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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 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 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.









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.



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.

10. February 2018 07:03
by Rene Pallesen
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Bowling - Laos

10. February 2018 07:03 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

On the last day in Luang Prabang we went to the local ten pin bowling alley.We had heard and read th
On the last day in Luang Prabang we went to the local ten pin bowling alley.

We had heard and read that this is the place where things are happening in Laos. When we got there the place was totally deserted apart from a few staff members.

We did play bowling and it is a bit surreal to play by ourselves in this fairly modern centre in Laos.



They didn't have any support rails for the kids, but Aiden especially did really well and the kids managed to beat Kim on points.



9. February 2018 07:03
by Rene Pallesen
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Water fall - Laos

9. February 2018 07:03 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Just outside Luang Prabang there is this amazing waterfall cascading down a limestone creek.We decid
Just outside Luang Prabang there is this amazing waterfall cascading down a limestone creek.

We decided to get up early to go a take photos, so that we could be there early before all the crowds arrived.





















At the entrance to the park there is also a Bear rehabilitation centre. They rescue bears from captivity and keep them until it is safe to release them back into the wild (if ever). The bears have a big area and seem to love climbing and sleep in the hammocks provided.



8. February 2018 22:03
by Rene Pallesen
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Our kids - Laos

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

Our kids had a blast of a time in Laos. They loved each other company (for the most part) and someti
Our kids had a blast of a time in Laos. They loved each other company (for the most part) and sometime looked like real little travellers.








They were respectful at the temples and even offered a prayer.





At other times they behaved like animals and should be lock away in a cage.





But for the most part they liked exploring things that us adults wouldn't see such as this crater from a crash landed U.F.O.

8. February 2018 22:03
by Rene Pallesen
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The kids and families of Laos

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

What I especially remember from my last trip to Laos was the kids. One of my most cherished photos i
What I especially remember from my last trip to Laos was the kids. One of my most cherished photos is one of two little girls holding a bouquet of flowers that I took 20 years ago (it is on this blog if you look for it through the search function).

The children are still there. They are still very shy, dirty and smiling.











They make up their own games such as these kids at a school playing marbles with tamarind seeds.







These kids were playing a game where the kid under the table had to poke the feet of the kids above the table.



And some things never change, kids teasing each other.





The girls in the school yard 'hang out'.



Visiting a local school was great for our kids to get a glimpse of how other kids live.







Along the road we stopped and a family was outside with the mother breastfeeding her son in their outdoor living room. This is where everything happened such as the cooking, washing, feeding etc.





The chicken were running around freely



Here is a rare shot that Kim took with my camera in it.



It is a very family oriented life they live