Hello everyone, as you might have guessed from this extremely creative thread title I am going to post one travel photo per day as well as brief description of the photo/place Here goes!
Here's a photo I took on a train ride in Myanmar. The train itself runs from the city of Mandalay to Myitkyina, in the Kachin State. I've included a map to get a better understanding of where this is. If you take this train the whole way it takes something like 22-24 hours and only crisp US dollar bills are accepted to pay for the ticket (in 2013 anyway). It certainly is not the most efficient for comfortable way to travel! At certain points the train sways hard side to side or bumps up and down and if you're stuff isn't securely fastened overhead, it's very likely to be coming down on your head. Fortunately there are two spots where you can jump off to take some side trips, which is what I did.
I opted for the cheapest ticket, which just gives you a hard wooden bench. I was seated across from some guys who appeared to be farmers, as they both carried around large sickles. They were friendly and offered me some food and betel nut (basically asia's equivalent to chewing tobacco), but spoke no English of course. They also liked their cigars and smoked 4 or 5 smallish ones over the course of the trip. This guy smoking and puffing out the window was a shot I just couldn't resist. I had my wide angle lens on, so it appeared I was just taking photos looking out the window, and I managed to get this pretty good image of him blowing smoke as the countryside floats on by.
This photo is from a place in Southwest China called Yangshuo. It's a very popular tourist destination due to it gorgeous karst formations that line the countryside. It's a great place to rent a bicycle/scooter and cruise around the dirt tracks outside of town or take a boat down the river. The rock climbing here is fantastic as well.
For this shot I was driving around on my scooter looking for a good place to get a sunset photo, and this spot where the water reflected the hills seemed to be as good as I was going to get. These guys coming down the river just before it was getting too dark was a nice added bonus.
Here is an image from India's iconic Holi festival. I was in Jodhpur, the 2nd largest city in the desert state of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is often referred to as the blue city, as blue paint seems to be the color of choice for many of the buildings and houses. Although the city would certainly take on a few new hues during the festival of colors! While the festival has religious overtones, the main feature as far as I could tell was Indian guys getting high and wasted and throwing colored powder or water on anything and everything in their vicinity! Quite a few tourists get in the mix while the Indian women mostly enjoy it from the sidelines. I would not recommend this for the vast majority of women, as the drunk Indian guys can get very aggressive and handsy and I saw at least three girls leave in tears or extremely distraught. So it's not all fun and games.
Now of course I wanted to get some photos of the event, but cameras and colored water don't mix too well, so I dutifully taped up my camera inside a garbage bag, leaving only the lens uncovered. I mostly used my telephoto lens, because if you get too close to anyone celebrating you're gonna be a target, especially with a camera. I probably took photos for an hour and got my camera soaked at least 4 or 5 times before I decided to stash it in the hotel room and enjoy the festival without it. This photo was taken down one of the sidestreets where they were dumping 5 gallon buckets of water on anyone who dared to pass!
Here is a photo from Cape Maclear, Malawi. Malawi is a small country in southern Africa and it's main feature is Lake Malawi which sits on its eastern border, separating it from Tanzania and Mozambique. I didn't meet many other travelers here, but lots of peace corps, hospital volunteers and NGO workers. At the time a UK DJ named Rudimental was hosting a festival in Cape Maclear, so decided to check it out, as it's kind of an odd thing for a small African country. You get dropped off on the side of the road and then have to take a taxi/mototaxi 12 miles to actually get to the lake. Since I was arriving the night of the festival everywhere was totally booked, but I had my tent with me and was able to pitch on the beach at one of the guesthouses. It was late afternoon and the sun was going down so I took my camera and walked along the beach. It's mostly a fishing village so there were plenty of locals around fixing their nets and getting their boats ready (they fish at night).
There wasn't much involved in taking this photo. I had one of the best sunsets I had seen in Africa enfolding right in front of me and plenty of fishermen around to add as an interesting foreground element. This photo takes itself!
A couple hours north of Guatemala's Lake Atitlan is the Chichicastenango market. The place is huge and you can buy basically anything you'd ever want there, normally for a cheaper price than what you'd find in the tourist areas. People buy package tours here, but you can also take the bus and beat all the other tourists that show up later in the day. So that's what I did. It's definitely a cool place to wander around for a few hours!
Here's a candid shot I took on the outer edge of the market, just two women sitting on a slab of concrete. I have trouble articulating why I think this photo works, but there's something about the woman on the right's kind of apathetic gaze that draws you in. And the bright guatemalan dress contrasting against the gritty white background. I dunno, but I like the photo.
Here is a photo from Nepal, while hiking the Everest base camp route. This was my second hiking trip in Nepal, the first being the Annapurna Circuit, and I can say that the Everest BC route is certainly the more challenging of the two as the elevation changes faster. I was hiking with a Danish guy that I had met in India and we had quite a few challenges along the way. It took us 4 days in a row of showing up to the airport in Katmandu before our plane would actually take off! Originally we planned to do the 3 passes route, so it's not a straight there, straight back itinerary, but after the 1st pass kicked our ass and we did Everest base camp and the Kala Patar viewpoint at 5,500m we decided to ditch the other 2 passes and head back.
This photo was taken of view during our 1st day descending. We joined the yaks who had already delivered their loads up to base camp and were also heading back down. It felt so good to finally not be trudging uphill for hours at a time!
Here's a photo from the island of Lombok, Indonesia. Lombok is the island that is just east of Bali. From Lombok you can get to the Gili islands for beaches/scuba diving/partying, hike the Mt. Rinjani (an active volcano with a beautiful crater lake), go surfing at the southern beaches, as well as take a scooter around and explore. If you've never been outside of Bali, it also gives you a better glimpse into what culture is like in the rest of Indonesia (ie Muslim).
For this one I was just cruising around on my bike on the far eastern part of the island and noticed a lot of people all heading in one direction, so I decided to follow and see what was going on. It turned out to be chariot racing! It was at an abandoned airstrip and lots money was being thrown around. English was very limited, but they let me get in on the betting action too, which didn't go so well. This guy was preparing his horse for the next race with sun setting right behind him, which made for a nice shot.
Here is a photo from Vietnam, which I traveled to recently. This was taken in Nha Trang, which is popular beach town, especially among the Russians. There really isn't much to do the town itself, and the beach isn't particularly nice (plus the weather sucked when I was there) but it's got some good bars and is a decent place to party. I spent one night here drinking, one day recovering and that was about enough of Nha Trang as I needed to see.
This photo was taken at a temporary roadside market, which was selling all Tet (Vietnamese New Year) related goods. Lots of Vietnamese girls like to get dressed up and take photos among all the lanterns. I just stood out to the side with my telephoto lens and took some photos of the people wandering through the market, which is more challenging than you would thing with all the hanging obstacles in the way and getting the focus right. This girl happened to look in my direction at the right time. Plus I loved the pattern on her dress mirrors the globe shaped lanterns and their colors (purposely I assume). This was the only photo I liked from Nha Trang!
Here is a photo from Botswana's Okavango Delta. For this trip I was part of an overland truck that took 22 of us from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, going through Namibia and Botswana. The overland trucks are a lot fun, but the pace is very quick and mostly devoid of any real cultural interaction. We stayed in the delta for 2 nights, and it certainly is an interesting place. We were there in the wet season, which was kind of unfortunate as it is harder to find animals and the mosquitos were as intense as I've ever experienced.
But anyway, you get boated around the delta by a poler, who is also your guide. The delta is shallow enough where they are basically just pushing a pole into the mud, propelling your boat forward. The place is very visually appealing and we had some very interesting skies plus some heavy storms. This photo was taken from the back of our boat as the sun was going down and a storm was brewing.
Here is a photo from Granada, Nicaragua. It's a nice little touristy kind of town on the shore of Lake Nicaragua and it's well known for its Spanish colonial architecture and brightly painted buildings. I didn't do much here besides renting a bicycle and riding around town. Sadly the main thing I remember this town for is watching the Packers choke against the Seahawks in the division championship game two years ago.
As for this photo, I was walking around sunset time and took a particular liking to this colorful old building. I just camped outside of it for a few minutes waiting for an interesting subject to cross in front of it, because obviously just a picture of a building is boring! It was mostly cars, so I had to wait a bit, but eventually this guy pedaling around this girl passed by and made for a nice shot. My shutter speed was a little slower than I would have liked, hence the slight blurriness of the girl, but not enough to ruin the photo. Her smile says something more about the laid back attitude of the locals, I'd like to think.
Originally Posted by kevmode
Nice thread I hardly ever even leave Monterey and have never been outside the United States. Cool pics indeed I think I am going to subscribe.
Welcome aboard! Well of course I would recommend getting outside of the States for a bit, but Monterey Bay seems like as good of a place as any to not want to leave.
Here's a photo from Hampi, India. It's a unesco heritage site in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, basically straight east from Goa. It has a very unique topography as the ground is littered with boulders of all sizes. It's a very chill place, perfect for renting a bicycle or just walking around watching the women wash and dry their colorful clothes along the river. If you're a rock climber it also has excellent bouldering! Like many popular places in India it is also the site of a former empire, so there are lots of ruins and temples littered around the area, with the big one being the Virupaksha temple. It is a pilgrimage site for many Hindus.
For this photo I got up nice and early so I could be around the temple at sunrise. It really is a fascinating place. I was hoping I could find an angle to get a view of the sunrise coming through the front entrance, to no avail. But the colors in the sky were nice and I took this one right as group of women had arrived to worship.
Here is another photo from Myanmar. If you are a fan of unique cultural experiences then Myanmar is a must. I could just sit at a coffee shop and watch life go by in this country for hours. For this photo we were in the town of Monywa, which is known for its massive buddhas, which I'm sure will show up in a later photo. We took a tuk tuk out to see the buddhas, but we noticed a wedding procession going on as we drove past so we asked the driver to stop for a few minutes so we could see what was going. It looked like it was stalled for some reason and these women were just kind of waiting around all dressed up to the nines. This woman was crouched down, perfectly framed by the other women's dresses all around her. This is another one of my favorites from a country that I have way too many favorites.
Here is a photo from the east coast of Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo. It's a pretty mellowed out, hippyish beach town, also popular with the surfers. I think I would have liked this place more than the other places in Costa Rica I went to if it wasn't raining all the time. In general I found CR overpriced and too touristy and preferred the other countries in central America, although I never really gave it much a chance. Anyway, for this shot I was just walking along the beach around dusk and got this shot of a local who seemed very eager to get some surfing in before it got dark!
Here is a photo from a place called Vilankulous in Mozambique. It's main attractions are the islands located just off coast as well as scuba diving and snorkeling. I liked the town itself because it's basically set in a smallish African village, so it's a very local experience. It's nice being able to buy fried fish right on the beach for next to nothing. We wanted to check out the islands, but we were a little dismayed that it was going to cost $70pp to get out to Bazaruto, the most popular island. So we asked around at the beach, and found a guy who told us they could get us out to the closest island for $15pp the next day on his dhow (sailboat) including lunch. Deal!
So we get there at 8am the next morning, of course it's Africa, so the boat isn't ready yet and they don't have any food for lunch. So first we have to go to the market and buy a whole bunch of fish, rice, fruit, veggies etc and spot them the money for that. Then we can finally leave, but not without taking on a whole bunch of locals as well on the boat. No problem. We set sail and we're barely moving because there is no wind, but eventually we get going and takes about an hour to get there. It was cool because the island was very nice and we had it all to ourselves. Here's a photo of the dhow beached at the island and some of the locals loading it with fish to bring back to the mainland.
Originally Posted by binksy
Bonsai Tree & a Midget with a Matchstick? Excellent photos man stealing some of these!
Ha, I need you to caption all my photos. Mine reads something like 'boy running into the ocean to surf'
Here is a photo from the Nujiang Valley in the Yunnan province, in SW China. It's an interesting place not only because of the spectacular scenery, it's also one of the few places in China where the majority of people are Christian, as missionaries came through this way to convert the Tibetans (unsuccessfully) but did manage to convert the Nu people. It's so remote that there are not many bridges and villagers actually hook themselves into ziplines to cross over the big rivers. It's a solid two days of travel to get up into the heart of the valley and if you don't want to do a there-and-back trip the only way to go is a 3d 2n hike across the valley and over a mountain pass to a tibetan/catholic village called Cizhong, where you can take a scary bus ride to the bigger city of Deqin.
Most people take a guide for this hike, but I already had all my camping gear pus I'm dumb and stubborn, so I wanted to do it myself. Armed with only a google maps topography printout and some directions in both chinese and english that included the small villages i would pass on the way, I was ready to go. Shockingly I got a little lost after a few hours and I ran into a woman and her daughter and their horse. In gestures she motioned for me to follow them (she didn't speak mandarin, only local dialect). It was cold and misty and we walked basically for 6 hours without taking a single break. It was exhausting. Finally we get into this beautiful valley and the skies cleared up and we were approaching a little wooden house with pigs and a cow outside, and another girl poking her head out the door. This was their home!
There was no electricity so she started a fire in the big pit in the middle of the room and eventually cooked up some sort of fish and potato stew w/ rice that was delicious. She also made me drink some sort of homemade dairy based alcohol that was awful, but she greatly enjoyed herself watching me drink it. There were two wooden cots in the house and the woman and her daughters all slept on one together and let me have the other one all to myself. In the morning she made me oatmeal and then pointed me in the direction of the trail and where the pass was. Amazingly hospitable woman and one of my fondest memories of China. Who knows what would have happened to me without her! Anyway the rest of the trip was easy going with sunny weather and a much more well defined trail and I made across the valley and back to civilization in another day and a half.
Last edited by cardsharkk04; 04-24-2017 at 10:34 AM.
Here's a photo from a place called Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, India. It's a hill station and the countryside is filled with tea plantations. It was misty/drizzly in the morning so I got up and took some photos around town. This guy was standing here under an awning to avoid getting wet and couldn't help but take his photo. I love the way his skin tone and the colors of his outfit match up with the surface behind him.
Here's a photo from the Luna Park in Sydney, Australia. This was my first time ever going to an amusement park outside of the States, but I felt right at home! I like the kind of creepy vibe that comes from the children, long shadows, and the ferris wheel looming in the background. Overall I wasn't particularly impressed with Sydney, as it just seemed kind of boring (but I was probably in the wrong places), but obviously the Opera House is pretty damn cool and it's nice having Manly and Bondi beaches so close. My parents and brother met up with me here for the first time in over a year abroad (they waited until I was in a more civilized country!) so that was the most memorable part.
Last edited by cardsharkk04; 04-26-2017 at 02:16 AM.
Here is a photo from El Nido in the Philippines. I was wanting a late night snack so some grilled meats were in order. This girl was manning the grill while her brother looked on. mmm. It probably cost a buck or two.