but wait, there’s more ….of Ko Lipe

Some more from our trip to  Ko Lipe

As usual we flew down with Nok Air on a combo flight/van/ferry ticket, which is cheaper and more convenient than booking each leg separately, but instead of the former ferry from Hat Yao via Trang the airline now flys to Hat Yai and then its a speedboat from Pak Bara, which is a longer route for about the same cost as last year ….Thai business logic at work. As I have mentioned before, I am wary about taking speedboats here as all too often they end in tragedy ( Google “speedboat accidents Thailand” !) but this was a brand new boat driven by an older crew wearing the ferry company’s uniform, not young “cowboys”. As a bonus there were only 7 of us on board a boat built for 75 ! And nice smooth seas too, even my GF did not feel queasy.kolipe_dec2017-50 Also as usual we stayed at the “Green View Beach Resort”, nothing fancy but fairly cheap (for a tropical island !), clean bamboo bungalows.

All I look for in an island holiday is that sort of accommodation, sandy beaches, clean waters with a coral reef where I can use my mask, fins and camera. I don’t need fancy hotels, resorts or restaurants …..

On that note, I was slightly happy to see that the “Art Beach Club”, an Ibiza style monstrosity on Pattaya Beach was dying a slow death. It was now closed during the day, and every evening we walked past there was never more than one table occupied by customers even though it was into high season….a couple more occupied with staff playing on their phones. I don’t know why anyone would think to open a place like that on Lipe which mainly attracts older, non-partying westerners and Allah-fearing non-partying, non-drinking Malay Muslims via nearby Langkawi.

The first couple of days we had a bit of rain, cloudy days, and equally murky water, but then both the skies and the seas cleared up to give us a week of glorious weather and great snorkelling. The GF, like many Thais, does not ‘do” sun or sea ( I sometimes think Thailand is wasted on the Thais !) but as long as she could relax in the shade during the day, drink cocktails and eat seafood on the beach in the evening she was content …I think. Meanwhile I made the most of it with several hours of snorkelling every day 🙂

All pictures taken with a Canon G7X in a Fantasea housing, shutter priority at 1/250sec. Click to see a larger version.

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F.F.S. !!! …OMG !!!…WTF !!!

maccasJust read this on Thaivisa.com ….McDonalds has opened a store on Phi Phi Island !

Why on earth do you need a Macca’s on a tropical island ? Phi Phi has been spoilt for many years, but this will mean even more rubbish ending up in the sea.

 

 

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Planet Lipe

Did you know around three quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water ?

Just like “Planet Lipe” :

little planet Lipe

Which is of course just a panoramic photo and a bit of help from Photoshop ….
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(Click for the larger version )

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Something Fishy ……

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We are just back from yet another trip way down south to Koh Lipe, a great time was had …..lots of fresh seafood, sundowners on the beach, and lots of snorkelling !

I usually did 3 or 4 hours of snorkelling every day, including a mammoth swim from one end of Sunrise Beach out around Ko Kra island, all along the reef to Ko Usen at the other end of Sunrise beach ….probably close to 4kms altogether. As I celebrated my 63rd birthday down there I think that’s not too bad for an old fella !

As usual, lots of photos and videos to sort through now we are home, and just a few for now :

(All photos taken with a Canon G7X Mk2, in a Fantasea FG7X housing, as usual click on the small images for a larger version )

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This fellow was not scared of me, he kept coming closer to check me out !

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A photowalk to Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen.

mapEarlier this month I went on a photowalk with the “Bangkok Photographers” Facebook group heading from Talat Phlu BTS station in the (very general and roundabout) direction of Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen via the back streets of Bangkok Yai, on the “other” side of the river, where white faces are generally rather rare until around 60 mainly farang photographers showed up early on a Sunday morning !

This temple is one of the biggest in Bangkok, sprawling over a large area and visible from some distance because of it’s tall white chedi.

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Panorama from the chedi of the wat, looking out over the khlong to Wat Khun Chan.

 

Getting there was half the fun, as the saying goes, along narrow back alleys and railway tracks following the chalk marks of our leaders.

Some photos from along the way :

(As usual, click for a larger version of any photo)

 

© 2018 Michael Nottingham

Wat Khun Chan …..I was glad that I had taken my fisheye lens !

 

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After Wat Khun Chan it was over the canal and into the sprawling grounds of Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen. This is one of the country’s richest wats, with many wealthy benefactors and links to the notorious “flying saucer temple’ of Wat Phra Dhammakaya which has been implicated in cases of embezzlement, fraud and illegal encroachment into national parks.

The chedi contains a museum with many valuable artifacts, but the highlight is the magnificent “Green Pagoda” on the upper floor :

© 2018 Michael Nottingham

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For more photos from the walk, the group published an online magazine here !

How to get there ?

Closest BTS Skytrain station is Wuttakat, you cannot miss the temple from the platform ! But just in case, the GPS co-ordinates are 13.7215, 100.4703.

 

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A million flowers for their King

floral_display-22Yesterday I went over to the “Talat Pak Khlong” flower market, where a large stretch of road has been turned into a floral display of remembrance in honour of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol, Rama 9, who will be cremated with traditional pomp and ceremony on October 26, although the ceremonies are over several days.

(as usual, click for a larger version of the photos)

Apparently over a million blooms were used to create this, with many of them being replaced as they wilt after a few days in the Thai heat so I guess it will be close to 2 million by the time it is taken down after the funeral ceremonies finish.

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Heaven’s Gate, with Montharop flowers and white elephants which traditionally belong to the King.

Nearby on the entrance to Memorial Bridge was another remembrance display :


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