Sunday, December 27, 2009

Seadragon of Taman Sari

This is the statue of the sea dragon at Taman Sari in the pool.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Solo Guard

Here is my latest painting of a court guard in traditional costume of Surakarta (Solo) of Java, Indonesia.
The batik is copied from a shirt I got from Batik Keris of Solo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

dream trip across Java again

2011 Late Spring / Early Summer
Day 0 May 15 Sun work until 7:30pm, then go to airport around midnight
Day 1 May 16 flight Vancouver YVR by Cathay Pacific 2:45 AM to Hong Kong
Day 2 May 17 Tue Arrive in HK6:55 AM, go to Ricky's house then if weather is good:
hiking 10am to 3pm at Namfung Road Fung Sui Aboretum HK, or if raining:
then go walking 10am to noon in HK Zoological and Botanical gardens, Central, HK, then shopping at: noon to afternoon Joyce Beauty New World Tower, Central for perfume, Lane Crawford IFG Mall Mariage Freres for violet tea, late afternoon to evening buy books from Page One Time Square and General Bookstore 449 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, dinner
Day 3 May 18 Wed take 9:20 AM flight to Jakarta CGK arrive at 13:05, take taxi to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, stay there in accomodation 1 night
Day 4 May 19 Thur Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, take taxi to Bogor via Widayanto Studio to see ceramic art and have lunch, then to Bogor stay inside Kebun Raya Bogor for 5 nights, photographying and painting
Day 5 May 20 Fri Kebun Raya Bogor, morning Zoological Museum
Day 6 May 21 Sat Pasar Bogor, Kebun Raya Bogor, Kebun Raya Bogor painting, hire tour guide to search for Phytocrene macrophylla male flower, lunch at Cafe de Daunen, Botani Square get Garuda ticket (Yogyakarta to Jakarta), Gumati dinner
Day 7 May 22 Sun Kebun Raya Bogor
Day 8 May 23 Mon Hebarium Bogoriense
Day 9 May 24 Tue Puncak Pass, Rindu Alam Restaurant, hiking at Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park then to Bandung, go to railway station to buy Lodaya ticket, stay at Savoy Homann Hotel for 2 nights
Day 10 May 25 Wed learn Batik at Batik Komar, Bandung
Day 11 May 26 Thur take Lodaya train at 8am to arrive at Yogyakarta's train station around 4pm, stay at Grand Mercure the Pheonix Hotel for 4 nights, , shop at Mirota Batik, Terang Bulan, then enjoy Ramayana Ballet dance performance (dinner and show) at Purawisata theatre 8-9:30 pm in the amusement park
Day 12 May 27 Fri explore Solo, Kraton Surakarta, Kraton Mangkunegara, Pasar Klewer for Batik fabric for bedspreads and kimono, lunch at Cafe Solo, then visit Batik DanarHadi Museum, shop at Batik Danarhadi www.houseofdanarhadi and Dancer's Requisites at Toko Bedoyo Serimpi (Jl. Hayam Wuruk and Jl. Ronggo Warsito) for costumes, masks, golden headdresses, armbands, keris, buckles for belts, Batik Semar, and Batik Keris
Day 13 May 28 Sat Kaliurang to visit Ullen Sentalu Museum and have lunch there, then walk around the cool resort town and then to Parangtritis Beach, evening Borobudur Spectacular (dinner and show)
Day 14 May 29 Sun go to Sono-Budoyo Museum to see Wayang Kulit Puppets, Keraton watch Wayang Orang performance at 10 AM, shop at Tjokrosuharto for dance costume, dinner at Hanoman's Forest Restaurant with classical javanese dance, wayang golek or wayang kuit
Day 15 May 30 Mon Yogyakarta to explore Pasar Beringharjo, Jl Tirtodipuran, then walk on the streets to the batik factories and antique stores such as Batik Plentong, Batik Indah, Batik Winotosastro, Mirota Moesson
Day 16 May 31 Tue Yogyakarta flight 9:35 AM to Jakarta 10:40 AM, then 15:05 flight to HKG arrive 20:50 then at 0:30 flight to Vancouver YVR arrive 21:25
Day 17 June 1 Wed rest

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Possessed by Ratu Kidul Yogyakarta, latest Painting in Watercolour

This is my latest work done in watercolour using a jade colour, light green, and brown. Ratu Kidul is the Goddess of the Southern Sea of Java. Her favourite colour is green and she was imagined to be a beautiful woman in a green batik dress and in her apparition, she flies through the sky and navigate with her long snake tail. Her favourite spot is at the shore of the southern sea of Java where swimmers are warn not to wear green or risk drowning. In the city of Yogyakarta, among the ruins of Taman Sari, the water castle, the underground mosque has a staircase structure with a pool under it that rumoured to have connection with her. This is the source of my fantasy imagined that a person possessed by her spirit and coming out from the pool.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nature is wonderful

This is a very cute green mango. It looks like a whale!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

back to work

I am back to work, same chocolate business, different location. I would like to thank everybody who helped me through the years and I missed all of you very much.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beautiful Plants at Hawaiian Botanicals

I went to check out the new plants at Hawaiian Botanicals here in Richmond, Vancouver. They stream-lined the plants and now mostly sell water plants such as waterlilies, lotus, and then all carnivorous plants such as Drosera, Sarracenia and Nepenthes. The Nepenthes are wonderful and the nursery is very tidy and nice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Edible Flowers

I bought some edible yellow peas flowers from the Vietnamese grocer. They are tiny flowers, after washed, then I added some dried pork and onion, celery and did a tempura and then also a stir-fried dish. They are tasty, not bitter at all. Then I made a simple Soto Ayam (chicken soup).

Friday, August 14, 2009

simple and not so simple lunch

Today, I made a lunch using ingredients from all over the world. Here I have the simple Mie Soto Ayam. It is Indonesian noodles in Chicken Soup. Then I have peanuts salted with Indonesian fried chips. The small dish is a stir-fried Sesbania grandiflora with green onion and carrot. Then I have Toraya's beautiful yogan for the summer.
Sesbania flowers are like giant peas flowers unopened. Take the green cap off all together, then tear open the septals and petals, take out and discard the stamens and clean off the pollen. Paid attention to wash out all the interior of the flower, sometimes small worms will be staying there. Then use a salad sprinner to take the exess water out. Use an XO sauce (oil with ham, dried shrimp, and dried scallop) to stir fry for 1 minutes, add fish sauce, carrot and green onion and Korean sweet syrup. It is very tasty, a little bit bitter but sweet.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Wayang Wong

Wayang Wong is Indonesian Dance Drama. I have designed 3 dancers' costume.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

javanist dance costume

I finished a new painting of a Javanist dance costume. The batik is copied after the popular designs of Yogyakarta.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vietnamese cuisine

My Mom made beautiful frog legs stir-fried with celery and peppers.
I had a similar dish twice in Hanoi but with a curry sauce. Next time I will make Cambodian deep fried frog legs with caramel sauce.

Monday, July 20, 2009

new trip for Japan

Final Plan for Japan Trip

Jan 12 Tue Vancouver on JL017 11:30 AM, flying to Tokyo Narita Airport
Jan 13 Wed Arrive at Narita 2:35PM, take Narita Express to Tokyo Station, transfer to hotel Blue Wave Inn in Asakusa, dinner at Asakusa Namikiyabu Soba (11-7:30 closed Thur), then shop at Carnival Shibuya (till 10PM), Biggym at Ueno (till 11PM)
Jan 14 Thu Jimbocho for hunting of old books, lunch at Ningyocho's Futaba Tofu (6AM to 8PM), go to Jusanburokan to see the exquisite dolls, then have tea in Amedokoro Hatsune, shop at Ningyocho, and also Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi for wagashi, dinner
Jan 15 Fri Yayoi Museum for Hirezakieiho's exhibition, Asakusa and Kappabashi shopping, then free day in Tokyo.
Jan 16 Sat early Shinkansen to Kyoto, drop off luggage and check in to Kyoto Garden Hotel, paint and take photos at Kyoto Botanical Garden, shopping at Sanjodori, dinner near Sanjodori.
Jan 17 Sun Continue painting at Kyoto Botanical garden then go to Nara Todaiji, Nara National Museum, Kasura Shrine and back to walk at Inari Shrine near Kyoto,KGH.
Jan 18 Mon Ishida Mansen Factory, studio learning, Daimaru shopping, KGH.
Jan 19 Tue studio learning, shopping near Shijo Kawaramachi, KGH.
Jan 20 Wed studio learning, KGH.
Jan 21 Thu Check out from KGH leave luggage, Kyoto Toji year end market, Nishijinorikaikan, Seimeijinjya, pick up luggage from KGH, and take taxi and check in at Yoshimizu Ryokan near Yasaka Jinja and Maruyama Koen, walk towards Kodaiji, Ninesaka, Sannesaka, Kiyomitsu Dera.
Jan 22 Fri studio learning, YR.
Jan 23 Sat studio learning, YR.
Jan 24 Sun Check out from Yoshimizu Ryokan, drop off luggage at Kyoto Station for 2 days. With a hand-carry, go to Ichijoji to visit bookstore, then to Kibune Shrine and Mt Kurama, stay at Kuramaso Ryokan, enjoy 1 day course at Kurama Onsen for lunch and hot spring, walk in forest, visit Kurama temple, Yuki Shrine.
Jan 25 Mon Kitanotenmangu market, shop at the cube then pick up luggage at Kyoto Station, take Shinkensen to Tokyo, stay again at Blue Wave Inn.
Jan 26 Tue Free morning in Asakusa before flight till noon, then take flight JL018 at Narita 5:40PM back to Vancouver arrive at 9:10AM

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New kimono design

I bought a Vietnamese silk back from Hanoi and I wanted to have it made into an Asuka period costume. Here is the design. The obi is going to be further designed and made when I go to Japan next time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New articles written on thingsasian

I have written an article on Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

and also a long but very interesting one about walking in the mysterious sacred places in Kyoto.

I welcome any comments.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Painting of Aristolochia tagala

I finally finished this painting started in Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. I worked on it in Cuc Phuong while I stayed at the Mac Lake and also when I was staying at the Muong Village.
I will write an article about the gardens.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

new article about silk buying

I have written a new article about buying silk in Asia.
Here is the link. Just copy and paste onto the search address, it will bring you to the article. Remember to click mucuna afterwards, then you will be brought to my other articles.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Farewell to my co-workers

It is difficult and emotional to say farewell to my co-workers for a company that I worked for 14 years. I thank each and every one of them and I enjoyed working with them and hope to see all in future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Aim for a New Trip

I would like to go to Xishuangbanna to experience the tropical rainforest in 2012 in the south-western part of China bordering Burma, Laos and Vietnam.
I am looking at the itinerary and it seems like fun but a bit difficult for independent travellers, maybe I should pick up a couple local tours so the transportation will be resolved and in 1 day I can visit several places.

I have 2 more days extra that I can use as my vacation is 2 weeks. Either I can stop over in Hong Kong and do some shopping and hiking, or I can spend more time in Jinghong for other activities.

Day 1 Vancouver 2:45AM to Hong Kong 6:55AM the next day
Day 2 Hong Kong noon to Kunming 2:25 PM, then 7PM to Jinghong 7:55PM (Xishuangbanna's main city) and then to Yourantai Cottages
Day 3 Take 1 day Rainforest Hike with ForestCafe tour to see waterfall (5 hours)
Day 4 Minority Park, Tropical Crop Park, Xishuangbanna Medicinal Garden and Mengla Road Fruit Market, Manting Park
Day 5 Xishuangbanna Primeval Forest Park, Wild Elephant Valley, stay in tree house
Day 6 Wild Elephant Valley, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, stay at the garden
Day 7 Painting at Xishuangbanna TBG
Day 8 Painting and researching at Xishuangbanna TBG
Day 9 Olive Dam, back to Jinghong to stay at Yourantai Cottages, and visit Mekong Hill Garden and TianZi Biodiversity Centre
Day 10 Yourantai Cottages, and TianZi Biodiversity Centre buying plants and herbal medicine and herbs and teas
Day 11 leaving Jinghong 11:15AM to Kunming 12:10PM, then 3:20PM to Hong Kong 5:40 PM then past midnight at 00:30AM to Vancouver arriving the same night 9:25PM
Day 12 rest and pot up new plants

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Vietnamese cushion covers

Lovely silk cushion covers I brought back from Vietnam

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vancouver in Spring

All flowers are in bloom. Wisteria, Aristolochia manshuriensis, Magnolia, Akebia etc.

Monday, May 11, 2009

nice weather in Vancouver

Here is my garden in flowers.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I am back

Here are two articles I wrote about my experience on vacation in Vietnam. Please enjoy.;jsessionid=DF028F1FECCC6FE475C1BEDC7548DC63

Monday, April 27, 2009

Painting in Hong Kong

I went to Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens today and painted at the Medicinal Garden. The subject is Aristolochia tagala. It is in full bloom and it also has lots of fruits that have so many seeds. I collected a lot and sketched the plant. Too bad I don't have enough time to paint the colour, but will work on it in Vietnam.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fun time in Hong Kong

It was rainning the whole day yesterday. So I cannot go hiking, so I went shopping in Causeway Bay. Time Square, and Sogo. I bought a small bottle of L'Artisan Perfumeur Fleur de Liane and some books. Also it was Sunday and the Indonesian workers in HK gathered at their spot in Causeway Bay and it was so crowded, but I managed to get a lot of Indonesian chips and so today I will go HK Botanic Garden to paint and enjoy the better weather.

Friday, April 24, 2009

leaving for vacation

Will be back in 2 weeks

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dreamt of seed collecting

I dreamt that last night I was collecting seeds with my brother. It was near a Mansion on the roadside. The cliff on the roadside was very steep, but I reached up to peel the papery seeds off the cliff along the stem of the vine. The seeds are huge and resemble Illigera's seeds. The colour is bright orange. We collected a lot of them. I was very excited.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I need to dream

This is the scene I dream at night!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

lovely silk in Vietnam

I am going to have clothes made from these kind of fabrics, so pretty and traditional.