Monday, April 28, 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand 2012

Getting away from the bustle of Bangkok, we jetted over to Koh Samui. Most people just stick to Chaweng beach but I strongly suggest renting a scooter and driving to the many other great areas the island has to offer. Unfortunately, most of our trip was underwater or in other non-photo friendly environments.Nonetheless, here is a small preview:

Chaweng Beach

Watching the sun set in the East.

Absolutely heartwarming & heartbreaking at the same time. Having watched a lifetime worth of elephant documentaries & youtube clips on baby elephants, watching the real thing in person is a dream come true. However, knowing the conditions these little guys face in captivity just breaks my heart.

Grabbing dinner and watching the sunset along Bo Phut in the North - magical

a time lapse of the sunset in Bo Phut

a time lapse of the sunset in Bo Phut

a time lapse of the sunset in Bo Phut

a time lapse of the sunset in Bo Phut - goodnight!

Hanoi, Vietnam 2012

Considering that within the first 10 minutes of landing, the border guard attempted to scam me into paying for another visa.. me & Hanoi were not off to a good start. I have never been to a place where "chaotic organization" would make more sense. It takes a while to get accustomed to the locals' mannerism, traffic's flow and overall atmosphere that is Hanoi. But your trip would not be complete without tackling this crazy jungle.

mobile vietnamese shops on the go

Hanoi's famous Hoan Kiem Lake

Drinking some Vietnamese coffee while watching the insane traffic unfold beneath us....
the perk of living near the lake is that you get to visit the sight during the day & night
Vietnam - Loud & Proud!

since we didn't get to make our way to Ho-Chi-Minh, this will have to do for now!

a day's venture to Ha Long Bay

Be careful of the tour operator as your trip's experience will heavily depend on it. Also, it may be a better experience to do the 2D/1N option :)

A glimpse of the serene outskirts of Hanoi

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Singapore, Singapore 2012

A quick pit stop to Singapore for Formula 1. Was able to take a few shots from our short stay. 
A stroll around Clarke Quay

Can't stay away from pretty colours!!!

Roof top bar to enjoy our last night. View of the infamous Marina Bay Sands

Bangkok, Thailand 2012

It might be because I was scared from all the horror stories but my trip to Bangkok  was amazing and just left me begging for another visit. From the amazing temples, dodging scam after scam, negotiating with tuktuks, eating the delicious food to venturing outside the city to visit the floating market and play with the animals, Bangkok has it all. This colourful city must not be missed - just stay smart ;)

Strolling around the City Temple
my eyes were getting overdosed by all the colour. LOVED it!

The famous reclining buddha at Wat Pho

Definitely getting our exercise hiking up the Temple of Dawn.

The famous Floating Market.

Purchasing our fruit from the day from this lady. You can get literally anything from fruits to soup noodles to random merchandise.

The amazing day continues playing with our elephant for the afternoon.

And the day concluded with our trek at the Tiger Temple.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Angkor Wat, Cambodia 2012

After learning all there is to learn about tea at the Cameron Highlands, we jetted over to Siem Reap in Cambodia to check out Angkor Wat. Our awesome guide picked us up directly from the airport and took us to check out some "local" spots first. Given that it was rainy season, we had to make a big detour as our destination was completely flooded. Instead, we took a boat ride along the extremely flooded river and got a chance to check out how locals survive and manage living in such harsh conditions.

Locals just going abouts their day as per usual. The river flooding fluctuates year after year but in 2012, the flood was particularly bad and overflowing to local roads and cities.
Welcome to Angkor Wat
Flooded River in Siem Reap in September 2012

Got to catch a traditional Cambodian dance. Very beautiful.

One of the highlights of Angkor Wat - Ta Prohm

The amazing thing about Angkor Wat is the intricate detailed work and amazing infrastructure built so many years ago. This temple stretches across a massive area and is nearly impossible to truly appreciate with only 2 days.
The Big Three Temple @ Angkor Wat

The enormous tree is gradually destroying the entire infrastructure so there is constantly renovations going on to restore the area. It's pretty much a battle of nature & time.
Across the many years of its occupation, Angkor Wat has switched back and forth from being a Buddhist to Hindu and back to a Buddhist temple. During the Hindu occupation, all the Buddha statues in the temple were beheaded. A bit eery to walk through the temple covered with headless Buddhas.

It's a shame our trip was during the rainy season but it definitely gave a more dramatic effect to the pictures. The iconic snapshot of Angkor Wat is a fitting shot to bid adieu!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Malaysia, 2012

After Hong Kong, it was off to the "Truly Asia" country of Malaysia. We spent a couple of nights in Kuala Lumpur in the bustling area of Bukit Bintang and ventured out to the Cameron Highlands. 

The Petronas Tower - the twin skyscrapers in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

the Batu Caves, a short drive away from the busy city centre

Monkeys were to the  Batu Cave as Deers were to Nara. They were everywhere!

the Batu Caves

the absolute highlight of Malaysia was hands down the Cameron Highlands. The area is the size of Singapore and is covered by tea leaves, primarily owned by the Boh Tea plantation.

Literally, endless tea leaves for miles on miles. You can walk through the tea manufacturing plant or take in the view while drinking some fresh tea is priceless.

I highly recommend a visit to the Cameron Highlands. Although a bit tough to get to (you'll have to drive), it has tons to do aside from just tea. For example, a great butterfly garden.

Never seen so many butterflies!

It also had a nice cute little strawberry farm :)

Vancouver, BC 2014

This weekend was the most gorgeous weekend Vancouver has seen in far too many months. I also had a new toy to play with (a Canon 7D) which made it the perfect opportunity to go out & about and shoot.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hong Kong 2012

Although I've been to Hong Kong countless times, each visit marks more adventures to be discovered. Hong Kong in 2012 was the meeting point as I flew from Japan to meet Derrick, who flew from Vancouver, to kick start out South East Asia trip and celebrate my 24th Birthday ;)