Temple of Preah Vihear: Sacred amidst Tensions

February 22nd, 2015

AsiaCambodiaSouth East AsiaThey Said

When I found out that it was possible (albeit near-impossibility at that time) to visit this sacred temple on a day trip from Siem Reap in 2012, I immediately grabbed the opportunity to see it while it was then — once again — enjoying a short “time of peace”. For a very long time in … Continued

Sure, the sand dunes of Ilocos Norte have been used as the setting for the desert scenes in the movies Mad Maxx, Born on the Fourth of July, and the local blockbuster flicks ‘Ang Panday’ series and ‘Temptation Island’. The sand dunes have always been there. For the longest time, the locals knew it was … Continued

The karst landscape of Gunung Mulu was inscribed in 2000 as Malaysia’s second UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Among many natural sites already present in the prestigious list, Gunung Mulu easily stands out as it is one of the few that is inscribed on all four natural criteria set by the World Heritage Committee. These are: 1. it being an outstanding specimen … Continued

Prambanan temple compounds came in as one of the first world heritage sites of Indonesia in 1991. This site was inscribed under two criteria: as a masterpiece of human creative genius, and as an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble that represents a significant stage in human history (i.e., spread of Hinduism in the East). It happens to … Continued

I visited Macao during the cool month of December last year. Staying there for two days, I managed to visit all its historic monuments and properties that make up the UNESCO World Heritage inscription (together with some of its casinos :p). For most heritage geeks, I share the assessment that Macao is largely a “misinterpreted gem”. … Continued

The cultural landscape of Bali in Indonesia is largely shaped by the traditional belief systems of its locals. Tri Hita Karana — roughly translated into English as “the three causes of prosperity” – is a philosophy that governs and guides the daily lives and attitudes of Balinese. This unique concept puts premium to the universal respect of and … Continued

The challenge posed by this site is to make sense of the scattered remains of a former strong Southeast Asian empire’s capital.  The historic city of Ayutthaya gained global importance due to its strategic trading location and strong diplomatic networks that were highly prized by the Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, and even the British. … Continued

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras: Understanding the Complexity One Step at a Time (Part 2) It has to be bore in mind that, as a continuing cultural landscape, the rice terraces should be seen and understood in relation to its environment (mountain landscape) and the traditions of its people (rituals, farming practices, beliefs, etc.). Key to … Continued