Posts in Photography

Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market: Sights, Sounds, and Smells.

Everything sizzles and pops around you. Steam floats into the night sky like aromatic clouds carrying scrumptious smells of marvelous treats like various meats, or grilled vegetables, or spicy soups — all to the song from a lute; cracked leather-like fingers pluck the instrument, that long necked worn cherry-colored lute called the sueng, releasing a melody of ting-tang-tong-tang-ting to add sweet soundtracks amongst the chitter-chatter of the throngs.

Here and there and everywhere  is food porn galore. From spicy papaya salad to buttered garlic bread, pork balls and chicken balls (not testes) to kababs with zesty yogurt — everything your tantalized taste buds can salivate over.

Needle and thread dive in and out of colorful fabrics with a delicate urgency under soft yellow light as young and old create intricate gifts before your eyes. Maybe you’re looking for a poncho, or a scarf, or a hat — whatever it may be, it can be found as far as the eye can see.

This is the Sunday walking street market in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Once you enter Ratchadamnoen Road; near Thapae Gate cutting through the center of Old Town, you are lost in the ebb and flow of the Thai and tourist slow moving river. And there is almost no turning back — though you probably won’t want to anyway.

Do what I call the Chiang Mai Market Shuffle: right foot slides forward two inches, left foot slides forward two inches, rock your body one way to glance at trinkets, rock the other way to fiend over drool-worthy food, and repeat. It’s packed in the market so you’ll have to do a little shuffle.

The Chiang Mai night market is a place bursting with people, but this river of buying and selling is a treasure trove of Thai and exotic street food and hand-made arts and crafts.  Much of it that is rarely found cheaper or of better quality than here. There is a reason why even Thai people fight the current of bodies to shop here.

Photo of crowds in the Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market in Thailand.

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Thai curry Chiang Mai Night Market

Police officer playing guitar Chiang Mai Night Market

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The Chiang Mai Sunday night walking street is definitely a busy place, but one of my favorite things in the city to do each weekend.

HOW TO GET THERE

The Sunday night walking street market is located directly across the from the Thapae gate on the eastern side of Chiang Mai, the entry into the old town. The stands begin to pop up in late afternoon and around dusk, and begins to get overly packed around 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

WHAT TO BRING

Make sure to come on an empty stomach and with smaller bills — many of the vendors cannot break 500 baht and 1000 baht notes. You will also be walking for quite a bit so wear comfortable shoes. Since the market is teeming with people, bring a back that has secure zippers and straps so you can keep your belongings safe.

WHERE TO STAY

Since the walking street market is in the heart of old town, most of the available hostels in hotels are close by and within walking distance. During peak season, Chiang Mai accommodation can fill up fast so make sure to book your hotel or hostel a few days in advance.

Have you ever been to the Chiang Mai Night Market? 

 

Nightcrawler: Finding Melbourne’s Best Street Art After Dark

Melbourne, a city famous for its street art and graffiti scene, is a fascinating and bustling city by day dripping with fresh coats of spray paint. But I deciding to get a different perspective altogether by exploring Melbourne street art by night. The city seemed to transform when the sun set, in a bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde way. In no means bad, but personalities, artworks, people, and senses are all amplified in the neon lights of alleyways. It was as if the street art itself came to life after the city fell asleep.

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Travel Photo Essays

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he world is one damn beautiful place isn’t it? As much as I am a fan of stringing together words to form imagery of the people I meet, places I go, or things I see — sometimes that just doesn’t cut it.

Sometimes Mother Nature feels the need to flaunt herself like some ravishing narcissistic pin-up, or a city shocks and awes with jaw-dropping architecture or a fascinating historical beauty lost to time. So a full-page spread is in order.

Here you will find retina rupturing and cortex tantalizing photo essays of destinations I’ve traveled to for your gawking pleasure.

// EXPLORE THE PHOTOS BELOW OR CHOOSE A DESTINATION // 

Favorites New Zealand Haiti Canada United States

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FAVORITES //

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The Most Beautiful Coastlines From My Travels
After nearly 4 years of travel, I’ve realized something: I gravitate towards beautiful coastlines.

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The Most Beautiful Landscapes I’ve Traveled Through

I never thought I’d have the opportunity to travel, but after more than 14 countries, I share my top picks.

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My Favorite Places to Relax Around the World

Travel is both rewarding and stressful. A balance is important, so here are my top places to chill.

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NEW ZEALAND //

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10 Must Visit Places in New Zealand

I was swept off my feet by New Zealand’s diverse natural beauty. And you will be too. Here are my favorites!

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A Year Across New Zealand in Converse

New Zealand was about taking a step towards my travel dream, and my “chucks” were apart of the personal transformation.

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The Wild and Crazy Graffiti of Wellington

There are plenty of reasons to love Wellington, and my main reason was the awesome graffiti galore!

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HAITI //

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Haiti in Photos: Don’t Look, You Might Fall In Love

They tell you not to visit Haiti. But I have photographic proof for you why you should. Beware, you may fall in love.

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In Photos: Inspirational Smiles From Haiti
While filming a documentary for 10 days in Haiti we discovered an abundance of smiles to be found.

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Fantasy Fulfilled: A Night in a Treehouse in Haiti
High in the hilltops outside of Port Au Prince lies a secret getaway that’s something out of fantasy.

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CANADA //

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30 Day Epic Road Trip Across Eastern Canada

For the 2013 Travel Blog Expo in Toronto — Zak, Seattle, Candice, and I decided to take an epic road trip from Newfoundland to Ontario.

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Stunning Lighthouses of Eastern Canada

Lighthouses have always fascinated me — a symbol calling me to far off places. And Canada seems to be filled with amazing Lighthouses.

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UNITED STATES //

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Hiking Great Falls National Park, Washington D.C.

Great Falls National Park is one of my favorite places to hike, and is surprisingly hidden nearby the bustling United States capital.

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Wandering Union Station of Washington D.C.

After purchasing my first ever DSLR, I took it on a test run where all of my big adventures begin — the marble-carved historic Union Station.

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Weekly Photo Mojo: Desolate Beauty in the Salton Sea.

Besides the hungry gulls squawking, an eery silence lays over Bombay Beach. Once a town, floods from the Colorado River submerged the area and only left remnants of a town that once was. The ground is crusted over by salt from the Salton Sea which has a salinity level higher than the entire Pacific Ocean combined.

While exploring California before my big trip to Southeast Asia, my friends and I stopped by to walk around. Just desolate beauty remained besides this ghostly shirt that fluttered in the salty breeze.

(Many more photos coming for this haunting place!)

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Weekly Photo Mojo is about stimulating your cortex with retina rupturing and awe-inspiring photos from around the world to help you reach Terminal Vicariosity (The point where the mind reaches maximum capacity from living vicariously through someone else, and chooses to start actually living.)

What feeling does this photo evoke for you?

Weekly Photo Mojo: A Silver Lake Reflects the Sky in Infinite Symmetry across Oregon.

It was Day 3 of my train adventure across America and my last day on the Empire Builder. We were just entering into Oregon when I woke up and looked out my sleeper car and peeked out the window and saw this. Immediately I grabbed my Canon, racked the shutter speed up to 500, and began snapping photos.

The clouds and the sky melted into the horizon becoming one with the mirror lake. The world could be flipped upside down and we’d never know.

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If you like the photo, share this inspiration banner!

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This photo is from a cross-country 6 day train adventure across the United States on Amtrak and the pre-cursor to my trip to Southeast Asia. If you want to check out the daily recap from this trip and life on the train, start at Gnarly Train Adventure Day 1!

Weekly Photo Mojo is about stimulating your cortex with retina rupturing and awe-inspiring photos from around the world to help you reach Terminal Vicariosity (The point where the mind reaches maximum capacity from living vicariously through someone else, and chooses to start actually living.)

What feeling does this photo evoke for you?

 **DISCLOSURE** I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a free trip courtesy of Amtrak for review purposes. The opinions, photos, videos, and use of the word “gnarly” are completely my own based on my experience.

 

Seeing Colors: How Travel Made Life Vivid Again

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Last week I wrote the the most raw, unapologetic, honest, and dark article of my life; a 5,000+ word memoir of the day I nearly ended my life and the events that led up to that bottomless pit I had fallen into. But the article was also about life and triumph, how I’ve fought an internal war with myself and come out on top, and how death has become my inspiration to travel.

So this week, I wanted to lighten the mood up a bit since that post carried a helluva lot of weight to it. Colors and I have an interesting history the past five or so years. I’ve written about how colors after the death of my father lost all meaning, and up until I started traveling, my life seemed as though I was in a monochrome void.

When I would see certain colors; greens, yellows, purples, blues, and others, it would transport me back to that fateful day as if color had become the harbringer of nightmares.

And then something happened.

I started seeing colors again, and for what they actually were.

The moment I stepped foot in New Zealand and began my first ever adventure abroad, it was as if the nightmare had become a peaceful dream. I could see the golden plains, the turquoise waters, the bright blue sky, the lush green forests. It was like looking through a kaleidoscope, with colors dancing on my retinas.

Travel suddenly made my life vivid again. And I want to share that with you.

The Capture the Colour Contest tasks travel bloggers to pick out five of their favorite photos to best match the color categories: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, and White. Now before we get into it, let me make something clear. My neighbors in the north and across the pond have an obsession with complicating words by sticking a “u” on any that end with “or”. Well, this Yank ain’t messing around with them shenanigans, ya hear? Expect that spelling error to end now. =P

The challenge has some pretty juicy prizes like an iPad, a Fuji camera or an Arc’teryx shopping voucher, depending on their choice, while one overall winner will receive a huge £3,000 travel fund. Pretty freakin’ awesome I must say. So I’ve chosen five photos that not necessarily are my favorites, but that elicit the vivd change travel brought.

 

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In New Orleans, street performances are all over. But this one caught my eye instantly, a face protruding out of a worn golden picture frame. The reason behind why I chose it was because when I was younger, I would look at paintings and use my imagination to take myself there. Wish I could be in that beautiful painting. This time it is me looking out from the painting I’ve created for myself.

White

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Standing on the edge of the cliffs at Cape Spear, I watched as an ominous white mist crawled over the ocean. The tiny lighthouse sits perked atop guiding weary sailors away from harm. It felt as though I stood at the world’s end, but it was just the beginning of an amazing adventure across Canada and a new country on my list.

Red

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As I exited the plane in Port Au Prince, one of my first impressions of Haiti was music. I was greeted by eager musicians waiting to have a chance to play for someone. This gentleman with his red accordion instantly caught my eye with his serious demeanor while playing a much more cheerful tune. Haitians are strong willed people,  but besides their smiles, music really brings out the heart of Haiti.

Green

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What better way to experience the wilds of a country than to sleep across it in a hammock. For 3 weeks we lived in the wild Northland of New Zealand, waking every dat to the gentle swaying green grass and the sound of the crashing water. I wasn’t watching life pass by me anymore, I was swinging life away in paradise.

Blue

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New Zealand is always accused of dying their water because it is just so damn blue! Well, New Zealand’s  stunning lakes and oceans get those sapphire hues naturally, and standing on that rock with a feeling of triumph helped make blue a beloved color again.

And to pass on the colour…erm COLOR challenge, we must pick 5 other bloggers to add to the contest! Here are my choices!

Zak from Spark Punk

Kristin from Be My Travel Muse

Matt from Landlopers

Jim from The Tripologist

Flora from Flora the Explorer

Thanks to Seattle of Seattle’s Travels for nominating me!

Which photo was your favorite paired with a color?