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Monday, October 24, 2016

Botanical Garden - Baguio City

The Baguio Botanical Garden is not hard to find when you're in Baguio City, Philippines. Its main entrance is easy to locate as you go straight along Leonard Wood Road, just in between Wright Park and the Teacher's Camp.

The famous landmark of the garden is its main gate made of stone and cement, sculptured and shaped by a bas relief reflecting the various rituals of the Cordillera tribes. You can also easily witness at its main gate the presence of old folks; - real live Igorots wearing their tribal attires who are always willing to pose photos with you for a minimal fee.

I and my family with the old folks! ;)

This botanical garden was also both a garden and a zoo and was actually named Botanical & Zoological Garden; also named as Igorot Village, Imelda Park (came from the name of former First Lady, Imelda Marcos), and now called Centennial Park due to the 100th years celebration of Baguio as the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
Although today, many tourists and locals still call the garden Baguio Botanical Garden, perhaps because the main gate says it so ;).

The park not only features pine trees and other variety of shrubs, bushes and flowers but also includes native Igorot huts and statues decorating the park, and designed with narrow and winding pathways, ideal for cool strolls. It's also an ideal place to commune with nature and when you want to relax and be at peace and quiet.

In one corner of the park are rows of souvenir shops that sell gift items, handicrafts and various items for visitors who want to shop for any gift items.

Take note when visiting:

  1. the park is NOT wheel-chair friendly, and visitors should wear comfortable walking shoes as path walks and steps are a bit tricky and steep in some areas.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The "Genghis Khan" at the Franklin Institute Museum

If you love all sorts of history, the Franklin Institute offers these types of exhibits. From May 9, 2015 to January 3, 2016 was an exhibit about the life of Genghis Khan. The Mongolians and Russians call him "Chinggis" pronounced as "chin-ghis", and many Westerners do spell his name as genghis, pronounced as "jen-ghus" or 'ghen-ghus'!

The exhibit features more than 200 artifacts that came from private collectors in Mongolia, Azerbaijan and even from the US. These artifacts are considered mostly as never-before-seen artifacts. These includes weaponries, ceramics, jewels, various relics, guns and swords.
Huge replicas can be seen such as the Genghis Khan Crossbow, the Mongolian Armored horse and warrior, The Grasslands exhibits and Murals.

Murals also include some works of art created after his death. An example of this is a mural of Genghis Khan with his officers.
All Genghis Khan exhibits are located at the Pepper Hall and Pendulum galleries.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The No. 9 Coal Mine & Museum Tour

No. 9 Mine & Museum is located off Route 209 in Lansford, Pennsylvania and is at the foot of the Pocono Mountains. It is between halfway the historic towns of Jim Thorpe and Tamaqua.

#9 Coal Mine started in as early as in 1855, considered to be the world's oldest continously operated anthracite coal mine. It was ultimately closed in 1972 but it was re opened again in 2002 as a heritage tourist attraction.
Today, the coal mine becomes one of the most ideal mine attraction giving its visitors an unforgettable experience in exploring the mine underground by taking visitors into a train that goes 1,600 feet into the mountainside and let them experience what it was like for those miners in the old days to work underground for more than past 200  years ago.

The tour includes a visit to the underground mule-way, the hospital inside the mine, and the 900-ft. deep original elevator shaft that once hauled loaded coal cars back to the surface.

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There are amazing additional sights and fascinating stories as well which are being shared by the tour guide.
The #9 mining museum can be easily seen at the "Wash Shanty" building. It is filled with exhibits of the original artifacts and equipments used by the miners for nearly 2 centuries of mining history at the coal mine.
As you enter the museum, you see clothings placed in wire baskets which are hanged through chains from the ceiling of the "wash shanty" building.
This sight is how it was during those days that 450 miners worked in the mine.

Other exhibits are the original tools that the miners used, - shovels, drills, axes, picks, blasting equipments, saws, lamps and their lunch cans and caps. There are also exhibits that include a life-sized replica of a mule boy and his mule, various original photo collection, original paintings, handcrafted and carved items made of coal, fossils, gems and even a replica of an 1800's miner's kitchen, and tons more to see.

A small gift shop is just at the entrance area of the museum which sells carved coal souvenirs, customized shirts/hats, books and more.