Motodops, Rice Fields and Butterflies

Whilst staying in the Beautiful Cambodian City of Siem Reap we decided to go and look at the butterflies at The Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre. This small centre is owned and run by local people for the benefit of all the local rice farming families. The journey from The City to the centre is about 20 Km and is almost as good as the centre itself.

We took a motodop from town, favouring these motorbike drawn landaus over the cars every time. It’s a very pleasant way to travel, seated in the back, enjoying the views and joking with the driver. Leaving Siem Reap we headed out North passing Angkor Wat on the way. Just by Angkor Wat, monkeys gathered at the side of the road to beg or steal food from anyone who stopped to look at them.

Once past The Temples of Angkor, the countryside opens up to present a vista more in keeping with the Khmer wilderness that we have seen so often on TV and in movies. The local people live an extremely frugal life style. Residing in houses of reeds and leaves that stand on stilts cut from local trees, they farm rice and make and sell arts and crafts to visitors passing by. Excited children shrieked out a welcome as we drove past and their parents waved and offered friendly smiles to everyone. We waved back as the many rice paddies came and went from our gaze. This is such a beautiful part of the world. The jungle is always just within sight, the farmers cultivate right up to the edge of the impenetrable wilderness, which has born witness to many wars over the centuries.

After about 40 minutes we arrived at out destination. The Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is a small pleasant place, run by young boys who have an excited passion for their work. They breed the butterflies from egg to caterpillar, look after them as they change to pupae and enjoy them as they emerge in riotous colour to fly freely inside the large netted area. They have an extremely impressive collection of wild local plants and flowers on which their charges feed and rest.

We strolled about amongst the beautiful plants as our guide explained the different species and the way they breed them. They collect the eggs and put them into plastic tubs until the caterpillars hatch. Then they are placed in larger containers. As they change into the pupa stage of their metamorphosis, they are fastened onto bamboo sticks and placed into net sided, wooden cupboards. The doors are opened daily and any butterflies that have emerged, fly free within the netted area.

Our young guide showed us a cage with large stick insects, at first we thought they were the branches to the foliage within, but soon realised that the foot long sticks were in fact what we were looking for. Much more difficult to spot were the leaf insects. These small creatures are so well camouflaged it took even our guide 10 minutes or more to find one.

We stayed a couple of hours before returning to our motodop for the journey back into town. The driver went a slightly different route to give us different points of interest to look at. These drivers are very good and will stay with you for a full day for about US$20.

Back in town we sank a few cold beers and looked at our photos. This is a trip well worth doing for anyone, for families with small children it is a must.

Get A Wire Photo Holder For Yourself And Enhance The Beauty Of Your Room

A wire photo holder is much more preferred as a decorative item to the traditional photo frames. This popularity is due to various reasons such as, they come in various shapes and when hung, it accentuates the beauty of the room. Depending on the type of your room and the other furniture that you have you can choose the right photo holder for you from the varieties that are available in the market. Some of them are:

Multiple wire picture holders: Here the wire is shaped in an interesting fashion such as a tree with branches where you can put your photos. These are ideal for the photographs that depict your family tree.

Single wire picture holders: You would often find these picture holders in beautiful shapes such as butterflies or stars or triangles and so on. In these picture holders you can insert your photograph within the coiled wires which keep the photo secure in place and keep the snap holder in your bedroom.

Stump holders: These are frequently used for holding cards but can also be used as photograph holder. They also come in interesting shapes and the best thing about these holders is that both sides of these holders can be used for holding photographs.

Flex picture holders: These wire photo holders can be used for holding both cards as well as photos. These photograph holders which are made of flexible coiled wires can be easily shaped to place in your photograph.

Hanging wire frames: These wire photo holders typically look like coat hangers and here you can easily hang your photographs.

Thus you need to choose the right kind of place in your room for placing the snap holder and then decide about the right type of wire photo holder to be placed in that area. Once you have the snap holder in place it is just minutes to put your photos in them and live the happy moments again.

Butterfly Garden in Beijing

If you are a nature lover and have a particular penchant for seeing butterflies from close quarters, make sure to visit the Butterfly Garden in Beijing. Located in Shunyi District at the crossing point of Huosi Road and Baima Road, this is the largest garden in Asia from where you can watch a wide variety of butterflies.

How to reach

You can board 916 or 980 from Dongzhimen to Dulanzhuang, get a transfer to 25, and get down at Nanlangzhongzhaohu Station to reachthe Butterfly Garden.Alternately, you can use the bus lines of 634, 331, 714, 696, 733, 360 or 318 to come here.

Best time to visit

Hundreds of butterflies hover around the garden during the months of April to October, making it the best time to visit the place.

Other Details

The Butterfly Garden stays open from 9:00 to 16:00 and you can get admission by paying 99 RMB.

What to do

In Beijing, the Butterfly Garden is the only garden where patrons can not only see numerous butterflies but also enjoy the mesmerizing view of a wide variety of flowers, which are cultivated here.

This garden, which is spread over 600 square meters, is divided into four sections, and almost 500,000 butterflies are displayed in them. While you can head to the four-season glasshouse to see butterflies from subtropical and tropical regions, the breeding workhouse is the place to head to if you want to see how chrysalises change into butterflies. Since people living in temperate areas seldom get the chance to watch and experience tropical butterflies, this garden, by its unique concept of displaying subtropical and tropical butterflies, finds many patrons from different walks of life.

30 breeds of butterflies can be seen at the Butterfly Garden in Beijing. Out of these 30 breeds, over 10 are listed as state-protected species. Since the garden organizes educational tours for students from time to time, students from nearby schools and institution are often seen participating in them to learn more about the different species of butterflies from close quarters.

For children, the garden offers interactive zones, where they can not only play with butterflies, but also learn to make paintings of their wings and have fun.

A section, which is surely worth stopping by during your visit to the place, is the butterfly wing exhibition. In this region, wings of deceased butterflies are used to create beautiful butterfly wing pictures. Whether you come here during the weekend or sometime in the mid-week, make sure to stop by this region.

While the Butterfly Garden in Beijing offers families a place to get up, close and personal with a wide variety of butterflies, it also offers the perfect setting for avid photographers who are on the lookout for a beautiful photo.

So, whether you want to know more about nature and butterflies, enjoy different types of butterflies flying around, or just want to understand nature’s biodiversity, Beijing’s Butterfly Garden will fit the bill perfectly. So, the next time you plan a visit to Beijing, make sure to include the Butterfly Garden in Beijing into your travel itinerary.

Photo Booths And Photo Booth Hire – A Great Way To Record Any Special Occasion

Let’s face it, unless you come from one of the darkest corners of the earth, you will surely have seen photo booths countless times in your life. While they might not be as prevalent in public areas as they once were, you still see them nonetheless.

A decade or so ago, they were literally everywhere. You found them in train stations, shopping malls, and many places where you need to provide photos of yourself for things like passports, licenses, and so on. They offer a quick and efficient solution to anyone that is in urgent need of a few photos. These days, photo booths have become far more fun.

Many of the ones you find now offer a huge range of special effects. Have your face in the center of a heart, or maybe surrounded by flowers or even butterflies. Have yourself pictured with an elephant, a lion, or whatever other animal takes your fancy. Many booths are also able to print your picture, along with your chosen design onto stickers. It seems as though the range of options you have when you step into one of these booths just continues to increase all the time.

Now, just imagine how much fun a group of women could have at a hen party if there were one of these booths in the room. I’m not sure if they would be overly keen to share those photos with everybody, but they sure would have fun. A group of guys at a stag party would be no different either. The great news is, there are places that offer photo booth hire.

When you hire a photo booth from one of these companies, it takes nothing more than a simple phone call, and providing you live reasonably close, they will have it delivered and set up properly in time for the big event. The better type of booths are also capable of storing all the photos taken on a USB storage device, which means you have a solid backup should any of your prints get lost or damaged.

Photo booth hire is a great idea for adding life to any fun filled event, but there are however a few things which you need to consider. The most important one is the size of the booths being offered. Some are really small, and space will be tight even with only two people in it at a time. Ideally, you’ll want one that can comfortably accommodate at least six adults.

Alternatively, look for one that is able to open up, particularly if you like the idea of taking photos of larger groups. Again, this is very handy for stag parties and etc. Another thing to think about is the fact that it’s often necessary to book your booth well in advance in order to avoid disappointment. Lastly but not least, you should shop around a bit before you place your order because there invariably special deals to be had.