Ankhou Graphic Design

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

Orb-Weaver photographs

1 Comment | posted 4/07/10

A couple of months ago I discovered a huge Orb-Weaving spider web spanning a couple of our verandah posts. The ~4-5cm spider was sitting in the middle of it, binding some insects it had recently caught. It was evening and the sun was setting behind the web, so I tried to get a few good macro shots of it. I hope you like them! Those who are afraid of spiders may wish to reconsider scrolling down.

Orb-weaving spider silhouetted against a sunset in Adelaide, South Australia

Silhouetted against the sunset

SE Asia: Vang Vieng

0 Comments | posted 3/07/10

Here’s my final set of photos from South East Asia from one of the more notable locations on our trip. Vang Vieng is Laos’ answer to Thailand’s Khaosan Road, except with smaller amounts of gimcrackery.

The focus is less on selling useless gifts and more on shovelling as many intoxicants into tourists as their bodies can safely handle, and perhaps slightly more. Subsequent to this, Vang Vieng’s inhabitants goad you into floating down a river in an inflatable tube. The riverbed is naturally carved from razor-sharp limestone, and is lined by bars which practically force you to drink more alcohol and use their rickety rope swings to leap tens of metres into the deep spots, which are few and far between. And you love every minute of it.

To give a rough idea of what to expect when you get to Vang Vieng, we arrived after a hideous 6 hour bus journey through pouring rain with dozens of fellow tourists. It was dark, cold, and our focus was to find a place to stay as soon as possible. We gladly coughed up for the (admittedly reasonably-priced) guest house into whose courtyard we had been tactically discharged from our foul-smelling transport. After setting up camp, we wandered down the street and checked a couple of bars for food options. We opened the menu of the first one we settled in, and the first page listed the local delicacies: mushrooms, weed and opium.

We didn’t partake, but we had acquired a flu bug somewhere during our border crossing into Laos and the rain that had been persistent since shortly after we arrived in Vientiane stuck around for the next two days, ensuring our first impressions of Vang Vieng were not particularly astounding (especially given the gastric results of that first bar meal; the next couple of days weren’t pretty).

Rain in Vang Vieng, Laos

Rain from a cafe in Vang Vieng

This shot was taken from a bar where we ate a few times. I can’t remember the name, but I do remember it having the best (read: spiciest) Tom Yum Gai (tomato, lemongrass, lime, chili and chicken soup) I had anywhere in South East Asia. Trust Laos to do it better than the Thais.

SE Asia: Sukhothai

0 Comments | posted 26/06/10

Just a short photo post this time. I’ve sorted through the photos I took of Sukhothai, which we visited in early January prior to our friends’ wedding as part of a tour of the area around Nakhon Sawan. Apparently Sukhothai was once Thailand’s capital. The drive there was long, and delayed for two hours at one point by our well-meaning tour guide who assumed we’d want to visit a simply adorable fabric museum and workshop which his relatives only had a teeny-tiny business interest in.

We arrived safely (after praying for our lives most of the way; minibus drivers don’t mess around in Thailand) and spent a couple of hours riding bikes around the temples and taking in the sights. It wasn’t a great day for photos unfortunately, but I tried to make the best of what we had.

Temples in Sukhothai

One of the larger central temples in Sukhothai

Beautiful Tasmanian timber ruler

6 Comments | posted 9/06/10

A ruler surfaced recently while clearing out the house. I don’t know where it came from or when we obtained it, but I think it’s beautiful. It’s a little scratched, but the colours are still lovely. The separating strip of wood in the centre is polished, and has a beautiful sheen to it that the photos don’t quite do justice to. The background for the photos is actually a skate deck!

Ruler made of Tasmanian timber

SE Asia: Siem Reap & Vientiane

0 Comments | posted 20/05/10

Siem Reap

It’s been less than a week and I’ve actually found the time to get some more photos up, who would’ve thought? I’ve combined two locations into one here because there weren’t enough high-quality photos from either one to make the post a decent size. The first set of photos are from Siem Reap in Cambodia. The name literally translates to ‘Siam Defeated’, and refers to a Cambodian victory over the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand).

Siem Reap also serves as a gateway to the temple complex of Angkor, Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction. The town of Siem Reap itself is medium sized, and has plenty of attractions of its own. We visited the night markets, ate cheap tacos on Pub Street (yes, it’s actually called that), and visited a sculptor’s exhibition of his miniature temple carvings.

Lizard sunbathing on an Angkor Wat miniature sculpture

This guy was just chilling out on the miniature temple wall – scaled up, I like to imagine him T-Rex size