Table Mountain

Cape Town | 开普敦

travel

No matter how organised you are, things never really happen the way you plan, especially when traveling. We went back to Cape Town and some of our initial thoughts to shoot and document the trip didn’t quite happen the way we expected. In fact they didn’t happen at all. You see, we have a toddler and toddlers basically control your agenda. They boss your life without you even notice – If you have one of those you know what I’m talking about. It all started when we set foot on a plane for a fourteen hours flight. After that we needed two days to recover from the experience and another two days to prepare ourselves mentally for the return flight.

Still I managed to take a few shots and share them here, not as much as this city deserves, but we will return to Cape Town very soon and hopefully by then, share a lot more.

 

21

Landing in Johannesburg airport at sunrise

 

Lions Head

I used my first couple of hours of ‘free time’ to go to Lions Head mountain. It´s a peak with almost seven hundred meters high nestled between the Atlantic and the famous Table Mountain. The hike takes around forty-five minutes (depending on your level of fitness) and the views you get of the Mother City are fantastic. It was the third time that I hiked Lions Head so I tried to see things with a different perspective but I ended up focusing on the obvious – Table Mountain, the gorgeous Camps Bay and and Robben Island.

 

 

Lions HeadTable MountainRobben IslandCape Town | 开普敦Lions Head19

40

Wide perspective of Table Mountain National Park

 

Mouille Point and Sea Point promenade

A brief walk by the seaside just to confirm something that Capetonians are famous for – they vanish during winter. And believe me when I say that winter in Cape Town is not that bad. It is actually fairly pleasant with a few cold nights but mild sunny days. And still, just when the first not-so-pleasant days kick in, they disappear. Well, they don’t really disappear, you can still find them in malls, bars and restaurants but the point here is that the city changes dramatically when compared to Summer. Streets became wider and shadows far more obvious. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s just the way it is.

 

Mouille PointMouille PointMouille PointMouille Point42Runner at Sea PointCape Town | 开普敦

 

Time was scarce and days flew faster than the infamous Cape Town wind. But you cannot leave Cape Town without the taste of a good ‘Braai’ especially if you are visiting friends and family. ‘Braai’ is the Afrikaans word for barbecue but in South Africa ‘Braai’ is more than just a barbecue, it’s a whole institution and everyone takes it very seriously.

 

” The word braaivleis (English: /ˈbrfls/; Afrikaans pronunciation: [ˈbrɑːifləis]) is Afrikaans for grilled meat. The word braai (plural braais) is Afrikaans for barbecue or grill and is a social custom in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. The term originated with the Afrikaans-speaking people,[1] but has since been adopted by South Africans of many ethnic backgrounds. The word vleis is Afrikaans for meat. ”

from wikipedia

 

Cape Town

Cape Town CBD

Braai Master

Our ‘Braai Master’ for the evening

Cape Town | 开普敦24Braai

31

The Little Boss !

 

See you soon soon Cape Town!

 


Fujifilm X-T2

Fujinon 35mm F2

Fujinon 56mm f1.2

Samyang 12mm F2


 

光明山 (Bright Hill)

Bishan, Singapore

This week I went to visit a place that is rather unknown to a lot of people in Singapore, the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (KMSPKS). Located in the North-East region, the KMSPKS is the largest Buddhist Monastery in the Lion City. It covers more than seventy-four thousand square meters, the equivalent of almost eleven football pitches!

It’s hard to believe that it doesn’t come up in most of the city guides especially because of its size and characteristics. Just as an example, I opened the two touristic guides that I have at home about Singapore – a Rough Guide from 2016 and a Lonely Planet from 2013 – and none of them make any reference to KMSPKS Monastery.

The fact that it is not well-known and promoted as a tourist attraction contributes to the atmosphere here.

TT-20TT-30

The KMSPKS Monastery has several different halls and buildings, all of them very distinct and with different purposes. You can read more about it on their website. But one of the most impressive buildings is the Hall of No Form. It’s a massive meditation hall that houses a Giant Buddha made of bronze with almost fourteen meters tall.

TT-27

The Hall of No Form

TT-25TT-26

TT-32

The evening gathering 

TT-19TT-17TT-33

Singapore is densely populated, finding a place like this is always good, it tends to slow things down a little, it makes you stop to take everything in. I know that Monasteries, Temples or other sacred places are not exactly the typical weekend afternoon destination, but it is worth the trip if you’re only free on the weekend, they’re places of worship, seclusion and mostly quiet, so regardless of your religion, you´re sure to find some calmness from a visit to the KMSPKS Monastery.


光明山 (Bright Hill)

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujinon 35mm F2

Samyang 12mm F2


Bangkok Wide

travel

Before every travel I have this uncontrollable habit of doing extensive amount of research about my destination. It is somehow an obsessive behaviour that can eventually spoil the entire trip. The discovery factor, that sense of exploration and seeing things for the first time, is no longer there and as a consequence the trip becomes a fact-check rather than a sensorial journey. And still, I often do it. But not this time.

 

Airplane window

Bangkok Train

30 minutes ride from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Phaya Thai train station

 

I had less than forty-eight hours to see Bangkok, an impossible task knowing that this is one of the biggest cities in Asia with an estimated population of over eight million people, it has an unpredictable tropical climate – though you can predict that it´s going to be hot – and a chaotic traffic. So I packed light, a small backpack, a camera and a travel book.

 

Chinatown

Chinatown.

The whole area is a feast to the senses. Endless narrow streets that form an intricate maze,  shoppers selling things that have no apparent meaning or utility, the intense smell of durian – typical Thai fruit – mixed with the smoke produced by the heavy traffic, motorbikes that drive through pedestrian passages with the utmost normality. “It´s chaos, good chaos. I wanted to stay and live here, at least for a while,  at least more than just two hours.”  But when you travel you know that you need to let it go.

 

6160ChinatownChinatownChinatownMotorbike entering narrow street in Chinatown, Bangkok

The Grand Palace.

The most popular touristic site in town and yet I didn´t see it. Why? You need long pants, as a sign of respect, to get inside the palace and obviously I didn’t have any of those. I heard someone saying that it was possible to get in with a borrowed pair at the main door but once I got there, and looked inside, I saw thousands of people. I mean, it seemed as though all the tourists in Bangkok were gathered there at that specific moment. So I took it as a sign and decided not to go. It might sound weird but I had a great time just seating and observing people passing in front of those naked walls, and, of course, taking some shots.

 

The Grand PalaceThe Grand PalaceThe Grand PalaceThe Grand Palace

 

After seeing The Grand Palace, at least the top of it, I headed south along the Rop Krung channel, checked the flower market which was practically closed and took a boat to the west bank of the Chao Phraya river and from there walked another couple of hours untill I realized that I was completely lost. I was exhausted by then. Its hot in Bangkok, very hot, and it was time to find my way back to the hotel for a cold shower.

 

Chao Phraya River

B48-18

2nd (and last) day.

Bangkok had me as soon as I landed. It’s one of those places that you can tell  that you´re going to get something special from it. I was feeling ‘complete’ just from the experience I had on the first day but still I was lucky enough to get a second one. I choose a spot by the river (Shangri-la hotel) and walked up the Silom Road with no specific destination in mind.

 

Bangkok StreetsBangkok streets

 

Bangkok has several bridges and ‘fly-overs’ that allows to observe the traffic. I know, it’s not something that everyone appreciates or enjoys doing but from a photography point of view it gives a cool perspective to shoot.

 

MotorbikesPolice man

B48-31

My last shot in Bangkok from the Ratchaprarop Train station

 

After a brief stop in a random mall – there are plenty of those in Bangkok – for a meal and aircon, I went for my final stretch of walking. Around forty minutes from Ratchaprasong Junction to Ratchaprarop train station . My last forty minutes in Bangkok streets. It’s hard to identify what makes this experience so pleasant and fulfilling. There are many different answers and in most of the cases they are all true. I travel with a camera around my neck and the way I see things through the camera usually defines the whole experience. But Bangkok…well Bangkok is more than all of the different answers you can think of and surely more than all the images you can print in the heart of your camera. My wife travels frequently to Bangkok for business and she often tells me that she feels an overwhelming but great sense of energy when she is there. And I guess that there is no better way to describe it. Bangkok is energy, a lot of it, that surrounds you and affects you every second of the day.

 

Street scene

Tuk-TukB48-27B48-30B48-29


Bangkok Wide

Fuji X-T2

Samyang 12mm F2