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Archive for the '[Travels]' Category

Chicken!

Chicken!

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Access

Access

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The Taj in Mumbai

The Taj in Mumbai.

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Happy Fourth of July

Just got back from a trip to Cambria. I’m writing this blog from my iPhone. Hopefully I’ll update more frequently.

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Tranquility

The approach on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Blogged with Flock

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Every guy who plans to rule the world needs one of these…

The lair of Doctor No on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

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Life is a journey into the unknown

prow on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

The prow of our boat taken during our trip to James Bond Island.

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12pm: looking for a parking spot

parking lot on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

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Close your eyes and listen to the breeze

breeze on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

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posted by Khuong in [Photography],[Random],[Travels] and have No Comments

Virtual Tour of our suite

Click through the notes in the photos to move around the suite.

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A week in Khao Lak

Planters line the lobby of the resort.

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Tiger

A group of sleeping tigers, as photographed from our bus at Safari World. The entire zoo is open and without fencing and tourists are driven through the property, safari style, to view the animals in their natural habitat. The predatory cats were kept in a special area which required the bus to pass through two sets of steel fences, reminding me of the opening scene in Jurassic Park in which the first visitors were allowed into the park.

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TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake
1757–1827

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Temple guardian

A guard watches the gate outside Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand.

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stone idol

The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe, 1850, vol. II
The City in the Sea
by Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters he.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently-
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol’s diamond eye-
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass-
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea-
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave- there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow-
The hours are breathing faint and low-
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.

-The End-

posted by Khuong in [Photography],[Travels] and have No Comments

Temple doors

Don’t be discouraged when a door closes on you. That path was not your destiny.

Often in your journey you will be distracted by the glimmer of a promise only to realize that you have spent great time and effort going in the wrong direction. So when the path is cut short by the closing of a door, take it as a sign and embrace the new doors that have yet to open before you.

These are the temple doors at the Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand. The detail is amazing and I could spend a entire week photographing this temple. Unfortunately I only had an hour here so I must come back here some day to finish my work.

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It’s all in the details…

 

Life is not just a journey from one goal to another. Life itself is in all the details around us and we tend to miss them when we are trying to get from one point to another. Take a moment to look around and notice what hidden secrets lay in the world that surrounds you.

posted by Khuong in [Photography],[Travels] and have No Comments

Introspect

millipede on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

If you can see the beauty within all things, then your heart is pure.

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posted by Khuong in [Nature],[Travels] and have No Comments

Feeling Bullish

I’m back safely in the States. Now I can start posting more regularly again. I’ve accumulated quite a bit of images so I will be busy editing and publishing some of the highlights of my recent trip to Thailand.

This is one of a pair of bronze oxen which stand at the front of the Guan Yin altar at Wat Phra Kaew which is near the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

I liked the flower garlands that were placed on his horns so I took this snapshot without thinking much about it. When I imported it into my PC it really stood out so here it is.

posted by Khuong in [Photography],[Travels] and have No Comments

A few days left

My journey is about to come to an end in a few days and I’ll be back in the States. The really interesting photos will start coming next week when I’ve had a chance to edit my work and post some of the more interesting images. There are many photo opportunities here in Thailand and one could spend a lifetime shooting pictures and never grow tired of the beauty that is all around.

I made a conscious decision not to bring my laptop and I sort of regret it. It would have made blogging much easier and also enabled me to edit my camera images for immediate sharing. However, the point of a vacation is to be away from all the connectivity that surrounds us.

After almost three weeks, I have no idea what is going on in the workd. I have not looked at one blog (even for my hobbies such as computers and photography). I’m completely out of the loop with regards to the state of all things digital. A month ago if you asked me which is the latest camera/phone model or the price of RAM/CPU I could blurt it out in a second. Today if you ask me the same thing I’ll probably give you a blank stare and repeate some Buddhist philosophical quote. Vacations do work. Try it :)

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Last day in Khao Lak

It’s been an awesome week here in Khao Lak, a resort area north of Phuket. The service all over our hotel makes us feel like royalty and people are genuinely friendly (even those you meet on the streets outside of the resort). It’s hard to believe that just over two years ago the Andamans were hard hit by the great Tsunami that occured in the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas in 2004. There is almost no sign of damage from what I could tell.

We spent the last two days sight-seeing at Khao Lak national park. We hired a friendly gal named Lora who was our guide throughout the sights. Our first event was a boat ride to James Bond island where we stopped for lunch at a floating Muslim village. Afterwards we visited the Reclining Buddha at a nearby temple (they call it the monkey temple because of all the monkeys that beg for treats in the front entrance). The temple is built inside a cave and I was able to bring my tripod along for some amazing long exposure shots of the stalactites and idols.

Yesterday we went on an elephant trek through the jungle and stopped at the base of a small waterfall. Along the way we say Jackfruit and Mangosteen trees, as well as a green tree snake. Lamiya lost her sunglasses on the way back so we’ll have an excuse to go shopping once we return to Bangkok.

After the elephant trek we visited Rainbow Falls about 5 miles from the hotel. It was breathtaking — a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll post some photos once I get back.

Today I took one of the hotel’s mountain bikes that are there for our use and rode back to the waterfalls where I spent about 2 hours taking the falls from various angles and running through my entire assortment of lenses. The five dollar tripod I picked up on sale at OSH was really worth every penny :)

Today we spent the day hunting for more hermit crabs at the beach overlooking the Andaman Sea. We walked to a local Thai restaurant next door to our hotel for a nice lunch (it only cost us 455 Baht, or about the price of one appetizer from the hotel menu!). Anyway, you live and learn. Next time we come back we’ll know exactly where to eat.

Tomorrow we’ll be flying back to Bangkok and staying there until we return to the States. I plan to visit a few more Buddhist temples and take in some more sights (as well as shopping) before I return. I still haven’t found the weird foods that I’ve seen on TV (fried scorpions and other various insects) so I’ll have to search around some more.

-Khuong

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