Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Year goodies

During Chinese New Year celebration, homes will be filled with many traditional food from home-made cookies and cakes to delicacies such as barbeque pork which are served to visiting relatives and friends.

I remember as a child growing up, my brothers and sisters would gather around the dinning table where my mum would prepare all kinds of new year goodies. We would help out like shaping pineapple tarts and oiling the trays. One of our favourite local salad called 'Ah Char' involves tedious work in cutting up vegetables, squeezing out the juice and drying them before mixing spices into it and then storing them in jars in the fridge. It is served with prawn crackers.

The pictures shows some of our favourite goodies from our family's favourite the pineapple tarts, bbq pork and kuih lapis (multi layers cake). Others are the sweet sticky cake and the 'Hwat Kuih'. These days, people tend to buy them for convenient rather than making them at home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Temple visit on Lunar New Year

The first day of the Lunar New Year is traditionally a day to visit the temple, to offer our prayers to Buddha to wish that the new year will be filled with good fortune, happiness and prosperity. It is also a day to pay respect to our ancestors.

The temple shown in the pictures are taken at Leong San See temple located at Race Course Road, Singapore.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Lunar New Year 2009

Kung Hei Fat Choi. Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Ox. I like to wish all a very Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year.

The Ox year traditionally brings stability and growth where patience and diligence pays off.

Read Wikipedia about Chinese New Year - click

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quote by Walker Evans

Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.

-Walker Evans

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Family photo shoot

Summer in Sydney is a wonderful time walking in the parks by the water enjoying spectacular view of the Harbour Bridge. On the weekend I had the nice opportunity to shoot Michelle, her husband and her gorgeous boy at a park in Balmain.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tenth day of January

As a child growing up, on the tenth day of each year in January, my mum would tell me that today is her wedding anniversary.

So on this day, I like to dedicate it to my mum and dad by scanning some of their black and white wedding photos. The photos of my youthful looking mum of course is way before she ever met my dad.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Island in the Sun

The movie "The Beach" sets against a solitary beach paradise is one of my favourite movie. It is filmed entirely in Thailand at many popular locations that I have visited. From the bustling Bangkok Khao San Road area where backpackers from around the world converge to beautiful crystal clear water of Phi Phi Island.

The movie gives you a sense of what a tropical bliss feels like, travelling through Thailand as backpackers, making new friends and enjoying the beautiful sandy beaches.

I have backpacked around the southern islands of Thailand in 2007. Thailand has always been my favourite holiday destination, having visited many wonderful coastal towns and islands for many years ever since travel bug hit me. The Land of a thousand smiles offers friendly people, laid back culture, great food, beautiful sceneries and it is very inexpensive country to travel in. That were the reasons why I long to return to Thailand time and time again.

The photos shown here were taken in the island of Ko Lanta. It is one of a few islands that I visited during my 2007 trip. Ko Lanta is in the Adaman Sea close to Phuket and not as commercial.

When I backpack through Thailand I usually stay in simple accommodation such as the bungalow hut you see in the pictures. Almost every parts of the hut is made from trees and the outdoor bathroom is very basic decorated with shells collected from the sea.

It is that sense of living in nature, in its simplest form putting aside all the modern living and confort that excites me to go on this adventure.

Information on Koh Lanta -
Wikepdia on Ko Lanta - click

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Quote by DeGriff

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera.

And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed.

Don't be bitter because you can't record it.

Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year fireworks at Sydney Harbour

It's the New Year once again. It's another year of fresh start and new resolutions leaving the past year behind us.

A friend said to me last night that New Year is just another day. I replied it may be just another year but to some it's a new year of hope and dreams. We constantly strive to accomplish something in our lives and the road is not usually smooth. There is many bumps along the way but that can only strengthen us. The New Year is a way for us to reflect on our past, learn from it, grow and aim for our goals for the future. It is a way of life. Without hope and dreams our life will just be an empty shell.

New Year Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbour

I spent the New Year eve at a party in a house in Neutral Bay overlooking Sydney Harbour. Two years ago I was at another party at a different location in Neutral Bay. Both locations provide spectacular view of the world famous fireworks. Neutral Bay is fortunate to be hilly and I shot the pictures on the open rooftop terrace.

My initial plan was to camp out early at a prime location close by the harbour so I can have the perfect shot. That would mean having to go to the area in the morning and to wait over 10 hours before the fireworks. I decided against it as it would mean having to jostle with thousands of party revellers and some intoxicated with alcohol. The journey home after the big show will be horrendous with long queues and crowded trains.

The merry making at the New Year eve fireworks saw 1.5million people fronting the area around the harbour. There were two shows one at 9pm which was aimed at families and the main firework at midnight. The price tag is $5 million.

Happy New Year to all and wish that 2009 will be a fulfilling year for you with happiness and success.

Best, Stan Ngo

2006 New Year Eve fireworks blog
Sydney Morning Herald news - click

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Happy New Year 2009