Living like a local in Hong Kong

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Looking at Hong Kong across Victoria Harbour from Kowloon. This city is a photographers dreamscape. Even though it was cloudy and hazy for most of our stay it was still an incredible city to take in.

We were very fortunate to be able to do a house sitting gig in Hong Kong that put us right in the middle of the action. Not the harbour front touristy area, but just a few blocks in where the people of this part of Hong Kong live.

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Due to the size of the apartments and the cost of electricity all laundry is hung to dry outside. And when it is a vertical jungle of apartment towers, that makes for a lot of clothes flying from the sides of buildings.

The apartment we stayed in was typical tiny Hong Kong with everything one needed. We were fortunate to also have a rooftop patio which made us exceptionally fortunate. Of course to have the roof top means your apartment is on the top floor (no elevator) so we got our share of exercise just getting up the six flights of stairs.

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Our apartment was 40 metres from the Man Mo Temple which is the largest temple in Hong Kong. An amazing place to observe people observe the rituals of their beliefs. The amount of fire in the place was incredible.

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As we were in Hong Kong for the Christmas season we were able to take in some of their decorations and events. The lighting on the HSBC building behind us was amazing. As was the lighting on most of the buildings facing the harbour.

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The malls (and they have a lot of malls) were all decorated for Christmas. The big difference for us was there were no Santa Claus’s anywhere. The only person we saw holding children and posing for photos was this creepy dude in a kilt and pantomime face paint.(he was not a mime though as he had a microphone which was broadcasting his chatter all through the centre court) Everything about him made me nervous.

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We headed down to the waterfront for New Years Eve with 300,000 other people to watch the fire works. Due to the small apartments here, people are experts at gathering and socializing in public places. There were card games, folding tables, and food everywhere. The best part is people just work around the crowds without getting upset.

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The fireworks on New Years Eve were amazing. Not a super choreographed artistic display, just 10 solid minutes of volume. It was a hell of a show.

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Most North Americans associate cardboard on the sidewalks with homeless people sleeping. However here it seems to be the standard flooring choice for social gatherings. It was normal in the evening or on weekends to see up to half of the floorspace in pedestrian walkways (+15’s) and any covered area to be covered in flattened cardboard boxes. Groups meet and socialize in these places singing, playing games, and eating. The food we saw was incredible. Come morning everyone is gone and all the debris has been cleaned up. Pretty cool.

In addition to soaking in the experience of walking the streets, shopping, and exploring the markets we also did the obligatory trip to Hong Kong Disney (come on! It’s Disney!)

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Hong Kong Disney is the smallest Disney property in the world. Therefore it is easily done in one day. It was overcast the day we went, so not as good for photos, but excellent for walking around the park all day.

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One of the things I love about Disney is how they brand everything. Right from the time you board the spur line train that takes you into Disneyland everything is geared toward the Disney experience.

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Many of the buildings and attractions are identical to the properties in the U.S. and Paris, however we found it interesting that Cinderella’s castle was noticeably smaller.

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Of course all the characters are out in force. One of the nice things here was the line ups were shorter for everything than I recall in the two U.S. properties, which was nice.

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Of course the focus on Star Wars was huge. These guys were out and about every hour posing for photos and interacting with the crowds.

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We made an effort to hit all the fun rides, and were very successful. My second favourite was RC Racer. HyperSpace Mountain took top marks though.

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Of course what visit to Disney wouldn’t be complete without taking in the Flights of Fantasy Parade. All in, a great day. The crowds started getting thick in the late afternoon, but that was fine because we were done by then.

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It seemed every day we went to the top of Victoria Peak with a camera it was overcast and hazy. Not good for beautiful panoramas, but an excellent opportunity to play a bit with the photos. That is Hong Kong Island immediately below and Kowloon across the water.

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Karen and I did the 5km walk up the Peak to take in the view from Lugard Road. A different perspective, but the same overcast. The funny thing was I did a few runs up to the Peak and each of those times I was treated to a clear view, but no camera. Oh the trials we suffer.

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The part I enjoyed most about being here was just walking the streets. Due to the way this part of the city is built into the side of the mountain, it creates wonderful little alleys and roads that sprout out in every direction. You never know for sure what is around the next corner.

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Part of the system seems to be that people stake out a square of sidewalk and set up their business there, right out in the open. This fellow was right at the intersection of two busy roads. Great for walk in customers I suppose.

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At first I thought something interesting was going down. Then actually looked at these fellows and realized they are pretend. Apparently their group supplies gunmen for TV and movie productions. They were just taking part in a community fair. There were children doing traditional singing and dancing across the road from here.

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As we were checking out locations for the fire works display we came across this fellow by the Convention Centre. One can’t pass up a challenge like that.

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This sculpture of a flowering Golden Bauhinia is located in front of the Hong Kong Convention Centre. It is there to commemorate the 1997 Handover, when the British signed over control of the Hong Kong Territories to China.

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The International Commerce Centre is the tallest building in Hong Kong and the 10th tallest building in the world. There is an observation platform on the 100th floor.

We got the two day pass on the Hop on Hop off bus which helped us get a feel for the layout of the city. Plus you get a ton of passes to other sights. We used the HOHO bus to explore Aberdeen on the south side of the island. Which got us our ride on a sampan through a floating village. (honestly, it looked like a harbour to me)

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The pilot of this Sampan made me smile. Who said men can’t multitask.

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If you ever hear of a business being absolutely intertwined with the history of a city, that would be the Star Ferry. This was included in the HOHO package. We ended up making a few trips over to Kowloon on the Star Ferry. Very cool experiencing a part of history like that.

Another mode of transportation that has survived into the new millennium is the Hong Kong tram lines, or “ding, ding” as they are known.

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The citizens of Hong Kong voted to keep the tram system in place when government threatened to do away with it. This environmentally friendly, inexpensive ($2.30HK or .40CDN) and cool system is a great way to explore the length of Hong Kong.

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We took the tram to Chai Wan which is the end of the line. It was like being dropped in the middle of everything you could possibly imagine Hong Kong to be. The people, the noise, the very interesting shops, so very cool. Yes, the tram goes down the street in the photo.

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The different types of shops are grouped together. There were at least 6 butcher shops in this one block. There certainly was no question of fresh.

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The streets just begged to be explored. Whatever you are looking for, it is somewhere in Hong Kong.

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The other thing we noticed in our wanderings was the massive use of bamboo for scaffolding. We have seen natural products used in many areas for small projects however, the use of bamboo here is mind-boggling. The construction we saw here dwarfed anything I have seen before. And easily over 98% used bamboo poles as scaffolding. It is incredible to behold.

There is without doubt a LOT of money in Hong Kong. If you don’t count the Toyota taxis (which there are a lot of) we saw more Mercedes, Teslas, Audi, and Porsches than any other make of car. It is a wonderland for the auto enthusiast. But the true magic, visually speaking, happens after sunset.

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The boats getting in position for the nightly light show on the harbour. That is the International Commerce Centre illuminated in the background.

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This is the street just down the road from our apartment. A kaleidoscope of colour and light.

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One of the harbour tour boats making its way into position for the light show with the Kowloon skyline in the background.

Hong Kong is a wonderful city and one that if you ever get the chance to explore you should seize it.

Categories: Hong Kong, Photography, travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Transportation Asia

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Enjoying the street level sights of Hanoi without the stress. Cyclo tours are a fantastic way of getting an introduction to the old centre of town.

I am excited to be writing this post. First reason, after several weeks of wandering in the technological hinterland of having a non-functioning laptop, I am back in business. Second, transportation in S.E. Asia has been a consistent high point in every country we have been in thus far. So I am excited to be sharing a bit of information on what we have discovered in our first three months in SE Asia.

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We were floored with the excellent service on Thai Airlines. However, we then found that Vietnam Airlines was just as good, if not even a bit better, in our limited experience. The service and punctuality of the flights was great on both airlines.

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As we approached Hanoi on our first of several flights with Vietnam Airlines we were treated to a lovely sunset. This was the cherry on top of a wonderful introduction to this airline.

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This was the first time we had to wait in a line to check in for a flight. I was glad we already had three flights on this airline so I was comfortable we would get through in time. And we did with time to spare.

We have done six flights since coming to SE Asia and they have all been positive experiences. The only word of warning is pay attention to announcements in the airport and check the departures information frequently because changing boarding gates seems to be a popular activity. However, despite our positive flight experiences, the real fun has been moving about via bus and train.

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Within Cambodia we found the Giant Ibis bus company to be excellent. The buses were clean, well maintained, and offered power points at all the seats for getting your time in on whatever electronic device you like. Just know you need an actual plug, not just a USB connection to take advantage of this great feature.

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No matter what company we travelled with by bus they all stopped every two hours for a toilet and snack break. The stop locations provided everything you need.

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The toilets at these locations were not always something to admire, but we found them to be “reasonably” clean. Just not always the type of facility you might expect. i.e. pouring the water in by hand to flush and squatting. Some of the great experiences of travel.

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This bus in Thailand was a bit more run down than most that we were on and yet it was still very good. The most pleasant surprise was the amount of leg room. My expectation was none, however I found there was enough room that being a contortionist was not necessary.

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The only thing I found a bit disconcerting was the stockpile of fuel in the shed right by where we were loading onto the bus to start our trip in Cambodia. I was fairly confident none of these containers had any type of safety rating.

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One of the ways of passing the time when travelling by bus is keeping an eye out for other users of the roadways. It is phenomenal what and how much can be moved on the smallest of vehicles.

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I have no idea what is in the containers but we loved the collection of chickens on the back.

We have also used smaller buses for a number of our trips. These typically hold between 6 and 14 passengers and are operated by a much wider assortment of businesses. They take care of most trips under a couple of hours and can be quite entertaining.

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I found the fact the operator had taken the time to zip tie the seatbelts so they didn’t get all tangled up quite thoughtful. At least we could find these ones.

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We both were able to watch the collision that broke the left handgrip off this bike because he hit the side of the van right beside Karen. I watched his head bounce off the window and thought how fortunate the operator was one of the few who wore a helmet. After some discussion and a punch to the face, the motorcyclist drove off minus one hand grip and we continued on our trip.

One of the best travel experiences we have had, was the night train from Bangkok to Surat Thani in Thailand. Though the whole process from getting tickets to getting settled on the train was new to us, it went incredibly well. (OK, perhaps we had some severe stress when the taxi driver in Bangkok didn’t know where the train station was and our 90 minute buffer for getting the train ran down to 10 minutes. Got there though. And didn’t hurt the driver)

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The second class cars are dominated by western travellers with a few locals mixed in. The authorities on the train were very good. Interested in us but not over friendly. They did their job and let us be.

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We both had top berths which apparently are a little smaller than the lower ones. I found them fine. The only challenge was the lights are not turned off at night. That light you see in the photo is perfectly positioned to shine over the top of the berths curtain, right in your face. A mask would be a great addition.

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Upon arrival we got to see what our train looked like as it was very dark and we were in a big hurry when we boarded the night before. An awesome experience we look forward to repeating.

Of course travelling between cities and countries is only part of the transportation adventure. Getting around within the cities has been a truly eye-opening opportunity. From the chaos of Phnom Penh to the effectiveness of Hong Kong we have learned that North America is still truly in its infancy of learning to move large numbers of people effectively.

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The incredible number of these machines on several Asian city streets is awe-inspiring. We generally found the operators good at what they did. None of them even flinched when they saw our luggage, unlike many taxi operators we have encountered. These guys just made it work and got you to where you wanted to be.

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I am constantly impressed at how these little 125cc engines haul the loads they do. One of the ways they do it is a home-made water cooling system to augment the normal air cooling these engines use. These jugs of water provide a steady drip of water over the engine to help keep the temperatures down. Brilliant problem solving.

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One of the other components of city transportation here is cooperation. Other than the punch to the face after a collision, I have yet to see any road rage here. People just take the right of way. If someone else takes it from them they wait 2 seconds and carry on. Everything moves and the stress level is way lower than the stupidity one observes on most roadways.

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This is one of my favourite images. The relaxed nature of the family making their way through traffic. Admittedly we have seen the aftermath of more than a few accidents with people injured, probably more severely than necessary due to a lack of protection. However, because of the smaller engines and lower speeds the level of trauma is lower than expected.

The public transit has been awesome in SE Asia. Volume of ridership is obviously a key, but it is amazing!

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The elevated metro in Bangkok was my first exposure to well-educated riders following the rules. everyone stands back of the yellow line (or an attendant blows a whistle at you, trust me I know), and wait to the side for passengers to disembark before boarding.

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Both Bangkok and Hong Kong utilized these doors to some degree. No falling in front of trains from the platform here. And the trains are huge! Did I mention it is awesome?

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The transportation options on Hong Kong island are great. The longest running one is the electric tram. This double-decker tram system has been operating for more than 100 years, ding, ding.

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The tram is known as “ding, ding“. They run frequently, are super cheap, and a great way to see downtown Hong Kong. You hop on at any stop and pay your $2.30HK(.40CDN) when you exit.

Water taxis were another mode of transport we have used. The ones we have used all appeared quite safe and in no immediate threat of sinking, despite some of the horror stories we had read.

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This passenger ferry in Cambodia was good. Other than the operators not looking old enough to be driving a car, the trip was uneventful. On the return trip they took us to a different port, but hey, you have to roll with the unexpected. It was only a short bus ride to where we wanted to go.

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The biggest concern on the ferries was watching all your earthly belongings being slung over the water. Didn’t see any go in, but that really does not lessen the concern.

I will close off with a couple of images from Hong Kong. We took the tram up Victoria Peak which gets you close to the summit. Not only is this a tourist attraction, but some locals use this as part of their commute as well. And the other hugely historical and still highly used mode of transport is the Star Ferries in Victoria Harbour.

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The Peak Tram takes 1.4km to go up 400 metres in elevation. It is a fantastic way to get to the top. I went up by foot and by tram, the tram is much more pleasant.

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The Star Ferries have boats leaving approximately every 10 minutes for the 9 minute commute between Hong Kong and Kowloon. Being able to use a piece of history like this for an everyday event is one of the fascinating things of travel.

Categories: Bangkok, Cambodia, Photography, Thailand, transportation, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tourist in Thailand

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It is as beautiful as the brochures advertise it.This island was made famous by the Bond movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun”

 

We spent a few days in Patong exploring, then a couple of weeks in Kamala Beach doing some house sitting for a couple. They are in Phuket province in the SW corner of Thailand.

Patong Beach is the second busiest tourist spot in this locale, surpassed only by Phuket, the capital of the province.

Our days in Patong were great. Once you resign yourself to the fact that everyone wants to sell you some type of goods or service, and that no one cares or is offended when you politely say “no thank you” 50 – 60 times an hour, it is quite a neat place to check out.

This food market just around the corner from our hotel was fantastic. Every evening it would transform from a parking lot to a bustling food market. The seafood was incredible. Best lobster I have ever had.

You could get fresh fish to fruit ice cream as well as many choices in between. The ice cream was made with cream and fresh fruit chopped and mixed on a frozen tray. Very interesting technique I thought.

We also did an organized tour of Phang Nga Bay, the location of James Bond Island. The two hour drive was long, but well worth it. The tour consisted of a boat ride with lunch, kayaking with a guide and swimming. As well as a stop at James Bond Island.

We were treated to a guided paddle through caves and around these limestone islands

This boat was just heading into one of the caves. We had to lay down in the boats to fit in the entrances.

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The monkeys wait patiently at the points where the kayaks have to come near the shore so they can easily jump aboard for the food they have learned is there.

This monkey has chosen his boat well. They know where the food is. The tours are quite a production here and very well orchestrated.

This was our tour boat. All the kayaks and guides were on the lower deck and the tourists and food were on the upper deck. A great way to see the islands.

The lunchtime spread was simple but delicious.

The shapes and colours of these islands is truly something to behold. Even though there are a lot of tours running through the area, there seems to be some effort to control the impact, which was nice to see.

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Posing for our guide as we floated amongst the islands. Beautiful.

We were very fortunate to be able to spend a couple of days with the owners of the house we were going to be taking care of in Kamala Beach before they departed on their trip. They were kind enough to take us touring the area for a day which was great.

We drove out to the Buddha Cave Temple (Wat Suwannakuha), also referred to as the Monkey Temple. There are hundreds of monkeys there that know they will be well fed by the locals and tourists alike. They are absolutely unafraid of humans (not such a good thing) but we had no problems with them.

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Some of the hundreds of monkeys that make their home around the Monkey Temple.

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These monkeys were disturbing at first due to the shear numbers. But once you relaxed they were fine. Made it very easy to get photos.

The temple itself is located inside a fair sized cave. For a nominal donation you are free to wander around the cave. There is a bit of information available, but not much. The reclining Buddha in the cave is pretty impressive.

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The reclinling Buddha in the main chamber of the cave is quite impressive. There is also a section where all the Kings of Thailand have visited and carved their personal symbol into the wall of the cave. A neat bit of history.

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When we exited the cave we went for a walk around the area. Once you get away from the parking area the interactions of the monkeys amongst themselves was very interesting to observe. They really are amazing animals.

Our hosts also took us to the Phang Nga Wildlife Nursery Station. This is a government run refuge for animals that cannot survive in the wild. I believe the intent is good, however it is obviously seriously underfunded and thus the animals appear somewhat distressed.

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All the enclosures are either chain link or concrete pits.

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We wrapped up the day on a much happier note when we stopped in at the Buddhist temple, Wat Kaew Manee Si Mahathat.

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This massive statue is of Buddhist monk, Por Than Klai. You cannot miss it as you drive along the highway. We stopped so our hosts could pay their respects and say a pray.

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The temple itself is quite similar to the hundreds of others in the country. It is beautifully cared for and colourful. Truly the statue sets it apart though.

During our two week house sitting in Kamala Beach we spent several days enjoying the sun and surf down on the beach.

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The view across the bay from Kamala Beach

It has been a wonderful time here in Thailand and we look forward to returning sometime in 2017.

Categories: House Sitting, Photography, Thailand, travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bangkok

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I am not sure what it is supposed to represent but we couldn’t stop laughing when we saw this. It is right outside the” high end mall”, Siam Paragon.

We spent 4 nights in Bangkok when we first entered Thailand. We did not spend any time in the freak show side of Bangkok as, honestly, I find the whole idea of this kind of side show rather depressing. Not judging, just for me not an attraction.

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This is the walkway from the BTS train (transit) to our hotel. They have a great system of walkways under their elevated train tracks. Which, once you see the roads, you truly appreciate. They didn’t spend a lot of money on sidewalks.

Karen found a fantastic little hotel called Bangkok Loft Inn. The service was phenomenal, location handy to the transit system and the rooms were clean. As well the super friendly bellboy directed us to a great street side restaurant right across the road.

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The staff here were wonderful and accommodating. No one spoke a word of English but it did not matter. Beware if you try the Jungle Curry. I should have picked up on the hint when the server looked me in the eye and asked 3 times “Hot?” Then laughed to her co-workers when she walked away from the table calling out our order to the cook. They greeted us like family every other time we arrived after that.

If you are in Bangkok it is required to see some temples. There certainly are no lack in this city. We started by doing a hop on hop off boat trip up and down the Chao Phraya river getting a feel for the layout.

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In addition to the larger tour and shuttle boats there are plenty of long boats zipping up and down the river. You can hire them for a personified trip if you wish.

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The long boats on the river in Bangkok are loud and fast. When you get closer you see why. They are packing some serious horsepower.

We were a little limited in what to see as a couple of major locations were undergoing renovations and, sadly, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand had passed away in October and the Royal Palace was closed for official mourning for a month. It was notable the level of respect and reverence the population and all businesses displayed for his passing.

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We spent a day exploring the buildings, Buddhas, and displays in the Wat Pho temple. This is apparently the birthplace of Thai massage.

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Located in the Wat Pho, the Reclining Buddha (46 metres long and 15 metres high) is entirely gold plated. A very impressive sight to behold. And somewhat difficult to photograph.

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There are more Buddhas in Wat Pho than any other temple in Thailand (over 1000 of them). It becomes a bit overwhelming at times.

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Wat Pho is one of the six high level “Royal Temples” in Thailand. The diversity of images is incredible. As well the openness to allowing photography is a very welcome discovery as well. Show the appropriate respect and the workers generally go out of their way to help you get your shots.

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These stone carvings are at nearly every gateway in Wat Pho. I am not sure of the story behind these Chinese guards other than they were used as ballast in ships that were trading with China. They all appear to be unique and certainly provide some good entertainment.

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The architecture in Bangkok is a photographers dream. Our day at Wat Pho was an overdose in colour, shape, and design.

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We went to a small courtyard in Wat Pho to escape the heat and found this oasis. Of course one of the resident cats had staked out his domain.

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I find the street animals fascinating wherever we go. This old fellow looks like he has had a pretty tough go of it. However we found him in the Wat Pho temple where he seems to have found a more agreeable life.

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We found this Buddha in one of the little side gardens. He is a little more what I envision when I think of Buddha, however there were very few of this type at the temple.

We also managed to grab lunch while we were there. There were dozens of stalls set up throughout the temple selling medicinal remedies and food. The whole atmosphere reminded me a bit of a fairground where the stalls were located.

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We had a Thai pancake for lunch while we were at the temple. Very fresh and very tasty. The food has been awesome everywhere we have been.

After checking out some ancient history we spent a bit of time exploring the newer aspects of Bangkok. There is no lack of new construction and the business district had plenty of interesting buildings. The malls were also a reminder that there is no lack of money here in Bangkok.

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The newest tallest tower in Bangkok. They had the grand opening in August, however it is definitely not complete yet. None the less it certainly is a very cool looking structure.

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The Siam Paragon Mall is beyond anything I have seen before. The Bentley and Rolls Royce dealerships were just the beginning of over the top brand names and the size of the shops. Apparently there is a LOT of money in Bangkok.

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This complex is being constructed right beside the Hilton. They seem to be working non-stop. We didn’t bother coming back in the middle of the night to confirm this.

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If construction is the sign of a healthy economy then things must be good here in Bangkok. There were several sites going full bore around the city.

One activity we have found to be quite enjoyable is finding a tall building in a city and going to the roof top bar for a drink as the sun sets. Bangkok has several super popular bars just for this purpose that are very busy. However if you do some looking on the internet you discover gems like the 360 bar on the top of the Hilton. Reasonable drinks (for a rooftop bar at the Hilton), great view and no crowds. The service was superb as well.

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View across the River from the rooftop bar on the Bangkok Millennium Hilton Hotel. Open to the public, no crowds and a great view. They made a lovely Expresso Martini as well.

Bangkok is not renowned for its’ parks. However if you are looking for a little relax time we found the Lumpini Park fit the bill. It is not polished and fancy, but it is surprisingly quiet with plenty of activities if you need entertainment. I enjoyed the fish, cats, and people for entertainment.

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You just have to look to the animals to see how is best to deal with the midday heat and humidity.

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Every cat we saw seemed to have its’ favourite nook or cranny to escape the heat.

We certainly enjoyed our introduction to Bangkok and look forward to visiting again. The people were friendly and when we looked lost someone quickly stepped up to offer us directions, which to me is a great indicator of the quality of people.

Categories: Bangkok, Photography, Thailand, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Diving Cambodia

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The views coming out of the old harbour provided some interesting insights into what Cambodia is doing to survive. Not all of it was that pretty.

While we were in Sihanoukville, Cambodia we took the opportunity to do a couple of days of diving with Scuba Nation. We were lucky enough to be the only two clients on the first day and were joined by two other divers on our second day. Both days we were guided by Max with Alison accompanying us as a Dive Master in training.

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Without a doubt the Sihanoukville harbour is not the cleanest or safest looking harbour I have ever seen.

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After picking up fresh bread and fruit on our way to the harbour the first order of business was getting some real coffee in our systems. Max got the coffee going while Alison started to prep the gear. It was kind of nice to be a client again after working on our last dive outing.

As we headed out we went by one of the dredging operations running off the coast of Cambodia. If you ever wonder where all the sand is from that China is using to build their islands, a bunch of it is from the waters of Cambodia. We were informed that these operations are running 24/7, creating massive holes in the bottom of the bays.

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On a brighter side, we were able to see several fishing boats heading to work. Of course the sad part was some of the areas they were fishing are supposed to be protected. Unfortunately this is not enforced.

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We were excited to see what Cambodia had to offer under the water. It was not spectacular, but it was beautiful. Lots of clams, a good variety of fish, a spotted blue ray and even some nudibranchs.

On to the diving though. I have to share that I was very impressed with the the rental equipment and professionalism of our dive master Max. He did thorough and meticulous briefings and confirmed all safety checks were done. As well the dive profiles were set up to ensure plenty of time for a built in safety stop at the end of the dive. Of course this wasn’t too difficult as the deepest we dove was only 14 metres with most time spent at 6 – 9 metres. If you wanted to go deeper you would have to bring a shovel.

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The briefings were concise and thorough. This always tends to make dives that much more enjoyable.

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The one hour trip out in the boat took us to the north end of Koh Rong Sanloem for our first day. We dove “Last Chance” and “Koh Kon South”. If you want a closer look at the map click here.

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We went to the same general area but dove two different sites on day 2. “Mpay Bay” and “Koh Kon West”. If you want a closer look at the map click here.

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This was our dive boat “The Colombe”. Nothing fancy, but nice and stable and more than comfortable enough for the 1 hour commute to the dive sites.

As you may have picked up from some of the photos, the weather was not exactly blue skies and sun shine. However, it is perfect for sitting around in wetsuits and not dying from overheating. The second day provided us with plenty of rain but that is ok, we were wet anyway.

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Most of the second day it was socked in and rainy. But the diving was even better the second day so no complaints here.

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As we returned on the last day we got a good view of where the fishermen live. Certainly a room with a view.

I will finish off with a short video I put together of some of what we saw while diving. The visibility was not great, anywhere from 3 – 10 metres, but still a wonderful couple of days with a great company. If you are ever in the area, try the diving. The busier the industry hopefully the better the waterways can be protected.

 

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Sihanoukville, Cambodia

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This young fellow had his water bottle fishing line reel and line. He was casting a line into the river in Kampot looking for the big one. In reality, they take home whatever they catch, no size limits.

After experiencing the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh we made the decision to explore a quieter side of Cambodia. We headed off to Sihanoukville on the west coast. On the way we stopped off for a night in the rather sleepy little town of Kampot. We only stayed overnight so we did not do a lot of exploring, but from the tiny slice that we saw it is a perfect place to unwind.

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In the centre of the main traffic circle in Kampot is a giant durian fruit. Thailand is one of the world’s major exporters of this unique fruit. The interesting thing is, many hotels will fine you if they catch you bringing it to your room. It may taste great, but the smell of the skin is incredibly nasty.

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During our stop in Kampot we saw a number of street dogs. Some looked pretty rough, but all minded their own business.

We took a minivan from Kampot to Sihanoukville. That was quite an experience. As we were just at the edge of Kampot I watched out the side window of the van as a motorcycle came around the corner too quickly and crashed into the side of our van right beside Karen. It was quite impressive watching his head bounce off the window (he had a helmet on) and the driver disappear from view toward the rear wheels. Amazingly he got right up to examine his bike. The left handgrip had broken right off. After about 15 minutes of both drivers and numerous bystanders milling about the motorcycle driver got on his bike with only one handle and drove off. Not before our van driver delivered a solid jab to his left jaw. I guess with no licenses comes no insurance.

We arrived unscathed in Sihanoukville a few hours later.

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Serendipity Beach is not a bad beach. However it suffers from severe popularity. You literally cannot walk for more than 1 minute without being offered some type of service. Your best bet is to stay near the waters edge. If you go on the walkway by the restaurants you are fair game for everyone.

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One of the consistent things one gets to see in certain areas of the world are the cows wandering the streets. I am not sure who owns them, but they are relentless in their search for tasty trash.

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The required stop after a day checking out a new beach.

Though much quieter than Phnom Penh, there was no lack of things to do or hawkers to sell you any number of services. The beach was quite nice, not too littered, and the beer was cold and cheap.

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These wonderful ladies walk up and down the beach and through town selling food from their kitchen on the go. One end of the yolk has a coal fired burner/stove and the other end all the ingredients. When you buy they cook it right there in front of you.

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As a photographer you quickly learn to appreciate the abundant Buddhist monks. They add a wonderful splash of colour to any scene, and are great about having their photo taken.

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By pure chance we met Sohka who is a tuk tuk driver in Sihanoukville. He made it a point to be available to us during our stay in Sihanoukville and we became quite friendly. He invited us to his home one night for dinner, which turned out to be a wonderful experience. So friendly and willing to share. A truly humbling experience.

In an effort to find an even quieter corner of Cambodia we hopped on a ferry and headed over to the island of Koh Rong Sanleom. This is a sleepy island. Not to be confused with the island of Koh Rong, that apparently is where you head to drink until dawn. Too old for that.

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As we were sitting at the beach bar one night I noticed an interesting light coming over the bay. I set up my gear and was rewarded with a spectacular double rainbow and an other worldly light come over the bay. An awesome way to round out our first day there.

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The beach dogs on Koh Rong Sanleom were amazingly well behaved. If they were not sleeping they would be sitting watching the world go by. This one reminded me of huskys at home sleeping in the snow.

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We weren’t quite sure what to make of the sign for our bungalows when we first walked up. Turned out to be lovely.

Our home for the next three nights was The Beach Island Resort. If you want a good laugh you can read the reviews on the front desk staff on Trip Advisor, pretty hilarious. She is a bit stand offish initially, but by the end of our stay she was reasonably pleasant.

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This was our home for three nights on Koh Rong Sanleom. 20 metres from the waters edge.

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Ned our “Big House Gecko” (Tokay) lived behind the mirror in our bathroom downstairs. He would come out and watch us when we brushed our teeth in the morning.

During one of our days there we took a short 20 minute walk across the island (easily done in thongs) to Lazy Beach. Well worth the trip. Beautiful beach, stunning I thought.

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On the west side of the island was Lazy Beach. On that day, it was the best beach I have ever been on. Absolute perfection. The snorkelling was awesome as well.

As our time ran out on our Cambodia visa it was now time to head for the border and see what Thailand has to offer. Bangkok here we come.

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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It occurred to me that a lot of people would not be familiar with where in the world we are. I honestly would have had trouble 3 months ago finding many of these places on a map. The line indicates where we travelled from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. If you want to take a closer look at the map right down to the route the tuk tuk took through each city just follow this link.

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Our trip in Cambodia has been amazing so far. Phnom Penh is the capital of the country and the home to some of its most powerful museums.

Wow.

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The traffic is spectacular. Wild and flowing during the day.  Just as crazy at night but with fewer big trucks and more bikes going way too fast.

I said that word more times than I can recall during our four days in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Wow.

The traffic. I know we will see more chaos and congestion in our travels through Asia, but for us, this was our first exposure to a large busy Asian city traffic. Wow. Perhaps due to my background and a general warm feeling toward order and control, this exposure to free form traffic was even more awe inspiring. Whereas the drivers we encountered in Australia are the friendliest and most patient I had ever met in the world, the drivers here are incredible problem solvers. Without the hinderance of licenses, laws or rules of the road to hold them back they just flow like lava into whatever open space is available.

On to the blog, the first part of this blog is a little dark and depressing, however I feel it is absolutely essential to acknowledge the horrors that occurred here in Cambodia in the fairly recent past. For me, it makes the rest of what we saw all the better because of the incredible resilience of the human spirit.

We visited two locations. S-21 and “The Killing Fields”. Though very disturbing I felt it essential to pay my respects to the dead. In just under 4 years the Kymer Rouge under Pol Pot were responsible for the deaths of nearly 3 million in a country with a population of just 8 million people. Stop and think about that for a moment. The most disturbing part of it from my perspective is the entire world stood by and did nothing.

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These 14 graves are the first thing you encounter when you visit S-21 (Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum). Though this former school’s primary job was torture, as the Vietnamese closed in on the Kymer Rouge in 1979 these 14 graves represent the last prisoners to be held here. They were executed as the Vietnamese entered the City.

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The self guided audio tour that comes with your $6US admission to the museum is one of the best, most informative audio guides I have ever heard. From the torture of Cambodians to the unfortunate Westerners that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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When you see the cells where the prisoners were held in between their 3 torture sessions a day it makes you sick. The human misery oozes out of this place.

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This memorial which was built in 2015 and paid for by the German government lists the names of the over 12,000 victims who were tortured in this one facility before being executed elsewhere.

The next day we travelled by tuk tuk to just outside the city to what has become known as the “Killing Fields”.

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Each of these hollows in the ground represents a mass grave of murdered Cambodians. They are mixed with the graves of the Chinese, whose cemetery this was before the Kymer Rouge took over.

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These are more recently excavated mass graves. There has been a significant effort to honour the dead by at least finding out how many, their sex, and the way they died.

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Some will say this is too much, I don’t want to see this. But this is what can and does happen when megalomaniacs and extremists take or are given control of a country. I will get off my soap box now.

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Inside the Memorial Stupa at Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) are the skulls of more than 5,000 victims that have been exhumed from mass graves at the site. This is only a percentage of the people killed here. These skulls have all been studied by forensic personnel to understand as much as possible about the people who died here and how they died. Very powerful.

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A very powerful and moving place to visit. The audio tour helps to provide a degree of understanding of what went on here. But walking around and seeing the remnants cannot help but leave an impression on you.

The “Killing Fields” are a big reason why many people come to Phnom Penh. However there is way more to this amazing city than the tragedy that this beautiful country has suffered through.

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A fisherman and his family set off across the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers.

At the joining of the Mekong, Basaac, and Tonle Sap rivers, the city sprawls out in what appears to be chaotic growth.

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The view from the river provided an excellent perspective of the width of the building blocks in the city.

We did a sunset cruise on the Mekong river. The weather obscured any sunset, but it still provided a fantastic vantage point to observe part of the city.

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This was the vessel we enjoyed our river cruise on. There were two other customers on the boat

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As we watched the city skyline and the weather display these gentleman provided wonderful traditional music in the background.

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Locals casting their fishing nets from the banks of the Tonle Sap River in the heart of Phnom Penh.

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As we set off for our sunset river cruise on the Mekong River mother nature had some other plans. No sunset, but an impressive display of storm clouds and rain.

We took the time one evening to go to the Foreign Corespondents Club on the riverfront. The FCC holds an interesting place in the cities current history. It is said that nearly all the news reports from before, during, and after the internal conflict Cambodia suffered were filed from this building. The photos on the walls certainly show it was at the centre of the action.

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The dining room is excellent, but the best part of the FCC was the rooftop bar. We sat and enjoyed the night skyline (which admittedly is not that spectacular, but still nice) and listened to live music. The night we were there a gentleman on a sax was doing a fantastic job. It is a must do experience.

We had a chance to observe some amusing modern human behaviour while on the rooftop.

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Everyone who was sitting on the front edge overlooking the road and river were engrossed in their electronics.

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While right in front of them was a lovely view. I did not do it justice, but you get the idea. Kind of sad really.

We also took in the popular Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. These areas are very busy with tourists and hawkers but still worth the trip. We were fortunate to have the weather clear a bit for us.

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Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Silver Pagoda. The floor is covered with 5329 silver tiles (nearly all covered by carpets to protect them) Each tile weighs 1.125kg.

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The Bronze Palace where they store Royal regalia. The Pavilion in the background is for receptions.

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Constructed entirely of iron (on the left), this was the first permanent structure at the site of the Royal Palace. It was built for the wife of Napoleon III. The Throne Hall is in the background.

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We also checked out the National Museum. Unfortunately by this point we were starting to get a bit punch drunk on museums and ancient history.

Phnom Penh is a busy, dirty, fascinating city well worth the time to visit. If for no other reason than to experience the traffic. The history is epic as well.

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The Independence Monument was built in 1958 to celebrate Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953.

I will wrap up this rather long blog with a couple of night time street shots. The vibe of the city changes at night and it probably deserves a visit just focusing on after dark.

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You can get all kinds of food to go.

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Or sit down and relax after a hard day of working.

 

Categories: Cambodia, Photography, transportation, travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Angkor Wat and Siem Reap

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We received more than a few curious looks from children when they realized there were foreigners in the tuk tuk beside them.

We have been so fortunate to have had our introduction to SE Asia begin here in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Starting with a fantastic house sit looking after two very interesting sphinx cats in the heart of Siem Reap. It has been a wonderful experience.

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Sam was very affectionate, even rather demanding of attention. He had a very interesting personality.

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The female, Dotty, loved to be up high, watching over everything. It took a bit of getting used to.

The primary reason most people come to Siem Reap is to visit the largest temple in the world, Angkor Wat. This incredible assortment of temples, gates, walls, and former cities truly is a testament to what humans can create.

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Once you see this place you understand why Tomb Raider was filmed here. The buildings and nature are absolutely surreal.

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Even after visiting Angkor Wat I have trouble fathoming the size of it. The detail in every aspect of its construction and the fact that is over 900 years old. Oh….and is in the middle of a jungle.

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We hired a guide for our introduction to Angkor Wat. Ta provided great advice and even had extra umbrellas for the sun or the rain.

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It is a photographic smorgasbord walking and driving around the area. Not only the buildings, but the wildlife and people are beautiful to behold.

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These local kids were having a blast playing and splashing in the moat around one of the temples. As well they were collecting snails for the dinner table. A very productive way to spend a brutally hot afternoon.

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As with any popular tourist site in the world, there were no lack of hawkers trying to sell there goods. A constant chorus of “Just one dollar, you buy?”

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We asked Ta to take us to where the locals ate lunch. He delivered, big time. As we sat down with the tuk tuk drivers and delivery drivers we were able to watch the cooking, washing, and family interactions as we ate lunch. The cost of $5US for both of our lunches was an incredible deal.

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This brief moment of blue sky over The Bayon from the SW corner was the only colour we got in the sky all day. Fortunately the site offers many ways to compensate for a drab sky.

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Sometimes the colour was good enough to come and find us. This fellow rode around on my camera bag for several minutes.

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The thing about the temples is no matter where you go, you are being watched. The faces carved into the temples, facing all four directions are omnipresent. Great for photography, but a bit unsettling at times.

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This hallway on the north side of Angkor Wat is one of dozens and dozens of incredibly aligned corridors that have stood the test of time. Perhaps with a bit of restoration, but none the less, amazing architecture.

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This hallway just inside the inner west entrance had incredible carvings on every surface. The remnants of colour were very cool.

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And just around the corner in the hallway this fellow had more than enough to meditate on with thousands of tourists walking by every day.

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Most of the day was overcast, so our “no show” for a sunset was no surprise. We still set up, just in case though.

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At least the rain held off for us. As we left Angkor Wat these clouds chased us down the street. The deluge started just as we got into our vehicle. All in, an awesome day.

In addition to the temples there are plenty of museums, restaurants, bars, and other points of interest to keep one busy. We took it fairly easy during our two weeks here, but the advantage of this type of lifestyle is there is a very good chance we will be back here sometime in the next 2 or 3 years.

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In addition to the conventional massage available (which were wonderful) there was plenty of opportunity to try a fish exfoliation on your feet. To say it tickled is an understatement.

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You start with the small fish then move your feet into the tank with the larger fish. The whole process took about an hour.

 

Within central Siem Reap there are at least 4 massage businesses on every single block, and that is being conservative. As well, when you get to the area called Pub Street, the price for draft beer is 50cents during happy hour.

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The tourist hot spot at night is Pub Street. I found it very busy, but not overwhelming. Tuk tuk drivers are constantly asking if you want a ride, but a polite “no thank you” and they back off.

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Apparently this bar, The Red Piano, became famous when the cast and crew from Tomb Raider started hanging out here. Nothing special as far as a bar goes, but it is in a perfect location for people watching if you get a table near the street.

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If you still feel the need to shop, the night market is right across the street from Pub Street. More importantly, we found there were some great places to eat in this area that were a little cheaper than Pub Street.

The last place we checked out was the Cambodia War Museum. It certainly is nothing like the war museums I have seen in London or Canberra, but it had a certain rawness to it that conveyed it’s point.

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The Cambodia War Museum is a very basic set of displays

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The displays were pretty good considering this is an extremely low budget museum. They showed just how destructive the after effects of the many wars have been on the civilian population.

If you come to Cambodia you have to see Angkor Wat. But don’t limit yourself to just that. There are several sights worth investing half a day checking out and transportation is cheap and easy, though for Siem Reap itself we found it small enough to be able to walk most places in town.

Off to Phnom Penh now.

 

Categories: Cambodia, Food, House Sitting, Photography, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things to see in Siem Reap

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The skill level and enthusiasm were exceptional during the performance.

On our flight on Silk Air from Singapore to Siem Reap there was a group of young Cambodians that were just returning from the OzAsia Festival in Adelaide, Australia. They were members of a group called Phare, The Cambodian Circus. We only chatted briefly with a couple of them but they came across as very sincere and a fun loving group. When we arrived in Siem Reap it did not take us long to realize this group was part of a larger organization that does some amazing work in Cambodia. We got tickets to their performance of “Influence“.

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Amongst the many social comments there were many awe inspiring acrobatics.

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The other new experience that came along with the Circus was the tuk tuk trip to the circus. Shortly before we were set to be picked up the rain started. And I mean pouring sheets of water. Our driver Ms. Kim showed up exactly on time with a big smile and an amazingly well sheltered tuk tuk. Despite the torrential rain, ankle deep water everywhere being splashed about, we remained dry for the entire journey to the “big top”. When the show was over Ms. Kim was waiting right where she said she would be. Customer service of the highest level.

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Plenty of demonstrations of strength and balance. No doubt this is an incredibly fit group of individuals. Bear in mind it is about 30C and 80% humidity where they are performing. The amount of sweat was over the top.

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If you are ever in Siem Reap you would be letting yourself down if you didn’t take the time to take in a performance of the Phare. The tickets in the “B” ($25US) section are the best value I believe.

Another tour we took the time to enjoy was some local cooking lessons. Through the magic of Google and Trip Advisor we discovered Countryside Cooking Class. For $20US per person we were picked up where we were staying in a very clean, air conditioned van and driven out of Siem Reap to a town called Phumi Puok Chas, about 16km NW of Siem Reap. It was nice to support a company that appears to be giving back to their community. A portion of the proceeds are funnelled toward schooling and health care for the children of the village.

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The village marketplaces are busy places with an incredible range of items for sale.

In the town, our guide, Ben, took us for a tour of the market. A bit of an introduction to what is available and what different items could be used for. It was nice getting a distance out of town. The market definitely has more of a local feel. And judging by the way the children looked at us, they did not see a lot of white people there.

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This seems to be the prevalent way to cook meat at street and market stalls. This chicken smelled delicious. I had a quail the day before done like this.

 

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All your fresh herbs and seasonings available in one place. The aroma as you handled the merchandise was amazing.

The ladies who ran these stalls were amazing. They were always doing something. Whether selling, preparing, or cleaning, there was not a lot of down time.

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This lady was cutting up bamboo stocks for some culinary purpose. The variety of items and their purposes could overwhelm you at times.

Fresh pork anyone?

The meat section of the market is always interesting. Most the animals are brought to the market alive and slaughtered first thing in the morning. Therefore the meat is very fresh and there is no need for refrigeration. All the product is sold off each day. And yes they sell and use it all. The head is not for display, it is for sale.

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This is what my lunch would have looked like the previous day before being chef’ed up.

After our tour of the market we headed back a couple kilometres to Ben’s village. It truly is a small Cambodian village. The track into it is small and rough but once you arrive they have everything you need.

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The ingredients for the banana rice cakes we built for desert. Rice plays an astronomical role in the diet here.

We were guided through the preparation of Banana Blossom Salad, Beef Lok Lak, and Banana Rice Cakes. Ben kept things going and Mrs. Phat La, the village chef corrected any poor techniques she observed.

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Mrs. Phat La about to steam our carefully crafted Banana Rice Cakes. One hour later, umm num num!

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There was lots of communal spoons, and preparing with hands. This was the washing station. Cool water with fresh limes squeezed to clean your hands. It seemed to work very well.

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Karen was assigned the job of separating the skin husks from the roasted peanuts. Low tech and minimal equipment is what it is all about.

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Another student added ingredients while I cooked the beef in the wok.

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Here is our main course, Beef Lok Lak. A tasty creation, with fresh ingredients and enough spice to make it enjoyable.

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The students about to enjoy the fruits of our labours. A great meal for a great cause.

Obviously when you come to Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is the primary destination for most. However there are many activities, museums, and tours available to you. Enjoy as many as time allows. Speaking of Angkor Wat, stay tuned. It is next.

Categories: Cambodia, Entertainment, Photography, travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Singapore in 35 Hours

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The Gardens by the Bay is a 101 hectare park built entirely on reclaimed land. It is very popular in the evening.

Singapore was never a place I had considered as a travel destination. However, that is the beauty of travel is you become aware of things previously unknown to you. At best I understood that Singapore was one of those places you passed through on your way to other locales. On our way from Australia to our house sit in Cambodia we booked a 35 hour layover in Singapore. Karen found a fantastic deal with Singapore Airlines for $162AUD (essentially the same as the Canadian dollar). We arrived early in the morning, had multiple passes to attractions and a nights accommodation, with airport transfers. The key is getting some sleep on the plane from Brisbane which we were successful in doing.

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The flag of Singapore.

I would be remiss if I did not mention our experience with Singapore Airlines. Honestly they did not win me over with super personal service. However, it is rare that one encounters a level of professionalism, efficiency, and cleanliness that we enjoyed with them. The flight was flawless and the food and seats were excellent. Just to confirm, we did just fly economy. As well, when we left Singapore on our way to Siem Reap we flew Silk Air (a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) and they were just as fantastic, though a little more personable. The meal with Silk Air was perhaps the tastiest I have every had on an airplane. Absolute top marks. Anyway, I digress, back to Singapore.

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The Merlion looks out over Marina Bay at the mouth of the Singapore River. This shot was taken from our river cruise boat.

In addition to tickets for the Hop on, Hop off buses around Singapore our package also had tickets for a short river cruise on the Singapore River Cruise. Between these two tours we were able to get a tenuous grip on just a slice of what Singapore has to offer.

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Singapore River Cruise have an excellent 40 minute cruise along part of the Singapore River and into the Marina Bay.

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A worker keeping things shipshape in preparation for the next tour.

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Singapore is ranked in 7th place for the most skyscrapers in a city in the world. This is part of their financial district.

As a first time tourist to Singapore perhaps the biggest attraction is the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort (quite a mouthful). This $5billion+US complex dominates the southern tip of Singapore. I am not a gambler but apparently it has the largest casino in the world. The hotel is truly spectacular.

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A shot from the Helix Bridge with the Resort in the background. Apparently that is the largest public access cantilever construction in the world.

It is possible to eat very cheaply in Singapore.

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A tasty inexpensive lunch amongst the locals. No idea what was with the noodles, but it was good.

However, when doing the tourist highlights one would be negligent if they did not take a trip to the top of the Marina Bay Sands Resort to check out the pool and the view. Just to be clear, when I say check out the pool I mean look at it. You must be a guest to swim in it.

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Looking SW along the roof of the Marina Bay Sands Resort infinity pool. It is 146 metres long, on the 57th floor (191 metres above the ground).

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This is what a $100US meal looks like on the rooftop bar at the Marina Bay Resort. Location, location, location.

We had to pay $20US to take the elevator to the top, but that was good to go toward your bill at the bar at the top. Expensive, yes. Worth it? I thought so. The views were amazing even though we were given a rather grey overcast day to enjoy. And quite frankly who doesn’t mind paying $24US for a cocktail, come on people, loosen up.

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Looking east from the roof of the Marina Bay Sands Resort over the Gardens by the Bay toward the shipping and residential area in the distance.

Sunset was a bit of a non event due to the weather but we still enjoyed a free laser light and music show on the bay while we relaxed on the esplanade. While we were there, a local fellow came up and asked me to take photos for him with his iPhone while his brother proposed marriage. Made for an interesting evening.

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While we were enjoying the view of Marina Bay a young gentleman asked me to take photos while his brother proposed to his girlfriend. Apparently they were a little short handed.

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The view of the Fullerton Hotel and the Merlion across Marina Bay.

We headed over to the Gardens by the Bay to check some of this spectacle out. This entire area is built on reclaimed land developed with sand that had to be shipped in from outside of Singapore. This probably explains some of the $2 millionUS apartments we saw being constructed.

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Supertree Grove is one of the main features in the Gardens by the Bay. They range between 25 and 50 metres tall with a walkway connecting two of the tallest trees.

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Night time view of the Singapore Flyer with part of the Gardens by the Bay to the right.

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The Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City was listed as the largest fountain in the world in 1998. The brass fountain is set in the middle of five office towers designed to look like a left hand.

Included in our package were tickets on the Singapore Flyer, apparently the tallest observation wheel in Asia.

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The view was pretty impressive from the top of the wheel.

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At 165 metres tall the Singapore Flyer is Asia’s tallest giant observation wheel. We were fortunate enough to only have to share our pod with two others.

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Looking SSW from the Singapore Flyer toward the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort.

After an enjoyable yet tiring 35 hours in Singapore I know one thing for sure, if an opportunity came available to do a house sit in this city I would be all over it. It is a city with a ton of cultural diversity to explore and history that helps one get a grip on this corner of the world. I would highly recommend to anyone travelling to set aside time to explore this gem.

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The ArtScience Museum is beside the Marine Bay Sands Resort. It is a lotus blossom shaped building set on a pond filled with blossoms.

 

Categories: Photography, Singapore, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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