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Archive for June, 2007

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — June 2007

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

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I’ve been to Ho Chi Minh City before [confusion.cc] but didn’t get good many good photos. This time I was on a business trip and had less than 6 hours to wonder around and take photos. However, I think I have better shots this time. Funny.

Since I only had a few hours of free time when it was not raining and since my hotel was right downtown by the opera house I could walk to the central market and to the Saigon River ferry terminal. Most of the shots were taken on those walks — and in the central market. The remaining shots were taken in and around the Chinatown Market across town. I did not visit Chinatown on my previous trip so I took a cab there and back this time. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to find any of the many temples and such near Chinatown. Oh well next time.

I also managed to find the same Bia Hoi place that Candice and I drank at on the last trip. I took the guys I was working with there for an ‘authentic Vietnamese experience’ and again it did not disappoint. At least this time I was not the only white guy there — all three of the people I was with were in the same boat.

Anyway. Even though I did not take a lot of photos I am quite happy with the quality of the ones I did take. Next time though I hope I get to go to Hanoi. HCMC is interesting but I’d rather spent my time exploring new places than revisiting the old… at least for now.

Math and Science

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

“Math and Science are the how, but humanity is the why.”

George Lucas

CBD at Night

Monday, June 18th, 2007

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I took this shot in April 2005 but never got around to doing anything with it. But right now I am slowly making my way through all my old photos in Adobe Lightroom. Thought maybe I should have paid more attention to this one. Not too bad actually.

Punishment

Monday, June 11th, 2007

“Societies law punishes bad people. Murphy’s law punishes good people”

Georgia Lass, Dead like Me, Pilot

Hong Kong SAR, China — May 2007

Monday, June 4th, 2007

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Hong Kong has always been a surreal place in my mind. Associated with all that was the British Empire, filled with the shadows of the Triads, and overflowing with commercialism. The opium dens are long gone but after spending a weekend in Hong Kong I’m happy to say it has not lost all it’s mystical status in my mind.

I didn’t spend a lot of time in Hong Kong so the parts are saw were limited to the big sites: Ngong Ping on Lantau island and it’s Giant Buddha [wikipedia.org] as well as Victoria Peak [wikipedia.org]. Rode the Star Ferry [wikipedia.org] across the harbor and wondered the streets of Mong Kok looking for bargain and good photos.

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Victoria Peak was fun, the view is wonderful — though the constant smog kept it from being beautiful — but the trip up on the Peak Tram [wikipedia.org] with it’s 45 degree upward climb was the best part. The buildings seem to grow out of the slope at a 45 degree angle. A bit scary on the way down as you plummet slowly down the same 45 degree slope — backwards!

The big Buddha on Lantau also suffered from the problem of smog. Up on the Ngong Ping Plateau you can’t tell where the smog ends and the clouds begin.

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In the end the best part was wondering around the many street markets near the hotel in Mong Kok. The Lady’s market, Goldfish market, Flower Market and Bird Garden were all within a few minutes walk. I really enjoyed the Bird Garden with it’s wall-to-wall bamboo bird cages and the constant cacophony of songs. On the other hand I really don’t like the fact that these hundreds of birds are caged for their song. And while the owners and shop keepers seem to dote on them I can’t help but feel sad that the caged bird must sing.

And then there’s the food. Most of the famous Hong Kong street food is outside the realm of my menu being a vegetarian but there seem to be a decent number of vegetarian restaurants and those that I tried were good. The most adventurous I got with food was chòu dòufu [wikipedia.org] or stinky tofu… an offensive smelling lump of deep fried soybean goodness. Smells like rotting vegetables, tastes.. ok. I’ve even gone out and had some here in Singapore since I got back. If you get it fresh out of the oil and hold your nose it’s not half bad. Now how long till someone makes a durian stinky tofu puff?