Thursday, April 29, 2010
Labels: 35mm, anarchy, Bangkok, blog, camera, cheap film, Chinatown, digital, papaya salad, peoples uprising, photo, pork soup, Red Shirts, revolution, Thailand
Bangkok is beyond words. This city is one of the worlds greatest. Thank you, Bangkok, and good luck, my comrades the Red Shirts. Tomorrow, we fly to Kolkata, India. Below are a few of my favourite photos from Bangkok. Incidentally, Bangkok is one of the cheapest places for 35mm film. I have decided I prefer film. Just in case I change my mind, today I safely packed my Nikon digital SLR into a box, with a shit load of bubble wrap, and sent it home. So, loaded with hopefully enough film to document the rest of the journey, we head to the sub-continent. India, the home of fiery curries, Bollywood films, snake charmers, call centers, slums and dysentery. Not to mention more than one thousand one hundred and eighty million people. Should be interesting. Apu, Ghandi, Sachin Tendulka, Mother Teresa, Imran Khan, Pocahontas, the list of Indians that have influenced the world is endless. I've been brushing up on my Indian accent, and I am raring to go.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Labels: Ankor Wat, beer, Beng Melea, blog, border, bribe, Cambodia, jungle, photo, Poipet, police, Siem Reap, Ta Prohm, temple, tour, trees, Tuk Tuk, UNESCO, vines, visa
Angkor Wat Archeological Park, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Once again, we were mesmorised by a jungle horizon, a vista only interrupted by the man-made silouhettes of ancient temples in the distance. Atop another thousand year old marvel, awaiting the sunset. Perfect. "Hello sir, where are you from?", a local Cambodian asked me. Around my age, he had eked out a living as an unofficial sunset guide for almost ten years. Again, my mind raced with thoughts of fate and destiny. Cambodia does that to you. After letting him know I was Australian, he offered with a perfect accent "ahh g'day mate a dingo stole my baby hahaha... you want a beer? ...one dollar, nice and cold mate!". While I waited for my sunset beer to arrive, a Cambodian policeman nodded hello. "You want to buy my police badge?" I asked to take a look. Fuck, its real. I declined. Welcome to Cambodia.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Labels: Bangkok, celebration, dead camera, extended travel, festival, fight, fucking songkran, gun, Leica M6, New Year, photo, pistol, Red Army, Red Shirts, skytrain, songkran, talc, Thai, Thailand, water
Bangkok, Thailand. First, the city is bought to its knees by the Red Shirts peoples army (breaking news as I am typing this,
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Labels: blog, building, CAT, colonial, extended travel, Georgetown, heritage, history, hookers, Malaysia, Penang, photo, pirates, site, UNESCO, world
Penang - the Land of Smiles. Hang on, that's Thailand. Penang - the Pearl of the Orient. There are two remarkable things about Penang. First, the food is unbelievable. With Indian, Malay, Chinese, and old time colonial influences, as well as fierce competition between hawkers that borders on violence, it's ridiculously difficult to eat anything bad. Second, the capital city, Georgetown, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Yes, the whole downtown area. This being a fairly recent development, and the Malay's penchant for everything shiney and new, leaves Georgetown in a pretty run-down, but exceptionally authentic, state. Amongst the old structures a centuries old blend of tourists, homeless, pirates, hookers, and locals, while away the time. Penang appears to have a bright future, with a progessive local goverment providing services such as a free central area transit bus service in Georgetown - unheard of anywhere else in Asia. Many of the heritage listed buildings are undergoing restoration, as locals cotton-on to a tourist market beyond the beach. Penang's beaches are nice enough, but the real story on this Malaysian island-state, is Georgetown.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Labels: anarchy, Bangkok, blog, chaos, clash, death, extended travel, film, photo, Red Army, Red Shirts, revolution, riot, Thailand, UDD, violence
Buck wild in Bangkok, Thailand. Blood in the streets. Red in the land. Last night, the Thai government finally had enough. Twenty-one confirmed deaths, and over 800 hospitalised, in the worst Bangkok street clashes in decades, not far from our hotel. For the last few days, we have been spending time at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok, one of two main rally points for the "Red Shirts" peoples army. On Friday, the UDD peoples army really took over the streets. Numbering in the tens of thousands, the comrades have disrupted traffic, forced large malls and key businesses to close, successfully commandeered a television station, captured military vehicles, and fought back large Thai army forces. Yesterday, they forced the closure of the entire Bangkok sky-train mass public transportation system. On the streets, weapons include grenade launchers, assault rifles, guns, molotov cocktails, bbq gas bottles, and more. The photos below were taken on Saturday, the day before the deaths. They were taken with a film camera and are completely unedited. Click on a photo for a larger version. Bangkok is an amazing city.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Labels: army, awesome, Bangkok, blog, comrades, extended travel, grenade, M16 assault rifle, peoples uprising, photo, Red Army, Red in The Land, revolution, rubber bullets, tank, Thailand, UDD
UPDATE 9th April, 3PM : The UDD Red Shirts have gone crazy today, controlling many parts of Bangkok. Tear gas has been deployed. Nathan was today run over by a motor bike, and sustained minor injuries. He is currently resting in the hotel room recovering, for a major rally with the comrades later today.
As far as travel experiences go, you wouldn't think that descending into an active Indonesian volcano, to witness a Dickensian era mining operation, could easily be topped. Bangkok, Thailand, favourite city of mine for long time, has now solidified its place as "Best City on the Entire Planet". We9t find ourselves in the midst of chaos and anarchy. A peoples numbering perhaps 100,000, the "Red Shirts", have literally taken over the city. Yes, there are regular bombs. Grenades seem to be popular. Assault rifles are the hot ticket. Calling for a dissolution of parliament, the Red Shirts have made one of their main bases on the street we are staying on. An official State of Emergency was declared by the prime minister yesterday. Once again, I feel like I am going to cry tears of happiness. I have duly picked up a couple of official red t-shirts, and Phillipa was kind enough to buy me a patch that reads "RED IN THE LAND", with a picture of an M16 rifle. With that, we headed in to the red zone.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Labels: architecture, buy pirate DVD, Chicken Rice, Chinatown, copy, DVD, fake, food, Jalan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Mee Rebus, Mosque, Muslim, Nasi Kandar, Petaling, pirates, Ralph Lauren, taxi
It's always been a dream of mine to work in a pirate DVD shop. Throughout the developed world, internet downloads are fast making that particular line of work obsolete. Fortunately for me, it seems the memo didn't get through to the hard working pirate DVD men of Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Chinatown KL is one of the last bastions of this noble profession. Sure, the salary would be low. Perks? Well, none to speak of. Asshole customers - aplenty. But, that wouldn't stop me from being the hardest working pirate DVD seller I could be. I GIVE YOU GOOD DVD PRICE BOSS COME HAVE LOOK I HAVE A SHOP BOSS GOOD COPY BOSS TAKE A LOOK!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Labels: ancient, blog, Borobudur, Buddhist, East Java, extended travel, fried chicken, Hindu, Indonesia, Java, Manohara Hotel, monument, photo, Prambanan, swimmin pools, temple, UNESCO, Yogyakarta
As much as I like to think I'm a travelling jack-of-all-trades, I'm not. Quiet serene landscapes? OK, maybe I'll snap a few shots, then lets get back to civilisation. It's the city life for me. Pollution. Congestion. Swimmin' pools. Movie Stars. Hard times. The city, for me, is what life is all about. But, there aint no Borobudur or Pramabanam in the heart of the city. I guess that's what travelling is about. Being taken out of your element, and being placed in the middle of countrified hell.