If I had to pick five places to return to, where would I go? It’s not something I’ve thought about much in the past. I always try to travel to new destinations whenever I have the chance. But there are a few places that really captured my heart and left me wanting more.
Kan over at Kan Walk Will Travel kindly nominated me to enter a competition currently being run by Booked.net, who are challenging us bloggers to name five places we’d go back to in the future. So where would I travel back to in a heartbeat?
1. Cinque Terre
Situated on the Ligurian coast of Italy, the Cinque Terre must be one of the most stunning places on earth. Incredible, impossibly placed towns nestled amongst the romance of local vineyards is a combination that’s hard to beat.
My previous visit was too fleeting and I didn’t have the opportunity to walk the famous cliffside paths between the five towns. I’d love to return and take a few days slowly hiking the route, making the most of every opportunity for a good photograph along the way.
Exploring the Grand Palace of Bangkok we were lucky enough to witness the changing of the guard. It happens once every 2 hours all around the palace grounds. I couldn’t believe the size of the guns these guys were carrying!
It was fun to watch them go through their choreographed routine, even if it was a little bit scary. I’m not sure why it made me feel uneasy, I guess I’m just not used to seeing guns. It was probably only the second or third time I’ve seen them in real life!
I used the Cross Process 2 Lightroom preset on this shot before making a few other small edits. This preset seems to work quite well on lots of the images I have from Thailand. I think it brings a tropical, exotic feel to the colours which I haven’t been able to recreate myself.
The Wat Phra Kaew complex in Bangkok was so full of colour and shiny things that it was often difficult to know where to look. Whilst it was a feast for the eyes, I really struggled to get any good shots around the grounds.
There was so much going on in every direction it was hard to find a composition that didn’t feel confused or messy. So when I looked up and saw all of these nice lines in parallel I was pleasantly surprised.
Travelling around Thailand there are so many temples that it can be easy to dismiss them after a while – a phenomenon I’ve decided to call “temple tired”. However, I can’t say I suffered from this affliction.
Without exception I found each Buddhist temple we visited to be a peaceful, inspiring place. I can certainly see why people find a spiritual connection in them.
Have you visited any Buddhist temples? How did you find the experience? Maybe you got temple tired?! I’d love to hear from you.
One of the many things that surprised me in Thailand was that they drive on the left. Being from the UK this is something alien to me – I think it’s the first country I’ve visited where they don’t drive on the opposite side of the road. I guess that most other people must have the complete reverse feeling when they come to the UK, or Thailand for that matter. You must think we’re crazy!
Having said that, now I have been in Geneva for a few years I am more comfortable with and accustomed to drivers being on the right. So this whole trip was doubly confusing from that point of view. I was forever looking both ways multiple times every time I crossed the road, which is probably a good thing given the insane traffic in Bangkok!
Have you visited Bangkok? How did you find the traffic? Maybe you tried your hand at driving there?! I’d love to hear from you!
After climbing to the second level of Wat Arun in Bangkok this No Entry sign was quite a surprise. The incredibly steep steps required to get to this spot were quite enough for me! I certainly don’t envy whoever has to make it to the top of this ladder for their day job.
I think one of the most important things I’ve learnt as a photographer is to always look up. It’s so easy to miss the captivating things that aren’t at eye level. I saw many people walk right by this sign without a second thought. They simply didn’t see it. But for me it was one of the most incredible sights I laid eyes on whilst visiting this famous Buddhist temple.
The array of colours was fantastic, but I wanted to draw attention to the No Entry sign. In the original shot it became lost in amongst the rest of the detail. I decided to isolate the yellow by reducing the saturation of every other colour in the shot. I think it works well here, but I’ll be sure to post a full colour image in the future that does the temple justice!
Have you visited Wat Arun? Maybe you fancy climbing this ladder?! Got any great shots in which you’ve looked up to get a different perspective? Please get in touch!
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The canals to the west of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok show a side of the city that feels a world away from the bustling streets and skyscrapers to the east. The stilted shacks that line the water’s edge are in varying levels of disrepair. Every so often we were surprised by the odd lavish home that just seemed completely out of place.
I suppose in that regard it’s just like the heart of the city, with poverty and wealth occupying the same space more often than not. Irrespective of the state of their home, every local we saw on our trip smiled at us as we rode past in our long-tail boat.
These were the smiles of people who did not benefit in any way from our tourism, who did not want anything in return. I think we could probably all learn something from this endearing quality of the Thai people and smile a little more at the people around us, regardless of whether we know them or not!
Have you visited the canals of Bangkok? What was your impression as you toured the waterways? Do you try to smile at the people around you?! I’d love to hear from you.
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From the heart of the Bangrak district, my shot for this week’s photo challenge is an example of the contrast that is impossible to escape in Bangkok. At times I felt like I was in a dystopian world of fiction, with the wealthy living the high life in their skyscrapers while everybody else is left to forage for themselves in the dark underbelly of the city.
Of course it isn’t quite that extreme. But it’s not so difficult to imagine this kind of world after you’ve just walked down a dirty, hot and crowded side street full of the smells of Bangkok, into a 5 star hotel with a rooftop bar to boot.
I think part of what makes Bangkok such an exciting place to be is this quite obvious and ever present juxtaposition. It’s all very confusing and equally fascinating at the same time. The city is so unpredictable, your senses constantly overwhelmed no matter where you look. I’ve never been anywhere quite like it!
Have you visited a city with such obvious contrasts in every direction? How did it make you feel? Maybe you’d like to experience a dystopian world of fiction?! I’d love to hear from you!
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