Everywhere in Thailand has a night bazar, a night market of some description or a big weekend market. In Chiang Rai they take it a bit further. A large thoroughfare is closed off for the market, there is an multitude of stalls to buy just about anything, a selection of food to end the most austere of diets – and a large square for line dancing. Thai line dancing. There seemed to groups – organised hardcore dance classes in uniform, with clear lead dancers, as well as less formal social groups and the occasional Irish tourist.
The main attraction for me other than the food is the dancing and music. The dancing goes on for hours, a live band – sort of Thai Schlager – do the music and the dancing is continuous – til late.
This lot were a delight to watch and most agreeable for a photo.
As was Busker of the Night. Playing the cute card along with the music
And of course – evidence of the photographer getting in the swing..
I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not to start going over travel photos from the previous year or two in the middle of a lockdown but I’m more determined to get back to Asia in summer 2021 as the planned 2020 trip to China may have been overtaken by events….
So Thailand. My favourite place in Thailand is probably Chiang Rai. It’s smaller and a bit more relaxed than Chiang Mai, has a few extraordinary temples – maybe not for the purist, but certainly ones for the tourist with a camera, a delightful premier league football ground and the most entertaining and exotic Saturday night market.
Here’s a few random shots for a intial feel of Chiang Rai.
You’ll find no shortage of cafes and restaurants in Chiang Rai. A particular mention to this one – the Bhucheedeun coffee shop ร้านกาแฟภูชี้เดือน, a few minutes walk from Wat Phra Kaew. We called on a Monday – it seemed to be open only for take-out but they let us stay for super iced coffees and they popped out to another cafe to bing us cake. You don’t get that in High Street Costa..
Last few shots of Munich. It was my favourite spot on the European tour – the beer, the weather, the very German signage, the beer, the architecture, the metro (clean and punctual) and the fact that every green space contains a beer garden. I’ll go back.
And finally – lederhosen, sex and falafel all under one roof. So German
Away from the crowds and walking tours there are many quieter streets and walks in the centre of Ljubljana to indulge in a bit of street photography and to try and capture the look and feel of the city, even around the Triple Bridge when it isn’t so crowded..
Romans – the current ones, not the ancients – are more often than not a stylish lot as are many of the tourists, at least not the sweaty football shirt-wearing middle-aged Irish ones. And like Paris, it’s easy to snap a more flattering street shot when you’re in such beautiful and iconic surroundings.
Photos shot on Ricoh KR5 with Oriental Seagull 100
When you get to a certain age, holidays should be a time for rest and relaxation. So this summer I decided to backpack from Rome to Munich over 3 weeks with an old film camera. The robust Ricoh KR5 with a few K-mount lenses was the kit of choice with a Vivitar V3000 body as backup although this became quickly irrelevant when the back of the Vivtar fell off in transit.
I did have a digital option – a Fuji X20 compact and a Huawei phone – but the aim was to capture the holiday on monochrome film and with no specific photographic objective in mind other than always having the camera with me. So first stop was a few days in Rome. While with some cities it’s often a struggle to convey a visual identity, Rome has no such problems exuding a certain cool. And on every street, you’ll find scooters – Vespas.
It’s worth mentioning that the traffic in Rome is bloody awful and this pale middle-aged northern European would look ridiculous wobbling around the Roman vias with a well reduced life expectancy. Unlike the natives, however who have a natural born ability to safely navigate the eternal city while remaining the smartest looking people in Europe.
Photos shot on the Ricoh KR5 on Oriental Seagull 100.