Well, another CNY experienced and once again I can happily report I am not blind and/or missing any limbs, although some close calls once again (you can just make out my hat/head in the above image on the right).
Below is a collection of images taken throughout the week of Chinese New Year (which is over 7 days long). Makes for some great photography sessions, but not so much for relaxing at home with a movie.
If you didn’t get enough imagery of fiery explosions, check out my past posts from CNY:
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.
On August 8 Typhoon Haikui came whipping just south of a direct hit on Shanghai. Only 2 people were killed in the city, but many more were affected in the regions that felt the full force of the storm. This was the 3rd tropical cyclone within a week in the greater area…!
I had called my office earlier that morning stating that I did not think it was wise to come into the office, they told me I had no choice. I got a taxi and came in late, around 11am, less than 2 hours later they told us all to hurry home as the Shanghai municipal government had just issued a “red warning” (the highest level). Morons. So, now that the storm was right over the city they ordered us to go home (keeping in mind that bus and taxi services had been suspended)! I was stuck at the office. I waited for hours until a lapse in the storm then rushed home… all these pictures were taken only just outside my office building.
As a side note, I am happy they renamed Typhoon Haikui, because getting seriously injured by Typhoon Longwang would not have been funny. Well, maybe just a little.
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:
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!
The vespertine photography adventures continue… Saigon-style.
Notre-Dame Basilica > Motorbikes! > Rex Hotel
Saigon AKA Ho Chi Minh City (locals still refer to the city center as ‘Saigon’, while using ‘HCMC’ for the larger metropolitan area… I just use Saigon because it sounds cooler), boasts a population around 10 million and served as the capital of South Vietnam leading up until the end of the war… so, lot’s of history. Although I wasn’t alive at the time, I have the images of the helicopter evacuations from the roof of the US Embassy branded into my brain… as well as the VPA tank crashing through the gates of the Freedom Palace, which pretty much marked the end of the American occupation of southern Vietnam.
At first glance the traffic is BONKERS. Saigon has 6 million registered vehicles… of which 5 million are motorbikes. Thank god they pay attention to traffic lights… mayhem [somewhat] averted. I’ve traveled my fair share and had prepared for the worst (from everything I’ve heard/read), but the Vietnamese people definitely have some common sense and general understanding of efficiency when it comes to dealing with traffic situations (very much unlike the people I’m currently surrounded by, who are utterly clueless in these regards). The relentless convoy of bikers does offer a challenge to those new to the game, but I found that as long as you went with the flow (which there certainly was, and everyone followed), it wasn’t as bad as I’ve heard others complain about. That being said, I rented my very own motorbike to cruise them mean streets of Saigon! (more on that later)
Day 1 saw the first excursion to get a grasp of the city, walking from my hotel located a good 30min from the city center, getting my first proper Vietnamese meal (a mean bowl of pho… oddly enough at the very same restaurant Bill Clinton visited some 10 years earlier), then visiting the Ben Thanh market and eventually finding myself at the Saigon Notre Dame next to the amazing Central Post Office designed by Gustave Eiffel, where I sent a postcard to Mom.
I was strolling around the city this past weekend doing some shopping and happened to stumble upon a parade in preparation…