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Photography, Travel, Vietnam
I’ve been a bit lax getting these images sorted, but, got a chance to go through them this weekend. To take up from the last post, after an amazing few days in Halong bay, we headed by train to a town called Sapa , in the mountains north of Hanoi. Its pretty close to the Chinese border in an area known as Tonkinese Alps. The town itself is above 1700m above sea level.   This particular adventure started with an overnight train trip from Hanoi to Sapa, about a 9 hour journey in a sleeper cabin. We really had no idea what we had booked, other than it was in Sapa and we were going to be there for a few days. We met up with a group of about 8 and a local guide from one of the ethnic minorities in the area, I believe she was from the H’mong  people.   We headed out of the village and met up with a group of locals who would be “assisting” us on the trek. Little did we know how much we would need then as the day progressed. We left Sapa round 9 or 10 in the morning and starting walking. The first mile of so was very tame, but when we left the road and headed cross country, it was a very different story.  What was incredible was, here was this bunch of westerners in hi-tech hiking boots slipping & sliding down these rough paths when the locals, sometimes in flop flops were strolling along with no difficulty at all and having to help out these clumsy westerners . If you are as unfit as I am, the next 7 or 8 hours were extremely tough and  the least said the better! We stayed that night in a local house in the middle of nowhere, but, boy was I glad to see a shower and a few beers that night! Anyway, here are some of the images from the two days in Sapa.
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Photography, Thailand, Travel
Trish and I have just come back from a trip to south east Asia and this is the first in a series of posts about the trip – along with a few photo of course We booked a trip to the floating markets about 150km outside of Bangkok. Had no idea what to expect. My big worry was that we would have a big bus load of tourists and be whisked from place too place to a schedule. We were up at 6 the following morning and met t he tour guide rep in reception. We got on a bus with 6 or 7 others and had to listen to 3 south African women complain about another who was a little late… We got to a staging area and got divided up between the different tours being run that day.  This guy approached up and told us he was our private guide for the day – Trish & I, a guide and a driver in a big Toyota with air -con – could not get better than this. So, we headed off in the car, the four of us. One of the most amazing things about Bangkok is the contrasts; one minute there are 8 lane highways, skyscrapers, massive junctions and trains whose tracks are at least 150m above the ground, the next, there are old canals and rickety houses made from wood and galvanise sheets in true shanty town style. In Bangkok, these are mixed together in the most bizarre way. After about an hour in the car, our guide dropped us at a warf on the canals. we were picking up one of those mad canal boats that featured in the Roger Moore Bond film – The Man with a golden gun.  We took a boat for a half an hour along the canals to the floating market. It was like entering a different world, all the houses along the canals with the myriad of life – people washing hair, clothes, kids playing everything. It was obviously a very poor area. We eventually arrived at the floating markets. These are are the biggest in Thailand and are struggling as younger people desert the lifestyle and buyers choose to go to Tesco for fruit & veg – yes, Tesco…. The floating market has lots of people selling fruit & farm produce, as well as lots of stands selling cooked food- bits of fish, chicken and pork – tried a few of these, the fish and pork in particular were very good. Anyway, some images from the first few days in Bangkok….. Click on an image to view a full size image.
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