🏛️ Architecture Marvels

Chateau of Cheverny 🏰 🇫🇷

A magical place which enchants visitors of all ages. The Château de Cheverny is a grand estate which has been in the same family for over six centuries. Cheverny has always been lived in and every generation has made a great effort to take care and embellish it with a true passion. In 1922 it was one of the first private homes to open its doors to the public.

We appreciate the splendour and delight of real life in a castle. The owners invited us to discover this fantastic and vivid heritage: from the botanical park to the magnificent interior of the Château; the hunting dog kennels to Tintin’s exhibition and the gardens through to the forest.

The Château de Chenonceau is a French château spanning the River Cher, near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. It is one of the best-known châteaux of the Loire valley.

The estate of Chenonceau is first mentioned in writing in the 11th century. Chenonceau castle is well furnished with Renaissance furniture, a good collection of 16th and 17th century tapestries and a great number of masterpieces. 

The bedrooms of the ladies of the chateau, who played major roles in the history of Chenonceau are the most exquisite. Paintings by Le Primatice, Rubens, Le Tintoret, Rigaud, Nattier are among the most famous names that can be found here.

Chateau d'Artigny 🏰 🇫🇷

Chateau D’Artigny is an 18th century-style château located in the heart of the Loire Valley, 15 km from Tours. It offers luxury 5-star accommodation with a spa, pool and gastronomic restaurant. The current structure was built between 1912 and 1928 to serve as residence to perfumer François Coty.

As we rented our own car in order to drive to this Chateau, we found ourselves driving in the night through a dark forest with tree branches joining above us to form a tunnel like passageway, there were no street lamps and no moon light as soon as we drove into the forest we could only see our car headlight infront with complete pitch darkness in the rear view mirror, it was a scary experience and we were so happy when we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel and it was breath-taking to see the Chateau light up with purple and yellow lights.

Château de Chambord 🏰 🇫🇷

The Château de Chambord in Chambord, Centre-Val de Loire, France, is one of the most recognisable châteaux in the world because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures.

While the chateau’s immensity, facade and estate are enough to impress, its main attraction could very well be its central staircase. Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, the brilliant inventor, the Chambord staircase features a design concept that was unique at the time: two spirals that intertwine, giving outside observers the impression of a single structure. And yet anyone who has climbed the stairs can attest that it is possible to reach the next floor without crossing paths with another person who is walking at the exact same pace: at best, they may glimpse one another through the slits carved into the inner side of the staircase.

Step into awe at CHIJMES Hall, filled with unique charm and ambience. An exquisitely restored early Gothic styled 19th Century chapel with intricate design and detail, it’s the perfect location to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Boasting enviable high ceilings and detailed stained glass windows, the chapel’s columns and corridors also bear lovely motifs of flowers and birds – all adding to its lasting allure. Gazetted as a National Monument in 1990, CHIJMES Hall is indeed a stunning venue in the heart of the city.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel 🏨 🇸🇬

Marina Bay Sands is a destination for those who appreciate luxury. An integrated resort notable for transforming Singapore’s city skyline, it comprises three 55-storey towers of extravagant hotel rooms and luxury suites with personal butler services. In addition, its architecture is made complete with the Sands SkyPark which crowns the three towers.

At the Sands SkyPark be prepared to be wowed by the 360-degree views on the observation deck. As hotel guests, we really enjoyed the breath-taking experience of swimming in the infinity-edged swimming pool overlooking the horizon. Diving into the pool before dusk and witness the picturesque view of the sunset from the pool’s edge, 200 metres in the sky.

Shanghai Tower, China🗼🇨🇳

Shanghai Tower is a 632-metre, 128-story megatall skyscraper in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai. It is the world’s second-tallest building by height to architectural top and it shares the record of having the world’s highest observation deck within a building or structure at 562 m. We had afternoon tea at The Ritz Carlton with a great view of the Shanghai Tower. 

Taipei 101🗼🇹🇼

With a height of 1667 feet or 508 meters, Taipei 101 has the distinction of being the third tallest building in the world, and tallest outside the Middle East.

Its spire adds to its height, and the total makes it higher than the Kuala Lumpur Petronas Twin Towers. The name, Taipei 101, is derived from the fact that the building encompasses 101 floors.

We had a delightful afternoon tea at The Ritz Carlton Hotel which was in perfect view of Taipei 101 building in the background and Gem really loved the food.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall 🏫 🇻🇳

Ho Chi Minh City Hall, officially called the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Head Office is the city hall of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The hall was built in 1902–1908 in a French colonial style. Since 1975, the building has housed the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. 

Although the building is not open to the public, it is popular for its photo opportunities. Tourists can take photographs outside and many people choose to do this at night when the building and its grounds are lit up.

🪣 Family Bucket List

👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 Family Bucket List

#1 Wedding Chijmes Singapore 🇸🇬

#2 Tiger Encounter 🐅 Thailand 🇹🇭

#3 Pagoda 🛕 Myanmar 🇲🇲

#3 Castle Sleepover 🏰 France 🇫🇷

#4 Honeymoon France 🇫🇷 Italy 🇮🇹

#5 Mount Fuji 🏔️ Japan 🇯🇵

#6 Design Family Home 🏠👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

#7 Sleeping with Beluga 🐋 Taiwan 🇹🇼

#8 Cherry Blossoms 🌸 Japan 🇯🇵

#9 Sailing ⛵ Australia 🇦🇺

#10 Satorini ⛪ Greece 🇬🇷

#11 Bday Surprise 🎁 Singapore 🇸🇬

#12 Bring Parents Holiday ✈️

#13 Northern Light Iceland 🇮🇸

#14 Snow Skiing ⛷️ China 🇨🇳

🐨 Wildlife Encounters

Nara Park 🇯🇵 🦌

According to Shinto tradition and lore, Nara deer were the sacred messengers of the gods, such that, in ancient times, killing a deer in Nara was a crime punishable by death. These days the deer are no longer considered sacred, but to honor tradition they’re considered national treasures, which is why we can see them roaming in Nara Park.

In fact, that’s why the park is sometimes called Nara deer park or Japan’s deer forest; it’s easily the area’s most defining feature. Today, there are over 1,200 deer in Nara Park, which is located in Nara, in Japan’s Kansai region. These deer are called sika, which is derived from the Japanese word for deer: shika

Osaka Tempozan Anipa 🇯🇵 🦉

Tempozan Anipa is an animal cafe where you get to pet lots of animals. There are many animals in this small place, alpacas, capybaras, kangaroos, tortoises, dogs, cats, birds and many small animals.

It was our first time seeing capybaras and getting to touch them. The kangaroos were slightly scary but they weren’t the adult size. The alpaca was super cute.

Rottnest Island Smiling Quokka 🇦🇺 🦫

The Quokka is the only mammal which is native to Rottnest Island and can be found almost everywhere on the Island. It is mainly nocturnal. This means that it is mostly active at night, preferring to rest or sleep in the shade during the day.

The Quokka bounds and hops along the ground although it can climb trees if it needs to. It will sit on its hind legs to look around and will also use its front paws to search for and pick up food. They have become one of the main tourist attractions of Rottnest Island because they have a cute appearance and are easy to see.

Elephant Trekking 🇹🇭 🐘

Elephant Sanctuaries in Phuket have rapidly become very popular as the attitude towards animal-based attractions changes. The emphasis at these camps is on ethical, animal-friendly interaction with these majestic creatures, many of whom have been rescued or retired from the local logging and elephant trekking industries.

The welfare of the residents is often the first priority of such places. We learn far more about the gentle giants than we would from a short ride on their back, and both us and the elephants are far more likely to have a fun time together.

Sea World Gold Coast 🇦🇺 🐬

Sea World is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and theme park located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It includes rides, animal exhibits and other attractions, and it promotes conservation through education and the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. 

There are many land and water based animal adventures on offer at Sea World that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Make memories you’ll cherish forever with one of the many exclusive experiences on offer. Get up close and personal with our seals, dolphins, penguins plus much more! 

Tiger Kingdom 🇹🇭 🐅

The draw of getting to see a live tiger up close and person is easily understood. There is nothing more beautiful than the sight of these gorgeous big cats in the wild. While we may love our house cats, there is something about how exotic and different their much larger, wild counterparts are that entices us to want to see them for ourselves. 

Tiger Kingdom Phuket is a once in a lifetime experience where we get to meet, play, and have our photo taken with tigers! Watch the tigers as we kick back with some food and drink from top-quality restaurant. We sure had a very memorable experience!

Koala Experience 🇦🇺 🐨

Get up close and personal to one of Australia’s biggest icons. We got the opportunity to learn about the koala’s features, habitat, reproduction, gum species preferences and other quirky little facts about these gorgeous critters.

Meet some of the koala families inside their Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary homes. At the completion of our experience we got to will hold one of everyone’s favourite little Aussie legends whilst having a professional photograph to capture our experience.

Burmese Python 🇹🇭 🐍

Up close and personal photograph with a tamed Burmese python. Burmese pythons, with their beautifully patterned skin, rapid growth rate, and generally docile disposition, may be best known as the large snake of choice among reptile owners. 

Burmese pythons are best known for the way they catch and eat their food. The snake uses its sharp rearward-pointing teeth to seize prey, and then coils its body around the animal, squeezing a little tighter with each exhale until the animal suffocates. Stretchy ligaments in their jaws allow them to swallow animals up to five times as wide as their head!

🏖️ Beach Getaways

Qixingtan Beach Hualien ⛰️ 🇹🇼

Located at the north end of Hualien City, Qixingtan Beach (七星潭) is one of the most beautiful beaches in Taiwan. Picturing our ideal beach setting and Qixingtan would probably be it. The beautiful blue sky meets an endless Pacific expanse. The shore is bespeckled with white and black gravel that is smooth to the touch. A canopy of clouds seems to crown the mountains that embrace the coastline. This is the kind of beach that might be listed as one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Though largely a secret to the outside world, Qixingtan’s scenery is famous among the Taiwanese. 

In the daytime, the Qingshui cliffs (清水斷崖) can be seen in the distance. In the evening, the beach serves as an ideal spot for stargazing. As we’re sitting there, we heard thunderous roar from behind and were startled, just looking to the sky we caught sight of an F-16 fighter jet taking off from the nearby Hualien Air Force Base. 

This beautiful snow-white beach is made up of billions of tiny shells up to 10 metres deep and stretching for over 70 kilometres. There is no sand, only shells!

On a still day, the ocean at Shell Beach transforms into a palette of the most intense greens and blues – and the water is very salty (hypersaline), making it easy to float even though we aren’t strong swimmers – similar to the Dead Sea in Jordan. 

Ayana Resort & Spa, Bali 🏖️ 🇮🇩

AYANA’s Kubu private white sand beach is the perfect place to unwind, away from day-to-day crowds. Ayana Resort & Spa is an upscale 5-star oceanfront retreat with elegant rooms, suites & villas, plus 9 restaurants & 4 pools.

Exclusively for in-house guests, Rock Bar is a world-famous and most exclusive bar offers 360 degrees of sheer glamour, on the rocks. Situated on natural rocks, 45 feet above the Indian Ocean at the base of AYANA’s towering cliffs, this innovative open-air bar is Bali’s chicest sunset destination.

Nirwana Resort Hotel, Bintan 🛶 🇮🇩

Situated on the water’s edge of Indonesia’s Bintan island, Nirwana Beach Club is the ultimate rustic beachfront hideaway. Indulge in a variety of water sports, nature and the timeless traditions of a village-style living. Feeling our spirits lifted amidst the spacious thatched-roof chalets, sunny beaches and a blue ocean, savouring relaxation and a boundless choice of tropical activities.

We stayed at Nirwana Resort Hotel 4-star accommodation which has 242 guestrooms, all with a sweeping sea, pool or garden views. Full modern amenities and facilities were made available to us and an ensemble of restaurants and bars to satisfy our taste buds.

An award-winning 5-star family resort, Montigo Resorts Nongsa is a perfect gateway destination for all travelers. It is only 30 minutes from Singapore by private Montigo Yacht Transfer or ferry. Situated on Batam Island’s exclusive northeastern coast, all villas are spacious and feature panoramic views of the beautiful sea.

The resort is in close proximity to world class golf courses and allowed us to enjoy many activities including water sports, village treks, cycling tours, and mangrove fishing.

There are TADD’s Restaurant serving local cuisine and Panitai Restaurant serving fresh seafood, along with private in-villa dining or sky terrace barbeques. Plus, the Montigo Spa, cooking classes, and OLO Kid’s Club are all provided to fulfill our stay.

The Edge Bali Villa ⛰️ 🇮🇩

Experience tranquillity, luxury, and impeccable service at The edge. Nestled upon a clifftop in Uluwatu, Bali with breathtaking views of the ocean, this is your chance to enjoy an unforgettable romantic getaway or family holiday.

Sophistication, elegance, and tranquillity all wrapped into one. oneeighty is our day club which features a breathtaking glass-bottom sky pool overhanging the ocean, along with a sunbed area and enclosed bar. The menu offers classic beachside food which you can enjoy amongst the swaying palm trees, and at 5 pm the ambience changes with chilled music and your favourite cocktails made by our all-star mixologists.

Mia Resort Private Beach 🏖️ 🇻🇳

Wake up to the ultimate in luxury and comfort! Blend of a contemporary lifestyle, superb cuisine and staff that will exceed all expectations. Mia is a contempory boutique resort that will provide a relaxing, unique getaway experience – truly your home away from home.

Mia takes its name from the Vietnamese word meaning sugar cane, a fitting choice given the emphasis placed on keeping the resort ‘green’ in every sense, both in appearance and with the application of environmental principles.

Set within beautiful manicured gardens on Mia Resort’s private beach boast three world class restaurants, offering a variety of Vietnamese and International cuisine.

With the highest of standards in every aspect, meals and drinks at Sandals Restaurant, La Baia Italian Restaurant and Mojito’s Tapas & Cocktail Bar are an experience in themselves, so expect your taste buds to be dazzled!

Treasure's Bay Lagoon, Bintan 🏖️ 🇮🇩

Treasure Bay Bintan’s Crystal Lagoon is South-East Asia’s first man-made seawater lagoon at 6.3 hectares. Here, we discovered an extensive range of recreational and sporting activities suitable for all ages from dawn till dusk and Gem’s first experience with canoeing.

The lagoon’s specially filtered seawater is delicate on the skin and provide perfect water conditions all year round. Future development surrounding the lagoon promises a vibrant and exciting host of dining, spa, retail, entertainment and night-life options catering to all our holiday needs and desires.

⛷️ Adventure Seeker

Lancelin Sand Dunes 🏂 🇦🇺

Lancelin has become one of Australia’s premier sandboarding destinations. Featuring pure white sand dunes, over three stories high, with free entry, the Lancelin sand dunes are must on our Western Australian adventure. Whether our intentions is to get an adrenaline rush of sandboarding, quad-biking or 4 wheel driving, the Lancelin Dunes is where the fun happens.

Yacht Sailing Experience ⛵ 🇦🇺

We stayed the night on a yacht parked in one of Perth’s yacht club and sailed our way to Frementle Harbour Port.

No visit to Australia will be complete without an early morning trip to its famous seafood markets, where the freshest catch of the day caught by fishermen in the wee hours of the morning can be seen, bought, and if we choose, eaten at restaurants located right by the jetty.

And it is the vibrancy of this experience that Fremantle Seafood Market has captured, transporting diners to the sights and sounds of dining in Perth’s famed Fremantle harbour port.

The USS Liberty Wreck is the most famous dive site in Bali. It is also one of the best sunken ship wrecks in the world! When I arrive in Bali, I absolutely have to dive here!

The liberty ship was hit by a Japanese torpedo then was beached near Tulamben. In 1963, the eruption of Mount Agung caused the vessel to slip off the beach, and it now lies on a sand slope in 9 to 30 m of water.

The wreck is about 130 m long with the shallowest part at about 5 m deep and the deepest on the other side of the wreck at about 30 m deep.

Bali Swing 🍃 🇮🇩

Have you ever swing over the abyss? Bali Swing have 12 single swings ranging from 10m to 78m, 9 cute nests, helicopter and heart rock in the jungle and huge stone over the edge above the valley with an amazing view on the canyon and waterfall.

Swinging time is not limited and amount of use neither. Experience thrilling feelings, adrenaline rush, unforgettable experiences and unique pictures. 

Dee Doke Waterfall 🌊 🇲🇲

Dee Doke Waterfall aka Dee Dote is a hidden gem located high in the mountains just outside of Mandalay City, Myanmar. Get off the beaten Myanmar route and take the time to visit Dee Doke Waterfall and the incredible blue lagoons for I guarantee it won’t disappoint!

There is no bus to go to Dee Dote Waterfall, so you need to hire a motorbike taxi or rental motorbike. The waterfall is located in the mountain, so you have to take a hike in the mountain for 30 mins from the parking pool and entrance.

Snow Skiing ⛷️ 🇨🇳

Emei Mountain Ski Resort is one of the most popular ski destinations in China. It is located at an altitude of 2500 meters and has favorable snow conditions. The Mountain itself is one of the four popular Buddha Mountains in the country and is well known for its Buddhism culture and natural beauty.

The skiing area at Emei Mountain Ski Resort has been separated into various different categories based on skill levels so visitors can ensure their safety. For beginners there is a gently sloped, large ramp as well as a very large snow sculpting and snowfall casting area for children. There is also a team of professional ski instructors that provide skiing lessons for all age and skill levels.

RipCord by iFLY 🚢

The wind in your face, no ground beneath your feet and the adrenaline pumping as you float weightless in the air – there’s no rush in the world like skydiving. On the RipCord by iFLY simulator you can feel the freedom of freefall without even leaving the deck.

Time to let your spirit soar. Must be 3 years old, weight less than 103 kg if shorter than 6’ or less than 93 kg if 6’ and taller. Gem was super excited to have her first iFly experience and she was a bit shy as her coach was quite good looking.

🚢 Royal Caribbean

Quantum of the Seas 🚢

The first of its class, Quantum of the Seas is a groundbreaking ship filled with revolutionary feats from bow to stern. Think show-stopping entertainment that blends art and music with cutting-edge technology. Thrilling activities our whole family can enjoy in any weather. And unparalleled views from every room — even Interior staterooms let’s us scope out the sights in real-time from a Virtual Balcony. This ship is our ticket to the ultimate ocean getaway, where every day onboard is unforgettable.

Every show onboard Quantum of the Seas is designed to dazzle. The original production Starwaterdives into the nature of human emotion in a groundbreaking fusion of live performance and technology. And in Sonic Odyssey, music, performance, art and innovation combine to deliver one immersive onstage experience.  

Ovation of the Seas 🚢

Explore new, captivating shores onboard Ovation of the Seas, one of the boldest ships in the fleet. Scope out the scenery from the unrivalled perspective of North Star – the highest vantage point on any cruise ship. As we were craving high-end eats, Ovation of the Seas hits all the high notes. Dining that takes us from the Far East at Izumi, down the rabbit hole at Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine. 

Settling in for edge-of-our-seat entertainment, game-changing family fun in any climate and breathtaking vistas from every stateroom. Hang ten on FlowRider, suit up for ahh-some thrills on the iFLY and experience the North Star for revealing 360-degree views.

Wonderland Restaurant 🍽️

Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine is all about pushing the culinary envelope. Dishes are designed to tantalize your taste buds and present a visual feast. Find crispy crab cones topped with fluffy avocado mousse, gazpacho served with pepper spheres and bread foam, and dreamy desserts that will take your breath away. Pair your meal with cocktails described as “magical” elixirs crafted to deliver full-sensory experiences.

Once you “brush” the menu at Wonderland, you’ll get to choose dishes based on five natural elements — Earth, Sea, Fire, Ice and Sun. If you love spice and smoky flavors, opt for something from the Fire section, like the Buffalo chicken eggs or the crispy Shrimp kataifi with scotch bonnet pepper. 

Chop Grille Chef's Table 🥂

If you enjoy gourmet fare paired with the finest of wines, then dining at Chef’s Table is an absolute must. Located in an intimate, exclusive enclave within Chops Grille, this private epicurean experience treats you to a five-course, upgraded steakhouse menu and wine tasting. A sommelier pairs every course with wine chosen to enhance your enjoyment of the dish. Showcasing the very best of their culinary offerings, this is a once-in-a-lifetime dining opportunity.

Even though we may have entered into the workforce, one of our bucket list wish is to be able to save up to bring our parents on a fully paid vacation and a cruise was actually a perfect getaway as seniors as well as little children don’t like to walk too much and a cruise has lots of cafes and restaurants where we can sit, eat and drink and if we ever feel tired, our stateroom is just a few minutes walk away.

RipCord by iFLY ✈️

The wind in your face, no ground beneath your feet and the adrenaline pumping as you float weightless in the air – there’s no rush in the world like skydiving. On the RipCord by iFLY simulator you can feel the freedom of freefall without even leaving the deck.

Time to let your spirit soar. Must be 3 years old, weight less than 103 kg if shorter than 6’ or less than 93 kg if 6’ and taller. Gem was super excited to have her first iFly experience and she was a bit shy as her coach was quite good looking.

⛪ Places of Worship

Milan Cathedral Duomo di Milano, Italy ⛪

Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Lombardy, Italy. Dedicated to the Nativity of St Mary, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete: construction began in 1386, and the final details were completed in 1965.

Milan Cathedral, called Duomo di Milano in Italian, is a vast Gothic-style cathedral, located in the heart of Milan. It is 515 ft (157 metres) long and 302 ft (92 m) wide. It can house up to 40.000 people. Duomo di Milano is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world.

First, St Joseph’s Cathedral was temporarily built of wood. The construction of St Joseph’s Cathedral took place from 1884 to 1887, and during this time it was built of brick and plastered by concrete. The church was said to look like a small simulation of Notre Dame de Paris with multiple representative features of Gothic Revival architecture. 

St Joseph’s Cathedral, or “The Big Church” familiarly called by the locals, is one of the first structures constructed by French colonists during their expansion in Indochina and still intact in Hanoi after two fierce wars.

During the French Colonial period, Catholicism was propagated widely and St Joseph’s Cathedral became the center of Catholicism in North Vietnam. There were daily, weekly ceremonies organizing in the church at that time. The church was a place not only welcoming thousands of Catholics in the north of Vietnam but also hiding and catering Vietnamese revolution soldiers. 

St Paul's Cathedral ⛪

St Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Melbourne, Australia. It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Melbourne and the seat of the Archbishop of Melbourne, who is also the metropolitan archbishop of the Province of Victoria.

The cathedral was designed by the English Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield and completed in 1891, except for the spires which were built to a different design from 1926 to 1932. It is one of Melbourne’s major architectural landmarks.

St Paul’s Cathedral is in a prominent location at the centre of Melbourne, on the eastern corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Street. It is situated diagonally opposite Flinders Street station, which was the hub of 19th-century Melbourne and remains an important transport centre.

Hsinbyume Pagoda 🛕

The Hsinbyume Pagoda aka Mya Thein Dan Pagoda (White Temple) is just a few hundred metres beyond the Mingun Bell further down the main street of Mingun. It is a very unusual Paya with a lovely gorgeous white structure.

The Paya was built in 1816 by the grandson of the infamous King Bodawpaya, who later became King Bagyidaw, in memory of his first wife, Bodawpaya’s granddaughter Hsinbyume, who died in childbirth in 1812. 

The seven separate terraces of the Paya are meant to represent the seven mountain ranges and oceans in between and around Mount Meru with the stupa at the top representing Mount Meru itself.

Mount Meru is the mythical centre of the universe in Buddhist-Hindu cosmolgy. There are also many small statues on the Pagoda representing various nat spirits, ogres, and naga serpents. All in all it makes for a gorgeous temple. 

Ananda Temple represents the spirit of Mon architecture in combination with influence Indian structural design. The temple has a graceful symmetrical single – storey structure with a gilded tower – like spire, so – called “sikhara”, on top of the temple. The sikhara, whose original design is from India, is placed in the center of the building. The sikhara holds five niches laid over each other, each niche contains a Buddha image. 

Ananda temple has the design of a well – proportioned Greek cross plan with four entrances, each crowned with a stupa finial, creating the structure of a simple corridor. Six pyramid – like terraces rise to the central tower. Each corner of the second terrace lay a miniature of the golden sikhara. The terraces are decorated with many Chinthes, the mythical lion of Myanmar guarding temples throughout the country.

Wat Rong Suea Ten 🛕

The Blue Temple is known in Thai as “Wat Rong Suea Ten”, or “Temple of the Dancing Tiger”. Another ancient temple once stood here, and tigers are said to have roamed freely over the grounds when it was abandoned nearly a century ago. The Blue Temple as it exists today is brand new by comparison.

The stairs to the main entrance are guarded by naga serpents, whose tails ripple with detailed scales and twist and whirl around in entrancing elegance. The temple windows are protected by an angelic figure, posing proudly on a pedestal with feathered wings spread wide, a staff grasped behind its back. Inside, the Blue Temple is a kaleidoscope of colour and patterns, with elaborate and unbelievably intricate paintings completely covering every surface. 

Wat Rong Khun 🛕

We were blown away with the breathtaking architecture and design of the White Temple that was created by the Thai artist Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat. Born in Chiang Rai, the same city where the temple was built, Chalermchai Kositpipat has dedicated his life to the restoration and improvement of White Temple, known locally as Wat Rong Khun.

In addition to the pure white color choice, much of the structural choices, mythical creatures, and positions of the White Temple’s guardians and deities depict a religious or symbolic meaning. The common theme of this Buddhist temple is of escaping greed and desire and moving towards enlightenment through Buddha’s teachings.

Oriental Buddha Capital, Leshan China ⛰️

Dongfang Fodu Gongyuan (Oriental Buddha Park), holds more than 3,000 Buddhist statues. The centrepiece is reputedly the world’s longest reclining Buddha, measuring 170 meters, which is the largest in the world.

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-metre tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803. It is carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan.

Golden Summit Temple, Leshan China 🏯

The Jinding, elevation 3,077 metres, is the main peak of Mount Emei, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sichuan, China. It is also a common name for the Buddhist Huazang Temple built on the summit. Jinding is the highest Buddhist temple in traditionally Han areas of China.

Located atop Mount Emei is an epic statue at 48 meter so high, is the 22nd tallest statue in the world. But its height is not its most notable feature, so much as its unique head, as this massive graven image faces in ten directions, one for each of the Bodhisattva’s ‘Ten Truths of Universal Worthiness’.