sunset. So in that sense, "useful" daylight is present for 12 hours only after the vernal equinox and before the autumnal equinox, because the intensity of light near sunrise and sunset, even with the sun slightly above the horizon, is considerably less than when the sun is high in the sky.
  • It is perhaps valuable for people in the Americas and Asia to know that the equinoxes listed as occurring on March 21, which occurred frequently in the 20th century and which will occur occasionally in the 21st century, are presented as such using UTC, which is at least four hours in advance of any clock in the Americas and as much as twelve hours behind Asian clocks. Thus, there will be no spring equinox later than March 20 in the Americas in the coming century.


"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler




Digg!





Google+ Followers

readers

labels and tags