Something fishy…

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Time to bore you all with some underwater photos from the live-aboard snorkelling trip to the Similan Islands 🙂

(as always, clicking on the small photo will give you a larger picture)

For the technically curious, all photos were taken with a Canon G7X Mk2, in a Fantasea housing, using shutter priority program usually set at 1/250sec.

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This is 4th or 5th time I’ve done the trip with Similan Tours, I’ve lost count 🙂

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This was the biggest Giant Moray I’ve ever seen.

It’s a 3 day/2 night trip on their converted fishing boat, not as luxurious as most of the dive boats but comfortable enough and also a lot cheaper !

We saw this turtle from the top deck while having breakfast but then it swam away into the distance. A little later I was just about to slide into the water when I looked down and saw it right underneath me. Everybody quickly kitted up to get a better look and it obliged by swimming laps around the boat until it got bored with us and sped away …..for something that looks so slow and clumsy turtles can really move when they want to !

That will probably be my last snorkelling trip for a couple of years as my girlfriend and I are planning on building a house later this year, if the Aussie dollar does n’t sink any more…… That will keep us busy next dry season, we will not be able to go away and leave the builders unsupervised. Well, we could but the builders might not follow the plans and we end up with something like this …. upsidedownhouse

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Review: Poseidon Bungalows, Khao Lak

As I mentioned in my last post I have been down south to Khao Lak and out to the Similan Islands, so here’s just a quick review of where I stayed before and after the boat trip. This was actually the 4th or 5th time that I have stayed at Poseidon so you can guess that this is going to be a positive report ?poseidon_review-4

The bungalows about 6kms from the main town and resort of Khao Lak, located rather nicely on a small river and next to a secluded beach.

The bungalows are a mix of old style wooden ones for 2 people, and newer concrete places for 2-4 people. I prefer the wooden ones, much better view :

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All have a western style bathroom with hot and cold water, a fan and plenty of electrical sockets. All in all, very comfortable for a few days stay.

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Prices range from 950 baht up to 1750 for the biggest (as at March 2018).
One downside for some people, those who need 24/7 connectivity, such as my girlfriend for her Facebook addiction, might be disappointed the free wifi is only available in the restaurant area 😦

Speaking about the restaurant, the food is really good, much better than most bungalow food …the Massaman Chicken is aroi maak (really good). The menu range is not huge, but has a mix of enough Thai and western food for most people.

Similan Tours also operates their snorkelling trips out to the islands from here so it is convenient for the 7am start for the boat trip 🙂

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If you do want a change from their restaurant, there is a rather nice place down on the beach for sunset cocktails and dinner, best to take a torch with you though as the steps are dark and steep …especially after a few too many cocktails !

where are they ? https://www.google.com/maps/@8.6010274,98.2422969,18z/data=!3m1!1e3

I fly to Phuket and then get a taxi to Khao Lak (1200 baht, book through Poseidon) but you could also get a bus there….not the most convenient if you have a lot of luggage, or kids tagging along. There is a map and directions on their website at http://www.similantour.com/gethere.html.

 

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Beauty with a sting

The beautiful, but venomous, Lionfish :

Snorkel_Similans_Mar2018-16 I’ve been away down at Khao Lak, near Phuket, for a week and took a live-aboard snorkelling trip out to the Similan Islands for 3 days/2 nights. Still have lots of photos to sort through, but just a couple for you now 🙂

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A colony of lionfish, 6 altogether. With a poisonous sting in their spines you have to be careful !

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Locked

© 2018 Michael Nottingham© 2018 Michael Nottingham

Closed for the holiday ! A couple of images from the “Bangkok Photographers” Facebook group walk through Chinatown, just after Chinese New Year.

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Happy (Chinese) New Year.

There is no shortage of reasons to party in Thailand, with 3 New Years to celebrate ! This week is of course the Chinese New Year, and all roads lead to Chinatown ….

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It’s the Year of the Dog now, and there were a few dogs dressed to party yesterday !

But for those of Chinese descent it is also time for attending the temple, and the temples of Chinatown were of course busy. One of the most atmospheric temples in Bangkok, IMHO, is Wat Mangkon Kamalawat in the middle of Chinatown but not seen by many tourists. During Chinese New Year Wat Mangkon Kamalawat is packed with worshippers lighting candles and incense, and many chanting monks.


Wat Traimit is more famous because of the “Golden Buddha” :
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Incidentally, there is usually a hefty admission fee for tourists to see the Golden Buddha, but if you are a ‘Cheap Charlie” it’s free on Chinese New Years Day. The catch is you can only go in after HRH Princess Sirindhorn has been and paid her respects during the afternoon. She is heavily involved every year, and in the evening the main road is cleared so she can visit one of the many gold shops and buy a trinket or two, accompanied by about 50 aides and a couple of hundred police. 🙂

Some more photos, click to see a larger version :


The “Bangkok Photographers” Facebook group is having it’s monthly photowalk in Chinatown this weekend, so I’ll be heading back there tomorrow. Hope my feet are not so sore by the morning !

 

 

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A Bangkok photo walk : Khlong San

I’m a bit late with this photo walk from last month, partly due to the organisers being a bit late publishing the online magazine, and partly due to life getting in the way of things (aka lack of motivation 🙂 ).

January’s walk was around the Khlong San area of Bangkok, starting at the Din Daeng ferry pier opposite Chinatown and heading through an old but increasingly gentrified part of town where multi million dollar (yes, dollar) condos tower over old wooden houses in narrow alleyways.

One of the most striking examples of this to me was at the Lhong 1919 complex, where a small dock and associated warehouses which one housed a small Chinese-Thai community of families has been turned into a tarted up tourist complex of restaurants, boutiques and galleries. I could n’t help noticing that the vast majority of signs were in English or Chinese, obviously they are aiming at the tourist market or local hi-so’s with money to spend. I guess this sort of thing is inevitable, and you cannot blame landowners for chasing the money trail by building luxury riverside condos and tourist traps attractions, but Bangkok is turning into yet another sterile Eurasian city.

The admin of the Bangkok Photographers Facebook group are a bit fanatical about capturing memories of “old Bangkok” so many of the monthly walks go through these changing neighbourhoods, places which tourists and most local expats would not normally see.

One place that tourists venturing along the river would see is the pagoda at the Chee Chin Khor Moral Uplifting Society :

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Part of a large Chinese temple complex it is very visible from the river but with no easy access apart from a zigzagging walk through the alleyways it does n’t get many white faces actually visiting.


Well worth the effort getting there though, and also worth the effort to climb up to the top floor of the pagoda ! Some more of my photos :


Or for more of the groups’ photos from the walk check out the online magazine :

(click on the centre square to see the full size version !)

 

Or if you happen to be in Bangkok Feb 18th the next walk is through “The real Chinatown” ….sounds interesting ! Details through the “Bangkok Photographers” Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/392520277861977.

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