Photography Travels

Taking it Easy – Thailand Part 3

We planned to get up at 8:30 today but wound up sleeping in till around 11. It was actually pretty nice in our hostel. Though it was not much more than a small white room with a bathroom/shower, it was actually pretty comfortable. I spent the extra 50 baht so we could have a window and, although it wasn’t much of a view, I really enjoyed listening to the noise outside. I woke up around 9 and just laid there, taking in the sun and listening to the assorted city sounds that Bangkok has to offer. It was a really soothing way to relax for me.

I wandered around the street markets for a bit and bought an awesome loaf of brown bread and a strawberry shake. Last night I had a chicken curry dish that was pretty good as well, so far the local food has my approval.

We booked a van and headed to Kanchanaburi. We have a place on the River Kwai very close to Burma’s border, where we’ll be spending the next two nights. The river is surprisingly clean and strikingly beautiful.

The food in Kanchanaburi is also excellent. I had some Burmese curried pork that, while amazing, cleared my sinuses and made my mouth feel like it was on fire. Christine had a good laugh at me, though, as I struggled to eat it, all the while chugging apple juice and water.

We watched the sunset over the river and napped a bit before heading into town for a drink and some socializing.

We’ve done very little today, but it has been amazingly relaxing. I’ve been taking pictures and video like a fiend, but there is little I can do to post them without a proper computer. I’m planning on cranking many of them out on the 14th when I return, depending on my exhaustion level.

Tomorrow we are planning to see some elephants as well as some of the historical WWII locations. The second half of our day is wide open, however, and we’re open to suggestions. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter with any advice.

More soon!


Arrival/Night 1 – Thailand Part 2

I managed to get a WiFi connection in Hong Kong briefly, which is how I was able to post the first entry. So far, I haven’t been able to get any service on a Thai network with data using my iPhone. (Edit: It turns out if I turn off 3G, it works fine.)

Anyway, enough of the Internet woes. I landed around 10:30 am and wandered around the airport for a while before finding Christine. We then caught a bus and went to Khao San in Bangkok to find a hostel for the day.

I am thrilled not to be on a plane right now. The travel here was a combined over 20 hours and 5 different airplane meals. I never want to eat something with a tinfoil lid ever again.

I made pretty good use of the time though: I did a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and rewatched most of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ season 1. It’s crazy, but I have very quickly fallen head over heels in love with my iPad. The battery life is incredible.

Christine suggested we check out the market, but apparently it’s only open on the weekends. So we took a Tuk-tuk to the Skytrain in an attempt to check out a photo gallery. After a good hour of wandering, we discovered that the gallery was also closed, so we decided to settle down at a bar outside and throw back a couple of beers. I made a point to try all three of the major national beers; Singha, Chang, and Leo. All three are pretty basic lagers, nothing especially great about any of them. I prefer Chang, Christine prefers Singha.

Our Tuk-tuk driver made us stop off at a tailor; he apparently gets a commission, so we agreed to humor him and spend a few minutes in there. Well, it turned out I got talked into buying some custom-fitted shirts. The fact of the matter is though, it was really a steal. I basically paid $200 for three fitted shirts of my own custom styling and fitting and a superb pair of slacks. I really do need good dress clothes, and the price and quality were beyond reasonable. They had them cut, fitted, and delivered to our hostel in just a few hours. That’s pretty unbeatable service.

We are now hanging out in Khao San in a bar with an excellent cover band made up of Thai nationals that do frighteningly good versions of American and British pop songs. The place is swarming with Britons who go crazy at every Oasis song, but I can’t really blame them either; I totally nerded out for the Nirvana covers myself, so who am I to judge?

Photography Travels

And We’re Off! – Thailand Part 1

I am typing this on my brand new iPad while sitting on a Cathay Pacific flight to Vancouver. From there, I’ll be off to Hong Kong, then straight on to Bangkok. I’ll be meeting up with a good friend Christine in Bangkok, where the agenda is pretty much unwritten. The only thing set in stone is that I need to be back in Bangkok on April 12th so that I can begin my voyage home with a quick 26-hour layover in Tokyo.

So you’re probably wondering, what is the reason for the trip? My answer, of course, is the trip is the reason for the trip. I’m planning to continue the travel photography and social media adventures that I’ve grown to love so much.

I had hoped to be able to post my photos nightly throughout the trip, but the iPad camera adaptor wasn’t available in time for my departure, and since we’ll be backpacking most of the time, I have opted to leave my 7 lbs MacBook Pro at home. However, I did pay for the international data plan on my iPhone, so I’ll probably snap a few photos on there and post them to Flickr as I go as a preview of the final images to come when I arrive home, and I’ll retroactively add photos to these posts later for posterity.

For this trip, I’ve packed extremely light. Since I tend to have lots of bad luck with airport security, I’ve learned how to pack light and only bring what I can carry.

On this trip, for example, I have one bag, my camera bag/backpack, which contains the following:

  • Canon 5D Mark II with 24-105mm f/4.0 kit lens
  • 4 Canon LP-E6 batteries
  • 4 Compact Flash cards (1 32GB and 3 16GB)
  • Canon 50mm f/1.4
  • Canon 28mm f/2.8
  • Apple iPad 64GB WiFi
  • 6 Pairs of socks
  • 6 Pairs of underwear
  • 5 Shirts
  • 1 Pair of jeans
  • 1 Bathing suit
  • 2 Field Notes notebooks
  • 2 Pens
  • 1 Deck of playing cards
  • Assorted wires and chargers

Aside from a few sparse things I’m bringing one way to Christine, the clothes on my back and my iPhone in my pocket, that’s it. As I mentioned before, I’ve paid for 50MB of international data, but I’ve also paid for 50 outgoing text messages (Incoming are apparently free), and I plan to buy a prepaid phone over there to be able to stay in touch with Christine.

I’ll be active on Twitter, FourSquare, Flickr, and Facebook throughout the week, and hopefully blogging every night (assuming I can find WiFi to post from,) so feel free to follow along.

Truthfully, I plan to take it one step further than that; As it stands right now, I have no agenda for Tokyo, only a few suggestions. Similar to my day in Paris before this, I know no one in Japan, and I don’t speak a word of Japanese. I plan to crowdsource my day.

I’ve got 26 hours in Tokyo: Where should I go, what should I do? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know how you think I should spend my day. I’ll do it, photograph it, and write about it right here!

Stay tuned dear readers!