#laloolalang

#laloolalang

Long overdue post of street photography.

As usual, I took my time to download the photos from my camera to my hard disk. I mean what’s new?

So, there was this event that happened a week ago called #laloolalang. One of those hipster-ish kind of bazaars where all the “cool” stuff are sold and the food must be have over the top names like “ChocoLocoChipo Cookies” when traditionally it is just chocolate chip cookies. But anyway, wasn’t really interested in the bazaar, I just wanted to bring out my camera and have a good walkabout with my wife.

Apparently, that was the first time she tried out this new game craze called “Pokemon Go”. You can download it at Google Playstore or IOS App Store. I mean it has gotten Singapore crazy ever since it went live last Saturday. But I shall leave this to another story if I have the time.

I was reading up on bad street photography where focusing was off and there were no rules of third and all they did was to make the pictures go black and white and tada! So I tried.

Marina Bay Sands

DSC_0005 2

DSC_0017

DSC_0012 2

DSC_0008

Ok so this last one is coloured. Meh.

 

Eid Mubarak 2016

Eid Mubarak 2016

When was my last post?

Yeah it’s been ages since I have posted anything here. The only reason that I could come up with is I am spending most of my time on business and not on the photographs itself. The downside of being the designer in the company.

Anyway, we have just completed our Ramadhan and the time has come for Syawal. This is apparently the only time that I took out my D700 and shoot after so long.

Eid Mubarak 2016

Fitri's Cousins

Of course, we will have the customary group shot. It’s a get together of some sort for this month when we start visiting all the relatives and have an awesome chit chat session. Some will talk about work, others will talk about their motorbikes while some will just stare at their phones and play Clash of Clans. (Mostly the youngsters, though). Yes, we the old people of Singapore, will like to catch up on all details.

DSC_0335

These are my father’s siblings with their spouses. Yep, we are a big group.

Muhammad's Family

That’s my bro-in-law, his wife and their little 3 month old baby girl, Mardhiyya. The baby was being cranky for some reason. Maybe it’s the heat or the hat. Super hot that day.

Aaliya

Mardhiyya

My favourite shots for the day. Even my wife approves.

So anyway to all my Muslim friends, Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir dan Batin. And to the rest, happy holidays.

Rommentiq Events Launch

Rommentiq Events Launch

It’s been a long while since I have updated this blog. There were too many things to do on the business side of things. As you all know, I’m purely doing photography as a big hobby of mine.

I was just helping out at the launch of Rommentiq Events¬†and I was literally running around with their events manager to get things going. At the end of the day when all was done and prepared, I’ve decided to just take out my camera and shoot some fireworks display.

DSC_0008 DSC_0120 DSC_0299 DSC_0328

I was not prepared for the fireworks display at all. Did not bring any tripod. Was shooting handheld all the way. Lol. Had to bump up the ISO to 3200 on a Nikon D700. I hope it’s still usable.

Had a great time though.

Street photography in Bangkok

Street photography in Bangkok

Moving on from the shopping and the eating, I have decided to dedicate this post to just street photography. Although I might reuse some of the photos that were posted on my two previous posts. (I still have tons of photos that I have not edited)

I can say that most of the photos that I took are mostly snapshots of the trip and may not have any value to the eyes of the pro photographers. You know when you are on a trip and you would rather bask in the ambience rather than capture thousands of photos of the same thing just for keepsake.

Ok, I was just being polite. I was dead tired from all the walking and sometimes I forgot that I had a camera with me. (The analogy during National Service came to mind – shagged cannot think is it?) Carrying a heavy camera with a backpack and my other amenities, I had to push through big crowds especially during the weekends. I do not want to anger any of the locals. (They were actually quite nice)

street photography in bangkok

I told you that most vendors don’t open their stalls during the midday. They will wait till it’s evening when it’s a bit cooler.

Anyway, I’m liking this shot above because of the colour of the canvas matches the paint on the wall. It was camouflage. And, the guy at the extreme right of the picture is a taxi rider. Yeah, they do taxi rides on motorbikes. But from what I heard, it is more expensive than taking the BTS. (Maybe for the tourists)

On our second day in Bangkok, we decided to go to the Grand Palace and we took the BTS all the way to the Sathorn and take the boat ride along the Chao Phraya river.

Krung Thon Bridge

We bought the blue pass (the tourist pass which is basically a 1-day pass), which costs us 150 Baht per person. A lot of tourists who had been there told us to get just the orange pass which means you have to know where you want to go and it will only cost you 13 Baht per person per trip. It’s actually a lot cheaper. But, the boat is always full. The last boat that came at 6 pm were too full and a lot of people got stranded at the jetty and most probably have to take the taxi back to their hotels.

The image on the top is the Krung Thon Bridge. It was captured during the golden hours in the evening when we were going home.

grand palace

In my first post, I did mention about the Grand palace. So this is the temple in Grand Palace which requires you to pay 500 Baht per person. Locals are free to go in as an when.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk so much about Grand Palace other than the fact that it was fully packed with tourists and as you can see from the photo itself, I can’t get any decent shots without any tourists. And there were a surge of tourists from China and then I realised that it was still during Chinese New Year Period. Happy Chinese New Year!

old couple taking the boat to floating market in bangkok waiting for ferry on chao phraya river

We were doing quite a bit of walking and waiting around for the boats. From this place, you can get a boat ride (different ticket with a different price) to the famous floating market. Didn’t want to go there as I do not want to pay. Hahaha.

bangkok edge takoyaki - bangkok edge DSC_0187

We did get down at almost every jetty stop along the Chao Phraya River and was glad that they had some kind of flea market/carnival at the end of the street. We didn’t want to walk all the way to the end but we needed to use the toilet and couldn’t find one at the jetty. So we walked all the way along the streets to the end to find this gem called Bangkok Edge. They had music and all the things that make a carnival.

Their takoyaki is unique as they use a whole baby octopus. Only the head of the octopus is covered in the dough. It’s super duper nice. We asked for spicy and we got it. Before that, I think we had their Phad¬†Thai. (from a different stall)

phad thai - bangkok food DSC_0182

The image below was when we dropped off at the famous flower market. This is one of the funnier moments. We thought that it’s going to be this beautiful blooming flowers in a special kind of place.

When we reached there, it is basically a wet market selling the same type of flowers. The ones that you use for a garland. Interestingly, if I’m not wrong, this is the biggest flower market in the world. Anyway, since I see there is no point for me to take photos of flowers, we went out to the other side of the market and go out onto the streets.

Balloon seller in Bangkok Flower Market Vendor in Bangkok

This was our last stop before we made our way to Asiatique. This is the posh version of Chatuchak Market.

Asiatique in Bangkok Ferris Wheel in Asiatique

The reason why you won’t see any photos of the market itself is photography is not allowed when you are inside the shopping area. It’s like Bugis street in Singapore. Shop owners do not want you to take photographs of their shops and their stuff.

petchaburi road soi 7 halal beef ball noodles in petchaburi road halal food in bangkok

For Muslims, if you ever want to taste the local cuisine along the streets, this is where you should go. How to get there?

1) Take the BTS and drop off at Ratchathewi Station
2) And walk straight down and find this road called Phetchaburi Soi 7

If you are not sure, just ask a local, and show them this picture. They will tell you. That’s what I did. I was looking at some review sites and I can’t speak Thai, they can’t speak English. I just showed them the screenshots of the place that I wanted to go.

The beef ball noodles are to die for. Superb.

The landmark that you can find is there would be a Mosque called Masjid Darul Aman. You won’t miss it. It’s exactly at the turning point of the street. Before finding this street, along the main road, there are already a number of Muslim food stalls, and most stalls are closed. I thought that’s it. So my wife and I just decided to walk on a little bit further and finally found this road and alley.DSC_0336

Last photo of the whole trip. A very bad shot of a bus. Even though I was using my Sigma 28mm, I couldn’t capture the whole bus in the frame. The bus was moving off anyway and I was not fast enough to move back a couple of steps.

———-

Overall experience: Great
Would I want to go again: Yes

Why? I think the next time round, I want to do some shopping. People keep telling me that it’s unbelievable that I didn’t spend any single cent on buying stuff or shopping. Ooh wait, I did buy something. A pair of sweat pants. Including airfare and accomodation, this might be the most expensive pair of sweat pants I ever have.

I told them most of the money was spent on food and taking the BTS to places.

 

Because why not?

Shopping in Bangkok

Shopping in Bangkok

When people say that Bangkok is a shopping haven, they are not lying. You can almost find anything there, from the authentic designer goods to their replicas.

I take it as a good thing that my wife and I are not much of a shopping¬†couple. We could have spent too much over there. We try to keep everything under budget and we were a little bit worried when my wife’s sister told us that she spent a lot in Bangkok.

Shopping in Bangkok

Anyway, I didn’t really find what I wanted there or maybe I was just too lazy to find what I want. I was there for the sole purpose of taking street photography. (my wife thinks that this is a lame excuse)

Shopping Malls in Bangkok

There are a lot of shopping malls near the Siam BTS line. Some are like Paragon in Singapore while others look a little bit like Far East Shopping Centre but with a better interior. Most of the stores in one shopping mall called Siam Centre are mostly concept stores. Their prices are a bit on the higher end but I think it’s worth to buy because you can’t find it anywhere other than¬†Bangkok.

siam paragon in thailandThis is Siam Paragon. From the interior, it really looks like those high-end shopping centres that you will find in Singapore. Well, it is.

shopping mall in bangkokThis is the interior of Siam Centre.DSC_0350This is Central World. One of the biggest shopping malls I have ever seen in my life. I went in just for the aircon. I was more focused on finding the Platinum Mall because they sell things at warehouse prices.

I was disappointed when the stuff was something that I would not buy. Or maybe like I said earlier, I am not much of a shopping person. I usually already have what I have in mind and just go to the store and get it.

Street shopping in Bangkok

I think you would find the stuff along the streets better than inside the malls. Although during the day, you might find yourself scurrying around looking for an air conditioned place. It is super hot during the day.

These vendors are also smart. They know that tourists will come out later in the evening or later at night so they opened their stalls full swing during the night.

street vendors in bangkokOne of the street vendors along the streets of Siam BTS Line.

It gets extremely busy especially during the weekends. I think there are a lot of tourists that just go to Bangkok for the weekend for their booze and party.

When we went back to the same spot on Monday night, it was not as lively. Part of the reason could be the locals are back to work.

shopping along the streets of bangkok

The thing about these local street vendors is I find it a little bit messy. There is no special area for food and other stuff like clothes or accessories. They might be selling grilled stuff and the next stalls to them are selling clothes. So it could be a little bit irritating. Haha. (just my opinion though)

But then, on a positive note, you will not go hungry or thirsty as you will definitely find something to quench your thirst.

————-

So from my experience, the best time to check out their night markets and street vendors is definitely during the weekend from 7 pm onwards. Not to worry about the timing of the BTS as their last train will depart at 12 midnight. And you can get a taxi or a tuk-tuk anywhere.

Chatuchak Market in Bangkok

Chatuchak Market in Bangkok

It was a mixed feeling of nervousness and excitement plus reluctance to go to Bangkok, Thailand. One of the major reasons was I had some work that was not completed prior to my trip.

But, as it was my darling wife’s birthday, I had to follow her every wish.

Thinking positively, I get to do my street photography that I love so much. The anticipation of making my camera work for me at the end of the day soothes the reluctant feeling of not wanting to travel.

Just wished that I had a smaller camera with me instead of my Nikon D700. You all know how heavy that piece of art is. On a side note, I am still going to get that Fujifilm XT-10 or maybe the Fujifilm XT-1. I am interested in both. XT-1 is weather-proof though. Sigh. I shall leave that to another time to talk about it.

So we set our way to the airport at 5.30 am (yup, our flight was at 7 am) and waited patiently for our airplane to take off. Once we reached Bangkok Airport, we made our way to Hotel Parinda.¬†Their train system is well connected so we had no trouble reaching our destination. We were not able to check in yet so we walked along the streets of Sukhumvit to just have a feel of what’s going to be there. It’s a surprise for me to see many Arabs and Indians around that area. It is almost the same as going to Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur.

After our lunch, we made our way to check in and took a nap before going to Chatuchak Market.

Chatuchak MarketChatuchak Market, Bangkok

What can you expect from here?

Well, it’s as big as 6 football fields from some of the review sites that I googled. So it’s pretty massive. There are so many streets (sois as they called it) in the market itself. Just one big round of the main street already took us more than an hour to cover and we haven’t even gone into any of their smaller streets.
chatuchak market

shopping in chatuchak marketFood in Chatuchak Market

It’s not really difficult to find food here in the market. Even for Muslims like us. There are a few stalls that sell halal food but most of the food are kebabs. We were lucky enough to find a stall that sells chicken rice and so we had our dinner there.

halal food in bangkok

I ordered the chicken soup and curry rice. I was so surprised by the spiciness of the chicken soup. It had that addictive taste even though it is so spicy. Could be the amount of MSG that they put in.

Other than a whole meal, we settled for bread and butter with sweetened milk.

food in chatuchak

We had double servings because it is just that good. Be sure to keep this stall on the lookout. It’s quite near the entrance. There are other shops like this inside, but the quality is not that good because the bread was left out for quite some time.

Anyway, some of the locals told us that the best time to be here would be early morning or late afternoon when it is not that hot and humid. Most of the shops will close around 7 pm but smaller shops start to open their business on the streets itself.

————-

I will continue blogging about the rest of my trip in my next post as this is getting to be a very long post. I do not want to bore you so much on just one blog post.

Taking it to the streets in Changi Airport

Taking it to the streets in Changi Airport

Changi Airport is known to be one of the best airports in the world.

I think it is ranked 1st in the list. Makes me a proud Singaporean. But what I like most about airports or this airport, in particular, is the amount of activities that are happening at any time of the day.

I can be at the airport in the wee hours and am still able to capture a few shots street style. :)

Some of the photos have been uploaded here before as a black and white piece. I’m not so happy about the outcome, so I’ve decided to use some of my new Lightroom presets on the images.

changi airport

I have no idea who left the trolley there, but I’m glad that they did. (although we are usually told not to leave our trolleys behind.) It’s not even those bag trolleys for your big luggage. This trolley is meant for transporting goods. It’s just an out-of-place kind of trolley.

changi airport trolley

Now, you must be thinking that I’ve moved the trolley. No. I’m too lazy to do that. More trolleys appear and this seems to be waiting for its turn to be checked in. Haha. The only problem is there’s nobody to check it in. Sad life for this trolley.

man waiting at changi airport

One of our favourite pastimes at the airport is to wait. Unless you like to shop, yeah it’s a haven for you. But for frequent travellers, it’s not just their thing. They would rather people watch and just wait for their turn to be checked in.

street photography in changi airport

Last but not least, the people who took their time off to send their loved ones to the airport. They are the real heroes.

They keep sending their loved ones to the airport to travel away from Singapore and then they go back home. At least, they experienced the thrill of going to the airport.