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Archive for March, 2009

Putrajaya’s 1st Hot Air Balloon Fiesta [Mar2009]

March 24th, 2009 No comments
Hot Air Balloons Flying Over Putrajaya

Hot Air Balloons Flying Over Putrajaya

Never heard about this event until some hot air balloon photos showed up in the newspaper on Friday morning. Maybe there are more ‘interesting’ news in the Malaysian political front as well as on the world economic crisis that overshadowed it.

Anyway, I was there on the evening of the last day of the event (22nd March 2009). Reaching Putrajaya Percint 2 at 5:30pm, the traffic is already in really bad jam – I thought I am the only one that haven’t seen a hot air balloon, but apparently not. Took me like 15 minutes to get a parking. The preparation for flying the hot air balloons, of a total about 20 of them, was already underway.

While shooting away with my Canon 400D, I used my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic to capture some photos too – not to prove that the camera feature on it really sucked, but to try on the geotagging. It turns out to be working great, all the photos taken with the phone have registered the correct GPS location, as show here in iPhoto:

Geotagging photo (with Nokia 5800)

Geotagging photo (with Nokia 5800)

Most of the balloons are standard ones, but a few of them are in special shapes like elephant, peacock and clowns. The balloons look great in the clear blue sky. One after another the balloons ascend and fly towards the mosque’s direction, and by 7pm the crowd disappeared as fast – if not faster – as they conjugated a couple of hours ago.

And Putrajaya reverted back to its original form by 8pm – grand, expensive, quiet, deserted, and probably unnecessary. At least the hot air balloon fiesta stirs some liveliness into the city built on oil, even if it is a short-lived one.

More photos from Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in the Photo Album page, or direct link here: http://travelgaia.com/gallery/HotAirBalloonFiesta2009/

Categories: Events, Photo Journal Tags:

3 Weeks into my new gadget: Nokia 5800 XpressMusic “Tube”…

March 23rd, 2009 2 comments
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic in Red

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic in Red

It’s been a while since I am thinking to replace my good old Sony Ericsson W810, which has certainly served me well for the last 2.5 years. It was a brick – literally. I have dropped it to ground unintentionally gazillion of times, and submerged it fully into a small pool of water once (also unintentionally), the phone just refused to stop working.

3 weeks ago I met out with a friend (you know who you are!). He showed me his wife’s new Nokia 5800 XpressMusic (nickname “Tube”) in black with red linings. It is a 3G touch screen phone (Nokia’s 1st?), no physical keypad, and the screen resolution is really good. I played around with it, but really just checking the menu system and figure out how to navigate it – I haven’t used a Nokia phone before! I was told there is GPS too but I wasn’t impressed by then as I haven’t tried out any previously (yea yea I know I am outdated).

Did some online research when i was back home. The phone has everything that I need, and more. Price is not really cheap but not prohibitively expensive. I went to Digital Mall @ SS14, Petaling Jaya after a few days of consideration, and purchased the phone within 15 minutes.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Kitaro Still Going Strong – Love and Peace Planet Music Tour 2009 Live @ Genting

March 14th, 2009 2 comments

7 March 2009, 8pm at Genting Highland’s Arean of Stars, Kitaro starts his 2009 “Love and Peace Planet Music Tour 2009”. It was a drizzling night.

This is my first time listening live to Kitaro after start following his music many years ago, and it sure did not disappoint. Our seats are at Price Scale 3 (PS3), in the middle of the hall but 3rd row from the last, so it was about 25-30m to the stage. I’d prefer front seats but it was not a big issue – the music is just as sweet over here.


Kitaro Live @ Genting 2009

Kitaro Live @ Genting 2009 - my best effort using 100mm F2.8 from way back

Kitaro @ Genting2009 - Official Poster

Kitaro @ Genting2009 - Official Poster

The 2 1/2-hour show has some new musics that Kitaro said hasn’t been recorded yet, coupled with total light-out with just 2 screens showing sun, moon, nature and planetary objects. This is Kitaro’s message to us on Save The Earth. The music is good but it is a bit too long for me, it probably runs about 45mins or more.

The classic ones received the most applause from the audience, like Silk Road, Oasis, Heaven and Earth, and of course, one of my very favorites, Matsuri.

Kitaro also displays his well-verse in musical instrument through the show, where he not only creates magical tunes by finger-dancing on the keyboard, but also jams bass guitar with the guitarist, plays the big horn, flute, harmonica, 太鼓 (the big drum), and a few other that I can’t name. He is really an amazing musician!

There are total 6 of them: 2 keyboards, 1 electrical guitarist, 1 violinist, a drummer, and Kitaro, but the music that they play sounds like from an orchestra. Seats are about 90% full, indicates Kitaro’s popularity among Malaysians.

The last 2 songs, “The Light of the Spirit” and “Free Flight” ended the live performance. I particularly like the former one. What a way to end the show.

Kitaro looked aged for 56, but the performance is marvelous. The bass from the his big drum hits the bottom chord of the heart every time. Let’s hope Kitaro will continue to create great music that intrigues us as well as convey the message of Love and Peace to the world for a long long time to come!

Categories: Events, Photo Journal Tags: ,

Love Is In The Air

March 4th, 2009 3 comments
Romance

Romance

Date: Late Dec 2008

Location: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Bangkok

My third time visiting Bangkok’s famous floating market. Was walking alone having lost both of my travel buddies in this busy place. The hoards of wooden boats were causing a really bad traffic jam on the canal.

I was just going to capture a few more boat photos at the sidewalk while a pair of Caucasian couple strolled in front of me and slowed down. Holding hands, he turned around, whispered to her, and touched his nose to her face, like forever. Right here at the busy floating market.

Love is in the air.