Burma Trip–Mong Yawng

Sawadee Khrap

On the second day we left Keng Tung and headed back to Mong Hpayak IMG_3700where the monks could get their lunch.  The tiny market there had all kinds of bugs for sale , but I opted just for some fried rice and cauliflower and then we went on to Mong Yawng where we would spend the next 2 nights.  This would be the most rugged part of out trip – and I mean rugged.  From Hpayak to Mong Yawng is 80 KM of which 1/3 was just single wide crushed rock roads – the rest was under some kind of construction.  Not too far up the road we lost the right IMG_3724mirror on our van  – hit by a passing truck on the narrow road it ripped off the mirror but did not damage the side of the van.   The dust and bumps were amazing – we had to cross over a mountain range where we came to a full stop because they were widening the road by cutting the hillside away –  but we did get through and ultimately got to IMG_3743our newly opened  “Nant Khat Guest House” in Mong Yawng.  Sparse but adequate.   The next morning, 5AM, we all headed to the local area market – still dark, but it was a full moon which was the biggest market day of the month – there must have been over 300 people there – go early get the best deals – all vendors were gone and the market was closed by 7:30.


 IMG_3926Next we headed to a temple high on a hill overlooking the valley, here as with all the temples we visited,  they did the usual blessing and chanting.   Back to town for lunch and then on to a temple which had a original India Bodhi Tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment.  From here we headed to a “forest” temple and a dedication and then back that evening to deliver a full IMG_3779set of “Buddha Bibles” to the local Mong Yawng Temple.   All the roads we were on this day were just dirt and extremely bumpy making travel speed about 5-10 KM/hr.  Quite a day.   The next morning up again at 5AM for market – Here the lady offered IMG_3798to sell me some “Shwe le maw” very strong Shan alcohol.  then breakfast and on the road back.  Got hung-up once in a new rock road area – the roller crusher hadn’t gotten there yet – but we made it through that area and on to the the major construction site where we IMG_4250were stopped coming in.  It was passable but slow and then on to Hpayak for lunch.   Here is where we spotted the deer heads, I had never seen any wild animals in all my travels in Thailand so this was a great surprise – we did pass several Burmese with homemade long barrel rifles  but with my slow camera I couldn’t get a shot.  Next time.    Time to go home now. And I did get my passport back at the border crossing, all stamped and ready to go.


All in all great trip – meat is scarce and expensive so most Burmese meals are rice,fish and vegetables.  I am amazed that although I ate very little each time, how much better I felt when I got back, tired but much more energy – in addition, all the rough roads and bouncing around actually massaged my back and all my back pain was gone. I was also worried about having to use the squat toilets but at all our major stops there were western sit toilets so that worked out ok too.   Great group of people on the trip, although most spoke very limited English and I limited Thai, we did manage to communicate and actually they took special pains to see I was ok.  I am looking forward to the next trip and will bring my high speed camera and opt for a front seat in a van so I can get more specific images.

Ciao

CityLife Garden Fair 2017

Sawadee Khrap

Just got back from visiting the CityLife Garden Fair at JJ Markets this DSC02874morning. Kevin, Mike and myself went together and had a great time and good food.  There was a very large attendance and some great booths there – food , artist, clothing, hand made items, including some hand made pop-up birthday and occasion cards. I bought several.  And you know me I am always on the alert for photogenic guys. For me the highlight of the day was meeting “Latte” (hope I spelling right).DSC02888


Ciao

Problem with JPEG’s

Sawadee Khrap

Here is a excellent example of why to shoot in RAW mode.DSC02659-Pano    On the recent trip to Doi Angkhang, I had my camera set to shoot 42MB JPGs instead of RAW files.   Most of the photos are OK and Lightroom made sufficient modifications where necessary to make good images.  However this panorama at Chiang Dao shows what can go wrong.   The sky above is really blown out and cannot be restored.  Had I shot in RAW, each image could have been corrected using the full gamut of exposure to capture the full dynamics of the scene.

I now have my basic settings so the camera is always set on RAW and now custom settings 2 is set to allow (fine 42 MP) JPG’s.   This way I won’t have to remember to switch it unless I think I am running low on memory and need to shoot JPG for the smaller size.   Should have done this in the first place like I had always set my Canon.  The above shot would have been nice if I had set the camera right. Pity.

This is another landscape shot as JPG but it did allow some modification.DSC02661

Ciao

Extended Lightroom work on Angkhang photos

Sawadee Khrap

Here are several images processed strictly in Lightroom.DSC02315DSC02316DSC02333DSC02356DSC02376DSC02422

I am always amazed how far you can go in developing your images in Lightroom.    It is truly a great tool for any photographer. 

Wish I could find some young models again but the Internet has spoiled that with the instant “selfie” in that its easy to get images now and they have no need for so called professional photos.  – I’ll keep looking because I know you guys want some more eye candy to gaze at – I’d like it too.

Ciao

Doi Angkhang trip–Day 3 Mae Teang

Sawadee Khrap

I think the most miserable and also the best part of our trip was staying here at Chiang Dao Hut & Kitchen.

DSC02518DSC02685As I pointed out in the last post we stayed at the “White House” – but it was very cold and damp, hard to sleep, but we were really rewarded with a amazing view in the morning – no fog and such a wonderful place. DSC02708DSC02718  Truly worth the stop – we caught a quick breakfast here but I insisted on a western place for lunch, very tired of Thai food all day.  So off we went to Mae Teang and the elephants.  On the way we passed some monks doing their morning walk for alms.  And finally at Mae Teang  we stopped at the first major resort we came across – Sibsan Resort & Spa – 5 star – as posted on the internet.  It’s an amazing place but definitely 5 star with the prices to go with it.   We had the buffet lunch (total 1,400 baht) which was good but not exceptional, but the grounds were emulate, service exceptional, and loaded with guests. A very cute driver drove us from the parking lot to the main hall for lunch – in fact all the guys were very cute and handsome – great eye candy.  After lunch we headed up the main road to the elephant camps and the rapids area.  Not enough water to really take a “white water” raft ride down but still very picturesque. And both of us had already been to the elephant camps before so that didn’t spark a need to stop and check them out.

    The slideshow is in order and takes you through the day.  


Now that the main images have been posted I intend to go back and choose some of the most sticking of them to do Photoshop work on.

Ciao

Doi Angkhang trip–Day 2 Chiang Dao

Sawadee Khrap

At 7 Am we had breakfast at Tangerine Villa and then off to Chiang Dao.  It was very foggy almost all the way there so no photos.  Not too far from Chiang Dao mountain the fog broke and we got a great look – (the slideshow is in time order).  We stopped at this amazing Wat, don’t know the name and my GPS wasn’t working at the time so I cannot locate it now – sorry.  The most important thing here is the depiction of Buddhist Hell and the type of suffering and torture that they think takes place.  In the back temple area they were even raising their own wild hog – big.   From here we headed toward Chiang Dao Cave, but both of us had been there before so we continued on to the Baan View Resort – a very small tribal resort (if you can call it that – mostly for campers)perched on the side of a hill.  Great view and I had a Thai style omelet over rice – but the strangest thing was the dead mouse hanging on the wall next to the radio – I didn’t ask why it was hanging there – afraid what the answer might be. Everything is in sequence in the slideshow


We then headed back to the Chiang Dao Hut and Kitchen for a quick lunch and on the way to Sri Sung Wan Waterfall and from there on to the Pong Arng Hot Springs.  Leaving the Hot Springs we ran across a field of garlic – neat rows – first time I had seen garlic planted this way. Then on to Wat Phar That Doi Mon Ching a Burmese (Thai Yai  as they are called here) style temple.   Not far from the temple we spotted a field of blossoming Mango trees – I had never seen these before so got a couple of shots.  And on the way back we spotted some young boys enjoying a swim.  The Chiang Dao Hut & Kitchen, where we were going to stay for the night – the  “White House” we took went for 1200 Baht/night – and with no heat it was terribly damp and cold that night- cuddling helped but still cold.  Better view in the morning so I’ll post that next post on the Mae Tang part of the trip tomorrow.  Again the Slideshow is in order.


Tomorrow I will post about the final Mae Tang portion of the trip.

Ciao

Doi Angkhang Trip

Sawadee Khrap

Just got back from a trip to Doi Angkhang, Chiang Dao, and then to Mae Tang and back to Chiang Mai – 3 days.   Over 600 photos so I will make several posts to cover it all.  I was joined by a friend “Narin”  and we had a great time.

First we went to Doi Angkhang Agricultural Station near Fang.  The flowers are spectacular and the mountain area so peaceful. 


And then back to Fang and stayed at the “Tangerine Villa” for the evening – Nice accommodations  – 850B  including breakfast.  We did have to move to a new room when a group of young Thais moved into the room next door and started partying – but the Hotel moved us quickly so no problemDSC02471DSC02474.  Nice place to stay and good night sleep.

I will continue the adventure in the next couple of posts.

Ciao