My winter holidays (the only ones I can have actually) have been amazing. I visited so many beautiful countries I had only dreamed of going like in Myanmar and the Philippines. With my friends we had an amazing time exploring incredible places doing unforgettable experiences. Every great trip deserves a proper conclusion and since the beginning I knew that we would have split up and I reached Bali my magic place.
It was my third time there and everything was pretty easy thanking also to the suggestions from my Italian friend living there. I had eleven days in Bali and I decided to spend them all in Canggu just to relax and surf, as usual. The entire trip has been absolutely beautiful but pretty demanding, especially in Myanmar. Bali my magic place was the perfect spot were to end my journey doing exactly what I love more, surfing, sleeping, eating amazing healthy food, talk with smart and interesting people.
As soon as I arrived I slept a lot since I was incredibly tired from the flight Bohol-Manila-Bali. It brought me on the Island of Gods around midnight and the day after has begun an unexpected busy but pleasant holiday! I surfed in the morning and in the afternoon I met my friend Arianna that invited me to a boxe lesson at the Dreamsea Surf Camp where I met other people. Well, in a couple of days I had a lot of amazing friends of different nationalities. I knew them mainly at the Dojo, a beautiful co-working space where sometimes I spent my time too to work on my pictures.
Canggu is the place that I’ll love forever. The place where I’m always sure to go back if one day after #covid I’ll be able to reach Bali again. This is where everyone should go with someone special to share unforgettable emotions and experiences. Well, way better than Paris (my favorite city ever) but with completely different magical vibes. I'm looking forward to be there again in the "special" way..who knows.
I found my peace in Bali my magic place that too many people don’t respect enough. The thing that probably annoyed me more is the fact that among many that are there working hard being grateful every single day to have the chance to be there as digital nomads, there're too many wrong things. After three year I realized that the Island and Canggu in particular are ruined by aggressive tourism and hipsters, influencers or vloggers wannabe. A big bunch of people that have no clue about how lucky they are and that are there just to have the chance to say they have been in Bali. People begging for free stuff in exchange of the ridiculous visibility they can offer on their pathetic social media. I'm sure that Bali would be a way better place without them.
This is an island that can fully heal you through its magic. I found joy, sadness, a lot of great surf, beautiful people and amazing friends. Too much to talk me out of coming back to live my best life far away from problems and bad thoughts.
I saw sunsets from many different places around the world but Bali always offered me the most powerful ones. I loved sunsets at Pererenan beach, Echo beach, Batu Bolong beach, Seseh beach, Balangan, Uluwatu temple. I saw sunsets in Bali when I was happy, nostalgic, melancholy, sad, relaxed, while surfing (the best moment ever), alone or with friends. Every sunset was amazingly different, magic and emotional. The most important feeling was the sense of belonging to one of the most magical places ever that won’t never leave me.
Don't forget to surf in the sunset. The most fulfilling and magical experience you can try if you love the ocean, the Island of Gods and its amazing vibes. So learn how to surf, try at least, it’s difficult, it’s hard but when you catch the first wave it’ll be priceless and unforgettable. Do it because life is fuckin short and it’s not worth to miss any moment especially a memorable one.
This year I was more cheerful than the previous after a great trip around south east Asia. I enjoyed a lot hanging around with new friends and being busy. Don't forget to rent a scooter to be completely free to enjoy your stay going everywhere you want.
I was feeling home again, I didn’t want lo leave and when I had to, I was so fuckin sad. Not to mention the fact that as soon as I arrived in Italy I went straight to quarantine and lockdown. I spent the first 10 days home regretting not having stayed in Bali. I could have had the chance to do something good rather than to stay two months inside my apartment. But then the situation changed and my timing was actually perfect. Anyway I haven't given up the idea to meet my friends again all together as soon as possible. They are among my best memories, because knowing new beautiful people is always the best part of a trip.
Here we are, after the more than pleasant layover in Kuala Lumpur, finally in the Philippines, Bohol, relax time among its beauties. After a night in Cebu, the day after we took a boat to reach Bohol first and Panglao after. At the harbor we had our super kind friend Allen (@boholisawesome) waiting for us.
Despite of the rain he immediately took us for a ride to check some spots that we wouldn't have never be able to find without him. The same happened the following days. Our place was in Panglao, the small beautiful island connected to Bohol, close to Alona Beach. Nice area full of restaurants, bars, night life and a crowded but beautiful beach where we enjoyed our time a lot just eating, sleeping, lying on the beach! It was simply time to relax.
In the Philippines, Bohol obviously I would say that it's mandatory to to snorkel. Even if you have never done before, just do it, you'll simply love it. Next step will be to become a diver because underwater the world is beautiful. Allen brought us to Napaling , in particular at the Molave Cliff Diving Resort (check the link for more specs), on an cliff with a stair bringing to the water.
Well, unfortunately his GoPro had some issues and I don't have pictures to show, but it was amazing, simply. The reef is beautiful and there are a lot of different fishes. You can stay hours in the water exploring and swimming with schools of sardines that surround you all the time. Don't miss the chance and go!
We took also a boat trip with Allen and his amazing family and it was a great chance to enjoy the beautiful nature of this country, its crystal clear water, its beaches and its fauna. Obviously we snorkeled and enjoy the beautiful environment and after we had a delicious homemade filipino lunch by Allen's mum.
pictures by Allen Trottier (@boholisawesome)
Then we took a particularly nice walk together on the Virgin Island. The sun was burning as hell but is was absolutely worth it to enjoy that unique place.
Philippines, Bohol, relax time but also one of my favorite places that Allen showed us was, Loboc River. We went there to enjoy a tour on a paddle board along the river and its nature. The Fox and the Firefly cottages was organizing this service and upstairs there's also an amazing restaurant were we had breakfast before. It was a great experience, I'm so happy about that! I had never paddled before and doing it there was particularly beautiful and relaxing. Paddle, water, palms, nature and a swim in the river..what else?!
I enjoyed the time in Bohol so much and I'll always be grateful to Allen. Without him it wouldn't have been the same for sure! Exploring places with a local is always the real plus to every trip, what allows you to save time, money and get the best from your travel experience!
So remember to check my tours and come to visit Venice with me to enjoy the best of my city with me and live it like a local, a real Venetian!
But first Siquijor!
This time we learned the lesson, we booked a nice night bus by ourself and we reached Yangon. After a short rest we reached the airport for the second part of the trip. Around midnight we arrived in Kuala Lumpur. Remember that the fixed price to reach the city with a taxi is 60MYR (12€). Don't take the train, faster but way more expensive! In fact after the train we have been forced to take a taxi to the hotel. Arriving I forgot about everything else and looking up I realized that I was finally going to enjoy KL and its architecture.
After an amazing breakfast at the Concorde hotel we started to explore the city. It was my first time in KL and I wanted to stop there before going to the Philippines. I'm super happy about my decision because the city gave me a new energy that Burma drained completely.
It's clear that it's not a regular city in south east Asia. It's modern, functional, extremely clean. Like a friend said, it's a midway between Bangkok and Singapore.
After an amazing breakfast at the Concorde hotel we started to explore the city. As I said it's super clean, ordered and organized, not everywhere obviously. A multicultural city with three communities. Founded by the Chinese, that were representing the biggest part of the population till few years ago. The biggest community nowadays, the Malaysian one and the one represented by Indians. Kuala Lumpur means "muddy confluence" because it has been build as a village in the beginning on the confluence of the two rivers Gombak and Kelang.
Now it's a modern cosmopolitan metropolis, evolving continuously, among the jungle. Obviously there's also the battered a shabbiness of the huge cities in this part of the world. Sad public buildings, electrical cables everywhere, bad condos. So there's the old typical KL with its markets and the ultramodern one.
Finally, after a long walk we arrived where I enjoyed KL and its architecture at its best. The Petronas Twin Towers. I've always dreamed to see them in real life. I've always been amazed by architecture in general but those tower fascinated me since I was a kid. First watching "Entrapment", then when Sepang became the new circuit of Formula 1 and Moto gp races.
The Petronas Twin Towers are impressive. I have never seen the Twin Towers in NYC unfortunately, but even after my trip in NY, couple of months before, I've to say that they are better than any other building, speaking about skyscrapers.
Inside there are offices and a huge mall, but most of all a lot of air-conditioning. The most useful thing to enjoy a long wait. Before to reach a friend we also took a walk around KLCC Park. Then we had a drink in the most underrated place in the area, the Traders hotel. As I always say, there's nothing better than to explore a place with a local! It changes your stay, entirely!
The bar with the pool on the top was unexpectedly empty and quiet. Perfect chance to talk, relax and taking pictures of the Twin Towers with the beautiful sunset lights!
Then our friend Ong brought us at Lot 10, an amazing place where to enjoy Chinese/Malaysian street food. A huge variety of choices of amazing food. It would have been impossible to find it by ourself. Then our other friend Saran took us for a nice night walk though the authentic city and gave us some nice tips! It's amazing meeting great people around the world!
If you are in KL Batu Caves are a must do in the city. Take a Grab (extremely cheap here) and enjoy the famous colored staircase. I have to admit that I thought it was way more steep than I experienced. The climb was super fast and easy but the perk was not as good as I imagined. I mean I thought it was less touristy but anyway nice and worth it. Anyway once there there's a nice view and the funniest animal ever, a lot of monkeys. I could stay hours staring at them.
Once back I took a walk around to discover a bit more about Kuala Lumpur. I didn't have precise stop or aim, just a random walk wandering around. Getting a bit lost you always have the best chance to find some nice spot or interesting glimpse of urban life.
Then it was absolutely necessary to take advantage of the amazing and cheap hotel we have been able to find and chilling at the pool with a great Petronas view. The best way to forget for a while about our flight back to Italy cancelled due to the Covid_19.
The last night we met our amazing Japanese friend Natzukioro after meeting in Tokyo a month earlier. I saw more often her than most of my friends in Venice in the last four months! Then I wanted absolutely to take some pictures of the Petronas Towers. Since I decided to travel with a super light luggage I didn't have a tripod but my Canon EOS R and my steady arm helped me a lot. Even with high ISO the result was great to me. Finally I had the picture of my favorite architecture ever.
In the morning, learning from our mistakes, we booked a Grab for the really long way to the airport. I spent just couple of days here but I've been positively impressed by this city. KL and its architecture are what I've always dreamt to see, but I loved the city in general. Its life, the energy, many different people, cultures and food. I am sure I will come back here sooner or later. However now it's time for Philippines.
After we changed our plans deciding to skip Hsipaw we made another big mistake, we trusted in the staff of the reception and we booked a van that should have brought us from the hotel in Mandalay to the new one. We were definitely looking forward for a beautiful Inle break before a different Asia. Well the van cost 8,5€ and we stayed on board almost 7 hours. We stopped several times because the driver needed also to deliver packages. The road was crazy while climbing the mountain and 3 burmese ladies vomited all the time due to that situation. But ok, no bid deal, we were just thinking about our new accommodation dreaming about a nice rest.
Once we arrived about 20km far from the new place the driver stopped and left us on the side of a big road, telling us that he was going to the city center not to ur resort and consequently we should have taken a taxi. Coincidentally along that road there were 5 taxi drivers (all his friends) asking us if by chance we needed a ride.
After paying 30€ for a 15 minutes taxi ride (twice as much as the 7 hours trip) we finally arrived at the Inle Resort & Spa and we spent the 4 more relaxing days in a paradise for a super convenient price. The better spent money of the whole trip! The place is huge and immerse between trees and palms. There’s an amazing silence and simply beautiful quiet atmosphere, here you can do nothing but relax. Above all the place is on the lake and the best thing to do is to lay on a bench chair and enjoy the sunset on the dock on the lake. I just wanna cry thinking about that.
Once there I thought that I wouldn’t have used my camera at all but the spot is too pretty and I didn't resist, so I took some pictures with my Canon EOS R and the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and thanking to that I was able to achieve pretty nice pictures even without a tripod since that camera has a great noise management at high ISO.
We spent our days between the swimming pool, the restaurant and the pier on the lake simply enjoying the sweet doing nothing, recharging batteries after the previous days that we spent mostly on transportations.
We decided also to take a bicycle ride to the city center to explore a bit but it was an exception! A lucky one anyway because since we stopped for a massage we found also an organized boat tour of the lake the day after. Certainly the best chance to discover the beauties of Inle Lake!
Early in the morning of the third day we had the pick up and we were just 3 people on the boat. The trip is noisy but relaxing and along the way there are beautiful landscaped and scenarios with the local’s daily life
Along the way we stopped several time to appreciate local markets and amazing locals handcrafted activities, first of all we enjoyed the silver manufacturing
another stop was dedicated to the textile manufacturing of the precious silk extracted from the lotus flower
furthermore we appreciated the ability of those ladies at the loom,
and finally we saw the tobacco manufacturing, also the flavored one
We also stopped to see some pagodas and local life around them. Even more the trip on the way back gave us the chance to appreciate beautiful glimpses of Inle's life on the lake. That one was a thing that I liked a lot considering the amazing scenarios with houses on the water and the quiet around.
Finally, back at the resort we used the time simple being lazy to continue the beautiful Inle break . We also to book the night bus back to Yangon. I took some time to enjoy the last sunset in one of the best places I’ve been during the trip. I seriously was almost going to cry thinking about leaving the day after. I seriously had a beautiful Inle break before a different Asia
The last day we enjoyed every second after the check out. We stayed at the pool simple waiting to leave and reach the bus on our road to Yangon. This time bit more afraid (without a real reason actually, just bit psychotic) about corona virus, to enjoy the turning point of the trip.
How can't you be skeptical about a 12 hours trip on a bus in Myanmar? Well we had the most comfortable experience on a bus ever, for real. Not many seats but large, extendible, with blankets and snacks. In a moment outside the sun was rising waking us up and still dazed we catch a taxi (on't even try with Grab here, it doesn't exist) the ridden us to the archeological area. We stopped to pay the entrance to the area (about 16€/25k Kyatt for 5 days), inn beautiful Bagan, looking for magic!. We had the coldest ride ever since the windows of the van were nonexistent or broken.
After the check-in and breakfast we needed to find some cash because in Myanmar in most of the places, even in very nice hotels, they accept just cash, and the atm was the only solution but with big commissions. We found a super kind man renting electric scooters (3,5€ per day) along the road and we finally started our adventures in Bagan. Scooters that are definitely not fast but eco friendly and in a archeological park like that it's actually a great idea.
The first thing to do is to download the app maps.me and the Bagan map that first of all is pretty accurate with many pagodas and temples indicated and also many nice view points. We tried to make a day plan starting from the Swezigon Pagoda and then going down but it's useless.
The best thing to do in Bagan is to wander around discovering always new sites among the more 4000 pagodas and temples. Some spots are hidden and adventorous to find, others are more touristy. Around a big pagoda there's always a sort of market with locals selling souvenirs and local products. Sometimes they are pretty insistent, but bargaining a bit you can find really good deals.
Wandering around we bumped into many amazing hidden spots, with nobody around, peaceful areas where it’s also nice to stop. There you can relax, read, meditate if you prefer. It’s possible to enter in every pagoda and temple but, like everywhere in Myanmar, you need to take the shoes off, so remember to bring disinfectant tissues to clean your feet every time.
Once in beautiful Bagan looking for magic, sunset is a great moment on maps.me there are many places to check but most of them are well known and touristy. So we checked few till we find a quite one with less people, the others are almost immediately crowded and reached by busses with a lot of tourists. In our case Chinese ones because we were there during the Chinese New Year, so it was basically impossible to take nice pictures.
The day after we decided to check other sunset spots. We spent most of the time on the Bagan Viewing Tower because in the morning at the ticket office they reassured us about the fact that there wouldn’t have been chinese people since it was the NYE for them. Well, there were just chinese. A huge crowd of people screaming and I didn’t move all the time. It has been pretty hard to find a spot offering a good chance for pictures, personally I elbowed in a lot!
You can’t go to Bagan without waking up early to enjoy the sunrise. Anyway it’s about being lucky because the lights are not aways amazing as expected. In our case in fact the sunrise was nothing special. The sky was not colored as I hoped and it was bit foggy and misty, that could be fascinating but not spectacular.
maps.me gives also spots to enjoy it, plus pagodas to climb, but it’s forbidden even if there’re locals bringing tourists to climb some hidden ones to raise a bit of money. If you find a good spot anyway you can appreciate the spectacular view of all the pagodas that creates the best background for the hot hair balloons flying over Bagan. In case someone’s interested they cost 300€ per person!
Both days have been long and exhausting because there are no roads among the temples. Just trails and a lot of dust going inside your eyes, your nose, your mouth..everywhere. So remember to bring a mask and sunglasses otherwise it starts to be seriously annoying. During the day is always hot but towards the sunset the temperature starts to drop significantly so bring a light jacket with you.
As anticipated, bring a lot of cash with you to avoid high commission at the atm. Furthermore they don't accept all the credit cards, we had an hard time there! The country in general is still developing (their PIL is increasing 8% a year) but for many aspects they are not ready yet to host mass tourism properly. Not many people speak an understandable english, not even in big structures.
Bagan is definitely not a party town and it’s definitely better to enjoy the peace offered by the context, also to recover energies for the next days riding around. On the road from New Bagan to Old Bagan there are many places where to stop to eat and drink something. The first area is the one with a bit of life, some bars and restaurants, but New Bagan is perfect to have a drink or a quick dinner before to go at the hotel to rest.
I was wondering about this place a lot months before to start my trip and Bagan is a real highlight. Stunning and fascinating, became part of UNESCO World Heritage list just in 2019 because the SPDC was restoring the monuments without using the original techniques and not using proper materials. Furthermore the locals are incredibly kind and welcoming, the atmosphere is magical and there’re amazing vibes wherever you go. Once in beautiful Bagan looking for some magic you realize that you are gifted for the simple fact that you are there. You feel that you need to be respectful toward everything’s surrounding you and those feeling won’t never leave you.
It’s time to move now, and with great expectations and an uncomfortable trip we reached Mandalay.
#bagan #myanmar #asia #pagoda #temple #scooter #electric #archeology #unesco #ostellobello #hotairballoon #sunset #sunrise #dollars #streetphotography #landscape #eosr #canonphotography
We left, happily speaking for myself, Bangkok to reach Yangon, city of The Pagoda in Myanmar. Once arrived it taken a while in order to have our visa (sticker on passport), remember to bring american dollars, it costs 50 and be sure that those dollars are recent and PERFECT otherwise they won't accept them. Not just at the airport but everywhere they ask you or you have the chance to pay with dollars, and in Myanmar happens often.
Once at the hotel we checked-in and took a walk around just to take a look and eat something. The first impression was that this is the less developed country I've visited even if it's among the ones developing faster, its Pil increases 8% a year. Anyway it has some characteristic areas but nothing "exotic" like we were expecting. Impression confirmed the day after during the morning walk during which we saw the center of the city the Independence Monument, a white obelisk in the center of Maha Bandula Park. Later we reached and walked through General Aung San Park before to stop for lunch there in a really cute hidden spot on the lake.
Then with a Grab we reached the amazing Shwedagon Pagoda. In the title I called Yangon city of "the" pagoda because after this one, among the zillion we saw, it was very very hard and difficult to find another one that could have been even just comparable to that.
Here is nice to have a tour guide that explains a bit of the history of the pagoda and some interesting curiosities. In Myanmar there's a strong belief in astrology. Mahabote divides the week in eight days (Wednesday, when Buddha was born is divided in two) and the eight corners of the Pagoda are represented by eight animals , eight planets and eight cardinal points. I was born on Sunday so mine was the garuda, Obama's was the guinea pig. The practice consists in pouring water on the symbol and on the Buddha's statue.
The tour ended toward the sunset, the best moment, remember about light in south east asia?! Then once free I walk around the beautiful pagoda and the chances for nice pictures where multiple speaking about people and architecture. Close to 6pm operators prepared several oil candles for the evening celebration with thousands votive candles and people started to turn on incense and to pray.
We had to leave to be able to reach on time the bus to reach the most spiritual place in Burma.
#myanmar #yangon #asia #pagoda #eosr #canonphotography #streetphotography #travelordie #travelphotography #trip #friends
Just couple of hours far from the city there's an amazing Unesco site full of beautiful temples, Ayutthaya the peaceful side of Bangkok. We needed a break from the air and the chaos of Bkk so we decided for the cheapest day trip ever. We paid 15 baht (0,45€) to do 80km and it's took 2 hours, not the best trip ever but the faster for sure considering the traffic!
Once in Ayutthaya we rent a bike and crossed the river to reach the area of the temples. Actually I would have rent a scooter, the distances are not crazy. But it's hot and there are some steep tract and the traffic in the connection areas is bit crazy..anyway pretty enjoyable. The temples are pretty much everywhere and to enter in each one's area is necessary to pay 50 baht (1,50€). Nothing for the amazing ruins that you are going to see! When you rent your bike/motorbike ask for the free map and it will be super easy.
Again, the big problem for me but in general for photographers is the light. Terrible during the day, strong, direct, too shining. Yes I know, there are ND filters but it's not the same. In the beginning I was reluctant about using my Canon EOS R, but then being patient, cycling, walking around, eating something the lights start to be better. The atmosphere improved too and taking pictures starts to make sense and the results pretty appreciable!
Now, thinking about that day I wouldn't have left Bangkok so early in the morning. I would have relaxed more and reached the place at least 2/2,5 hours later because managing the time it's possible to see and visit pretty much everything when it's cooler. Furthermore the atmosphere is nicer towards and during the golden hours that is fundamental in this kind of environments.
Then after a quick dinner and a long trip after a great day in Ayutthaya the peaceful side of Bangkok, we run on the roof top to enjoy the pool with a Tiger that we were dreaming since a long time and to recharge our energies for the next day, direction Myanmar.
#ayutthaya #thailand #temples #sunset #eosr #canon2470mm #daytrip #trip #holidays #travelordie #travelphotography #landscapes #ruins #bangkok
Once in good shape again and ready to change idea about Bangkok south east Asia icon again. We started from visiting Wat Pho around 2pm. The place and the context are nice and the quantity of buddhas it's impressive, the architecture and its colors inside are beautiful but again the light was terrible. I wasn't really feeling to take pictures because nothing was seriously inspiring me. Moreover people inside were there just to walk directly to see the giant statue of Buddha to take the same pictures.
As anticipated, this year I left with a different mindset speaking about photography. I decided to take less pictures, focusing more about what was surrounding me. As I always thought anyway but this time with more dedication. I always preferred to enjoy first, to get involved with the context to understand what was really interesting me. What was seriously catalyzing my attention and that I would have been happy to edit in order to avoid to waste a lot of hours in front of the screen. Basically I was looking for more quality, for pictures that I would be happy to see and print. Well in Bangkok has been easy, because the research of beauty could be endless.
In this case my Canon EOS R helped me a lot, easy to carry even if the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II USM is pretty heavy. I was also able to control the exposure quickly and directly from the EVF thanking to the control ring mount adapter. I'm still using the same SD card!
In that place, like in many others in Bangkok, I had the impression that it is an extremely touristy city. I felt there was no much authenticity unless you bumped into it.
After that we crossed the river (just 4 baths, 0,12€) to see the Wat Arun. Well known as the Sunrise Temple but way better during the sunset if smog is not so terrible. It closes early, about at 5:30/6pm and it was not allow to climb it. So we took a walk in the area behind the temple where we had a taste of the real city far from tourism.
Once back at the temple, it was nice with the lights on it and when we crossed the canal again we immediately regretted for not going there later than 2am. The light was amazing and the place had a totally different allure, from the outside at least.
So basically in this area of the world you should have the double of the time at your disposal to visit attraction just toward the sunset! The day after, in fact, we stayed at the hotel till 4pm to enjoy the swimming pool during the hottest moment of the day. We reached the Wat Saket temple, trusting in Google that says the temple closes at 5:30pm, not true, it closes at 7pm. The place is pretty nice and from the edge is possible to enjoy a beautiful sunset, but still, the pollution is crazy so there's a lot of haze compromising or making more fascinating the landscape, it's up to you!
If you want in 2 days you can see pretty much everything touristic relevant in Bangkok south east Asia icon again. Anyway take your time, don't rush and book a nice hotel with the pool. Prices are really really good and it's definitely worth it considering temperatures and air pollution.
For the last day we decided to escape from the city to breath some fresh air and and enjoy some peace visiting Ayutthaya...
#streetphotography #architecturelovers #urbanphotography #jungle #eosr #canonphotography #bangkok #thailand #asia #landscape #igersthailand #igersbangkok #igersbkk #bkk #watpho #watarun #watsaket #sunset
We arrived for a mandatory stop in Bangkok after 48 hours with no sleep due to the loudest flight of my life. The first stop in Shanghai, a day there and the second flight to destination. After 14 hours sleep (with a breakfast break) we recovered immediately from jet leg and we decided to take a walk around. The subway is brend new, super cheap but with just two lines. The other common way to go around Bkk is Grab, the risk is to be stucked in the traffic for a looooooong time.
Bangkok is hot and humid but most of all polluted, shamefully polluted, so bring a mask with carbon filters. The others are simply useless. The city is a real jungle, crowded, full of traffic and people everywhere, with a urban structure completely incomprehensible for europeans, but it's a personal opinion. There're no squares, but areas characterized by big shopping malls. They are used by many locals as meeting points, aggregation areas also for tourists curious to discover the consumer side of the city.
During the firsts walk from the early afternoon I learned that my camera would have been useless till 4pm. When the sun starts to go down the atmosphere gets better. On this side of the world, from 9am there's the worst light possible to take pictures. It's extremely strong, dazzling and annoying.
The next day we started to explore the city. Usually I'm always exited and fascinated about a new place or city that I visit but this time not too much. We decided to visit the Jim Thompson's house during the hottest hours, really nice stop to consider! Later we came back to the chaos and I took time to find interesting subjects, some modern architecture in particular like the King Power Mahanakhon. Bangkok is developing continuously and some new building are coming.
I needed more time to familiarize and get tuned with the context probably because I was also annoyed by the bad and strong smog. I have to admit that after a while I saw some nice glimpses. Actually with the right light Bangkok south east Asia icon, reveals itself as a pretty interesting place for urban photography with its lights and atmosphere.
Later we arrived in China Town and there things changed completely. The area, despite being a real mess, is definitely interesting and curious, an incredible place for street photography. Neons, banners, stands with several varieties of food, people everywhere, a crazy area.
We stayed away from street food, our stomach are not strong enough and the smell wasn't so good everywhere. I still don't understand this thing of a mandatory stop in Bangkok as a capital of street food. We chosen a place that was actually nice but...I spent the next 32 hours lying in my bed at the hotel walking just to the bathroom.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't the food (I was the only one sick) but probably the criminal air conditioning in the subway that blocked my digestion. Man A/C in Bkk is seriously crazy, don't try to be brave like me. Bring always something to cover you while inside there, taxis are well refrigerated as well, so be prepared!
While recovering we made a plan dedicating the next days to something topically touristic and something bit off the beaten track walking randomly. I'll tell you about this in the next chapter.
#streetphotography #architecturelovers #urbanphotography #jungle #eosr #canonphotography #bangkok #thailand #asia #landscape #igersthailand #igersbangkok #igersbkk #bkk
New year, new adventures. Even if I was in Tokyo during the first week on 2020 I consider the one i'm doing the first trip of the year because I arrived in Japan for the NYE, anyway I'll tell you about that another time. But now back to Asia for the longest trip
I always wanted to visit Myanmar, it's a place that fascinated me for a long time. This year I decided to use part of my holidays to visit it. Going through China just for one day, some days in Bangkok to finally reach Yangon. The trip will continue first to Kuala Lumpur, Philippines and finally Bali.
My aim is to tell you about my trip throughout my pictures (I'm a photographer remember?) so even if I'm going to tell you something specific. I won't mention every hotel or bar or restaurant where I've been, anyway feel free to contact me about particular questions.
This time even if I was going back to Asia for the longest trip I left with the lightest luggage ever. Because of the warm places where I'm going and because of Air Asia. It requires strictly one baggage (your small bag inside the big one) for a maximum weight of 7kg....
My backpack with the camera and documents was bit lighter this year. I brought my new Canon EOS R, my Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II USM and obviously the control ring mount adapter. I know it's just one lens but I'm going to move often and I'm on holiday after all. Anyway that is the best combo for travel photography helping a lot also when the light is gone, especially for street.
Sometimes I missed a 70-200 but I would have needed another luggage for that. Anyway for the future i'm seriously considering to bring just a camera with a prime lens to be used quickly in every kind of situation. Usually I travelled with the 5D Mark 3 and it was very heavy, but anyway the Canon 24-70 is the heavier thing I got. So it will be necessary to sacrifice quality, hopefully not too much.
During this trip I brought also my iPad Pro to be able, while not moving, to edit my pictures and to save a lot of time once back home.
Yes, my holidays are in winter. I'm a photographer and a tour guide in Venice and in January/February nobody wants a photo tour or a tour around the city. Plus millions of people are scared for no reason about the high tide even if everything was ok after 10 days. Sooooo many many may cancellations and no work for me! Don't worry I will work a lot when you'll having fun in summer!
Back to Asia for the longest trip, the first stop of our flight was by Shanghai. We stopped there on purpose to spend a day in a new city (coronavirus was still unknown! anyway I never got sick and I always felt pretty good). Even If we were super tired after a long noisy flight we decided to book a four hours walking tour. We wanted to enjoy a good introduction to Shanghai and visiting the most interesting spots.
It's a huge city with more than 29mln people and there so many different aspects. Aspects characterizing its urban structure able to offer endless street photography opportunities.
Since the beginning anyway, also according with the guide's information, the city should have been way more fascinating during the 30's. Now it's obviously ultramodern even if preserving a bit of that allure in some buildings.
We were there few days before the Chinese New Year so the atmosphere was pretty vibrant and nice. The city even if modern, is dirty, smelly and incredibly polluted. Even the most famous skyline of the city in the beginning was almost invisible due to the smog. The air was heavy and insane and unfortunately I didn't have a mask. The simple ones without carbon filters are completely useless in that case.
Then walking around we enjoy the traditional neighborhood with the celebrations for the Chinese New Year. We had some food in typical places and we enjoyed for a while the vibrant vibes of this huge city waiting for the dark.
We wanted to enjoy the amazing games of light of the skyline, so remember, wait there till 6pm, be patient, it's worth it!
After that we run to the first subway stop (ridiculously cheap) to take the Maglev to reach the airport, direction Bangkok.
#shanghai #china #layover #streetphotography #urbanphotography #eosr #canon2470 #travel #architecturelover #skyline ##igersshanghai #igerschina #canonphotography #nightphotography #shanghai_highlights #asia
As a photographer, the first rule that I learnt is that professionally speaking you should never show up your pictures of sunsets. They are one of the most photographed and overrated subject ever. It means lack of originality because obviously everybody can take that picture without been creative or talented. It doesn't mean that as photographer you can't take a picture of a sunset fortunately. Anyway it's better if you keep those pictures inside your computer, as great memories of your holiday experiences because surf & sunsets help happiness.
This time I didn't resist, it was different. This holiday has been too intense under many aspects, being there after a surf session looking to other people enjoying the waves with that light was too much. It was simply stunning how surf & sunsets help. While I was taking this picture I felt different and so much involved. I was not just taking pictures of a sunset.
I was there sitting on the beach in Batu Bolong, with my camera but without someone. My mind was in two different places at the same time, being grateful for the chance that I had to surf in that paradise but missing someone important that should have been there. I fulfilled that emptiness with these pictures through those strong feelings that were overwhelming me.
Those sunsets where amazing in any case. Like in Seseh beach, a super quiet place where there are just fishermen during the day and someone chilling in the late afternoon. Or Pererenan, an amazing beach that became pretty touristy but that preserve a particular allure. Both great for a peaceful walk, useful for meditation, to calm down, get your mind lost and free to travel somewhere else. In order to reduce distances and to find you interior peace and happiness.
So you get tanked of all those good vibes, ready to go home, full of energy and relaxed like never before. Looking forward to go back to reality with all the positivity possible. Counting days to get rid of that emptiness, but it could also happen that shit is waiting for you, because we all know that shit happens, right? And now? Now the only thing to do is shock therapy. Sit down, download the pictures, watch them, choose them, edit them, realizing that new strong feelings are helping to achieve great results. Aware that sadness can't last forever and everything can be fixed with patience.
This is the moment when you realize that after being through all this, you deserve to show your sunset pictures, to share emotions that are to strong to be stacked inside an hard drive.
Once, talking about trips, a friend told me "Bali is always a good idea". I was late deciding something about holidays in 2019, so the budget was reduced and while I was checking randomly for flights I "accidentally" found this one with a ridiculous price. After booking, my friend Margherita gave me some awesome suggestions about where to stay and here we go, so...Bali again, always a good idea! My return in Venice will be characterized by a seriously busy agenda till next November. Due to this I needed a safe, quiet and relaxing shelter, the best I know.
I booked in October because I knew that February would have been a bad month in Venice for my job and I didn't hesitate. Few things changed in the meanwhile and I know I am going to miss someone. I also know that the magic island will make me a person even more awesome that I'm now, can you believe that?! So I will be back regenerated.
My only aim is to rest, relax and surf a lot, to do some meditation to free my mind and to find new inspirations and be prepared to face the new season in the lagoon and everything else. Everybody can find all these things in Bali, the most spiritual place in the world. Yes, Bali again!
This doesn't mean that I won't take pictures. There are places that I didn't explored yet. I'll take it easy and I'll go with the flow, following my feelings with no pressure enjoying the good vibes (only good vibes right?) that people there always have to offer!
So if you want follow what will happen on this blog and in the meanwhile start to plan your trip to Venice and check one the Shooting Different - Venice Photo Tours !
Now it starts hurting, one of the best, probably the best one, memories of my trip to Indonesia. Canggu was the most relaxing place I found in Bali, even if it rained a lot there was a such amazing atmosphere, nice beaches, good weaves, wonderful restaurants and bars.. yes probably the only place where, social media managing influencers bloggers bullshits apart, I can say I found "only good vibes".
Countdown already started, those vibes are just seven months far, in the meanwhile check the other pictures of Indonesia on the updated website and if you are in Venice come to enjoy me to sooth the pain with a Venice Photo Tour or the new Venice Tours !
Magic memories continue thinking about another incredibly spiritual place, Uluwatu, with its temple and amazing beaches.
Check the new pictures on the website just updated!
Bali is too far for you know? What are you waiting for? Come to Venice and enjoy your favorite Venice Photo Tour or choose the best Venice Tour for you with Touring Different!
Today my memories bring me back to the most relaxing and welcoming place where I have been in Raja Ampat, Gam was an amazing island, great reef, amazing hosts, delicious food and the most relaxing shed that I experienced!
Even if it's painful thinking that these places are so far and the new relaxing holiday will be in eight months it's always nice to share some sweet memories with you!
Nostalgic process still heavily going on, another #tbt of this week is about the paradise that I found in the island of Kri
New pictures on the website soon
Reorganizing the hard drive, editing pictures..it's impossible to not notice so recent pictures that speak about something that seems so far after just two months in the real world.
The #tbt today is Arborek, stay tuned the next weeks for new nice memories!
Next week new pictures on the website with the update
From the Hanging Gardens the trip (400rp) was pretty fun. First part (my favorite) on a small van, with a funny nice driver who really liked Blink 182 and a crazy chinese/american girl from NY on his side. 1,5hr with Blink obviously, Robbie Williams, Guns and Roses, Aerosmith and other hits from the 90' for a great soundtrack.
Then after a long wait and a quick trip with a crazy fast boat we arrived in Gili Air. The smaller of three small islands, Trawangan, Meno, Air. In front of a bigger one, Lombok, to which they belong.
In this period Air is really quiet, the atmosphere is nice, no cars or motor vehicles, just bikes. Just electric scooters and funny coaches pulled by small horses. Also here, like around all Indonesia, kindness seems to be the rule.
There's not much to do during the off season but along its 4km outer limit it's possible to join many bars and restaurants on the beach with amazing vibes and and sunsets.
Everyone here is more happy and chilled than the usual. I realized that is was probably because of magic mushrooms that you can find in every bar included in the happy hour package. They sell them also in cones (like fried fish in Venice) made with palm leaves. They are allowed just in Gili, anyway I preferred to not try them.
Also inside the island there's no shortage of surprises. Walking around we found this pizza place called "Classico Italiano" where I ate a delicious pizza, totally unexpected.
The owner is Andrea, a super nice lady from Venice that with her husband from Rome decided to live in Gili Air and open two restaurants. The second one is called "Perla Nera"; another amazing surprise, this time with hamburgers. I know that it's uncommon and not preferable to eat Italian food abroad, but we reached the limit with nasi goreng and rice, and most of all they were excellent!
The plan was also to do an excursion to snorkel and swim with turtles. Unfortunately the weather have been good just the first day. It rained a lot and this offer the chance to relax more and enjoy our amazing house. One thing that surprised me a lot, in Ubud first and then in Gili Air, is the fact that Indonesia redefines the concept of Airbnb with an incredible hospitality and kindness. Apparently there're no airbnb without a swimming pool, breakfast service and room cleaning service all inclusive for a super cheap price.
So if you are coming here with a group of friends go definitely for an airbnb. If you are traveling solo there're many alternatives in several clean and nice home stays ridiculously cheap.
To conclude, Gilis are a particularly good idea from march, especially if you are looking for amazing weather, no rain and a lot of people to party with (Trawangan is the craziest one in this case). Anyway also in January it seems to be a good idea if you are looking for some extra relax.
Now back to Bali in Uluwatu and Canggu.