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General Photography Travels

Taking it Easy – Thailand Part 3

Kanchanaburi on Flickr

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 ad 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, 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 the border of Burma where we’ll be spending the next two nights. The river is suprisingly clean and strikingly beautiful.

The food in Kanchanaburi is also very good, I had some Burmese curried pork that while amazing made my mouth feel like it was on fire and cleared my sinuses. 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 sun set over the river and napped a bit before heading into town for a for a drink and some socializing.

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

Tomorrow we are planning to go 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. Please hit me up on Twitter with any advice.

More soon!

Categories
Travels

Arrival / Night 1 – Thailand Part 2

Bangkok on Flickr

So I managed to get some wifi 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. Turns out if I turn off 3G it works fine.

Anyway enough of the Internet woes. I landed around 10:30am 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’m extremely happy to not be on a plane. The travel here was a combined over 20 hours and 5 different airplane meals, I never want to eat something with a tin foil 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, very quickly fallen head over heels in love with my iPad, the battery life is insane.

Anyway Christine suggested we check out the market but apparently it’s only open on the weekends so we took a Tuk Tuk (Thai go-kart / cab) to the skytrain in an attempt to check out a photo gallery. After a good hour of wondering 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, Cheng 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 though it really was a steal I basically paid $200 for three fitted shirts of my own custom styling and fitting and a supurb pair of slacks. I really do need good dress clothes and the price and quality was 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?

Categories
Photography Technology Travels

And We’re Off! – Thailand Part 1

So I’m typing this on my brand new iPad while sitting on a Cathay Pacific flight to Vancouver, from there I’m off to Hong Kong, then straight on to Bangkok. In Bangkok I’ll be meeting up with a good friend Christine and the agenda is pretty much unwritten. I just need to be back in Bangkok on the 12th so I can fly to Tokyo for a grand total of 26 hours.

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 on continuing the photography and social media adventures that I’ve grown to love so much.

I was hoping to be able to post my photos nightly throughout the trip but unfortunately the iPad camera adaptor wasn’t available in time and since we’ll be backpacking most of the time I decided to leave at home the 7 lbs of computing power that is my MacBook Pro. I did however 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.

For this trip I’ve packed extremely light, since my days on the government watch list (explanation to come…) I’ve learned how to pack lighter and lighter and only bring what I can carry.

On this trip for example I have one bag, my camera bag/backpack. Which contains:

– Canon 5D mk II with 24-105mm f4.0 kit lens
– 4 Canon 5D mk II batteries
– 4 Compact Flash cards. (1 32gb and 3 16gb)
– Canon 50mm f1.4
– Canon 28mm f2.8
– Apple iPad 64gb WiFi
– 6 pairs of socks
– 6 pairs of underwear
– 5 shirts
– 1 pair of jeans
– 1 bathing suit
– 2 field notes, 2 pens
– 1 deck of 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 as well as hopefully blogging every night assuming I can find WiFi to post from so please follow me.

Actually, 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. Like my day in Paris before this I know no one in Japan and I don’t speak a word of Japanese. My plan is to crowdsource my day… I’ve got 26 hours there… Where should I go, what should I do? Reply to me on Twitter and let me know how you think. I should spend my day, I’ll go do it, photograph it and write about it right here!

Stay tuned dear readers!