In remembrance of the year that has gone by since I’ve started my blog, and the approximate 12 months since I visited Southeast Asia, I wanted to take a trip down memory lane and post my top 10 photos (as voted on by ME) from my travels in SEA, along with a little backstory on each one. All photos were shot on a Canon Powershot SX20 IS.
Without further ado, my personal top 10:
This photo was taken on a tiny island (if you could even call it that) in the straights of Malacca, just off the coast of Ao Nang, southern Thailand. My friends and I had taken a deep water soloing trip and this was our lunch stop in between climbs. Our guide packed us fried rice and we took our lunch on the outside of a cave with this view of our boat in front of us.
Taken while touring the grand palace in Bangkok, this row row of “guardians” lined the entire perimeter of the temple housing the Emerald Buddha. I can remember the heat on this day being unbearable amidst all the concrete of the royal complex.
A spectacular post-sunset shot on Koh Phi Phi, while I was sitting on the porch of my hillside bungalow. At the rooftop bar in the bottom of the shot you can see they were projecting a replay of the nearby filmed movie, “The Beach”.
The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Walking into the buildings takes you through a high end shopping mall, including a movie theatre and food court. Outside is a wonderfully clean public park and gardens. After touring the park, my friends and I settled in for back to back movies at the theatre. The movies were one of my most memorable experiences due to the cheap tickets, spotless theatre and absence of previews before the show.
At sunset, touring the massive complex of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, just north of Bangkok. These statues were situated at the entrance of the massive space used for huge public meditations. The “arena” was larger than any professional sports complex I’ve ever seen, housing over 100,000 people in group meditation. At the center of the concrete complex sits a 5 ton silver Buddha encased by a golden dome covered in 100,000 tiny golden Buddha statues.
Another sunset, this time within the ruins of Angkor Wat archeological park, sitting atop the elephant temple of Phnom Bakheng, the very first temple-mountain build in Angkor. The temple symbolizes the mythical Mount Meru in the Hindi religion. This is by far the best spot to take in the sunset in the park, but visitors beware, if you don’t get there early, you will be stuck at the bottom waiting in the queue.
Looking up at my dive partner Dave Ho while training off the coast of Koh Tao for our Advanced certifications. Dave was one awesome dude, an Asian-American, Massachusetts native, who was currently taking a vacay in Thailand from his job in China.
Inside the compound of the main Angkor Wat temple, just after sunrise. These structures were just massive in person, hard to imagine a monk wandering the grounds hundreds of years ago, just as I was that day. In the shot you can see Kelvin and Sophie, my two traveling buddies I met during the mind bending border crossing into Cambodia. Without them, I don’t think I would have made it to Angkor, nor would I have had near as much fun.
Looking down on the isolated paradise of Railay Beach in southern Thailand. We had to to scale a rocky, muddy, rooty precipice to get to this unofficial overlook. Railay beach can only be accessed by boat and it is home to a huge community of rock climbers and monkeys, however I was more surprised to find out that Railay is a haven for both cannabis enthusiasts and the LBGT community.
Just another long tail boat, ferrying passengers from Ao Nang to Railay for less than $5, with the signature southwestern Thai backdrop. Typical Thai ferryman smoking a cigarette while operating a makeshift auto-engine turned prop motor.