Nothing too exciting… just some pics down the street from where I live. I sensed a good sky coming on (of the vespertine variety) so decided to photograph my 5min walk from my apartment to the subway station, Jiashan Station. As with everywhere in Shanghai, some major construction going on there too… this thanks to the extension of yet another metro line.
These were taken some months ago in the maze of streets around my office building (mainly around Qinglian Street). It marks the outer edge of “Old Shanghai” where there are intense amounts of construction going on (certainly nothing special in Shanghai). I noticed the prospect of a good sky comin’ on, so I grabbed my camera/tripod and headed out to capture these (quite a shame that Shanghai doesn’t usually have these vespertine colors that I am drawn to).
On the drive from the coast up into the mountains around Baguio we stopped to get some lunch (pic #1), and right across the street is the Darf Cockpit Arena. Check it. We then drove further up the Naguillian Highway (yes, that 2 lane road is a highway!) and into Baguio… sweet drive if you ask me!
I feel that my photography captures the intense colors at play during the night… but to get an idea of the movement of the lighting, check out this video…
Full day of Ko Samui, driving clockwise around the island to the south coast, then up into the mountains at the center and then back the way we came… what a stunning island!
View Koh Samui trek in a larger map
Beaches, waterfalls, elephant trekking… what more could I possibly ask for in day… everything was so beautiful.
…oh yeah, and it should go without saying that the night was met with more street food (from yet another night market!) and Long Islands Ice Teas!!
Chaos. Mayhem. Craziness.
I’m slightly at a loss of words to describe the scenes of the full moon party on Haad Rin beach on the island of Koh Phangan. I will attempt to tell me story as short as possible, because I could easily write volumes.
First of all, we were staying on the north-east side of the island (“A” on the map below), and we, rather adventurously, decided to drive the +60min trip with a 125cc motorbike (!) to the south-west beach where the full moon party was being held (“B” on the map). I consider myself a pretty decent driver, even on 2 wheels… and this proved to be quite the test. There is only one “road” from the village we were spending our nights, to the southern, more inhabited area of the island. 25% of the road is not paved… mix that with up to 15% slopes, some rain earlier in the day and the fact that you are in the middle of the jungle… so it’s kinda dark. Then add in the fact that these motorbikes aren’t quite in the best shape (the headlight decided for itself when it wanted to work, while the back one didn’t work at all), also rather obviously is that because this island is so remote, there are no gas stations, so you have to fill up with fuel that is sold via plastic soda bottles and glass liquor bottles, which is surely watered down (so you’re not getting full power).
Did I also mention that in Thailand they drive on the left?
What actually proved more difficult were the roads that led up and down (up and down, up and down!) into Haad Rin, although all paved, these carried slopes of over 30%!!! The 125cc motorbike coudln’t even handle some of them full-throttle, just to give you an idea of how steep they were. Even going down, the brakes fully pressed-in, could not bring the bike to a halt… so yeah, it was a little scary. As we got closer the jeep taxis filled with party-goers also proved interesting, especially those driven by the goers themselves.
On the way back I dodged 3 bottles that were thrown out the sides and back of these jeeps (not aimed at us, but just discarded), and those were the only 3 I noticed because they landed right on the street. Well done, bastards.
Fun fact: the island of Koh Phangan has a population of around 14,000, and the average full-moon crowd is between 10,000-30,000!
The party itself was situated around several clubs spinning all kinds of music right on the beach…while behind the clubs countless back streets with more noise, liquor, and paraphernalia in every direction.
Applying body paint and wearing fluorescent colors were a must, which made for quite the [more] surreal experience. Also, drinks didn’t come in cups or bottles, but rather you bought a bucket that consisted of a half bottle of liquor accompanied with some mixers, ice and a garnish, and severed in a…… well, in that very bucket of course.
I opted for the vodka + sprite + red bull + lime.
So there ya go… what an experience! I’m not aware of any list of the top party places in the world, but I’ve definitely marked another one off the list. I’m also happy to report that we arrived back safely without any injuries or damages… well, besides my feet, which took a mean battering due to sandals + dancing + fine sand.
More information (schedules, tips, etc) about the full moon parties can be found here: http://fullmoonparty-thailand.com/, also keep in mind that in between these monthly parties the island hosts an array of other supposedly crazy party experiences… black moon parties, half moon, blue moon…. the list is endless, but the full moon party is the place to be.
I will most certainly be back… and this time I won’t be driving, or wearing sandals.
I was strolling around the city this past weekend doing some shopping and happened to stumble upon a parade in preparation…
Sweating in the rain is a new sensation for me… mix that with some hardcore air-conditioning and, well, you can do the math. So now, I’ve been sick (again) for a while, and not happy about it. Got caught in a downpour on Guangyuan Road on my way back from the bank this weekend. Luckily I had my cam with me, but yeah that’s about it really, sorry no excitement to report!