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

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

Wiang Kum Kam trip

Took a short trip to Wiang Kum Kam Ancient City south of Chiang Mai to wiang kum kamget shots of some of the ruins.  So close to Chiang Mai it’s one place you don’t want to miss when you visit, be sure and take a horse and buggy DSC02058DSC02036DSC02076DSC02051ride through the area.  Not too sure what it cost but should not be much and well worth the time – they will stop and allow you to take photos at each site.  I only visited 4 out of the 7 this time and made this slideshow.


Testing the A7Rm2

Sawadee Khrap

This morning I went down to Nong Buak Haad Public Park on the southwest corner of the old city and then on to Thapae gate.   I am amazed at the contrast range that the camera can work with.  I shot most of the images in “A” aperture mode, auto ISO (normally about 100 ), single shot – beautiful capture with little or no Lightroom work.

Several were HDR  3 x 5Ev +/- bracketing, continuous hand held shooting, such as the young boy and temple insides which had extreme contrast levels – backlight and/or very dark inside. DSC01721-HDRDSC01839-HDR

All the rest of the images are just hand held shots.  I guess I am getting used to the camera and feel secure in starting my travel trips again – as soon as I find a good traveling companion that is.


Ciao

Chris – Nude Shoot with elephant

Sawadee Khrap

DSC00905Team and I went to the jungle and met  the model chosen to do the nude shoot with Chris.  Plans were made to do the shoot down at the river in the valley where several elephants and their mahouts were spending the morning grazing. We were invited to come along and of course I had to take some images for my blog.DSC00917

The model showed up right on time bringing his own breakfast  –  and we followed him to the river and had a great time getting what I think are some excellent images, considering it was very overcast and threating rain all morning.DSC00937    Check out the SLIDESHOW below for a detailed look.

Ciao

Carmina Burana Concert

Sawadee Khrap

Last night Mike and I attended the Carmina Burana Concert presented by The Chiang Mai Carmina-1Youth Philharmonic Band and Symphony Orchestra Foundation of  The College of Music, Payap University, at the Kad Theatre – Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center.

Click on the image above to view the short video

A masterpiece by Carl Orff. Solo trumpetist   Jakrapan Chaiya and conductor Chaipruck Mekara.  Far beyond my level of sophistication but never the less a great evening.

I used the new Sony A7R11 and shot at 16,000 ISO for the images in the slideshow – There was noise but nothing like the older 7D.  It was well attended and the theatre was fairly dark – I did shoot some at 5000 ISO but the shutter speed was too slow – so for the balance of the performance I used the higher .DSC00707DSC00722

Ciao

Chiang Rai trip

Sawadee Khrap

Feeling restless and just getting the car back working – had to replace the rear axel, bad bearing race  –  so I headed for a short trip to Chiang Rai.  Left about 7:30 and arrived in Chiang Rai at 10:00 AM – checked in the WangCome Hotel.   I had “Grinder” running and by that time I had received  5 messages from local guys and made arrangement for “Lan” to meet me and be my guide for the day.  First we headed for Wat Huay Plakang  9 Tier Temple at Mae Yao, just Northwest from Chiang RaiIMG_4335IMG_4339.     You can see more of the temple area in the slideshow below.  It also has a very large live-in school area for local students – really nice.    From there we IMG_4397-Panoheaded South along Hwy 1211 to Singha Park at Mae Kon.  Hugh park with roaming manicured hills, numerous lakes, flowers, and commercial green tea fields and of course the Singha product pavilion. A great place to have IMG_4408an afternoon picnic  –   they also put on many concerts here.    From here, traveling further south to Khun Kon Forest Park Area and the Mae Kon river.IMG_4427  Although only a stream now it still was a great place to go.  All along the river were small dams providing play areas and people enjoying the afternoon.  although very close , we didn’t go to Khun Kon Waterfall at Tat Mok – purported to be the highest waterfall in Thailand – I wasn’t feeling that great from some new meds I have been given for my BP, so we headed back to the Hotel.  Later that evening I had a great Greek salad dinner at Da Vinci’s restaurant.  When you go there by sure and say hello to “Maek” your very cute waiter.  IMG_4431I did manage to get a fairly good sleep but still decide to head back to Chiang Mai  the next morning and see how the BP was holding up.   About halfway back to Chiang Mai, along Hwy 118 is   Cabbages and Condoms at Wiang Pa Pao.   I didn’t stop for food but I bet it’s just as good as in the main facility in Pattaya – one of the best restaurants there – and like Pattaya IMG_4438everything is devoted to Rural Development.  Next time on the way up , I’ll be sure and make this my coffee break stop.


Ciao

Day 3 Nong Kai Trip 2/23

Sawadee Khrap

IMG_4152Before we left the Paradise – Kay wanted to get some shots at the pool.IMG_3032   Next we headed for Nong Khai and  made our first stop at Sala Keoku – Wow – huge statues and displays – quite impressive – and then on to the crocodile farm, next door, for a quick visit.   It wasn’t open but Kay was invited in and took some photos of the tanks –   Then on to the IMG_3026Friendship Bridge – Nong Khai , I think there are 3 such bridges to Lao along the Mekong River boundary.  Here the river looked quite wide but further up the way, going to our next destination, Chiang Khan, we were shocked to see how low it actually was.IMG_4254-PanoIMG_3105IMG_4257  I’ve been reading about the furor over the Chinese blocking the river with their dams and causing many problems down stream.  The sign above, not too far out of Nong Khai,  is one of the places where Mekong Naga Fireballs can be seen.  Next we visited Chiang Khan, a historic little town that the Thai’s love.  Lots of Teak buildings – nice, quiet, rustic and friendly place – IMG_4276IMG_3109and then on to Loei where we stayed at the Loei Palace Hotel for the night –  I stayed here 8 years ago on my first trip to Nong Khai – nothing changed but they did replace the carpet with tile – much better.


P.S.  Couldn’t do anything because I was with Kay –  But on my phone I have Grinder and Hornet, the 2 most popular gay chat sites, from Khon Kaen to Loei, I received calls from more than 28 local guys – maybe next trip I’ll go alone – meet some new friends.  Devil 

Ciao

Day 2 Nong Kai Trip 2/22

Sawadee Khrap

Great breakfast at Anothai Hotel, on the road at 7AM – first stop – The IMG_2926 IMG_3792 Ancient City at Chum Phae – Interesting but leaves a lot to your imagination – they really don’t look like real bones,  I thought they looked IMG_3811-Panomore like reproductions but you can’t get close enough to really find out. The local area has no indication that any thing exist here and it’s hard to figure out how they knew how where to dig. –  you decide for yourself.

From here we headed to the King Cobra Village of Thailand past Khon Kaen on the way to Udon Thani.  Here’s where the Google Maps really helped – IMG_4111asked several locals for directions to the place and each sent us on a wild goose chase – they just didn’t know their own neighborhood.  They had IMG_4002IMG_4016boas and cobras and put on a hour free show, just asking for donations – nice.  Finally we stopped at the Paradise Hotel in Udon Thani.  We have been IMG_2998covering a lot of territory and so only stopped at a couple of venues – going off the main highways to get to these places takes a lot of time and I didn’t  want to drive at night but still make it fully around in the 4 days allotted.


Ciao

Day 1 Nong Kai Trip 2/21

Sawadee Khrap

We started out at 7 AM passing  Lampang, Den Chai, Uttaradit, Si Satchanalai on the way to Sukhotai.   Didn’t stop for any photos until we IMG_2882got into the Sukhotai area –  Had lunch at The Legendha Resort – Great place , good food.   This is also a nice shot of Kay at the resort.

Before we left on the trip I had bought over 700 Baht of Atlas, and road maps and we also stopped at a TAT office ( Tourism Authority of Thailand) and got their maps.  They all were terrible – The only safe way to travel in Thailand is with GOOGLE IMG_3164MAPS running on your cell phone, here is my setup in the car, a LIFESAVER.  I also run a APP called TRACKS, it keeps a record of our path marked as the blue dot at the lead of the red line  – center right.  This photo was taken much later in our trip but It does shows the program working.   This also let me GPS the photos as my cameras don’t have GPS capabilities – Lightroom and Track’s GPX tracklogs did the trick, synchronizing with the camera’s date stamps when I get back home.       Side note:   They wanted 25,000 Baht to install an auto Garmin GPS system and it was SLOW – I mean slow – my 16,000 Baht Samsung Galaxy A5 was at least 5 times faster and I can take it from the car when I leave.  With DTAC I have full internet and phone capabilities.         Several times the maps showed road or highway numbers that were completely wrong and many times there were no roadside markers or signs to indicate what road you were on – leaving the main highways and trying to use shortcuts on lesser side roads would be impossible using the maps or looking for signs and at night – forget it.  With Google maps we drove right to each location – No Problem . 

Here are shots taken during the day – not in actual order as we were using 2 cameras I didn’t take the time to sort them out.  We did visit the Sukhotai Historical Park, Phara Buddha Chinaraj National Museum, and a small Wat next door with boys honoring  – Muay Thai.


That evening we stayed at the Anothai Hotel  in Phitsanulok  –  small but actually the best place we stayed for the entire trip – Amazing 600 Baht for IMG_3747IMG_3743the room, including breakfast – quite, clean and everyone very friendly   – I highly recommend it.

Ciao

Hmong Village–Doi Pui

Sawadee Khrap

Just took a short trip to Doi Pui Hmong Village, farther up the road from Doi Suthep, to get some photos of the area .  When you get there ask for “Tony” – great guide and can tell you the history of the village.

IMG_3626IMG_3629   IMG_3562 IMG_3597 IMG_3576-2

IMG_3561The last shot is of a great marijuana plant growing in the garden – they also have samples of poppy growing there too – that used to be the village’s main crop – now tea and tourist  Angry smile.


 

Next week I am planning on a trip, with a friend, to Uttaradit, Sukhotai, Phitsanulok and maybe on to Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and Nong Kai if we have sufficient time left.  Should have some great photos –

Ciao

Hmong–Bhubing Palace-Doi Suthep

Sawadee Khrap

I got a surprise call from a old friend from Pattaya, Edty, that he was in town and Thursday we took a trip to Doi Suthep.  First a stop at the Hmong village at the top of Doi Pui, then on to Bhubing Rajanives Palace – Royal residence in Chiang Mai20151224_141225 – spent a hour there seeing the sights and then on to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep . From here you get a spectacular view of Chiang Mai City.  20151224_152332 On the right side is the International Airport and 20151224_150616the “Old City” about in the center of the shot.  We got a lot of shots and so 20151224_140206I put them in a Slideshow Gallery.  This shot shows me pretty exhausted – lot of walking, good exercise but never the less very tiring.  When you come to Chiang Mai be sure and visit these sites – we took  a  “songtaew”, the Red truck Taxi, and a Golf cart tour at the Palace – total transportation cost about  1000 baht or  $28 for 5 hour tour.   Can’t beat the price and convenience.  Then there’s always renting a motorcycle – but not for me.


Ciao