A few of the zillion photos that I took, early 2006.
In Chiang Mai, north Thailand, with Enrica - one of my Italian friends.
This is the armed guard
on the bus I took from Vientianne to Luang Phrabang, Laos. Yep, thats his gun on the floor. Three years ago a tourists were shot and killed by bandits on the same bus route. As you can see from the alert guard, the situation is no longer threatened by bandits.
Tourist police in Melacca, Malayasia
. How would you like to wear that Muslim headgear in the stifling hot humid tropical climate?!!? BTW, these friendly police in the tourist areas never tired of people taking photos of them, including every member of a Japanese bus group.
Three wheels at the back of a motorcycle
, Melaka, Malaysia. Evidently the government gives these motorbikes to disabled people who cannot balance on two wheels.
This Singapore Changi Airport notice cracks me up!!
You see it when waiting to check in your baggage. Imagine turning to your friend and saying "Oh, hey, we had better take out that 4L can of paint and by God I think they just might find that grenade of your's and my pistol so we better ditch those as well..!"
Frogs are a favourite Singapore food
- maybe yum to some, but I passed it up ! You can even select live frogs from a glass tank, to be cooked for you on the spot.
The City Palace, Jaipur, India.
Just before CNN-TV interviewed my wife during Kite Day. Thats the Royal family residence in the background, where I met with the Maharaja, the queen and princess on several occasions - they were really nice, with a good sense of humour and fascinating stories as you may imagine.
This is one of two huge silver, yes solid silver, urns
. Back around 1908 the maharaja had them made to hold Ganges River water for him to drink on a long voyage to England.
This is the internet cafe near
the City Palace. I am not sure why the curtains are there but I suspect some users needed privacy for dodgy activities. There are power cuts on most days but look at the next photo.
Check out the bank of batteries
, to cope with the power cuts.
prevented battle elephants from ramming the door. I went through doors like this every day while my wife worked for the princess inside the City Palace, Jaipur. It was cool being a guest of the royal family, e.g. the many guards would salute my wife and I after they ran to open the gates for our palace chauffeured car. I also had private tours behind the scenes, that tourists never see.
A public urinal, odd because most men just pee against a wall with no attempt at privacy. This guy hastily did a u-turn when he saw the overflowing urine. It stank..!! BTW, it is only a two minute walk from the opulence of the inner palace area, but it is still inside the City Palace walls.
Near the entrance of the City Palace, Jaipur, India. Look closely. See the typewriters? India is advanced, with mobile phones, etc., but you still see old technology everywhere.
Melacca, Malaysia. Interesting history, great food, and friendly people.
Typical electrical wiring in China. Look at the proximity of the transformer to people's activities. Safety??!!!
This is the family I stayed with, in a village in Guangdong province. I was invited to China by my friend, 'Mark'. That is Mark's wife and daughter but they do not live with my friend (who lives a 90+ minute drive away) because of financial reasons. Mark spoke good English but no one else knew much more than 'hello' and 'OK' = great fun.
My friend Mark at the house he had built for his parents, wife and daughter. It was Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival so every morning a huge number of firecrackers blasted us all to good luck. Very loud - I could not cover my ears since I was filming the explosions, and the noise hurt!
My friend works for a large fireworks company. He trained me how to set up the fireworks. The hotel in the background is for rich Chinese - it cost over $100 USD a night to stay there (too expensive for us!). BTW, that is a small set of fireworks, but it still shook the bridge and broke the glass lamps. I was here for the first six days in China, setting the fireworks each night.. Wild...! Location: about 3 hours north of Guangzhou.
Air pollution in Delhi, India. Even worse than in China. Yuk !
The ancient Sukothai ruins, central Thailand, with my other Italian friend, Fiammetta. Enrica and Fiammetta called me their 'bodyguard'; we had heaps of fun travelling together for about 5 days (my wife was back in NZ, ha ha!).
My posh hotel room in Koh Samet, Thailand, an island south of Bangkok.
A 'petrol station', designed for fast fill ups of motorbikes. Ngong Khai, Thailand (on the Mekong River with Laos).
The Mekong River, Luang Prahbang, Laos.
Ta Prohm - part of the huge Angkor complex in Cambodia where nearly a million people lived around a thousand years ago. Yep, that's me. I spent a week exploring all the main temples. It has been a dream of mine to see Angkor Wat (the largest temple) since I was 16 years old. Fascinating. I would go back again, in spite of the terrible heat and humidity.
"WE NO LONGER NEED WEAPONS". A village billboard in Cambodia. I always had a creepy feeling in Cambodia and never felt entirely safe - that country has been through hell not so long ago. Have a close look at the pictures - quite effective..!
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Here is someone who I would love to meet and talk with for a few hours!