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  Photo of the Day    Jan 2015                                                               Archive: Dec  Nov  Oct  Sep  Aug  Jul  Jun  May  Apr  Mar  Feb 2014

Sonohyan-utaki Stone Gate

Sonohyan-utaki is a sacred grove of trees and plants (utaki) of the traditional
indigenous Ryukyuan religion. It is near Shuri Castle. The stone gate of the
utaki was first built in 1519 during the reign of Ryukyuan king Sho Shin.
The king would first stop here to pray for safe travels before he starts
any journey.

It was severely damaged in the 1945 battle of Okinawa, restored in 1957
and designated UNESCO World Heritage in 2000 as Gusuku Sites and
Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.

Shuri · Okinawa · Japan | 2015
31 January 2015

Dining at a Zen Garden

One of the most enjoyable experience in Okinawa is to dine on delicious traditional
cuisine at Ashibiuna, a charming restaurant near Shuri Castle, with a coutyard
of hanging vines overlooking a serene Japanese zen garden.

Shuri · Okinawa · Japan | 2015
30 January 2015

Shisa of Okinawa

Shisa, or shiisaa in Okinawan, is a traditional Ryukyuan decoration, resembling
a cross between a lion and a dog, from Okinawan mythology. People place pairs
of shisa on their rooftops or flanking the gates to their houses to protect
from evils. When in pairs, the left shisa has a closed mouth to keep good
spirit in and the right one an open mouth to wards off evil spirits.

Also widely seen on the island of Kinmen in Taiwan.

Naha · Okinawa · Japan | 2015
29 January 2015

Turquoise Water of Aka Island

Surrounded by picturesque turquoise water, Aka Island (Akajima) of Okinawa
is dotted with pretty white sand beaches. If you are lucky, you can spot
a Kerama deer, descendants of deer that were brought by the Satsuma from
Kagoshima when they conquered the Ryukyus in 1609.

Akajima · Okinawa · Japan | 2015
28 January 2015

Nishibama Beach on Aka Island

Nishibama Beach on the northeast coast of Aka Island (Akajima), Okinawa
is a postcard-perfect 1 km stretch of white sand. With a population of
a mere 340 people, Aka Island is a sleepy yet friendly village island.
There is no public transport but hitch-hiking is possible. Aka is 1.5
hour by ferry or an hour by high speed ferry from Naha.

Akajima · Okinawa · Japan | 2015
27 January 2015

Shuri Castle

Shuri Castle is a Ryukyuan gusuku (castle or fortress)in Shuri, Okinawa.
It was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom. In 1945, during the Battle of
Okinawa, it was almost completely destroyed. it was reconstructed on
the original site based on photographs, historical records, and
memory in 1992.

Shuri · Okinawa · Japan | 2015
26 January 2015

Funky Bar in Naha

An interesting facade of a bar in downtown Naha, Okinawa, Japan with four
doors of different sizes and loaded with funky signes like 'no peeing'
and 'the non-smoking bar of the highest class', etc. Door No. 3 is
about 1 foot (30.5 cm) wide with a sign reading 'Chairman's Office'
(in Japanese).

Naha · Okinawa · Japan | 2015
25 January 2015

Traditional Folding Gate

A traditional folding gate is used to provide security and privacy for shops
with perforated design to facilitate airflow and ventilation. It is commonly
used by traditional shops in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

Central · Hong Kong | 2014
24 January 2015

Banyan Roots on Stone Wall

Roots of banyan trees tumbling down a old stone wall on Hollywood Road, just
outside PMQ (former police married quarters revitalised as a design hub) in
Central, is quite commonly seen elsewhere in Hong Kong.

Banyan trees are widely planted in parks and on roadsides as they give
shade. Today, 1275 stone wall trees are situated on 504 masonry stone
walls, with 110 in the Central and Western District.

Central · Hong Kong | 2014
23 January 2015

Charlie Hebdo Sold Out Again in Hong Kong

Parisian Zoi Christopoulos and Mr Neveux pick up the new edition of the French
satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo from French bookstore Parentheses in Central,
Hong Kong.

The cover features Prophet Muhammad holding a 'Je suis Charlie' ('I am Charlie')
sign – a message to support the magazine and free speech, with a headline
'All are pardoned', in the wake of a deadly attack on 7 January, which
claimed 12 lives.

The first batch of 18 copies of the magazine were sold out immediately in Hong
Kong on 13 January. Madeline Progin, Swiss owner of the bookstore, confirms
that they ordered 500 more copies, half of which arrived today. All copies
have been pre-booked via email.

Central · Hong Kong | 2015
22 January 2015

Cantonese Opera

Cantonese opera is one of the major categories in Chinese opera, originating
in southern China's Cantonese culture. It is popular in Guangdong, Guangxi,
Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia. It is a traditional Chinese art
form, involving music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics, and acting.

Admiralty · Hong Kong | 2014
21 January 2015

Alex Chow Mobbed by Journalists

Alex Chow, secretary general of Hong Kong Federation of Students, was mobbed
by the press upon release 1.5 hours after reporting to police headquarters
in Wanchai, Hong Kong on Sunday for his roles in the 79-days Occupy Central
and Umbrella Movement protests to fight for democracy in Sep-Dec.

Chow was charged with three counts for inciting, organising and participating
in illegal assemblies.

Wanchai · Hong Kong | 2015
20 January 2015

Alex Chow Released After Arrest

Alex Chow, secretary general of Hong Kong Federation of Students and one of the
key leaders of the Umbrella Movement, has been summoned to police headquarters
in Wanchai, Hong Kong on Sunday for his roles in the 79-days Occupy Central
and Umbrella Movement protests to fight for democracy in Sep-Dec.

About 100 concerned citizens and legislators including Cyd Ho and 'Long Hair'
Leung Kwok Hung were there holding yellow umbrellas and banners to show
support. Chow was released without bail 1.5 hours later.

Wanchai · Hong Kong | 2015
19 January 2015

10th Anniversary of Zhao Ziyang's Passing

A thematic exhibition of Zhao Ziyang, the third Premier of China from 1980 to 1987
and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party from 1987 to 1989, is mounted
10 years after his death at the June 4th Museum in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Zhao was also instrumental in initiating economic reforms and the introduction of
free market in china but was ousted in 1989 for opposing a military crackdown on
pro-democracy student protesters that resulted in the Tiananmen Square massacre.
His remains still unburied 10 years on.

Tsim Sha Tsui · Hong Kong | 2015
18 January 2015

Scholarism Four Released After Arrest

Joshua Wong, Oscar Lai, Agnes Chow and Derek Lam, leaders of Scholarism, the
influential student activist group, were undaunted after being summoned to
police headquarters in Wanchai, Hong Kong on Friday for their roles
in the 79-days Occupy Central and Umbrella Movement protests when
roads were occupied and traffic came to a standstill in Sep-Dec.

All four were released without bail hours later after being charged with 3/7/1/2
counts related to inciting/organising/participating in illegal assembly.

Over 50 concerned citizens and legislators including Audrey Eu, Kenneth Chan,
Gary Fan, Cyd Ho and 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok Hung were there holding yellow
umbrellas to show support.

Wanchai · Hong Kong | 2015
17 January 2015

Common Grass Yellow Butterfly

The Common Grass Yellow or Large Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe) is a small pierid
butterfly species found in Asia or Africa. This swift flyer can frequently be
seen in Hong Kong.

There are about 16,000 recorded species of butterflies in the world. 1,300
species can be found in China and 235 in Hong Kong.

Taipo · Hong Kong | 2014
16 January 2015

Chinese Hibiscus

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, known colloquially as Chinese hibiscus, China rose
or Hawaiian hibiscus, is very common in Hong Kong. It has 5-petaled
brilliant red flowers with prominent orange-tipped red anthers. Numerous
varieties, cultivars, and hybrids are available, with colours ranging
from white through yellow and orange to scarlet and shades of pink.

It is the national flower of Malaysia, called Bunga Raya in Malay.

Taipo · Hong Kong | 2014
15 January 2015


Hong Kong is home to a wide variety of dragonflies. Since the first local
record was made in 1854, a total number of 118 dragonfly species,
including two endemic species and more than 10 new to science,
have been recorded from Hong Kong.

Taipo · Hong Kong | 2014
14 January 2015

1881 Heritage

Although named '1881 Heritage', the former Hong Kong Marine Police Headquarters
compound was built in 1884. The Compound and the Old Kowloon Fire Station, near
Star Ferry in Tsim sha Tsui, have been re-developed into a boutique hotel,
Hullett House, and retail facilities in 2009 by Li Ka shing's Cheung Kong.

Many are shocked to see that the blue and white police station has been turned
brown and sandy colours, and has been over-refurbished into what looks like a
new building. Dr. Ng Cho-nam, a member of the Antiquities Advisory Board,
cited this as a failed revitalization project. 'The focus is wrong,' he says.
'It should be on conserving heritage, not on business. They’re simply using
heritage... to promote the faux-classical shopping mall in front of it.'

Tsim Sha Tsui · Hong Kong | 2015
13 January 2015

A Sea of Democratic Umbrellas

A lone reporter from Asia Television (ATV) reported as tens of thousands of protesters
brave the frequently heavy rain outside Hong Kong government headquarters to protest
against a planned introduction of a national education curriculum which many deem
pro-Beijing and was opposed by a majority of the population.

This image is licensed to the Department of Media Studies of Stockholm University
for use as the homepage banner of the website Screening Protest.

This is part of a news report titled Hong Kong Will Never Be The Same
filed on 5 September 2012 by this photo-journalist when the retraction of
National Education curriculum by Hong Kong government was correctly predicted
and was vetted by CNN on CNN i-Report
and was on the front page of CNN iReport News Section on 5-10 September 2012.
Click thru for details

Admiralty · Hong Kong | 2012
12 January 2015

Wat Chai Wattanaram

Wat Chai Wattanaram (Temple of Long Reign and Glorious Era), located on
the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, south west of the old city of
Ayutthaya, has an impressive 35 metre high Khmer-style central prang.

The temple was built in 1673 by King Prasat Thong.

Ayutthaya · Thailand | 2015
11 January 2015

Monk at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

A monk admiring the rows of Buddha images surrounding a central chedi at
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory), built in
1357 by King U Thong at Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya · Thailand | 2015
10 January 2015

Reclining Buddha of Ayutthaya

A 7-metre long reclining Buddha is one of the highlights at Wat Yai Chai
Mongkhon (Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory) at Ayutthaya. It has
rows of Buddha images around the central stupa.

King U Thong built the monastary in 1357 to house monks from Sri Lanka.

Ayutthaya · Thailand | 2015
9 January 2015

Buddha Head Tangled in Roots

A sandstone head of Buddha mysteriously tangled in the entwined roots of a tree at
Wat Phra Mahathat is the most photographed image of Ayutthaya.

Built in 1374, Wat Phra Mahathat has a elaborate central prang (Khmer-style chedi).
Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam from 1350 to 1767 with 400 temples at its zenith.

Ayutthaya · Thailand | 2015
8 January 2015

Iconic Chedi of Ayutthaya

The three magnificient chedi (stupas) of Wat Phra Si Sanphet are the most iconic
image of Ayutthaya, with 400 temples at its zenith.

Ayutthaya (full name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya) was founded in 1350 by King U Thong
and was the capital of Siam between 1350 and 1767. It is named after the city of
Ayodhya in India, the birthplace of Rama and named a UN World Heritage in 1991.

Ayutthaya · Thailand | 2002
7 January 2015

Rice Farming in Thailand

A rice farmer planting seedlings into the paddy at Sukhothai, Northern Thailand.

Rice production represents a significant portion of the Thai economy and labor force.
Thailand has the fifth largest amount of land under rice cultivation in the world
and is the second largest exporter of rice. Rice uses over half of the farmable
land area and labor force in Thailand. It is the main component of exports.

Sukhothai · Thailand | 2010
6 January 2015

'Immovable Buddha' of Sukhothai

The impressive 15 metre tall seated Buddha, with elegant tapered fingers, at Wat
Si Chum of Sukhothai. Archaeologists theorise that this is the 'Phra Atchana'
('Immovable Buddha') mentioned in the famous inscription of King Ramkhamhaeng.

Sukhothai · Thailand | 2010
5 January 2015

Twilight at Mae Salong

Mae Salong, officially called Santikhiri, is a village in Chiang Rai Province,
Northern Thailand. Its early history centred on the opium trade of the Golden

Mae Salong's recent history was shaped by the 93rd Division of the Chinese
Nationalist Army that refused to surrender to Chinese communists after the
Nationalist Kuomintang government fled to Taiwan in 1949. A force of
12,000 escaped from Yunnan to Burma and continued an insurgency
against the Peoples' Republic. Thousands left for Thailand in 1961
while many remained in Burma. The insurgency faded in the 1970's.

Mae Salong · Thailand | 2015
4 January 2015

Ahka Hilltribe Girl

A girl of Ahka, the largest and perhaps the most impoverished of minority
hilltribes in Northern Thailand, wearing a beautifully embroidered and
exquisite headset and intricate silver ornaments, makes her meagre
living selling trinkets to tourists.

The Ahka originated in Tibet and Southern China, before they migrated to
Burma, Laos and Thailand.

Mae Salong · Thailand | 2011
3 January 2015

Let There Be Light

20 year-old Anne Volunteers at the Flower Festival in Chiang Rai, the largest
city in northernmost Thailand. It was established as a capital in the reign
of King Mangrai, in 1262.

Chiang Rai · Thailand | 2011
2 January 2015

Sunrise Over Mekong

Sunrise over Mekong River in the tri-border region of Burma, Laos, and Thailand,
known as the 'Golden Triangle'. It is one of Asia's two main opium-producing
areas with an area of around 367,000 square miles (950,000 km2) that overlaps
the mountains of the three countries in Southeast Asia.

Chiang Saen · Thailand | 2011
1 January 2015

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