Another 3 Months in Asia: My Top Ten Photos

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3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

I really can’t believe it, but I’ve been in SE Asia for nearly six months now. These are my ten favorite shots from the last three months, selected from over 3,000 photos taken in Vietnam and Laos.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

A beautiful 50cc Honda in Hoi Ann, Vietnam. Hoi Ann is definitely a tourist town, but it’s just so lovely that I didn’t care. Old, crumbling buildings and peeling paint make it a photographer’s paradise.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

Early-morning reflection in a side-canal in Hoi Ann, Vietnam. The town is packed with tourists at sunset, but you’ll have it all to yourself in the early morning.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

A boat ride at Tam Coc, near Ninh Binh is not to be missed. After the noise and chaos of the rest of Vietnam, spending a couple of hours floating amongst the limestone karsts is a wonderfully relaxing experience.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

You see these numbers stenciled onto walls all over Hanoi. A local friend of mine explained that they were “advertisements”, though I have no idea what they’re advertising or how they work.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

One of the highlights of my frustrating tour of Halong Bay was the hour I spent chasing butterflies with my camera while others in my group slogged their way up a steep mountain trail.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

Welcome to Sapa! These adorable kids greeted me with squeals and giggles on my first day in town. It set the tone for a fun, relaxing visit.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

The rice fields outside of Sapa are just stunning. Rent a scooter and explore the local tribal villages, but be sure to bring an extra memory card — you’ll need it. More photos here.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

While riding the slow boat to Luang Prabang in Laos, we stopped to pick up a family from a small village. They were as interested in us as we were in them, and a game of cat-and-mouse ensued as we all tried to sneak looks at each other. After things settled down, I managed to grab this shot. More photos from the river here.

 

3 More Months in Asia - My Ten Best Travel Photos

On my last morning in Luang Prabang, I found this fisherman returning home with the day’s catch, destined for a restaurant table in town. More shots from Luang Prabang here.

 

 

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric August 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

Those are some amazing shots. Keep posting them. They keep me motivated to want to see more in Asia.

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Jaime D. August 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

The pic of the 3 girls is my fav. They look so adorable!!!

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Sally August 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

Amazing! Just gorgeous…

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Matt August 30, 2010 at 11:38 am

Awesome photos!! My favorite is the very first one followed by the shot of the 3 girls. You really have captured some special moments here Wes. Keep shooting and posting more of these!

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leon August 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

some really beautiful ones there wes. the portraits are looking fantastic.
although my personal favorite is that Hanoi wall. I want that to be the wall in my living room.
looking forward to the next batch.

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wes September 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Thanks, brother! I’d tear down the wall and fetch it home for you, but the extra luggage charge would be rough…

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Amanda August 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Wow, these are great photos! I especially like your portraits. And the color in that one of the rice fields is amazing!

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Aaron | BeforeYOUBackpack.com August 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Great shots Wes… I wondered the same thing about the stencils in Hanoi… I was told they are the advertisements for brick layers and builders, apparently when they see a wall that needs repairing or a building getting shabby they plaster it with their phone number… I kinda hope it’s true too!

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wes August 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Oh, man — that’s a great explanation. If it isn’t true, it should be!

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Nick Laborde August 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I don’t know if we could get away with that in the US but I like the idea though.

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Christian August 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Not too shabby Wes, particularly the Hanoi “advertisements” shot – s’all about the texture… Quick question – you happy with the Thesis theme? I’m trying to decide between that or Frugal. Cheers! Christian

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wes August 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Yeah, I really like Thesis. Especially now that I’ve built the site and only have to maintain it. The learning curve was steep for me, as I had no coding experience. It’s not as plug and play as most, but very customizable.

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Kate | Transatlantic Sketches August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Wow! What amazing photos. The first is my favorite. I’ve never been to Asia, but blog posts like these make me want to buy my ticket and GO!

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wes August 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Thanks so much, Kate. Do it!

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Richard Escobar August 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Amazing photos, Wes! Very cool!

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Travis Ball August 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Absolutely love these shots Wes! Makes me itch for October when I’ll get my chance to do Vietnam and Laos.

How did you find it taking pictures of the people? Assuming you don’t speaking any Vietnamese, did most people seem okay with you taking pictures? Were you “asking” them, sneaking them, etc?

-Travis

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wes August 31, 2010 at 7:38 am

Great question, Travis, and one I struggle with. I’m overly polite when taking photos — I always ask first if I’m anywhere near them. I do sneak a shot with the bigger lens occasionally without asking. I’ve seen travelers who are much less wary and I kinda envy the photos they get, though I cringe while watching them…

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Akila August 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Great shots. We found similar numbers when we were in China and we were told that they were phone numbers for different workers.

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ayngelina August 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

So funny, all my favorite photos. Although I think the first is still your best as you were able to connect with the subject.

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Andi August 31, 2010 at 2:27 am

Just absolute perfection! I can’t even choose a favorite. WOW!!!

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Michael Hodson August 31, 2010 at 3:55 am

Great shots — as usual. Really good landscape and portraits. Excellent stuff. I love the Hoi An shots — I have one that looks really close to your 1st Hoi An one — though yours might be better ;)

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wes August 31, 2010 at 7:39 am

I probably just cheated more ;) I do a lot of post-processing in Lightroom.

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Al Dennis August 31, 2010 at 5:21 am

In Hanoi I asked a Vietnamese man who had spent 20 years in California about the numbers painted on the walls. He said they were for concrete cutting contractors who would cut your walls or floors (virtually all the buildings in VN seem to be made of concrete).
I thought that was a rather narrow category to be represented by all those numbers, but when I asked another person I got the same answer.

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Cornelius Aesop September 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I love the butterfly photo….amazing

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wes September 2, 2010 at 7:15 am

Thanks, Monkey!

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Kristy September 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm

wonderful work!

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Michael Tyson September 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Nice. My favourites are the motorbike — definitely would’ve gotten some up close shots of that grungy yellow wall; the numbers — someone should turn that into a work of art; and the rice fields.

Are you on flickr so I can check out more of your photos?

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Audrey September 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Great shots! I especially like the one of the kid on the boat to Luang Prabang – so peaceful, yet you know he’s thinking, “are we there yet?!”

Like you, I enjoyed Hoi An. Yes, it’s touristy but there’s a reason why people like to go there – it’s cute, fun and just a nice place to hang out.

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wes September 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

Wow, thanks Audrey! Coming from you, that’s very inspiring :)

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Seth September 27, 2010 at 9:31 am

Wes the shots of people are great! I am always worried about taking pictures of people but think I just need to go for it. I worry that there going to get mad or I am going to get killed. Yeah, apparently that happens in Guatemala if your taking shots of kids. Great shots!

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Nikki November 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Sorry I’m a little behind on this one but I just had to say that both Sapa and Hoi An were some of my favorite places I’ve seen so far in South East Asia. Your pictures are beautiful and I’m definitely a little jealous of your photography skills!

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wes November 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Loved both of those places! Especially Sapa — I think I could have stayed there a month or more…

Thanks for the kudos :)

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Ryan December 23, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I like your shot of the kids the best, they seem so curious and playful.

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Ralf January 17, 2011 at 4:25 am

Hi Wes,
we came just back from our last Southeast Asia trip yesterday (followed the Mekong from Huay Xai to Phnomh Penh) and are already suffering from/ of “wanderlust” or “itchy feet” or however you might call our German “Fernweh” in English. Your blog was a good inspiration for us and your selection of your favorite pictures is a real great one!

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wes January 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

Thanks, Ralf and welcome home :) I hope you get the chance to go explore more soon.

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Kim January 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

Wow, beautiful photos. I think my favorite is the early morning reflection on the water, though the photo of the boy on the boat is intriguing. What is he thinking??

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James Clark May 21, 2011 at 10:36 am

Great showcase, Wes. Really love the wide photo format as well.

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Mike On The Cheap Route June 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Good stuff. You should post your camera equipment so the camera geeks know :-)

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wes June 19, 2011 at 7:53 am

Good idea, Mike. Thanks.

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