Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Lions of Gir

Besides Africa, the only place where lions exist is the Gir National Park in Gujarat in West India. This is the sole home of the Asiatic Lions and is a protected national park. LionGir1020mLioness on the lookout

Though there are no direct air connections to this place, it is easy to fly down to Rajkot from Mumbai and drive down to Sasan Gir ( approx. 160kms / 3.5 Hrs) . It is estimated that there are over 400 lions today in Gir.
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The Lazy One (Top ) and Lioness on the Prowl ( Bottom)

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The Gir forest is a deciduous scrub forest which is ideal as a habitat for the Asiatic Lions. It differs from the African Lion in having a smaller mane and a larger tail tuft. They are also smaller than the African Lion.
These photgraphs were taken on my visit to the Gir Forest in April 2014.

Please do visit my website of  at Pravine Chester's Photo Portfolio

Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City

The Reunification Palace is an important destination for all tourists visiting Ho Chi Minh City. However, as a palace it is a disappointment. The original building was destroyed in 1962 by two rebel South Vietnamese Pilots in an assassination bid on the then President Diem who ordered the remaining building to be completely demolished and a new Palace to be built.RePalace2425m
View of the Palace from the Front

There isn't much to see except rooms which you cannot enter but only see through the doors. An interesting place is the basement with its telecommunications centre, war room and the numerous tunnels leading to the bunkers. However unbearably hot and humid in there and if you are claustrophobic then best to avoid.
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Two of the main rooms of the Palace

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 On the roof is displayed the helicopter which was used by the president. Two spots have been highlighted where another rebel of the South Vietnam army tried to bomb the palace.
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The Helipad on the Roof and the 2 spots where bombs were dropped

The main attraction are the 2 tanks on the right as one enters the Palace grounds. These were the tanks that smashed through the gates when the North took over the South.
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One of the Tanks that were used to Capture the Palace

The Reunification Palace in Saigon is an important destination to visit if you  in the city. It gives one a perspective of the history and of Vietnam.  

Please also visit my webiste Pravine Chester's Photography

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