AC Photography: Globetrotting

The travelling bug bit me at a very early age. My fascination with life and the many facets it offers, stretching throughout the four corners of the world is simply diverse and beautifully astounding. My father gave me his Japan-made Topcon camera when I was in college, the first camera that led me on a fascinating journey of discovery, immortalising a fraction of a second for life. Here are some of the photographs and stories of my travels.


Angkor Wat Part 2: The sacred citadel of the god-kings

Angkor Wat © Adrian Cheah

When Angkor was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1992, it was also added to the List of World Heritage in Danger. The following year, UNESCO launched a major campaign to restore and safeguard Angkor. Thanks to international cooperation, Angkor rebounded dramatically and in 2004, it was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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Angkor Wat Part 1: The sacred citadel of the god kings

Angkor Wat © Adrian Cheah

The Khmers of Cambodia were unsurpassed builders, sculptors and decorators in stone, leaving us the majestic temples of Angkor, undeniably among humanity's greatest treasures.

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Khao Yai, Part 2: Of sprawling vineyards, an English-style tearoom and flying nymphs

Khao Yai © Adrian Cheah

At Khao Yai, we joined a guided tour at PB Valley Estate, the largest vineyard in the province. The guide explained that different grapes – Shiraz, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and Colombard – are grown at the estate for their wine production.

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Khao Yai, Part 1: Of sunflower fields, hedge mazes and silk worms

Khao Yai © Adrian Cheah

When I think of sunflowers, the first thing that comes to my mind is Vincent van Gogh's globally recognisable sunflower series. Diego Rivera, Alfred Gockel and Paul Gauguin, master artists in their own right, had incorporated sunflowers in some of their paintings as well but none of them achieved the stellar recognition that van Gogh received from his iconic sunflower masterpieces.

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Maggie T. celebrates new beginnings with family and friends in Rosslare

Maggie T. in Rosslare © Adrian Cheah

When one chapter in our lives closes, another one begins. All that we can and should, is to fill them with magical moments the best way we know-how. So very often, it is with the assistance of family members and true friends that we are able to inscribe heart-felt occasions in each chapter.

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The 32nd International Baba Nyonya Convention in Malacca

Baba Nyonya Convention © Adrian Cheah

Sadhguru (Jaggi Vasudev), an influential yogi cautioned that the more we identify with something – religion, gender, race, ideology, money, et cetera – the more we will defend it, some even with our lives. Having said that, most of us feel the need to identify with things we hold dear, be it our family, heritage or even our social media status.

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A Tasmanian adventure of camaraderie

Tasmania © Adrian Cheah

Long names like Satchithananthan a/l Chelliah or Gunananthan a/l Nithyanantham have somehow stayed with me. I first met Satchi and Guna in Standard One (when we were seven years of age) at La Salle Primary School, Penang. We spent the first nine year of schooling together in the same class, from Mondays to Fridays and on weekends for extra-curricular activities. During school holidays, we went swimming, fishing, camping and hiking as well as playing games together. We had no internet, no cell phones, no computers or video games. We only had friends!

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Galle Fort – Sri Lanka's most glorious World Heritage Site

Galle Fort © Adrian Cheah

I visited Galle Fort twice, once in 2011 and another in 2015. Built in 1855 by the Dutch, the 130-acre fort is one of Sri Lanka's most prominent World Heritage Sites. Located at the bay of Galle on the southwestern coast of the island, it has retained its charm and beauty even after going through dramatic changes in history – invasions, battles, colonisations, terrorist attacks, plagues and even a tsunami.

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Lourdes, where miracles do happen

Lourdes © Adrian Cheah

A serendipitous encounter in October 2015 took me to Lourdes in France where I was immersed nude in the water of the spring that St. Bernadette discovered on 25 February 1858, the symbol of purification. Boarding a plane from Penang, I knew nothing about St. Bernadette nor the holy pilgrimage Lourdes offered.

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The golden Shwedagon Pagoda, a tale of eight sacred hairs

Shwedagon Pagoda © Adrian Cheah

A warm welcome to you. Come closer and take a seat. Are you comfortable? Good. Let me tell you a tale of two brothers. They came with an offering, a humble gift of petite cakes made of honey. The young man seated beneath the ancient tree accepted the sweet offerings with a gentle smile and in return, he plucked eight hairs from his head and offered them to the brothers. The latter felt that this silent exchange signified something momentous.

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Lessons vis-à-vis fatherhood taught on Southeast Asia's highest peak – Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu.© Adrian Cheah

Fatherhood has to be one of the most adventurous journeys that I could ever imagine embarking on. There is no manual or compass to guide you and everyday unfolds a new chapter. My daughter Jean was six when I decided to take her up Mount Kinabalu.

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Like a phoenix, Kinkaku-ji rises once again

Kinkaku-ji © Adrian Cheah

Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, has been through devastating fires in the past. Although it managed to survive the ravages of the Onin War (1467–1477), it was engulfed in the fire of 1565. Kinkaku-ji was then rebuilt in the 19th century and restored to its full splendour.

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