Ankhou Graphic Design

Web development, graphic design, and photography by Ian Houghton, based in Revelstoke, BC.

so I went to South East Asia

2 Comments | posted 25/02/10

There’s been a bit of an unexplained absence on my blog, and for that I’d like to apologise. It’s likely that anyone reading this will know me in person and consequently know the reason, but I feel like I should explain myself anyway.

I went on a six-week backpacking trip to South East Asia, briefly visiting Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia with my girlfriend (V), my brother (Robin), and his girlfriend (Alice). It was an amazing journey with both highs and lows, but felt terrifying swift and short. Six weeks isn’t a long time to spend visiting one country, so to make our way through four was a pick and mix affair that we could probably have planned a little better.

Nevertheless I don’t regret a thing, and I now have a number of destinations in mind for when we eventually return. Pai, a small town in Northern Thailand, was the favourite of our stops. A relaxed atmosphere, busy night market, beautiful mountainous countryside and cheap scooters all added up to a lot of fun! Chiang Mai, the gateway city, is also beautiful. Even without the attractions such as the comprehensive night market and the Old City, it has such a slower pace than Bangkok, our first stop, that it was a very refreshing change.

V and I scootering in Pai

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat in Cambodia also ranked highly. Angkor Wat, it goes without saying, is spectacular to the extreme, and Siem Reap, although very tourist-focused, lures you in via Pub Street (not kidding, there’s a street called Pub St.).

Vang Vieng was another spot on the traditional tourist trail. We were under the weather while we were in Laos, and we didn’t make it to Luang Prabang, a heritage-listed peaceful city in the North, but at least we completed our goal of floating down a tube on a river and flinging ourselves into it via various incredibly unsafe contraptions. A worthy investment if you can get past the sickening sound of Friends and Family Guy blaring out from every restaurant.

Ko Tao was our last destination in Thailand (barring another couple of days in BKK), and it was well worth the trip. Everything about it screamed ‘tropical island’, and cheap scooters and delicious seafood more than made up for the brief episode of Thai Belly I experienced while we were there. It was a little more expensive than the mainland, but expensive for Thailand is hardly a hit in the hip pocket.

Over the next few days I’m going to do some entries showcasing what I think are some of the best and most interesting photos I managed to snap on our trip. I ended up with 2200, and although there’s a lot of culling still to do, I think some have potential! I’ll start with a brief look at Angkor Wat, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. As a sidenote, all the photos were taken with a 6MP Olympus SP500-UZ. It’s developing some dead pixels now, but it’s been a trusty companion for a while.

Buddha heads at Angkor Thom

Overgrowth in Angkor Wat (panoramic shot)

Sunlight in Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm panorama (V for scale)

Spiky trees at Angkor Wat

Dawn at Angkor Wat

Dawn light hitting a relief carving at Angkor Wat

Smaller building in the Angkor Wat complex

Glass reflections in BKK Central Station

Wat Pho

Rooftop on Khaosan Road

Chiang Mai Night Market central tree

Decorative lamps in Chiang Mai Night Market

Safe work practices in Chiang Mai’s Old City

Terracotta leering

Never actually found out what this fruit was called

Hope you enjoyed the photos! Check back for more in a couple of days.

More photos

2 responses to “so I went to South East Asia”

  1. beautiful photos Ian! The fruit in the last photo is Solanum mammosum, the couple of paragraphs about it on wikipedia are worth reading! :D

  2. Hahaha, udder fruit. That’s perfect, thanks Matty :)

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