Friday, July 31, 2009

Travel Macao Haiku - The Ruins of St Paul

St Paul's Ruins
a concrete history
of Portuguese Macao

St Paul's Ruins
a torn page with
the essentials intact

St Paul's Ruins
a slab of
concrete history

Courtesy of Wikipedia

The Ruins of St Paul
Portuguese: Ruínas de São Paulo,Chinese:大三巴牌坊) refer to the façade of what was originally the Cathedral of St. Paul, a 17th century Portuguese cathedral in Macau dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle. Today, the ruins are one of Macau's most famous landmarks. In 2005, the Ruins of St. Paul were officially enlisted as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau.

Built from 1582 to 1602 by the Jesuits, the cathedral was the largest Catholic church in Asia at the time, and the royalty of Europe vied with each other to bestow upon the cathedral the best gifts. With the decline in importance of Macau, which was overtaken as the main port for the Pearl River Delta by Hong Kong, the cathedral's fortunes similarly ebbed, and it was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in 1835. The Fortaleza do Monte overlooks the ruin.

The ruins now consist of the southern stone façade — intricately carved between 1620 and 1627 by Japanese Christians in exile from their homeland and local craftsmen under the direction of Italian Jesuit Carlo Spinola — and the crypts of the Jesuits who established and maintained the Cathedral. The façade sits on a small hill, with 66 stone steps leading up to it. The carvings include Jesuit images with Oriental themes, such as a woman stepping on a seven-headed hydra, described by Chinese characters as ' Holy Mother tramples the heads of the dragon'. A few of the other carvings are the founders of the Jesuit Order, the conquest of Death by Jesus, and at the very top, a dove with wings outstretched.

Resisting calls for the dangerously leaning structure to be demolished, from 1990 to 1995 the ruins were excavated under the auspices of the Instituto Cultural de Macau to study its historic past. The crypt and the foundations were uncovered, revealing the architectural plan of the building. Numerous religious artifacts were also found together with the relics of the Japanese Christian martyrs and the monastic clergy, including the founder of the Jesuit college in Macau, Father Alessandro Valignano. The ruins were restored by the Macanese government into a museum, and the facade is now buttressed with concrete and steel in a way which preserves the aesthetic integrity of the facade. A steel stairway allows tourists to climb up to the top of the facade from the rear. It is customary to throw coins into the top window of the ruins from the stairs, for luck.

Travel Macao Haiku - Fisherman's Wharf

all in the neighbourhoods
Tang Dynasty Palace and
the Roman Coliseum

Macao Fishermen's Wharf
i walk around fishing

Macao Fishermen's Wharf
as good as the old wonders
the new old architectures

Macau Fisherman's Wharf is a 120,000-sqm² park and the first themed entertainment attraction in Macau. It is centrally located in the outer harbour. It combines top-flight entertainment, accommodation, fine dining, retail, convention and exhibition facilities in one single location which takes just a 5-minute walk from the Macau Ferry Terminal and Heliport. Be it for business or pleasure, visitors are able to find a brand new experience in this world-class, round-the-clock, free admission entertainment complex, which is rapidly emerging as a popular landmark and meeting point for both Macau citizens and tourists in search of the vibrant and the new.

Theme Park

The twin fumaroles, 40m high manmade volcano towers over the shoreline to form the most eye-catching icon of Macau Fisherman's Wharf. Vulcania offers not only great photo-taking opportunities but a chance to tour the labyrinth of the volcano's vast interior.

Aladdin's Fort
This adventurous environment comprises kiddy rides and the first-ever war games arena in Macau. Decorated as an Arabian marketplace, the arena offers the latest war games equipment and a variety of game sets such as 'Shoot on Target', 'Spy in Action' and 'Action Combat'. The War Game arena opens daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm.

The Underground Amusement Centre
The newly opened Underground Amusement Game Centre - fitted out with spectacular sci-fi interior - occupies a total area of 950 sq.m² and is the largest such facility in Macau. The Centre is a paradise of electronic games featuring the newest and most exciting electronic games available such as the F1 simulator, Initial-D, GUNDAM fighter, Guitar Mania and first ESP simulation theatre.

Roman Amphitheatre
The 3,500 sq.m² Roman Amphitheatre is located in the mid-area of Macau Fisherman's Wharf. This spectacular, multi-functional performance venue features a 199 sq.m² multi-purpose stage equipped with world-class audio and visual technology as well as professional lighting system - an ideal venue for all kinds of outdoor performances and variety shows. This pioneering theme-built outdoor performance venue can cater to audiences of 2,000 at one time.


Macau Fisherman's Wharf provides a truly international collection of restaurants and bars ensures that there's always a right place for the occasion. From a range of fresh and cooked food service or takeaway to refreshment, Macau Fisherman's Wharf provides a perfect place to relax and social.

More information on Dinning


In addition to fine dining and entertainment, Macau Fisherman's Wharf offers some of the most popular branded fashion labels in the world as well as top-line sportswear, golf products, special Portuguese souvenirs, jewellery, fine art galleries and toyshops.

Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibition Facilities

Convention & Exhibition Centre
Located at the basement level of Aladdin's Fort area, this elegant venue is themed around a fascinating ancient civilization. The 5,000 sq.m² Convention and Exhibition Centre comprises a 2,787 sq.m² pillarless designs and 6.4m high Main Hall that can accommodate up to 168 round tables or 3,500 standing guests; the Main Hall can also be conveniently sub-divided into 3 sections with separate entrances.

The 111 sq.m² built-in stage, together with a full range of cutting edge audio and visual technology, are in place to serve myriad types of performances and shows. To address meeting and banquet needs, some 5 multi-function rooms, when connected together, can accommodate up to 60 round tables. An additional special feature of the Convention & Exhibition Centre is the 1,300 sq.m² themed pre-function area. In addition, 2 specially designed VIP rooms give direct, private access to the car park to accommodate special arrangements for important guests.

Team building exercises and 'war games' training facilities are also available, while our experienced event coordination team is happy to tailor-make special programmes for your function or event.


The Rocks Hotel
The 72-room, Victorian-inspired Rocks Hotel is located at the far end of Legend Wharf and boasts an individual balcony for every room. The stylish Sky Lounge, situated on the roof of the hotel, is a convenient and comfortable place to rendezvous for moonlit champagne assignations and business meetings alike. Fine alfresco dining is also available in the green, quiet grounds of the hotel while Vic's Café offers fresh imported Australian seafood served buffet style in the restaurant abutting the inspired lobby setting.



Babylon Casino
Babylon with 90 casino tables, the Macau's first boutique casino, draws its inspiration from the mystical Assyrian kingdom that was once the epicentre of the ancient Western world. 12 stone pillars, each carved with mythical gods, stoically support the gilt-encrusted casino, on top of which sits the splendid Sky Garden.

Other Facilities

Fun Fun Miami - Children's Day Care Centre
Macau Fisherman's Wharf means fun and entertainment round the clock for the whole family but sometimes parents want to party on their own. And that's when the Children's Day Care Centre comes into its own. Conveniently located in Miami Building, the Centre caters to children aged 3 years and above, and provides them with a host of diversionary entertainment from video viewing to video games to library. Children's Day Care Centre available daily from 11:00am to 7:00pm.

The car park is located on the basement level of the Rome Building, offering 400 parking spaces for cars and 70 spaces for motorcycles.

Source: Macau Fisherman's Wharf

Sunday, July 5, 2009


apsara, the first of them i saw
were trapped on the angkor wall
three hundred years of cold storage
with their blossoming bosom
that could carry your eyes through
a prism of pleasures given only
to the mighty kings who once lived here
so lonely they stood now in all the corridors
they sent shivers down my spine

apsara, the second time i saw them
was in the cultural theatre in seam reap
fair skinned ravishing damsels with voluptuous
physiques and high octaved songs lifting
the spirits of those from near and afar

they were children of old apsaras, nymphs who
nearly had their wings clipped by revolutionaries
but peservered to keep the steps of their triumphs alive
so that young apsaras can be born and stand tall on
mount meru again, churning the milk of creation
and sing their heart's content night after night
their costumes and dance steps were luxuriant, their
hands and finger graceful as butterflies, setting them
setting them apart from the Thais and Malay dancers

the third time, i saw the apsaras was at the Cham
Museum of Sculptures in Danang, fragments of an
enchanting and glorious past that had been torn apart,
torn apart like the temple stones, altars and pillars
where apsaras struggled to glimpse at the world,
their voluptuous physique and bosom entrancing as ever

john tiong chunghoo

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Friend is Thinking about his Race

i want to have somebody to talk
my friend is thinking about his race

i want to take somebody out to have a good meal
my friend is thinking about his race

i want to talk about his interest with him
my friend is thinking about his race

i want to really teach my friend a thing or two
my friend is thinking about his race

i want to tell him to have wider look of life
my friend is thinking about his race

i want to cheer everything up with him
my friend is thinking about his race

i want to tell him he is living like a stone
my friend is thinking about his race

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Travel Taiwan Haiku - Spider Webs over Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake
casting nets over the water
two giant spiders

Sun Moon Lake
calm as the lake
two giant spider webs

Sun Moon Lake
suspended over the lake
two giant spider webs

Sun Moon Lake
calm as the waters
two giant spider webs

John Tiong Chunghoo

Whiteness all filled up

the white space on the paper
or the computer is the universal mind
a garden, lake, a theme park
where seeds of words can grow and
bloom into flowers of every kind
a mickey mouse, a donald duck, a reindeer
a leatherback turtle, a humpback whale,
birds, bees and butterfly of every kind to partake
in their enfolding shapes, shades, scents
and secret juice from the heavens

Michael Jackson Tribute

now as i look into the night sky
the little star twinkling, twisting, spiralling
in the farthest corner well that's
michael jackson

michael jackson
refund me the star,
never mind the tickets

these london tickets
now these heart crushing
limited edition momentos

beat it, billie jean is not my lover
michael jackson
is no more back in town

michael jackson
keeping the london tickets
to remember the star

michael jackson
the star in the man takes
over his life

michael jackson
outshone by the star
in the man

michael jackson
drowned out by
the star in the man

michael jackson
drunken by music
and stardom

michael jackson
the star and vulptures
eat up everything of the boy men

john tiong chunghoo

A billion Pride

there is a tightness about the Chinese
a jar of wine, sealed and tied with the
help of one billlion hands

there is a tightness about the Chinese
a star twisting and jostling to win
your fancy among one billion

there is a tightness about the Chinese
a surname the weight of one billion ton
each wishes to shoot through the heavens

there is a tightness about the Chinese
five centuries of the rise and fall of civilisations
a dragon all claws, whiskers and fiery eyes
tidying and polishing its billion scales
so that they dazzle with power and excellence

there is a tightnesss about the Chinese
gunpowder all ready to blast through
crackers in one billion hard foldings

john tiong chunghoo

Travel Haiku - Thousand Islands, St Lawrence River (New York)

one striking Thousand Islands memory
a tug of war with
a 10kg trout

For a summer weekend on the water, head to the boaters' paradise of the Thousand Islands (1,864 to be exact) of the St. Lawrence River in northwestern New York and southeast Ontario. Everything from fishing boats to jet skis and houseboats to kayaks can be rented by the hour, day, or week. This area also offers some of the country's best fishing, with record-size salmon, muskie, bass, and walleye just waiting to be caught. Wilderness anglers can head to the Oswegatchie Headwaters and hike or paddle to fish for brook trout.

john tiong chunghoo

My Aquarium

i used to admire my brother who had
aquariums of fishes outside the garage
and in our rooms, fishes that swam
through every phase of our teenage years
now another of his fruitful hobbies steals our sights,
breath and hearts
he keeps a garden of orchids, many he
fervently crossed breed himself with a secret
wish to name a few at least after his sweet heart,
special friends and luminaries in town
with also the hope some would make their
way into every florist's vocabulary
the blade leafy shrubs have started to
make a cut into the finer part of our life
showering us dainty fair ladies in their best wear

i am always at a loss of their names
those protrusions with an array of flowers
of subtle shapes, racy exploding colours and scents
carrying apt names such as slippers, tigers, spiders
monkeys, giants and lady Joaquim

and fishes, he had silver and gold arowanas
that flial in the aquariums with a grace
that you wish your girlfriend can match up to
and oscars that grew so big a solid orange and
black frame they carried the aura of a master
an air of authority and decisiveness you wish you
had cultivated to swim up the heart of your own boss

then there is the ikan parang, a worn curved chopper,
a steely mass of the Creator's fluid creativity
played out in crystal clear water

as i reflect on my own aquariums
i feel not slighted too though i have no real fishes or flowers
i see them in names like neruda, plath,
emily, angelou, ted, langston....
they too help send me to seventh heaven
with a few strokes of their heartstrings
filled with the vibrancy and gems of their grey matter

john tiong chunghoo