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26. August 2018 16:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Camping - Wombeyan Caves

26. August 2018 16:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

We made another camping trip. This time to Wombeyan caves with one of Kims colleagues.It was just be
We made another camping trip. This time to Wombeyan caves with one of Kims colleagues.

It was just before winter set in, so the nights were cold and it was nice sitting around the fire at night.



There are a lot of limestone caves in the area that are worth visiting. We did this one which was self guided.





I tried to teach the boys how to shoot with a bow - kept them busy for a while.



We also rigged up a badminton net for both adults and kids to play.


But mostly it was the fire that the boys had fun with.





We also did a really long 8km walk - almost lost the track at one point.



26. August 2018 15:08
by Rene Pallesen
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My dad's 75th birthday

26. August 2018 15:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

This year it was my dad's 75 birthday. I traveled back for the party.The party was at a little hotel
This year it was my dad's 75 birthday. I traveled back for the party.


The party was at a little hotel (in danish called a 'Kro') at Soroe.




While there I also got to see the new house they are living in.



26. August 2018 15:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Thailand - Ayutthaya

26. August 2018 15:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Ayutthaya is the old capital of Thailand. It is a couple of hour north of Bangkok, and the easiest w
Ayutthaya is the old capital of Thailand. It is a couple of hour north of Bangkok, and the easiest way to get there (by far) is by Train (we learned this the hard way).

The capital was only moved 250 years ago after it was ransacked by the Burmese, but now most of what used to be some extraordinary buildings are now mostly rubble.





It is a large area with lots of temples, so it is worthwhile having plenty of time and not rush it. We just visited three of the main sites, and that was plenty with the kids around.






Some of the highlights are the big lying down Buddha.


People still use this as a place of worship.


And apparently it is good luck if you can make a coin stick on the buddhas feed (without resorting to chewing gum).


At one of the temples there is also the head of Buddha stuck in the roots of the tree.


And as usual it is worthwhile keeping a look out for other moments involving people.













26. August 2018 15:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Thailand - Ayutthaya Train

26. August 2018 15:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

We took the train back to Bangkok after visiting Ayutthaya on 2nd class tickets.There is not much di
We took the train back to Bangkok after visiting Ayutthaya on 2nd class tickets.

There is not much difference between the classes except extra bolstering on the seats. We however found a more open carriage where the kids could better play, draw and read books during the ride.


There was also a bit more life here. I went for a couple of walks through the train and found a lot of interesting sights.

The carriages were open between the carriages, so people used these areas to sit sown and get some fresh air or a smoke.



There was also a section that was reserved for monks, where I got permission to take this shot.


The mail/cargo carriage was more open with this man sitting keeping an eye on things.


As we approached Bangkok the man from the little kitchen chased people away from a part of our carriage as this was his place to sleep.



26. August 2018 15:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Blue Mountains

26. August 2018 15:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

This winter we went to the Blue mountains with a group of friends. We hired a house at Leura and spe
This winter we went to the Blue mountains with a group of friends. We hired a house at Leura and spend the days going for walks.


This is from the Grans Canyon walk.





And some from the other walks.












26. August 2018 14:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Bangkok

26. August 2018 14:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

After Laos we went back to Bangkok.Bangkok is much the same, however it feels a lot cleaner with reg
After Laos we went back to Bangkok.

Bangkok is much the same, however it feels a lot cleaner with regards to smoke from all the bikes, but the traffic itself is horrendous.


The tuk-tuks are still there, but they try to charge exorbitant prices, so it was far cheaper and more convenient to get a taxi.


As usual there are still lots of interesting choices for food, such as braised pigs head.


Or Scorpions (which are mostly sold to tourists)


When it comes to shopping, Kim was in shoe shop heaven.


The boys however was in their own upside down ice cream heaven.



The nightlife is also much the same, with the more relaxes and romantic atmosphere along the river.


As opposed to the more thrashy massage parlour atmosphere just around the corner from our hotel.


While we were there it was childrens week, much to the joy of the boys.



This also gave me some unique photo opportunities such as the Thai version of Wonder woman.


Evening were spend having nice dinners with friends, Kim's colleagues and by ourselves.



This photo was my all I packed for the entire trip (only thing missing is my camera and the two lenses I brought along). Everything fitted into a small carry-on backpack.



26. August 2018 14:08
by Rene Pallesen
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Thailand - Floating market

26. August 2018 14:08 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

The floating market is 2 hours drive south of Bangkok. We made a bargain with a taxi driver to drive
The floating market is 2 hours drive south of Bangkok. We made a bargain with a taxi driver to drive us all there in a minivan. In the process he tried to take us to the wrong place 5 kilometers from the market and tried to rip us off by saying we should pay an exorbitant amount to take a boat from there - Kim and I had been there before and remembered that it was possible to drive there. With the assistance from Kim's colleague, the driver was put in his place and took us to the right location, so we still came out ahead and it turned out to be a nice day trip.


The market is very much for tourists these days, but they still have the original boats selling food, although the market itself is all souvernirs.






It is however interesting to observe the other tourists and I managed to capture a couple of good moments.









11. March 2018 22:03
by Rene Pallesen
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Monks - Laos

11. March 2018 22:03 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Religion is an integral part of Laos society where the majority are Budhists.
Religion is an integral part of Laos society where the majority are Budhists.



The monks dressed in orange and red ropes are still visible everywhere and it is largely seen as becoming a novice (junior monk) is seen as an opportunity to get an education and support your family if you come from a poor rural area.


 


The high influx of tourists, especially to Luang Prabang is therefore a bit of a win-win situation for everyone. The tourists support the temples in the area by paying their admission fees to visit and on both my trips I have found that the monks are keen to have a conversation as it is a way of practicing their language skills.

In Luang Prabang the monks walk in procession every morning to collect rice from worshipper along the roads. Before sunrise there are hundreds of monks walking the streets in every direction. There is an equal horde of tourists trying to take photos of these monks and equally tourists handing out (sometimes dubious) rice to them.



There are posters around the city encouraging being there and seeing the monks as well as providing some guidelines such as keeping a certain distance, not using flash photography and if you hand out rice then where to get it from. Most of it common sense really, so it was sad to see how some would be blocking the paths and sticking their camera phones with flashes into the monks faces.





Sacha and I went there a couple of mornings, but because of the time of the year everything was dark and because the monks move quite fast through the streets it was a challenge getting good shots.



One afternoon we walked past a temple and a group of monks were in progress of cutting down a large tree and afterwards trimming off the branches. They were going to use some of the tree trunk for traditional drums and the rest for ornamental purposes inside the temple.







In the late afternoons you would hear them chanting in the small rooms of meditations, chanting and prayer. These are often smaller places of worship and not part of the main temples which are used for more ceremonial purposes.
One evening I heard such chanting and went to investigate and found these monks. Definitely one of my favourite moments in Luang Prabang.



A common assumption and misconception is that the monks live by an ancient code with a simple life, so it is quite interesting to see that even they have adopted modern technology with smart phones and cameras.



11. February 2018 22:03
by Rene Pallesen
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Locals transport - Laos

11. February 2018 22:03 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

The locals are still relying on motorbikes to get around. They are far cheaper and more convenient i
The locals are still relying on motorbikes to get around. They are far cheaper and more convenient in the towns. It is even possible to fit an entire family onto a single motorbike.







Younger kids and high schoolers ride their push bikes for transport.



Although Aiden and the other kids definitely preferred the motor bikes.



Nothing too flash for weddings - a normal new car will suffice. If you notice the sign on the door, then I am not sure if the bride was expecting to come home to 'Meat & Sausage'.



There are also some vintage cars around which have survived since colonial times - like this 1952 Citroen.