Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kayking Trip

Here is a little slideshow from a kayaking trip we did with Journeys Within in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This was one of the best days we had yet! The sights were incredible.

The day started with a van ride, then when the road got (really) bad, a motor scooter for about 30 minutes, then a powerboat, then our kayaks, and back again! :)
The houses you see are so far off the ground because during the wet season, that village is a lake, and the water comes right up to the bottom of the houses! They still live there, but they get around in boats instead of on foot.

We LOVED the kayaking in an underwater forest too, you'll see the photos.

There is so much more to say, but I have to go, so hopefully I can add more later. I don't have any Cambodian music on hand, so Bonobo will do for now!

Click play below. It may take a moment to load because of music and large pics...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Angkor Wat sunrise (tourists galore)

We woke up at 4:30AM this morning to catch a "must see" sunrise at Angkor Wat. Yes, it was pretty, and you have to see it once when you come all the way to Cambodia... but... best part was the tourist watching. I knew there was going to be lots of tourists.... but wow... this was something else!

These are snapshots of 2 popular places to watch/shoot it from. The first is in front of a pond. People like this spot because you can get the silhouette of the temple, with the reflection in the background.
The second is... umm... I guess for the lazy people who get past the first wall and say "this is good enough" haha.

I was walking among the crowds of happysnappers just listening to their conversations that all went something like "it looks so good in real life, but so terribly bad on my camera!!"

I wish I could offer a quick 10 minute photo lesson to all these people. My first tip would be- "Your little on camera flash goes all of about 10 feet (on a good day) so it's probably not going to make a difference on a stone structure that is not only 699 feet tall, but also several hundred feet away. Ya.

I love seeing monster truck shows too. Ever noticed when the truck jumps, camera flashes in the grandstands go off by the thousands. That would be an awesome collection of photos to see... Itty bitty monster trucks off in the distance, with several nuclear white bald heads in the next row, yes!!!

Enough ranting... tomorrow were going "on assignment" in Cambodia! More later... :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tonlé Sap Lake, Cambodia

Saturday, January 19, 2008

dirty feet

Here is our feet last night on the way home from the Angkor temples, on our tuk-tuk. We had lots of fun seeing the temples, and shot quite a bit of images too. It was HOT out, so the whole day your all sweaty and dirty. We got back to our hotel (great place!) at dark and took showers (felt soo good!) then went out to a super good Khmer dinner with a pitcher of local Angkor beer. mmmm.

Bethany stayed up late working on images, and I zonked out, so she'll have a post up soon with images. All I have for you now is our dirty feet!

Friday, January 18, 2008


We arrived in Cambodia yesterday. It's really hot compared to Vietnam and China, but I think it feels nice.
Today we had a leisurely day walking around Siem Reap. Had a great lunch at a local Khmer kitchen. We noticed an American couple at the restaurant who didn't look like tourists at all, so we talked to them and ended up having lunch together. It turns out they live here and they own a tour company and B&B called Journeys Within. Check out their websites and their profile (Brandon and Andrea Ross), really cool stuff!
Then we went to dinner with a local we met through couchsurfing named Khemrin. He took us to his cousins restaurant outside of the city where no tourists go, only locals. The food and beer was unique and sooo good!

Tomorrow we'll be exploring the Angkor temples on a hired tuk-tuk. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

bethany got attacked by a monkey, hehehe

yes. a monkey. in the wild.

we were kayaking in halong bay vietnam, and our destination on the kayaks was called monkey island. well, we honestly thought it was just a name, but sure enough, we got close to the beach and there were monkeys all over the rocks. really cool. so of course we had to get close and take photos.
well after a while, one of the monkeys turned psycho and actually attacked bethany. it all happened in slow motion... he zeroed in on her from 15 feet away and stared her in the eyes, then he made a crazy hissing noise, then charged her!!!! i was like dude no way this is happening.... but it was. so he grabbed onto her legs and was biting her shoe like it was the best corn on the cob ever. he got her shoe off, and by that time i had grabbed a paddle and shoed him off. he was pissed and wanted to fight more, but myself and another dude ganged up on him and scared him down the beach.

after it was all over and bethany was fine (besides a near heart attack) i had never laughed so hard in my entire life. good times.

i did have my camera on me the whole time, but didn't get any action shots because i was so busy saving my wifes life. she might say something different about that... but ya, i definitely at least saved her foot that day.

i love this (totally unrehearsed) photo taken a minute after it all happened. notice the deathgrip on the paddle. she wouldn't put that thing down for anything after that happened! haha

and of course, the monster himself!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

cutest old man ever

shot this portrait of an old man in Vietnam today. he invited us into his place (with hand motions and noises because he didn't know a word of english) and we checked out his pig farm. he had dozens of pigs, some were huuuge, like 300lbs at least!

his vest is awesome. but you know what makes him even cuter? look close!
click here to see when you give up. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

a few random china photos

Were staying in a nice hotel in Nanning, China right now. We asked if the room had internet, and they said no, but for 30 yuan more we can get internet in the room. Sounded like a bit much, but we've been without internet for a while, so we did it. Turns out the 30 yuan not only gave us internet in the room, but a way larger room too, with a balcony and a huge bed! It looks right over the main central square too. All in all the room cost 130 yuan (about $18) which is much more than we've been paying, but still not much at all! Our hotels/hostels/dorm rooms have been averaging about 15-30 yuan per person, which is like $2-3... so cheap!

Nanning is a big city compared to the ones we've been in recently. Today we were able to navigate around the city in buses and taxis (difficult when you don't speak Chinese!!!) and managed to get our visas to visit Vietnam, so first thing tomorrow morning were off on an 8 hour bus ride to Hanoi, Vietnam!

I had a chance to edit through some photos from the first week in China. Here are a few. Wish I could tell all the stories behind them on this blog, but I'd be typing all night, and that still wouldn't do them justice. Your thoughts, comments, and questions are always welcomed! :)

If all goes well tomorrow, next post will be from Vietnam!

the group

This is a fun pic of the 6 of us that have been traveling together for the past week. We were in a remote village called "Chen Yang" looking into the mirror of a barbershop/salon type of place.

From the left... Me, Bethany, Wes, Chris, Eugene, and Jeau (spelling?). It was such a good time with them! They all met at a Chinese language school in Beijing, and Bethany and I decided to tag along when we met in Guilin because we were going most of the same places anyway.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back in Guilin

The past 3 days were so incredible! We took a series of buses (about 7 hours worth) to get away from the big cities and get into the small villages in the country. It was gorgeous, and so interesting to see how the people live out there!

We left most of our stuff (including the computer) in Guilin, so now it's time to download 20 gigs of images and see what we shot. :)

Probably won't have images up soon though, because tomorrow we have a big day of traveling on buses and trains to get to Hanoi, Vietnam, where we'll meet my sister Lindsey! :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Good times in Guilin

We've been in Guilin for a couple days now, having an absolute blast. I don't know what we'd do without Couchsurfing! We've been staying with a wonderful host who has been sooo welcoming, and the other cool thing is that all the couchsurfing people here know each other, and have dinners with their guests on a weekly basis. Last night we had a Chinese food feast with 9 people representing so many different countries. Such a blast. And the food... wow... sooo good. We learned quickly not to ask what the heck it is... and just eat it!
There wasn't a single thing that I didn't like, but I'm sure I wouldn't have tried a few if I knew what it was beforehand, haha. And get this, when the bill came, it worked out to 42 yuans per person (about 7 US dollars). That was including plenty of tea, beer, and even a dancing and singing performance during dinner! :)

Today were leaving for a 2-3 day trip with a couple guys who we met through couchsurfing, and then coming back to Guilin, so hopefully we'll be shooting lots, and update with photos soon. Oddly enough 1 of the guys is from Portland Oregon and one is from Bellingham Washington! We had a good time talking about home from so far away. And they have both been studying Chinese in Beijing for a couple years, so they speak it... what a luxury to travel with them! :)

See ya!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

hong kong!

We just landed in Hong Kong, were just chillin in the airport for a couple hours, waiting for our flight to Guilin, China. Out the window we can see the huge city, and all the hills behind it. And also what Bethany says is the largest gondola in the world....?

Were so excited about seeing and exploring Asia!

More to come soon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Ok, I don't use the word "cute" often, but man, there is no other way to describe these prickily little guys. SO CUTE!

We've come across about a dozen of these little hedgehogs in New Zealand, I thought they were a type of porcupine at first though. They are nocturnal, so we always come across them at night. Apparently they will travel several miles in a single night, sniffing around making little grunting noises, and eating every insect, slug, and snail in it's path!

When you pick them up they just roll into a ball and straighten their quills, so that anything trying to attack them will just get pricked and hopefully leave.

Here are some snapshots of a few that we've had fun observing and holding. Were gonna get one or two as a pet someday!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Arthurs Pass Camping, South Island, New Zealand

These are a few photos from a night of camping in Arthurs Pass National Park. Can't remember the name of the lake!

The light was so nice that evening, I spent a couple hours poking around taking photos and talking to some fisherman.

He didn't get any fish, but he made a nice photo. :)

Someone's campsite with really cool looking light.

Our little car with our little tent. Right next to the lake!

A 30 minute exposure, with some light on the trees from my campfire. I got really lucky with the placement of the stars because I have to idea how to locate the axis. On the northern hemisphere, it's easy to locate the north star because of the big dipper.