Thumbnails - March 2009

March 2009
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Mall & Mosque Photo: The main mosque in Brunei after a sweaty, sticky, rain shower.  The uncomfortably high humidity after a quick rain tested my resolve to even leave the air-conditioned mall for a quick photo.  Think 110 degrees (F) and humid beyond all belief! Nose Ring Photo: Morning at Dasaswamedh Ghat, a young lady warms up after taking a cleansing bath in the Ganges River. Gobi Sunset Photo: Rock formations on a tourist stop at the northern edge of the Gobi Desert.  Thanks to Aussies, Caroline and Tim for inadvertently modeling for me on the next ridge over. Elephant, Dutch Girl, Mahout Photo: Tourists gather for the morning elephant bath at Chitwan National Park.  For a nominal price, tourists can help wash the elephants or settle for a ride and a soaking.
Cormorant Fishing Photo: Tethered cormorants used for fishing in the old days.  A fisherman lightly ties a string around the bird's neck which prevents caught fish from being swallowed.  The fisherman retrieves the lodged fish from the bird's throat.  Nowadays, cormorants are displayed mainly for tourist photos. Homeless & Palace Photo: A homeless man finds shelter in the doorway of one of the many abandoned palaces along the river Ganges. Daydreaming In Class Photo: A Silpakorn University student eats lunch in front of a mural of an instructor. Gobi Passage Photo: Coming from the ice valley tourist stop, it seemed like we took a shortcut through a series of these rock passes to finally emerge into a lush valley.  Public transportation is limited in Mongolia so my usual seat-of-my-pants traveling style was temporarily pushed aside for a package tour through the Gobi Desert.  Our driver was a hell of a guy but spoke little English so our ability to extract information from him was severely limited.
Nepali & Himalayas Photo: A cute Nepali girl couldn't get enough photos taken of herself.  With a background like that, I happily obliged and ended up taking around 200 photos of her and her two friends.  I'm told that's the Himal Ganesh range of the Himalayas but don't quote me on that. Coin Fishing Photo: A man manually dredges the shallows of the Ganges River in hopes of finding deposited coins. Potato Pile Photo: At the daily market in Lijiang, a potato farmer proudly displays his merchandise. Transamerica Photo: San Francisco's financial district is home to one of the city's most famous landmarks.
Petronas Towers & Fountain Photo: Long exposure photo of an unforgettable landmark in the capitol of Malaysia.  The towers incorporate much Muslim symbolism and provide many floors of office space.  Meanwhile, at the base is the Suria KLCC, a mega-mall that serves as an air conditioned escaped from the muggy Kuala Lumpur climate.  The entire complex is surrounded by a pleasant park, perfect for an evening stroll. Tree Roots Photo: Preah Khan temple, part of the Angkor Wat temple complex, was neglected since its abandonment and as a result, is overgrown with uniquely integrated vegetation. Beast of Burden Photo: The dragon's backbone rice terraces near Longsheng.  The area is inhabited by a unique local minority with  a culture vastly different from the majority Han chinese. Baby Earrings Photo: A mother and child sit on the beach and graciously comply to my photo request.
Up Headlight Photo: Panning photo of a Balinese cyclist in front of the National Palace in Ubud. Footbridge Photo: Chinese tourists use a slightly unsafe footbridge to cross a river.  The footbridge is a drawing point for tourists to this village but in the 4 days I spent at Fenghuang, I personally saw 3 people fall into the river.  Bruised egos aside, no one was injured. Trees & Rocks Photo: Ella is a sliver of a beach town on the south coast of Sri Lanka hit extremely hard by the 2004 tsunami.  It seemed everyone I met volunteered a tragic tale of the death of a family member or friend.  The small family-run beach-front hotel I stayed at tragically lost 2 employees who were swept out to sea.  On an uplifting note, due to the generous donations of foreign tourists who fell in love with Sri Lanka, Ella was able to rebuild quickly and regain at least a semblance of normalcy. Native American Photo: A native american girl at the annual "Powwow" held on the campus of Stanford University.
Gatherers Photo: One week out of the year, authorities open Chitwan National Park to the locals to allow them to gather natural building materials for their homes. Strike Out Photo: A young monk celebrates a strike out during a cricket match at the Ghoom Monastery. Gentle Waves Photo: The sun sets at the serene beach-side Similajau National Park. Metal Ornamentation Photo: A member of one of the many ethnic minority groups in China, the Miao people, dressed in her native festival garments.
Cooling Rain Photo: A mid-day shower clears the throngs of tourists and leaves Angkor Wat temple relatively empty. Ancient Tower Photo: At one time, Pingyao was the ancient wealthy financial center of China.  Now it serves as one of the few places in China that has retained its charming old-world architecture. Water Play Photo: A young Nepali girl plays on the banks of a river. Mongolian National Passtime Photo: At the Nadaam Festival, a pair of wrestlers get a closer inspection by a referee.
Converging Boats Photo: Two evening boat tours are traveling toward each other on the Ganges, one at rate X and the other at 3X.  At what distance will they collide.  (Show your work for partial credit.) Bows-Arts Photo: An art installation on the Embarcadero. Middle Path Photo: A boy monk collects alms and offers blessings on the morning of the anniversary of Buddha's birth.  
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