"YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE RICH TO TRAVEL WELL". 

                                   EUGENE FODOR

OUR 2023 TRIP TO SOUTHEAST ASIA

INCLUDED SINGAPORE, SUMATRA, AND MANILA PHILIPPINES. HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP. I HOPE THIS WILL HELP OTHERS TRAVELING TO ANY OF THESE COUNTRIES IN MAKING THEIR PLANS.

OH, AND THE THIRD CITY PASSENGERS WERE

TRANSFERING TO WAS HONG KONG. SO WE WERE SEVERAL HUNDRED PASSENGERS TRANSFERING TO PLANES DESTINED FOR SINGAPORE, BEIJING, AND HONG KONG; ALL QUEUED UP TO PASS THROUGH JUST ONE, SMALL SECURITY SCANNER. AS WE WERE WAITING AND EDGING FORWARD AT ONE INCH EVERY MINUTE, THE BEIJING TRAVELERS WERE CALLED UP TO THE HEAD OF THE LINE. I FOUND OUT THAT THEIR CONNECTING FLIGHT WAS ONLY ONE AND HALF HOURS FROM THAT TIME WHEREAS OUR FLIGHT WAS NOT FOR ANOTHER THREE HOURS. 

AYASOFIA WOULD BE A TRANSLITERATION OF AYAT (ARABIC FOR SIGN) AND SOFIA (GREEK FOR WISDOM) THAT SEEMS TO ME TO BE A STRANGE COMBINATION OF CULTURES COMBINING THE ARABIC AND GREEK. THE NAME REFERS TO BOTH THE RESTAURANT HERE AT KAMPONG GLAM AND TO THE GREAT ORTHODOX CHURCH TURNED MOSQUE CALLED HAGIA SOFIA. GLAM IS ALSO SPELLED GELAM. THE TOURS OF SULTAN MOSQUE CAN BE CONDUCTED IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES. STREETS IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD INCLUDE ALIWAL STREET, JALAN SULTAN, SULTAN GATE WHICH LEADS TO THE MALAY HERITAGE CENTER, KANDAHAR STREET, ARAB STREET, HAJI LANE, BAGDHAD STREET AND BUSSORAH STREET.

THE MUSLIM POPULATION OF SINGAPORE IS ABOUT 15 PERCENT. THEY ARE MOSTLY SUNNI. THERE ARE ABOUT 70 MOSQUES IN SINGAPORE AND THE SULTAN MOSQUE IS A NATIONAL MONUMENT. IT WAS NAMED IN REFERENCE TO SULTAN HUSSAIN SHAH. 

WE ARE IN THE MARINA BAY AREA HERE. MERLION IS CLOSE TO WHERE WE ARE MAKING PHOTOS HERE. THE HOTEL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BAY IS THE MARINA BAY SANDS RESORT. IT WAS DESIGNED BY MOSHE SAFDIE WHO IS FROM ISREAL. IT HAS A LARGE CASINO AND AN UPSCALE SHOPPING MALL. THERE IS AN INFINITY POOL AT THE TOP WHICH IS SHAPED LIKE A SHIP. THERE ARE SOME NICE RESTAURANTS UP THERE TOO. WE ATE AT THE CHOP WHICH IS A MICHALIN STAR RESTAURANT BY RENOWNED CHEF WOLFGANG PUCK. WE SPENT 358 SINGAPORE DOLLARS ON 1 LOBSTER LOUIS, 1 LAMB CHOPS, 1BAKED SALMON, AND A CREAMED SPINACH WITH A COUPLE GLASSES OF WINE. FOR DESSERT WE HAD GLACE BARBERA VIETTI AND 1 RASBERRY CRUMBLE. THE CHOP IS IN THE LARGE SHOPPING MALL AREA OF THE MARINA BAY SANDS HOTEL. 

WE ARE AT THE SINGAPORE ZOO. AFTER A LONG WALK DOWN A HALLWAY FROM THE PARKING / DROP OFF AREA, WE ARRIVED AT THE TICKET DESK TO SHOW OUR DIGITAL TICKETS. THEY GAVE US TWO TICKETS. ONE WAS FOR THE ZOO ITSELF AND THE OTHER  WAS FOR THE AQUARIUM. THE AQUARIUM IS MASSIVE AND ENTAILS QUITE A BIT OF WALKING. THIS TANK IS ONE OF MANY WITHIN A MAZE OF FISH TANKS. FARIDA CAN BE SEEN HERE PRETENDING TO KISS THE FISH. THE TANKS OFTEN STATE AREA OF THE WORLD THE FISH ARE FROM. IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY, THIS ONE HELD GIANT CATFISH FROM THE AMAZON RIVER. THE ZOO IS KNOWN AS THE MANDAI WILDLIFE RESERVE, IT IS ABOUT 70 ACRES. THERE ARE TWO WALKWAYS THAT HAVE THEIR OWN TICKET COLLECTION POINTS. THE PATHWAY ON THE LEFT WILL LEAD TO THE LAND ANIMALS AND THE PATHWAY ON THE RIGHT WILL LEAD TO THE RIVER WONDERS AREA WHICH IS WHERE THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN. THE ODD THING ABOUT ALL OF THIS IS THAT THE GIANT PANDA FOREST IS HERE, AT THE RIVER WONDERS AND NOT AT THE LAND ANIMAL AREA. THEY HAVE TWO GIANT PANDAS HERE (KAI KAI AND JIA JIA) BUT WE SAW ONLY ONE OF THEM WHILE WE WERE THERE.

THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN IN THE SINGAPORE ZOO.  THIS IS A NEW ZEALAND EXHIBIT. I AM NOT SURE WHAT T√ÉNE TE WAIORA MEANS BUT I THINK IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH WELLNESS THROUGH MANKINDS' CONNECTION WITH NATURE.

GINGER CHICKEN AT SOUP RESTAURANT

IN CHANGI AIRPORT. 

JUST NEXT TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE JEWEL. 

OPEN FROM 1000 TO 2200.

WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS GREAT PLACE TO EAT.

$80 FOR THE TWO OF US. WE ORDERED 4  ITEMS FROM THEIR SET MEAL PACKAGE


MEDAN HAS THE TJONG A FIE MANSION, MESJID RAYA AL MASHUN, ISTANA MAIMUN, MUSEUM OF NORTH SUMATRA, KAMPUNG KELING( WHERE GREAT BATIK SHOPS EXIST AS WELL AS THE SRI MARIAMMAN TEMPLE), MAHA VIHARA MAITREYA BUDDHIST TEMPLE, AND SEVERAL VERY GOOD EATING PLACES LIKE CAFE RAYA, CAHAYA BARU, GARUDA RESTAURANT, MERDEKA WALK HAWKER CENTER, AND SOTO KESAWAN. TIP TOP RESTAURANT IS AN ICONIC PLACE TO GO AS IT IS ONE OF THE OLDEST RESTAUANTS IN MEDAN BUT I FIND THE FOOD TO BE ONLY AT C+ OR B- LEVEL. ON THIS TRIP, WE DID GO TO TIP TOP BECAUSE I REALLY LIKE THEIR PEACH MELBA. THE MAIN COMPLAINT I HAVE WITH THE RESTAURANT IS THAT IT IS CASH ONLY AND THE FOOD PORTIONS ARE NOT LARGE ENOUGH FOR ME. I DID SPEND A LOT OF TIME AT SOME OF THE OTHER PLACES ON THIS LIST BUT THAT WAS DURING PREVIOUS TRIPS.

THIS IS WHERE WE LIVED MOST DAYS IN MEDAN. FARIDAS' SISTER ANDIS LIVES HERE WITH HER HUSBAND AND SONS. THEY LIVE ABOVE THEIR SHOP WHERE THEY SELL PRODUCTS USED IN THE PAINTING AND DETAILING OF VEHICLES. TOKO MEANS SHOP OR STORE. SIREGAR IS THE MARGA OR FAMILY NAME OF ANDIS' HUSBAND. THUS, THE NAME OF THEIR SHOP IS TOKO L. SIREGAR. 

DOLOK SANGGUL IS THE LAST LARGE TOWN WE PASS THROUGH ON THE WAY TO PARLILITAN AND PAKKAT. WE USUALLY STOP HERE TO PICK UP A FEW SUPPLIES AND GOODIES FOR THE ROAD AND FOR THE HOMES WE WOULD BE VISITING. THE TOWN HAS A NEW AIRPORT IN THE AREA (AT SIBORONG-BORONG) CALLED SILANGIT AIRPORT. WE HAVE NEVER STAYED HERE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE ATTRACTIONS WHICH IS A SHAME BECAUSE THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO ATRACTIONS HERE WORTH VISITING. THESE ATTRACTIONS INCLUDE VIEWPOINTS OF BAKARA VALLEY AND THE LOVELY BINANGA JANJI WATERFALL.

PAKKAT IS IN THE HUMBANG HASUNDUTAN REGENCY OF NORTH SUMATRA. DOLOK SANGGUL IS THE CAPITAL OF THIS REGENCY. PARLILITAN ALSO IS LOCATED IN THIS REGENCY. IF YOU DRIVE SOUTH SOUTH WEST FROM PAKKAT, YOU WILL ARRIVE AT BARUS WHICH IS ON THE WESTERN COAST OF NORTH SUMATRA ON THE INDIAN OCEAN. BARUS IS A FISHING VILLAGE AND YOU WILL SEE LONG RACKS OF FISH DRYING ON THEM. YOU WILL ALSO SEE FISHING BOATS BEING REPAIRED AS WELL AS LARGE FISHING NETS. THERE ARE HOTELS IN EACH OF THESE TOWNS. I CAN NOT ATTEST TO THE QUALITY OF ANY OF THESE HOTELS BECAUSE I ALWAYS STAY IN FAMILY HOUSEHOLDS IN NORTH SUMATRA. IN PANGURURAN THERE ARE AT LEAST TEN HOTELS. PANGURURAN IS ON THE NORTH WEST COAST OF SAMOSIR ISLAND AND IT PROVIDES THE CLOSEST HOTELS TO PAKKAT AND PARLILITAN WHICH HAVE DECENT AMENITIES FOR TOURISTS. I HAVE NEVER STAYED IN PANGURURAN BUT THREE OF THE HOTELS THERE SEEM COMFORTABLE ACCORDING TO REVIEWS. THERE IS NOT MUCH TO DO EITHER IN PARLILTAN NOR IN PAKKAT SINCE THEY DO NOT CATER TO THE TOURISM INDUSTRY AT ALL. I JUST LIVE THERE SOMETIMES WITH MY WIFES' FAMILY. I LOVE PAKKAT AND I WOULD LOVE TO LIVE OUT MY LAST YEARS THERE.

PAKKAT IS ABOUT 1310 KILOMETERS FROM JAKARTA WHICH IS ABOUT 815 MILES. THE ROAD TO PAKKAT IS FULL OF TWISTS AND IS QUITE NARROW. 

BY THE TIME WE GOT TO POINT IN THE NORTH SUMATRA JOURNEY, I WAS QUITE EXHAUSTED. I WILL BLAME THAT WEARYNESS FOR THE FACT THAT I MISSPOKE IN THE VIDEO. FIRST I CALLED THE AREA "HUTAGALUNG AREA" AND THEN I CALLED IT THE "HUTAGALANG AREA". WELL, THE FIRST IS CORRECT AND THE SECOND IS INCORRECT. NORTH SUMATRA HAS ABOUT 16,000,000 PEOPLE WITH MOST OF THEM LIVING IN MEDAN BUT A GREAT AMOUNT OF THE POPULATION LIVE IN SMALL HARD TO GET TO VILLAGES LIKE THS. FARIDA SPENT A GOOD AMOUNT OF HER EARLY CHILDHOOD HERE.NORTH SUMATRA PROVINCE STREACHES FROM THE INDIAN OCEAN ON ITS WEST COAST AND THE STRAIT OF MALACCA ON ITS EAST COAST. THE VILLAGES WE ARE VISITING HERE ARE ALL AROUND THE LAKE TOBA REGION WHICH IS IN THE CENTRAL AREA OF NORTH SUMATRA. LAKE TOBA IS THE LARGEST LAKE IN SOUTH EAST ASIA AND IT IS ALSO THE LARGEST VOLCANIC CALDERA LAKE IN THE WORLD. THESE VILLAGES ARE LOCATED IN AGRICULTURAL LANDS THAT INCLUDE RUBBER, TOBACCO, TEA LEAVES, CINNAMON, COCONUTS, BANANAS, COFFEE, CLOVES, PALM OIL, PEANUTS, RICE, AND COCOA. TUBERS ARE ALSO GROWN HERE AND UBI IS VERY IMPORTANT. UBI IS EVERYWHERE AND UBI LEAVES ARE VERY POPULAR. 

AT LINDAS' HOUSE IN PAKKAT. THIS WAS THE FIRST MEAL WE HAD HERE. WHILE WE WERE VISITING ALL THE HOUSEHOLDS ON THE WAY TO PAKKAT, WE COULD NOT VISIT PAMAN  BECAUSE HE WAS NOT AT HOME WHEN WE VISITED HIS VILLAGE. BECAUSE WE MISSED HIM, HE HOPPED ON HIS MOTORCYCLE AND RODE IT SOME 20 MILES TO CATCH UP TO US HERE AT LINDAS' HOME. 

IN THE VIDEO I ACCIDENTLY CALLED THIS REGION A "MUSLIM STRONGHOLD" BUT I MEANT TO STATE THAT IT IS A CHRISTIAN STRONGHOLD. THE MAJOR PART OF THE HUTAGALUNG AND PARLILITAN POPULATIONS ARE CHRISTIAN. MY WIFES' FAMILY EVEN HAS AT LEAST ONE HOUSEHOLD OF JEHOVA WITNESSES. 

THEY DID ASK ME IF I WOULD LIKE TO JOIN IN SO I DID A LITTLE WATER SPRINKLING AND FACE RINSING (I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS FOR) THEN I EVEN CRIED A LITTLE. (I DO NOT KNOW WHY). 

LAKE TOBA IS A VOLCANIC CRATER LAKE AND IT IS THE LARGEST LAKE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. IT IS ALSO THE VERY LARGEST VOLCANIC LAKE IN THE WORLD. THE VOLCANO TOBA  IS A SUPER VOLCANO AND THE ERUPTION THAT CREATED THE CRATER LAKE HAPPENED ABOUT 75,000 YEARS AGO. THE VOLCANO IS STILL ACTIVE AND IS BEING CLOSELY MONITORED BECAUSE ANOTHER ERUPTION WOULD DESTROY MANY POPULATION AREAS. WORLD WIDE FAMINE WOULD PROBABLY OCCUR FROM SUCH AN ERUPTION. IF SCIENTISTS MONITORING THE VOLCANO COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE VOLCANO IS ABOUT TO ERUPT, WHAT COULD THEY DO TO AVERT ANOTHER CATASTROPHE?

THE RATING FOR NIAGRA HOTEL IN PARAPAT IS 8.6 / 10 ON AGODA.COM AND OFFERS AN "EXCLUSIVE VIEW TO TOBA LAKE." THERE ARE THREE MAIN DINING VENUES, TATAP TERRACE, PANATAPAN, AND TABO DAINA. AND I MUST QUALIFY A STATEMENT I MADE IN THE LAST VIDEO. I MENTIONED THAT BUBUR IS PRETTY MUCH JUST PORRIDGE BUT THAT IS NOT COMPLETLY ACCURATE BECAUSE BUBUR CAN BE MADE WITH RICE OR WITH BEANS. IT CAN BE SWEET LIKE BUBUR SUM SUM OR IT CAN BE SAVORY LIKE BUBUR AYAM CONGEE.

THIS IS THE POOL AREA OF THE NIAGARA HOTEL THAT OVER LOOKS PARAPAT. IT IS NOT AN INFINITY POOL BECAUSE THERE IS TOO MUCH DECK SPACE BETWEEN THE POOL AND THE DECLINE THAT LEADS DOWN THE MOUNTAIN THAT THE HOTEL SITS UPON. THE RESTAURANT WHERE WE ATE THE BREAKFAST OVERLOOKS THIS POOL AND LAKE TOBA BEYOND. ONE OF THE HOTELS' WEBSITE STATEMENTS:

          BETWEEN THE SKY AND THE SEA

           THERE'S LAKE TOBA

(LAKE TOBA IS 2,800 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL).



I HAD SOME ONE DOLLAR BILLS FROM USA AND THEY WERE JUST ENOUGH TO GIVE EACH OF THE CHILDREN IN THIS VIDEO ONE BILL EACH. I TOLD THEM I STILL HAD ONE MORE BILL LEFT AND THEY SOON BROUGHT ONE MORE BOY TO DHARMAS' HOUSE AND I GAVE THAT BOY THE LAST OF THE DOLLAR BILLS.

LEMANG IS COOKED INSIDE BAMBOO STALKS. IT IS A TRADITIONAL FOOD OF THE MINANGKABAU PEOPLE OF WEST SUMATRA. IT CAN BE EASILY FOUND THROUGHOUT NORTH SUMATRA. IT HAS GLUTINOUS RICE MIXED WITH A SAUCE OF COCONUT MILK AND SALT. BANANA LEAVES ARE COVERING THE RICE MXTURE, IT TAKES ABOUT THREE HOURS OF TURNING THE BAMBOO TUBES AROUND AND AROUND OVER THE FIRE. IT IS NOT TOO SWEET BUT IT CAN BE USED AS A DESSERT AS WELL AS SIDE DISH WITH SAVORY FOODS. IT HAS JUST A TOUCH OF SWEETNESS TO IT.

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HERE IS A SHORT THAT SHOWS THE PROCESS OF MAKING LEMANG. LEMANG IS SIMILAR TO THAI STICKY RICE. ONE OF FARIDAS' YOUNGER BROTHERS BUILT HIS HOME HERE IN A NEW VILLAGE THAT THE INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT IS ENCOURAGING FAMILIES TO SETTLE IN WITH CASH INCENTIVES. I AM NOT SURE WHAT THE NAME OF THE VILLAGE IS (IT IS SOMETHING LIKE ESCHALON MORE OR LESS). THERE IS NO SHOP IN THE VILLAGE YET AND THE ONE ROAD TO ARRIVE HERE IS STILL IN BAD, INCOMPLETE CONDITION SO IT MAKES SENSE TO GROW AND MAKE FOODS FROM THE LAND HERE. COFFEE BEANS, RICE, FRUITS, AND MANY OTHER PLANTS ARE GROWN IN AND AROUND THIS NEW VILLAGE.

THIS VIDEO IS CUT SHORT BECAUSE IT IS  TRANSFERED FROM MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT. THAT IS THE MAIN COMPLAINT I HAVE ABOUT INSTAGRAM IS THAT IT CUTS SHORT A LOT OF MY VIDEOS. ANYWAY, MY STATEMENT THAT GOT CUT SHORT HERE IS THAT FROM STREET LEVEL, YOU WILL ENTER THE BUILDING TO FIND AN INFORMATION DESK. THEY WILL DIRECT YOU TO THE CORRECT ELEVATORS TO ARRIVE AT THE RECEPTION DESK ON THE 12TH FLOOR. AFTER WE LEFT SUMATRA, WE RETURNED TO SINGAPORE AND STAYED HERE. THIS IS THE PATIO AREA NEXT TO THE RECEPTION DESK LOBBY; OASIA HOTEL.

AFTER WE RETURNED TO SINGAPORE, WE REVISITED THE SHOPPING MALL AT THE MARINA BAY SANDS HOTEL. THIS IS ONE PHOTO FROM THAT MALL. WE HAD TO RETURN HERE BECAUSE WE STILL HAD TO BUY A BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR FARIDA. SHE FINALLY FOUND THE PURSE THAT SHE HAD SEEN DURING OUR FIRST VISIT HERE. IT WAS NOT ON THE SAME TABLE WHERE IT HAD BEEN WHEN SHE FIRST SAW IT. SHE WAS A BIT WORRIED BUT SHE ASKED THE ATTENDANTS IF THE PURSE HAD BEEN SOLD. WHEN THEY REALIZED WHAT PURSE SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT, THEY WENT TO ANOTHER AREA OF THE STORE AND BROUGHT THE PURSE TO HER. WE BOUGHT IT, AND FOR A DISCOUNT, WE PAID ONLY $850 FOR THE PURSE AND PERFUME. THE TWO WOULD HAVE COST ABOUT $1,200 IF THEY WERE BOUGHT SEPARATLY. THE PURSE IS UNIQUE; PURE WHITE WITH CARVED EMBELLISHMENTS ON IT. THIS MALL IS CALLED "THE SHOPPES" WE HAD TO COME HERE TO EAT AT "THE CUT" BY WOLFGANG PUCK. NOW WE HAD TO COME HERE TO BUY THE PURSE AT TORY BURCH. THIS IS A HIGH END WOMENS FASHION SHOP BUT IT IS NOT AS EXPENSIVE AS GUCCI OR LOIS VUITTON (THANK GOODNESS). AND YES, YOU CAN RIDE ON THE BOAT IF YOU WANT. 

THE JEWEL AT CHANGI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OF SINGAPORE. WE SPENT A FEW DAYS IN SINGAPORE ON THE WAY TO MANILA PHILIPPINES AFTER LEAVING MEDAN SUMATRA. THIS IS A FREE ATTRACTION ALTHOUGH IT IS SURROUNDED BY SOME VERY TEMPTING RESTAURANTS. IN FACT, WE DID EAT AT ONE OF THOSE RESTAURANTS TWO TIMES, ONCE ON THE WAY TO SUMATRA AND ONCE ON THE WAY TO MANILA. IT IS OPEN 24 HOURS BUT MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF HOURS BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT IF YOU ARE FLYING OUT BECAUSE IT IS A LONG WALK DOWN A FEW HALLWAYS TO ARRIVE AT THE JEWEL. ACCESS WILL BE FOUND AT LEVEL ONE TERMINAL ONE. IT IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE RAIN VORTEX, TALLEST INDOOR WATERFALL AND HAS SEVERAL LEVELS ALL WITH ABUNDANT FOREST GARDENS.

HOLIDAY INN HOTELS ARE PART OF THE IHG HOTEL GROUP. THE ONE AT GLORIETTA MALL IS VERY, VERY NICE. IT IS A 5 STAR HOTEL IN THE AYALA AREA. IT HAS A RATING OF 4.5 ON SOME WEBSITES BUT IT SEEMED QUITE DESERVING OF ITS 5 STAR RATING. THEY HAVE A 24 HOUR SHUTTLE TO THE AIRPORT BUT IT IS  NOT FREE. IT IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE GLORIETTA MALL WITH ONLY A COURTYARD BETWEEN THE TWO. JUST BEWARE, IF YOU VENTURE INTO THE GLORIETTA MALL, YOU WILL PROBABLY GET LOST TRYING TO RETURN TO THE HOTEL. WE SURE DID, BOTH TIMES WE WENT THERE BUT IT IS WORTH GOING BECAUSE THEY HAVE FRESH, WHOLE DURIANS THAT THEY WILL CUT UP FOR YOU TO EAT THERE AT THE STALL. THERE IS ALSO AN ALL YOU CAN EAT FILIPPINO BUFFET THERE.

IN THE INTRAMUROS AREA OF MANILA IS LOCATED FORT SANTIAGO. THE SPANISH BUILT THIS FORT IN 1571. AT FIRST IT WAS BUILT WITH LOGS THAT CAME FROM A BUILDING BUILT HERE BY RAJAH SOLIMAN. THAT BUILDING GOT DESTROYED DURING AN ATTACK BY THE CHINESE LED BY LIMAHONG. THEN THE STONE FORT WAS BUILT AROUND 1590. IN 1950, THE FORT WAS DESIGNATED AS A MEMORIAL FOR THOSE WHO DIED BECAUSE OF WORLD WAR II. IT WAS THEN RESTORED TO THE EXTENT THAT CAN BE SEEN IN THE VIDEOS AND PHOTOS INCLUDED HERE. 

HERE ARE A FEW MORE PHOTOS FROM THE INTRAMUROS NEIGHBORHOOD OF MANILA PHILIPPINES. INTRAMURALS IS AN OLD, WALLED AREA OF MANILA. IT IS ABOUT .25 SQUARE MILES (BARRIO DE INTRAMUROS = AREA INSIDE THE WALLS). PHOTOS HERE WILL SHOW PLACES LIKE PLAZA DE ROMA, FORT SANTIAGO, AND SAN AGUSTIN CHURCH. THE SPANISH BUILT UP A REALLY BEAUTIFUL TOWN HERE. DURING THE SPANISH COLONIAL PERIOD, THIS WAS MANILA AND THE EXTRAMUROS AREAS WERE INDEPENDENT TOWNS. WHEN IT WAS FOUNDED AS THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE CAPTAINCY GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINES IN 1571, THE GOVERNER GENERAL WAS STATIONED HERE UNTIL 1865. SAN AUGUSTIN CHURCH IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE AS IT IS THE ONLY BUILDING IN THE INTRAMUROS AREA THAT SURVIVED THE JAPANESE IMPERIAL ARMYS' LAST STAND HERE. THE FORTIFICATIONS OF MANILA ARE A NATIONAL CULTURAL TREASURE.I HOPE THE PHOTOS DO IT JUSTICE (AS MUCH AS A PHOTO CAN). THIS PHOTO ON THE LEFT IS A GATE AT FORT SANTIAGO.  THIS GATE INCLUDES THE ROYAL SEAL OF SPAIN. THERE ALSO A BAS RELIEF OF SAINT JAMES THE KILLER OF THE MOORS. 

EVERY STATE OF THE USA HAS THEIR STATE SEAl ENGRAVED IN THE MARBLE WALKWAY AT THE VETERANS' MEMORIAL IN MANILA WHICH IS ONE OF THE LARGEST USA VETERANS' MEMORIALS IN THE WORLD.




WE TOOK HUNDREDS OF PHOTOS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA THIS YEAR. WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF THEM?