Island life in the Mekong
On a small island in the Mekong River in southern Laos, Done Deng, lies the village of Ban Houa Done Deng. The name means 'village of the head of Done Deng' as it lies at the northern tip of the island. The villagers benefit from the financial support of the nearby hotel, La Folie, which has enabled a school to be built here.
Wat Phou: walking in the footsteps of the king
Wat Phou is a pre-Angkorian Khmer Hindu temple at the foot of Mount Phou Khao. The Khmer chose this site because the unusual shape of the mountain peak seemed to them to resemble a Shiva linga. Today it was so hazy that the peak was hard to make out, but we had seen it yesterday in the late afternoon sunlight.
Gallery: motorbike ‘art’ in South East Asia
From time to time while travelling I find myself taking photos on a theme, even if I hadn’t intended to when I set out. In Cuenca and Tallinn it was doors; in New Mexico it was Harley Davidson motorbikes. And in Indochina it was not only the motorbikes but the bike helmets.
Gallery: the monks of Luang Prabang (a life in orange)
You only have to spend a few hours in Luang Prabang to see why this town regularly tops lists of travellers’ favourite places. Its laid-back vibe, its historic royal palace and perhaps most of all its beautiful Buddhist temples, over 30 in total. What struck me was the way that the monks and tourists co-exist, with full respect among (most of) the latter for the traditions of the former.
Gallery: getting up close and personal
Like many photographers, I shoot quite a lot of images of flowers and that’s the first thing I think of when asked to showcase macro photography (which technically-speaking I don’t do) or close-up photography (which I do a lot). After that, my next thought will be insects. And I already have a few posts here on those lines. So what to do when Amanda asks for close ups and macros for this week’s Friendly Friday Challenge? The following photos are all taken from my travel archives, specifically my early 2020…
A day on the Nam Ou
I like nothing more than a boat trip. Whether we are by the sea, a lake or a river; if there is an opportunity to get out on the water I will take it. And the smaller the boat, the better. I have little interest in large cruise ships, the so-called ‘floating hotels’. I want to feel the movement, maybe reach out and dip my hand in the water, or feel the spray on my face as we cut through the waves.
A village blacksmith in the Lao highlands
The scent of wood smoke hangs in the air. Children play in the dusty soil. Small pigs, chickens and dogs wander at will between the wooden houses. And inside one a blacksmith is at work, shaping a machete over glowing coals. This is Phou Taen Khamu, home to some of the Khamu people, one of Laos’ minority ethnic tribes.
2020: my (pandemic) year in review
The year that has just past will remain long in all our memories, no doubt, and not for the best of reasons. A year ago the new coronavirus was just seeping into our consciousnesses and we had no idea how it would turn our lives upside down. We certainly know that now!
Around the world in ten photos: day four
A woman crouches beside the fast-flowing river, panning for gold. Hers is a simple life in a rural village, but success here could change it forever.
Elephant encounters on elephant terms
Mahn and Mohn are mother and daughter. They were separated after Mohn was born, and sold to two different riding camps. Two years ago they were reunited at MandaLao, where elephants rescued from tourist camps and logging find sanctuary.