Some interesting national pavilions from Expo Milano 2015.

Most of my recent blog posts are about the on-going Expo Milano 2015, and this wouldn’t be an exception either. The expo, which is held from 1st May and will ends on 31st October sees participation of 145 countries and over 20 organizations in a theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. About 54 national pavilions were built specifically for the expo in a site of about 1.1 square kilometre, and we got to see a variety of innovative and appealing designs of these pavilions.

Here are 22 pavilions in the expo that I find interesting enough to be shared here:






Expo Milano 2015




Expo:aperti i cancelli,al via Esposizione Universale




Expo Milano 2015








Il padiglione di Israele. (OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Il padiglione di Israele. (OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)


Expo:aperti i cancelli,al via Esposizione Universale













United Kingdom


United States

Il padiglione degli Stati Uniti. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Il padiglione degli Stati Uniti. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)





My next blog post will be on other interesting structures (besides than these country pavilions) present in the Expo Milano 2015.

Expo is certainly a great platform or opportunity to showcase creative designs through innovative materials and ideas. It’s ‘architecture in exhibition’.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


Architectural Insight: Malaysia Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

Let’s forget our terrible-looking Malaysia Pavilion back in 2010 during the Shanghai World Expo and move on to the latest pavilion of our country for the on-going Expo Milano 2015. If you do forget how it looks like (for the Shanghai one), then here’s a picture of the pavilion to remind you.


By the way, please don’t confuse this ‘Malaysia Pavilion’ thing with the high-end Pavilion shopping mall in Bukit Bintang, KL. We are now referring to the expo’s pavilion; a structure representing a specific country or organization for exhibition. For this year’s Expo Milano 2015 (universal exposition held once in every five years), Malaysia do have its own pavilion as usual and the design is considered good (at least so much better looking than the one five years ago in Shanghai). Few pictures of our pavilion now in Milan for the 2015 World Expo themed on ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’.

Le nuove foto di Expo 2015



(The overly-decorated trishaw is a bit hideous here)

So much better looking. Our Malaysia Pavilion is also being highlighted by many articles as one of the most interesting design of pavilions in the Expo Milano 2015. By the way, it is designed by Hijjas Kasturi, one of established architecture firms in Malaysia. Here’s a bit of description regarding the Malaysia Pavilion (Expo Milano 2015) from the official source (

Malaysia’s pavilion will have the theme, “Towards a Sustainable Food Ecosystem”. The theme will highlight Malaysia’s transformation agenda of sustainability and inclusiveness by focusing on various efforts undertaken under the Economic Transformation Programme’s National Key Economic Areas, especially the agriculture, palm oil and rubber sectors, tourism and business services. One important theme will be the dynamics between economic advancement and the preservation of the environment; and between biodiversity and commercial agriculture.


The pavilion will be spread over 2,047 square metres, takes the shape of four seeds. The curves of the design and the weaving patterns on the structure reflect the versatility and dynamism of the nation. The Malaysia Pavilion design drew inspiration from the humble rainforest seed. The seed, a symbol of growth, signifies a beginning of a journey, and the potential within. This seed is a metaphor for Malaysia’s own economic transformation from one based primarily on commodities and agriculture through export-oriented industrialization. It is also one driven by higher value-added industries and services.




The architectural design incorporates green and sustainable features in line with the sustainability theme of the Expo. The external structure of the seeds are constructed with “Glulam” or glued laminated timber, an innovative structural timber made of local sustainable material. The choice of Glulam, combined with the structurally complex form of our pavilion in Expo Milano 2015 is a deliberate effort to showcase Malaysia’s capabilities in both design and innovative materials.

The Malaysia Pavilion reflects Malaysia’s continuous journey to develop and mature into a nation that is underpinned by a system that drives the cycle of life, promotes sustainability and responsible utilization and consumption of natural resources.


More information on Malaysia Pavilion (Expo Milano 2015) can be found here:

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Spain won UEFA Euro 2012 in a lopsided final

Hah, the live broadcast of the final match of UEFA Euro 2012 started in 2.45am at midnight over here in Malaysia. Luckily, I managed to wake up from a short nap to watch the match. If not, I’m going to miss an exciting match on which you would only see once in four years. It’s a good match eventhough the result is lopsided. I guess many have known the outcome of the final already; it’s Spain winning Italy by 4-0 to defend their title for the championship. I have missed the first twelve minutes of the match. Once I get to the TV, Spain scored its first goal a minute or two later. I guess my arrival to watch the match gave luck to Spain, and then they keep on scoring without the need of extra time or penalty shoot.

This gave Spain third win on three major football tournaments consecutively, from UEFA Euro 2008, to FIFA World Cup 2010, and lastly, this championship. This win had further strengthening the nation’s image as the best performing country in the sport in recent years. Last night’s final must be the one everyone is waiting for. In my previous post, I mentioned that I wish Italy to win since their team had shown great improvement and I want somebody else to put a stop to the reigning champion of Spain. Too bad, Italy couldn’t manage to score even a goal last night. Luck is not on their side probably.

By the way, after I have watched the final match last night, I am obviously admiring the top quality of performance delivered by Spain. The team truly deserves to win. Their strategy is really great, and with their strong defence particularly from the goalkeeper, it is almost impossible for their opponent to score a goal. Furthermore, they keep on moving forward in fast speed to have the ball at least near to the goal, which increases the probability of having few managed to score. At last, they scored not only one or two, but four goals, with two last goals at the very last ten-minute of the game.

It must be a very disappointing and frustrating night for Italy. I can see they did their best, but couldn’t even stand a chance when their opponent is none other than Spain. Nevermind, the team still performed very well, and there are still chances in future championships. What I dislike from them is the attitude of their players, particularly the no.9 player who helped Italy to win over Germany in semi-final. When the final match ended, the other Italian players felt moody and down, but definitely not acting like the no.9 player who pushed away a man trying to console him (shown in the broadcast) and went straight inside, not even care to bother his mates or anything else. This is a bad attitude.

Congratulation to Spain for winning UEFA Euro 2012. So now, Spain became the first team to win two consecutive European Championships, and the first European international team to win three straight major tournament titles (UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup). The team must be very joyful and excited over the win and the record of their achievement. The whole country of Spain would be so proud of them. FIFA World Cup 2014 up next for the all-conquering Spain.

(Image above is from

UEFA Euro 2012: It’s Spain vs. Italy for the very final match this Sunday!

Time flies, 30 out of 31 matches of the popular football tournament, UEFA Euro 2012 are over, giving way to the last match, the final which is going to take place at Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine on this Sunday’s night (almost Monday’s morning over here in Malaysia). After almost a month, Spain and Italy successfully made it to the final match, and are going to battle all out for the championship tomorrow, 1st July 2012.

In the two semi-finals, Spain beats Portugal by 4-2 in penalty after both teams scored no goals even after the extra time is allocated while on the other hand, Italy beats Germany by 2-1 in the match. These four teams are expected to get into semi-finals, since their performance are always seen as the best of the best. Spain is seen as a hot favourite in the final for having recently being the champion of several major football tournaments, particularly winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2008 UEFA Euro, thus making it the current reigning World and European champions.

But anyway, do not look down on the other team getting its place into the final; Italy. It is quite unbelievable that Italy defeated Germany in the second semi-final. Germany is seen as a strong opponent in football matches (had won this championship three times, the most), but it seems that mistakes have taken their chance to get into the final away. Italy on the other hand appears to have greatly improve in the performance of their national football team.

So, on this upcoming and much anticipated final, it is going to be an exciting match to enjoy for the audiences and viewers around the world. Which team do you think or predict going to win the UEFA Euro 2012? Or which team do you support but you think the winner shall be the other team instead? I’m not experienced on analyzing all that, but if you ask me to pick one, I’m choosing Italy for the much potential winner of this year’s UEFA Euro. Why? Italy has greatly improve according to many analysts and that it has shown its strength on this sport on recent matches, particularly in the semi-final against the tough opponent, Germany. I also prefer Italy to win just to put a stop to the reigning champion title for the Spain. They took the title for several years. It’s time to give it out to the others.

Let see whether I am going to watch the FINAL or not. It’s going to be broadcast live over here on midnight, which is supposed to be my sleeping time for work on Monday. But this match is something not to be missed, I guess. Ahh…a lot of people would be going to watch the final, and I think I’m going to join in the excitement.

(Images from this post are from variety of sources in the internet)

Souvenirs from the previous CNY trip

Actually, at first I didn’t think of opening up a new post on what I have bought from my recent trip to Italy (as well as Dubai, UAE and Lugano, Switzerland). As I have displayed all my souvenirs at the shelf right in front of my bed, and as I keep looking at it…ahh, it’s time for these to be shown in my blog here.

Nothing much actually…I didn’t have the ability to buy a lot of souvenirs due to the price which is not reasonable enough. A bit wasted that I did not buy any of those branded stuff (from LV, Gucci, Prada, etc) while every others in my family bought one. Anyway, I’m fine with it as I’m not that materialistic.haha…

I think you have guessed what I have bought if you know me well. Yes…it’s replica models of famous buildings not only in Italy but in Dubai as well. Don’t forget I have the chance to go shopping in Dubai airport during the time between flight transfer.

From Italy, I have bought three replica models of the famous structures in Italy, the Colosseum (one of the seven wonders of the world), St. Peter’s Basilica (world largest church) and the Leaning Tower of Pisa (all these costs over 26 euro, means over RM 100). These are quite heavy and in light brown colour. I also bought a glass model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa with light of changing colour at a price of 8 euro (means around RM32).

Besides that, from Italy, I bought a replica of gondola, famous in Venice at a price of 3 euro (around RM 12), a metal key chain of Rome with Italy flag (2.50 euro, RM 10 ), and a string of pinocchio (story of a animated character from Italy) at a price of 2 euro (RM 8).

Ahh, then from Dubai, I will not miss the chance of buying the glass model of Burj al Arab, the world first and only seven-star hotel, the icon of Dubai. That one without light already costs over RM 160. Expensive right. I can only find the glass cube (no glass model) of Burj Khalifa, the world tallest man made structure with the light of changing colour that costs over RM 300 something. Anyway, I still bought a small model of Burj Khalifa at a price of around RM 60.

Some other souvenirs I bought not found in the pictures here are the magnets of Rome, Italy and Dubai. I bought a white jacket at H&M, a brand not available in Malaysia. That’s a nice jacket that costs over RM 100. I also received a free souvenir gift at Switzerland, a small metal spoon from Bucherer. That’s it…if you count the number, it’s not much…but if you count the price, it’s A LOT! (estimated to be around RM 800).

There it is…all placed in a specific section of my shelf, right in front of me when I’m on my bed. Lovely…sorry my friends and relatives, I can’t find any souvenirs relevant or suitable for you guys…I tried my best, and everything is really expensive there. Their quality of living is much higher. Have to admit that I’m in the poor Malaysia. How good it would be if I’m living in Europe or somewhere better.

9 days 7 nights Italy 2011 CNY Trip

Ahha, I’m back to Malaysia yesterday night, arriving late at Kuala Lumpur International Airport due to flight delay for around one hour from Dubai. So, yesterday’s night is the time I’m going to settle all the stuff in my huge and heavy luggage which is now minor-damaged. Rest is the priority yesterday due to jet lag, and the huge time difference between Italy and Malaysia which is 7 hours!

Okay, today I’m back to normal (I guess), now online is my priority. Facebook first, check mail then, later browse through news, then download series, upload photos of the trip and now, start blogging on it here! This is going to take a lot of time and words, and also I’m trying to recall what I had been through for the past 9 days of this interesting trip! Actually for this trip, I have been to four countries (that’s a lot); Dubai (United Arab Emirates) for flight transfer, Lugano (Switzerland) the border between Switzerland and Italy, Rome, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Milan, Lake Como (Italy). Hence, the majority of the trip is in Italy.

2nd February 2011 (Wednesday)

Today marks the start of the long trip. Woke up very early and did last preparation for departure to Italy. Here again in KLIA, settling those check-in procedures, custom control, inspections, having breakfast before riding on bus (Rapid KL) that replaced the aerotrain (upgrade-in-process) to the terminal. We fly by Emirates Airlines to Dubai International Airport first. Then, flight transfer to our destination, Rome at Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino Aiport. The interesting thing of the Emirates planes are that they are equipped with forward and downward cameras for passengers to view on, which are very cool indeed. From the Dubai airport, I am so happy that I can see the world tallest man made structure, Burj Khalifa from far.

It’s almost 7 hours of flight from KL to Dubai, and it’s another 6 hours of flight from Dubai to Rome. Total: over 13 hours, the longest ever attempted. Luckily, there is quite a lot of movies and games from the electronic device of the seat for me to enjoy, and I had watched 127 Hours from there. Finally reached Italy, and it’s still CNY eve night.

3rd February 2011 (Thursday)

The first visit of the day is the world largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the world smallest country with population of only around 1000. The plaza in front of the basilica is already impressive, surrounded by tall colonnades, with center of an obelisk presented by Egypt. Entering the basilica is not from the main entrance, but is from a sideway leading to the underground where tombs of previous Popes are located. Going through a narrow spiraling staircase, and when I looked up, I am moved, with the scale and beauty of the interior of the basilica. The dome is impressive, the sculptures are beautiful, the paintings are fantastic!

In the bus, we are given chance to take a look at some of the Rome’s famous historical buildings like the Castel San Angelo, Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Circus Maximus, etc. Then, we in a tour group by Golden Travel Tour (GTT) proceed to visit the Colosseum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Wow, finally I can check out how incredible is this structure built almost 2000 years ago. Next visit is the nearby Roman Forum, which is the former administrative and public center of Roman Empire. There are only some ruins left in this huge area of forum, hence nothing much to see actually. The last place of visit of the day is the Trevi’s Fountain, a very grand fountain with a beautiful backdrop, famous for the coin-throwing for wishes.

4th February 2011 (Friday)

Time to leave Rome, the capital of Italy to proceed to Pisa that took around 5 hours of journey in bus. Of course, the only reason to go to Pisa is to take a visit to the Piazza del Duomo, where a cathedral, a baptistry, a monumental cemetery and a freestanding bell tower which is the most famous of all, called as the Leaning Tower of Pisa stand. Restoration work is still in progress on the top part of the tower. I managed to take a look at the interior of the cathedral which is also beautiful with large paintings.

Huh…another few hours bus journey to Florence, another beautiful city which is the birthplace of Renaissance. After a long visit in a fashion-based commercial center, we went for a dinner at a very uniquely-designed restaurant, built like a water tank lifted above the ground few stories high.

5th February 2011 (Saturday)

It is much cooler walking on the streets in Florence. Ahh, we are heading to the famous domed cathedral of the city, Santa Maria del Fiore, simply known as the Duomo too. (duomo means cathedral) It is this cathedral and a freestanding bell tower nearby highlighted the skyline of the city. Just in front of the cathedral is the baptistery, famous for its Gates of Paradise dubbed by Michelangelo.

Next, we walked through many historical streets, and even through the Golden Bridge, overlooking the river that divides the city. From there, a beautiful panoramic view is offered, and so, time for pictures! Next visit is the nearby Piazza della Signoria, where many sculptures (including the famous Sculpture of David) are the highlights of the square with a town hall called as Palazzo Vecchio (formerly a fortress palace). Before we leaved the city, we are given opportunity to walk along the waterfront of the city. Then, we off to the mainland Venice.

6th February 2011 (Sunday)

It’s time to visit the beautiful island of Venice, known as the City of Water, City of Bridges, Floating City, etc. Going there from the mainland took around 30 minutes by ferry. As soon as we reached there, we take a look at the Bridge of Sigh (where previously prisoners pass through between the palace and the jail and given chance to look at the outside world, the city of Venice and regret, and so they sighed). Then, we go to Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), the central public square of Venice where a tall bell tower, a historical clock tower and a basilica (around 1000 years old) are located.

The main aim of the city tour is of course the gondola ride, through the narrow canals dividing over 100 islands of the region. It is comfortable sitting on the gondola on the clean water looking at bridges and old buildings. Then, here comes shopping time, checking out branded shops like Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc. I bought nothing from these shops as there is nothing interests me. There is also a short tour in the glass making factory and shop and we are thrilled by the glass making show by one of the workers there. Time to leave the city by late afternoon.

7th February 2011 (Monday)

Today we are going to Verona. The only purpose of visiting this city is to take a look at the Romeo and Juliet’s balcony. The story by William Shakespeare is the greatest love story of all time, and the setting of this masterpiece is at Verona. However, it’s really nothing much to see except a normal balcony, a sculpture of Juliet in the courtyard and walls of thousands of  love signs by couples. A short walk around the area with streets of shops before leaving the city to Brescia for a night stay.

Before going to Brescia, we dropped by Fidenza Village, an outdoor shopping street built like we are in Disneyland. However, we are given too much time in there just to visit a short street of shops. Very boring in there, mainly because I bought nothing from there too. Haha…finally, off to dinner before a night stay in Brescia after a tiring day mainly in bus. Anyway, we got a bit of entertainment after watching The Sniper and The Poker King (both Cantonese movies) in the bus.

8th February 2011 (Tuesday)

Time to proceed to the City of Fashion, Milan of Italy. There is nothing much of historical buildings to check out in this city which is mainly rebuilt after World War II. The city will also hosts the World Expo 2015. First trip of the city is to the Castello Sforzesco, a castle built not on hill, not along river, but on the center of the city. It is nothing much to check out in the castle, which is mainly of thick brick walls. Next, we proceed to the Piazza del Duomo, the public central square of the city surrounded by famous stuctures like the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (the world first shopping mall), Milan’s Cathedral and Royal Palace of Milan. We also get to look at the Milan Opera House.

Of course, the most striking feature is the cathedral, which is the world largest Gothic cathedral, with many spires striking up to the sky. This time, I am able to went into the church to have a look at the interior with those striking barrel vaults and colourful large windows. In Milan, shopping is the priority, not in the famous mall mentioned earlier, but along the streets nearby. Actually, mainly all the shops along the streets anywhere in the city are also fashion-based. I am fascinated by not the clothes, but the interior design of many shops there, some even themed-based. The owners are very willing to spend a lot on interior designs, unlike in Malaysia where all shops look alike. Huh…very tired after a day of long walk in the Milan’s city centre, full of those wires hanging everywhere in the city for street lighting and the trolley busses.

9th February 2011 (Wednesday)

Today we went to Lugano, Switzerland, near the border of Italy to have a look at the beautiful surrounding of the city. The lake is very beautiful with backdrop of hills of the Alps Mountains. Spectacular scenery from there, even more beautiful with those houses on the hills. Actually, there is nothing much to do there except looking at the picturesque surrounding. There is also a visit to Rolex shop there, as Switzerland is the world largest producer of watches.

Then, we are back to Italy as we went to the Lake Como at the border of Italy. It is very similar to Lugano just now. Time for walk along the waterfront, and enjoying the beautiful view of the city and the lake. Then, we proceed to Milano Malpensa Airport for our flight back home. The exterior of the airport is cool, but the interior is like you are in a huge factory. We are having problems queuing for checking-in due to the bad behaviour of many people cutting the line. Luckily, we got our own counter opened for us to do the check-in procedures. We also need to settle on those tax refund procedures of the branded bags and wallets we bought (none of them are mine).

10th February 2011 (Thursday)

We landed on Dubai International Airport. Now only I discovered that all the three terminals of the airport are connected and it is very long. I think it is the world longest airport. Need to walk very long just to reach our gate of departure to KL, and I even walked further to spend the excessive time in the airport before the next flight to KL. We are given free breakfast in the airport because we are passengers waiting for flight transfer for many hours. This time, the sky is more blurry and I can’t take a last look at the Burj Khalifa. Nevermind, I’m already satisfied with what I have seen last time eventhough I wished to see more.

Landed safely at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at night despite an hour long delay at Dubai International Airport. It’s the 8th day of Chinese New Year and that night marked the celebration of Bai Tien Kung for the Hokkien community. So, in our way home, we are welcomed home with a lot of bangs of fireworks all around KL. It’s a nice atmosphere out there. Finally, reached home and settled my own stuff before going to bed for a full rest. It’s the end of the trip.

This is the trip that I have been anticipating the most before it arrived. Now, the trip ended and finished, it’s over. I’m happy that I’m finally back home after the tiring trip, but I’m a bit sad that I can’t enjoy such days anymore of being a tourist, taking pictures, enjoying nights in hotels, walking around, shopping, etc as the trip ended. Anyway, it’s a fun and exciting trip, a very interesting one for me, a great opportunity for me to have a better look at the architecture, history and culture of Italy.

From the trip, I am able to tried on Italian espresso, spaghetti, pasta, pizza, bread, cooked turkey, and wine. I am also able to buy something for myself; a jacket, a key chain, a string of pinocchio, a gondola model, replica models of Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, St. Peter’s Basilica, Burj al Arab (world only seven-star hotel) and Burj Khalifa. It’s my interest of keeping these models of famous buildings around the world. Now, my collection is increased. Ahha…now I started thinking of where should we go for next year, CNY 2012 trip.

For full photos of my trip, kindly go to my Facebook photo albums, there are three albums in total for the trip with around 600 pictures to share with you all.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 – Final

Thanks for reading this long post about my trip. All photos from this post are mine and not to be reproduced or copied without permission from the author.

A week to go…Italy 2011 trip!

It’s exactly a week to go before the most anticipating trip of the year, oversea trip to Italy, first time flying to the West. It’s also exactly a week to go before Chinese New Year Eve. Lanterns are hung up along some streets, some houses were decorated, supermarkets crowded with people buying new year goods.

I should start planning on what to bring for this longest trip I ever had…nine days seven nights…gonna need a lot of stuff; shirts, pants, jackets, stockings, travel kit, battery charger for phone and camera, and of course, passport! Just heard from my dad that Italy is among the countries with highest number of snatch thieves. Gonna be careful during the trip…of course, not wishing for anything lost throughout the trip…

So, I’m browsing internet, finding more information regarding Italy. I even checked on Google Earth to see how it looks from the air at the cities in Italy that I am going to visit. Here it is:


Can you spot Colosseum at the bottom right of the picture?

Vatican City, Rome

Can you spot St.Peter’s Basilica in the middle of the picture?


Can you spot Florence Cathedral at the middle top of this picture?


This time, can you spot Milan Cathedral in the middle of the picture?


And this is the island of Venice, already beautiful even from the sky above!


Can you spot Leaning Tower of Pisa at the middle top of this picture? A bit hard…

From what you can see from the Google Earth pictures above, the arrangement of buildings are compact and quite dense. The roads seems to be the clear networks connecting all the structures and streets. Very standardized urban planning over Italy no matter in which cities you are in…unlike Kuala Lumpur, messed-up planning…haiz!

Hmm…by this time, 9.30pm next week, I would be already having my feet on the land of Rome, the capital of Italy. By the way, gonna check the time zone there which is way different from here in Malaysia.