2012 and Beyond ...

Continuation of a journey


Thailand

Sample imageFebruary 15, 2012 - Day 2 of a trip to Thailand to escape the corporate world and the rain. Time to unplug and start living like a "retiree" for a while, although the concept is too strange to me yet and I feel very much like I ran away temporarily. Once in a while a glimpse that this is the "new normal" overcomes me.

As per the usual routine, I made a stop at the Bangkok International Dental Center. It stuns me time and time again that such expert health care can be had here at 1960's North American prices. For $116 CAD I walked out with a dental cleaning, inspection and two small fillings reworked, one which took an hour and a half as it was behind my front teeth. While they were at it, they performed a tad of cosmetic dentistry as well. For $116 CAD, I can sit in a dentist chair in Vancouver and run out of credit after the first "open wide".

Bangkok doesn't seem to change much anymore, at least in the old part of town. Lamphu House is the same, the people haven't changed since the last three or four times I was there and nothing seems to have moved on Soi Rambuttri (below).

The Chao Phraya river is at its usual self after recent flooding. Long tail boats still ply their trade.

February 16, 2012 - Chiang Mai with a twist. The plan is to stay here for a month and get ready for the big trip. Most arrangements which require no physical intervention will be completed this month. The rest of the time will be spent on photography, good food from the various local markets and a motorcycle ride around the north to explore the "Golden Triangle" and maybe a three day ride via Pai. Anna has been here for a while and I rented a room in the same place. It's called Smith Residence and more of a long term rental place. Very nice rooms, faux marble floors, all the amenities and a salt water pool on the roof.

The shot below is the best one to date with the new 85 mm 1.4G. 1250 ISO, f2 and 1/200.

I spent a morning walking around the moat surrounding the old city. In many places the old city walls have been removed, but the moat itself is mostly intact.

Buddhist Temples

Chiang Mai has a large number of temples tucked away here and there. Since we'd rented a small scooter for a few days, we didn't carry what we refer to as "big glass" and relied on our point and shoot cameras. We rode up to Doi Suthep, one of the larger temples in Chaing Mai, and wandered around a bit. I'm very pleased with the quality I'm getting from the Canon S95. Here are some pics.

Saturday and Sunday markets

There are a few outdoor markets each week in Chiang Mai. The Sunday market is the biggest one. Back in 2007, Anna and I stumbled upon it as we were housed right in the middle of it at the time. I got distracted visiting the market and spent most of my time shooting in a temple along the route.

Wat Umong

The most interesting item at this temple is the "Buddha graveyard". Or what to do with your broken Buddha. You can't just dump a blessed statue in the blue bin, a surefire way to deplete all your Karma in one fell swoop. We also spent a good few hours slowly feeding the sacred fish in the lake at Wat Umong.