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User / www.SamAntonioPhotography.com / Sets / Adventures in Southeast Asia
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N 66 B 54.3K C 55 E Feb 3, 2012 F Mar 1, 2012
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Everyday there seems to be another social networking site demanding our time and compromising our privacy. We are faced with the dilemma of where to invest our time to build up our social network: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google +, etc.

For the next couple of months I will be immersed in the original social networking...backpacking or in my case flashpacking.

Backpacking is a term associated with low-cost, independent international travel. Flashpacking is backpacking but with a bigger budget. Usually the flashpacking crowd are individuals who have backpacked in the past but now are a little older and have more disposable income. On the other hand, because they have a background in backpacking, they realize the benefits of budget travel, but also the little quirks associated with it too. Shared bathrooms with clogged shower drains, sleeping in bunk beds in a huge dormitory with twenty snorers, riding public transportation with a fellow backpacker who hasn’t showered in a week and with a local whose pet (i.e. rooster) attempts to poke your eye out at every opportunity.

Occasionally I will still engage in my backpacking roots by staying in a hostel and sleeping in a dormitory. It’s a great way to meet other travelers and to get up to date travel information. For the most part, I stay in guest houses with private rooms with a bathroom and hot shower. The only snoring is my own.

Flashpackers also happen to travel with laptops, iPods and fancy Canon cameras which perfectly describes me.

Traveling independently on a budget is a great way to network with fellow travelers and locals. Unlike Facebook, Twitter and Google + you don’t post photos from ten years ago when we were thirty pounds lighter and had less facial wrinkles. What you see is what you get. You talk, exchange travel stories and share where you’ve been and where you’re going. The best part is there’s no typing involved, thus giving your fingers a rest.

I started my trip a month ago in the beautiful city-state of Singapore. The moment I landed in their world class airport I fell in love with the city. What’s not to love? The diversity of cultures and religion, the amazing food, clean streets, low crime and they hang (that’s right hang) people who are involved in any drug related crimes. My type of city.

The moment I arrived at my hostel I met John from England. He had been in Singapore for over a week and offered to give me a quick tour of the city. We covered Little India, Burgis Market and the Clarke Quay. We had dinner at a great hawker stall and then headed out to the Marina Bay Sands Resort. Billion dollar views and the construction costs to match it.

This is a photograph of the ArtScience Museum (part of the Marina Bay Sands Resort) with the Singapore skyline in the background. I shot this handheld as I didn’t bring my normal Manfrotto tripod for space considerations (I did bring my table top Manfrotto tripod but I didn’t have a place to elevate it for this shot). A great introduction to a great city.

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Southeast Asia.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   ©SamAntonioPhotography.com Sam Antonio Singapore Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum Skyline Blue Hour Singapore Skyline Malaysia Southeast Asia Asia Water Cityscape Travel Photography Clouds Night Photography Flashpacking Singapore Photo Locations Singapore City Singapore Photography Skyscaper City Lights Sam Antonio Photography Photo Tips Casino Travelfish Singapore Photography Locations Singapore Skyline at Night Backpacking in Asia Flashpacker Flashpacking in Southeast Asia Singapore Art Museum Singapore Sky Singapore Lights Photographing Southeast Asia

N 24 B 25.5K C 33 E Feb 6, 2012 F Mar 2, 2012
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Singapore has been well-known as a "fine" city, which has been embedded with two different meanings. One as a fine city to be living in while another means fines that keep the country in order.

This city is impeccable clean. It makes Main Street in Disneyland look like the Bronx in New York. How do they do it? Singapore levies a multiple number of fines to maintain their squeaky, clean image.

Here are punishable offenses in Singapore:

The sale of cigarettes to minors (under age 18)
The sale or possession of chewing of gum
Vandalism
Spitting
Littering
Urinating in elevators
Feeding the pigeons
Jaywalking
Possession of firecrackers—caning
Eating or drinking in the subway
Not flushing the toilet
The Possession or trafficking of >20 grams of drugs—death

Now before you cross off Singapore from your travel list keep this in mind, it is a city built for travelers: a clean and efficient public transportation, low crime, easy to navigate airport and diversity of food, culture and religions.

My visit was further enhanced when I met up with fellow Flickr member Charlie Kwan. He was gracious enough to take me around his city and treat me to some great meals. Thank you for your hospitality Charlie.

As part of our photo walk around the city, we photographed around the Marina Bay Sands Resort. I crouched down low with my wide angle lens to capture this amazing foreground of the Artscience Museum with the Marina Bay Hotel Towers in the reflection.

If you have a chance to visit Singapore please do so...just remember to flush the toilet.

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Southeast Asia.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

Why don't you join me on Facebook?
Still figuring out Google +
Follow me on Twitter!
Sam's Photography Blog
Sam's Travel Photography Gallery
Sam's Other Travel Photography Gallery


Tags:   ©SamAntonioPhotography.com Sam Antonio Singapore South East Asia Singapore Art Science Museum Marina Bay Sands Water Color Yellow Clouds Blue Reflection Travel Photography Singapore Punishment Singapore Law Singapore Caning Singapore Travel Wide Angle Photography Canon 5D Mark II Canon 17-40 lens Singapore Photo Locations Singapore Photo Tips

N 8 B 9.5K C 22 E Feb 6, 2012 F Mar 8, 2012
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This Hindu priest is not waving hello to me. He is imitating the Protection Buddha which is to have the right hand raised, palm outward so as to offer protection or to ward off fear, delusion and anger.

Or maybe he just trying to wave off another foreigner from taking his photograph?

While on a photo walk with local photographer Charlie Kwan we explored Singapore’s very compact Chinatown. This being Singapore with its mixed culture, right in the middle of Chinatown is The Sri Mariamman Temple, which is the country’s oldest Hindu temple.

As a Christian I love to learn and immerse myself in world religions. I strive to understand people’s faith and to appreciate their worldview.

Singapore is a perfect place for such an endeavor because in matter of moments you can hear the call to prayer from a mosque and then right around the corner you can step into a Hindu temple and be overwhelmed by the sights and smell. In fact, right after we left the Hindu temple we walked five minutes to a Buddhist temple.

I thanked the Hindu priest for his time and then as any true American would do gave him a high five (that last part I made up, but I was thinking about it).

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Southeast Asia.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

Why don't you join me on Facebook?
Still figuring out Google +
Follow me on Twitter!
Sam's Photography Blog
Sam's Travel Photography Gallery
Sam's Other Travel Photography Gallery









Tags:   ©SamAntonioPhotography.com Sam Antonio Singapore Hindu Temple Sri Mariamman Temple Travel Photography Singapore Chinatown Photography Singapore Chinatown World Religions Hindu Buddha Singapore Photo Tour Southeast Asia Photography Sam Antonio Travels Portrait Street Photography Candid Religion Bokeh

N 49 B 27.7K C 48 E Feb 9, 2012 F Mar 19, 2012
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After starting my Southeast Asia trip in the lovely city-state of Singapore it was off to the Changi airport to catch my Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur.

The day before I met some travelers at my hostel who were from Kuala Lumpur and they were puzzled why I was going to visit their city.

“Kuala Lumpur is just like Singapore but dirtier, noisier and stinkier,” one of the Malaysians exclaimed.

All three were true, but I got a real dose of the worst stench I have ever confronted when I visited the Batu Caves, located 35 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur.

The Batu Caves are a sacred site to the Hindus in Malaysia. Every year in late January, early February the Thaipusam Festival is celebrated at the caves. The festival can attract over 800,000 people and is noted for the devotees piercing their flesh with hooks and skewers. The day I landed in Kuala Lumpur the festival was already underway so I would miss the event, but not the stench.

After a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur I took a day trip to the caves. Of the three major caves the most significant one requires a climb of 272 steps to get to. Once I got on top of the staircase I was rewarded with a great view of the city skyline and the stench that would pervade my nostrils and clothes. Apparently, the foul smell was a result from the recently concluded Thaipusam Festival and the celebrants depositing their waste (both human and manufactured) in the cave.

Nearby I witnessed other travelers in near vomit mode and others took the wise route and simply turned back and left. After I left Kuala Lumpur and traversed through the rest of Malaysia a common way other travelers would open a conversation with me would go something like this.

“Did you visit the Batu Caves?”

“I didn’t visit the Batu Caves, I smelt it,” I would reply.

We would share a laugh and then exchange our experiences of our day at the cave.

At the caves you’ll make many friends...not human friends, but rather the long tailed macaque monkeys that love to harass visitors. What better way to get acquainted with these monkeys than sticking my wide angle Canon 17-40 lens inches from their face?

That’s what I did with this monkey and he didn’t seem to mind. I guess he was too busy gasping for fresh air.

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Southeast Asia.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

Why don't you join me on Facebook?
Still figuring out Google +
Follow me on Twitter!
Sam's Photography Blog
Sam's Travel Photography Gallery
Sam's Other Travel Photography Gallery

Tags:   ©SamAntonioPhotography.com ©SamAntonio.com Sam Antonio Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Monkey Wildlife Stench Smell Cave Hindu Southeast Asia Asia Travel Photography Visiting the Batu Caves Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur Thaipusam 2012 Batu Caves Stink Sam Antonio Photography Canon 5D Mark II Wide Angle Lens Batu Caves Day Trip Batu Caves Photography Malaysia Travel Batu Cave Blog Photographing the Batu Caves KL Travelfish Kuala Lumpur Selangor Day Trip from Kuala Lumpur Ceremony Dedication God Hindu God animal portrait Spirituality Traditional Culture

N 16 B 67.9K C 29 E Mar 7, 2012 F Apr 2, 2012
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I was going to post photos from my Southeast Asia trip in chronological order but that’s going out the window. I’ll be posting photos that I find compelling or I just happen to process at the moment. In the meantime if you do want to follow my trip with daily blog updates be sure to check out my Facebook and Twitter pages.

I’m currently in the beautiful country of Lao and in the southern region known as the 4000 Islands. I have a bungalow on the Mekong River (a whopping $6 U.S. dollars a day) and I spend all day in my hammock sleeping, listening to my iPod, reading and drinking Beerlao. Yes, life can be so hard.

So I have some time to write a quick blog post and surprisingly this place has a decent internet connection.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I have graduated from my backpacker days to being a flashpacker. After Thailand I headed to Lao and a popular way to get there is a two day slow boat cruise down the Mekong River. There are many options and the most common and cheapest way is to take the public boat.

If you like being crammed in a boat with 100 passengers that normally seats 70, sitting for hours on a hard wooden bench, sleeping on a floor and having to share one bathroom (or more like a hole in the rear of the boat) then by all means choose this option. I chose to go with a private boat. In total we had 13 people on our boat: 9 passengers and 4 crew members.

We cruised down the Mekong River in comfort.We had wonderful meals on board (on the public boat you have to bring your own food), plenty of room to stretch out and a real bathroom with a flushing toilet!

The best part is that we made a couple of stops to ethnic minority villages along the riverside. The moment our boat pulled up this girl started to work her sales magic on me. She never said one word to me. She didn’t have to since everything she had to communicate to me were in her eyes.

Communication without words...simply powerful.

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Southeast Asia.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

Why don't you join me on Facebook?
Still figuring out Google +
Follow me on Twitter!
Sam's Photography Blog
Sam's Travel Photography Gallery
Sam's Other Travel Photography Gallery


Tags:   ©SamAntonio.com Sam Antonio Lao Mekong River Slow Boat Laos Slow Boat to Luang Prabang Girl Children Portrait Travel Photography Southeast Asia Travel Portrait Lao Ethnic Village Eyes Child Mekong Slow Boat Earth Asia Travelfish Laos People Asian Girl Photographing Laos asian woman smiles young ethnicity ethnic female outdoor friendly casual happiness outside vertical cute beauty beautiful pretty happy smiling human face fun children only asian culture little girls one person humor black hair vitality laughing childhood asian ethnicity individuality short hair looking at camera cheerful behavior real people


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