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Posts Tagged ‘Southeast Asia’

Boat on a River

This picture was taken from a boat on the Mekong River in Myanmar. You can take a boat on the Mekong to go see the sunset, and I’ve got to say, it’s really beautiful. I like boats, and taking the boat trip gave me a slightly different perspective of the area than walking around did. The view is really cool, and it’s also pretty interesting to see people in different types of boats doing different things. These men were fishing with a net, which was interesting to watch. We also saw passenger boats carrying tourists, Buddhist monks, and locals who were just getting from one side of the river to the other. Also visible from the boat are the many pagodas in the area, their mountain-like shapes and spires make for a really cool horizon. You can also see people on the banks, just going about everyday life; planting or harvesting, collecting shells, kids play and bathing in the shallows near the rivers banks, it’s a good way to get a better idea of what life is really like here. If you are interested in arranging a boat trip for an hour or two, you can probably do so at your hotel, or you can just head over to the banks and see if there are any boats taking tourists/ travelers out.

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Night Market: Fish Dinner

This is one in a series of photos taken at the night market in Luang Prabang, Laos. The Market is super cool, with fantastic shopping and a ton of places to eat. This is a picture of some of the fish that were for sale, there’s a nearby river, and i’m pretty sure the fish come from there, so it’s really fresh. The market is a nice, mellow place to hang out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a bit on the bustling side, but the attitude is pretty calm, and all of the vendors are friendly. Theres a ton of really cool hand made stuff to buy, as well as some antiques, and pretty much any sort of not-cheesy souvenir you’d want to buy (this includes a pretty impressive array of teeshirts). The food that we had while we were there was really good too, and since it’s market food you can eat it on the go, or sit at one of the tables set up in the food alley if you’d rather relax and eat. If you’re a skeptic when it comes to street food there are also plenty of good restaurants around in town.

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Thanaka

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These photos were taken in Bagan, Myanmar (formerly Burma). This woman is selling Thanaka, a sort of cosmetic bark paste that’s pretty common in Myanmar. The paste is applied to the face, and sometimes the arms, it sort of acts as a sun block, and its used to keep people cool. We bought some from this woman; she was really sweet, and she was REALLY excited that we were interested in this. It’s sold mostly to locals, and you don’t really see tourists with it, but we were curious. She showed us how the paste was made, let us smell it, and applied it to both mine and my sister’s faces. She didn’t speak any english, but it was a really interesting interaction all the same, and even with the language barrier it was easy to tell that both of the parties involved were equally interested. Myanmar is a fantastic place, and probably one of the more interesting countries i’ve visited, mostly because it’s an awesome place, but also because it’s really just starting to become a tourist destination. The people are friendly, the food is fantastic, the culture is really incredible, and the art and archaeological sites are just amazing. I would ABSOLUTELY recommend a visit to Myanmar! I’ve only been to two cities there, but I would highly recommend both Bagan and Yangon.

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Typing Thai

This picture was taken in the Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), in Bangkok Thailand. Bangkok is a super cool place, and this airport, while not really centrally located, is a great place to fly out of for other locations in Thailand. I love Thailand, and I think that Bangkok has a lot of amazing stuff to offer to tourists and travelers, but if you’re planning on staying in Thailand for a long time it’d be a good idea ( I think) to check out some of the other areas. Phuket and Chiang Mai are the other areas that i’ve visited in Thailand, and I would highly recommend both. BKK is a great airport to fly out of too, it’s big and comfortable, and there is a fair number of restaurants to choose from, as well as shopping, ranging from duty free fancy perfumes to more traditional thai souvenirs (though I’d suggest buying your Thai souvenirs outside the airport; you’ll pay less and in most cases be able to haggle over the price, something you can’t do in airports). The other cool thing about BKK is that there’s free wifi, and if you don’t have a computer, tablet, or other wifi enabled device, you can access a computer in the terminal, i’m not sure if this is true for every terminal, but you can probably find out at the information desk. (I know the picture isn’t really travel related, but I thought it was super cool that the available computers had bilingual typing capabilities)

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Monks Outside a Temple

This picture was taken at one of the many Pagodas in Bagan, Myanmar. These monks were in charge of a group that seemed like it was on a field trip, they had lots of very curious little monks along with them, and they were just as interested in us as we were in them. It was an interesting exchange, my sister and I were taking pictures of the monks, and one of the older monks took out his cell phone and took a picture of us. I love it when both tourists and locals get something out of an experience! In our experience everyone in Myanmar was really friendly, and no one seemed to have a problem with pictures. Bagan is a fantastic city, and if you are visiting Myanmar I highly recommend a visit to Bagan!

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Little Monks

This picture was taken in Bagan, Myanmar. Bagan isn’t a very large town, but it seems to have a fairly large population of Buddhist monks. Bagan is home to an array of architecturally stunning archaeological sites. The city itself is actually an archaeological zone, where you can visit over a thousand ancient pagodas. Personally, I have always found buddhist monks to be really interesting, there’s something about the affect that just makes them seem so serene. This even holds true for the kids that are training to become monks. Often in the mornings you see these children walking from building to building to receive alms. You have to get up pretty early to see this, but i’m not sure what the exact time is, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss it ask the front desk of wherever you are staying. I don’t know the specific rules for Myanmar (they may be different) but in Laos you are permitted to take pictures of the alms as long as you don’t break the line or use flash. This picture was taken with a telephoto lens from a car, so I know I wasn’t being disruptive. If you are going to take pictures, just make sure you are being respectful!

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On the Shores of the Mekong

This picture was taken on the river bank of the Mekong in Laos, somewhere outside of Luang Prabang. We came on this spot while riding elephants on a joint elephant ride/ waterfall visit outside of the town we were staying in. Luang Prabang is a beautiful place, and it’s a great central location to stay and visit some of the outlying areas like this. Tours to visit the waterfall, ride elephants, visit the whiskey village, and visit the Cave of a Thousand Buddhas (Pak Ou Caves), can be arranged in the town of Luang Prabang. The Mekong is gorgeous, and there are lots of spots along the banks that offer beautiful views like this one. You can see the Mekong when you’re in town, but you get really nice views like this outside of town, and it’s great to explore and visit some of the outlying areas. I would recommend an elephant ride as a great day trip, I love elephants and it’s definitely an interesting experience to ride them through some of the more jungly areas outside of town.

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