The final night in the Philippines… walked around the majestic night skies of Quezon Hill/San Carlo Heights, Baguio once again (I can’t get enough of those colors!). Sitting here in Shanghai now, and I can’t wait to see them again while breathing that fresh crisp air… good thing I’ll be there in less than a month. See you soon Baguio!
That final photo is of the firework display (as seen from Quezon Hill) marking in the end of the Panagbenga, Baguio’s annual flower festival (see previous posts for photos).
Well. My third Chinese New Year, and they sure as hell don’t get any quieter!
These images were taken over a 3 day period (Chinese New Year is a week long).
You can see that fireworks are sold on the street, and even off the back of tricycles, as well as a kid lighting some (light provided by a lit cigarette given by a building guard), you’ll also notice how although the streets are a battlefield, traffic doesn’t seem to mind one bit… cars, scooters, bikes all travel straight through the mayhem. In the last several you’ll see a group of men who literally lit up the sky (and left some debris in the process), in some of those images you’ll notice why fireworks can be a dangerous thing in a city as populated as Shanghai. Best to keep your windows closed and ear plugs in! I can NOT stress how loud all these situations I put myself into were…… enjoy.
And here are some videos taken throughout the scenes shown above… video #2 is another example of why Chinese-made fireworks are slightly dangerous, as sometimes the rocket doesn’t get quite much height (but makes for some stunning photography!).
If you still can’t get enough, check out my previous posts from the past CNY’s:
This was my first trip back to the World Expo site after its closure back in October 2010. For quite some time I had been meaning to go check it out at night, and also properly see the Shanghai Arena up close for the very first time. Of course I waited until the thick of winter to venture out to Pudong and take a look.
That evening hovered around 1°C, so I packed on a couple jackets, a hat, gloves, and thick scarf… setting up shop in Yaohua Line 8 metro station before venturing out into the cold for 2½ hours.
I did my best to capture these impressive structures, but did feel something was lacking in the lighting department… especially when you consider how other things are lit in Shanghai. Or even when you look across Shang Nan Road (map) where both the China Pavilion and Shanghai Arena (aka Mercedes Benz Arena) are located, to see how impressively the Expo Axis is lit. However, all three of these structures are immense and still very much breathtaking.
Slightly hungover but very much content, we took a van from Pattaya to Bangkok… what a crazy [good] city.
We were staying with a friend out in Lam Luk Ka, and the first night (01/01/12) we went into the city’s chaotic center… visiting the enormous Chatuchak Weekend Market (largest market in Thailand; 5000+ stalls; 200,000 daily visitors; covers 35 acres). Where we also ate dinner at some dodgy-looking street vendor-type restaurant (pictured with the tuk-tuk’s), which, naturally, was delicious. We then hopped on to the brand new Bangkok metro, more precisely the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit Line from Mo Chit to Victory Monument (which is exactly where the van from Pattaya had dropped us off earlier in the day).
To be honest, I found Bangkok a little dirty… but being a true city kid, I could live there no problem. I like real cities… gritty cities… cities that have a soul and a feeling that you can just sense. BKK totally had this (Shanghai for example, doesn’t really have this). However, with all the litter and muck around, I could not, and would not, like to see what it was like during the flooding (only weeks before our visit). Let’s just say I’m happy they caught all the loose crocodiles.
Motorbike cruisin’ through the hills and beaches of south-eastern Phuket. Stopping by Rawai beach and Nai Ham, while concluding with a beautiful sunset (sort of) at Phromthep Cape (“God’s Cape”), which was made quite spectacular by in a very brief incoming storm.
After temple patrol and the Cam Nam Island adventure, we came back to the Hoi An old town for dinner, drinks and some more vespertine action…
We flew from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to Da Nang, and then a short 30min drive to the town of Hoi An…… a slightly touristy, but extrememly beauitful town. The center of the village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and thus historically preserved… the first night we took some bicycles into the town center, which is where I captured these.
Afterwards, we had some beers at Treat’s Bar for 10,000 VND a bottle… and if that isn’t a reason to come back, I don’t know what is.
Seems only fitting that my final images from Saigon, are of the vespertine variety…..
Right after this shoot, had some amazing dinner at “3T”, on a rooftop restaurant… DIY BBQ! Then took a final hour-long motorbike tour around the city… managed to get it close to 100km/h (with someone on the back!) before chickening out. I need to get me one of them!