Tag: ‘south east asia’



Bamboo Tattoos + Strolling | Chiang Mai

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

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On our second day in Chiang Mai, Erica decided that she wanted to get a traditional bamboo tattoo of a three headed elephant.
And then we pretty much decided we wanted to get matching tattoos.

But by the time she finished hers, we were exhausted from the day, so I decided to post-pone mine until later in my trip. It looks amazing, and she said it hurt less than all her other tattoos, and healed much faster.

Matt and I wanted to go get massages the Chiang Mai Women’s Prison Massage Centre, where the massages are given by women who have spent time in prison, but it was all booked up, so we strolled through the market instead. A word of advice for the saturday and sunday markets: it’s nice to go when they are setting up around 3 or 4 to avoid the night time crowds, or at least get a sense of what you want to buy, then go back at night. The best part of the market is the fresh waffles.

Yum. We ate too many.

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photos by adventure travel photographer and destination wedding photographer erica camille.
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Gili Air with Mom | Indonesia

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

I convinced mom it would be fun to go the tiny island of Gili Air to go snorkeling and drink on the beach. This was before she sprained her ankle….

With mom unable to put much weight on her foot, I had to take over the task of managing all of our luggage. She kept saying “I can do it, I’m not decrepit,” but I said “mom, I’m not making fun of you, I just don’t want you to get hurt!” So, I dragged the luggage from the bus to the beach where we waited for our boat, and then through water onto a little crowded boat, then off the boat and onto a horse rickshaw. I think it was right about this time that she commented that she would be fine “just laying on the beach in mexico,” and noted how much energy it takes to do “this kind of traveling.”

But it was beautiful. Hard to get to, but beautiful. We stayed at Gili Air Sunrise, which was perfect for us, though at point the electricity went out for at least 5 just as sun was going down, and because mom was injured and didn’t want to stumble in the dark, she was confined to our bungalow while I explored the island. The highlight of our time was our snorkeling excursion which was an all day trip that took us to an even tinier island. We got a great deal on it because I befriended one of the staff members at our bungalow who hooked us up with a discounted package. I think it was $20 for the day per person, pretty incredible. We saw big sea turtles and so many different kinds of fish. If you are on Gili Air,  go snorkeling or diving.

We also spent every night at the cutest little beach cafe called “Blues Corner Cafe.” We enjoyed talking to the owner, who amazingly enough had been to New York over 20 years ago and spoke about seeing broadway shows and thinking they were the most amazing thing ever. He also has the cutest kids ever featured at the end of this post.

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photos by nyc-based travel photographer erica camille. follow me on facebook.

Sunsets and Infinity Pools | Lombok | Indonesia

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

After Bali, mom and I decided to head to Lombok, Indoneisa. Unfortunately, by this point, she had missed a step walking down the stairs and badly sprained her ankle, or so we thought. We found out later it was actually cracked. So it was a good thing that we had already done most of our adventures (biking, rafting), though we still went snorkeling. After doing some research I found a great deal on a beautiful resort… it seemed almost too good to be true, but it wasn’t! For $67 a night we had a nice little cottage/bungalow at Puri Mas resort with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean and active volcano in the distance. All of this was a big treat for me, since I had been traveling on about $20 a day up until this point, often sleeping on paper thin mattresses.

Admittedly, this was our favorite part of the trip together… we swam during the afternoon and then had dinner watching the sunset while we drank cold beers and played five crowns (best card game ever). All of it would have been incredibly romantic… if I hadn’t, you know, been with my MOM, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It’s just one of those things we’ll both never forget. I recently gave her a coffee table book of all these pictures, and she said “I’ll be bringing this to the retirement home with me,” which as far as I know isn’t happening anytime soon, thus making it a sweet sentiment. Love you mom!!

Hoi An | Vietnam

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time in Vietnam as I would’ve liked. But the truth is, by the time I reached Hoi Chi Minn City, I was exhausted and my ankle was killing me, and one of my wounds looked infected. Thank God, I got to land in the air conditioned, washing machine-equipped apartment of my dear friends Jesse and Luisa. I ended up just literally chilling with them in their air conditioned apartment for almost a week. I didn’t take that many pictures around Ho Chi Minn, other than our epic engagement shoot, instead I did a lot of eating, hanging out, and knocking back BIG beers. We had a blast, and they were such caring hosts and friends. Love you guys!

Jesse and Luisa encouraged me to book a flight and see one of their favorite cities in Vietnam, Hoi An. Not only is it one of the most amazing little towns I’ve seen in all my travels, I also got to meet April and Zach, who have become long-term travel friends. I joined Zach and some other travelers in biking to a nearby beach, where we enjoyed a hot afternoon in the sun and sea. Heaven! I stayed at place called Lucky House, and across the street I met a crew of about a dozen Vietnamese men who took me in during my stay. Some ladies might be sketched out when a large group of shirtless foreign men start shouting and insisting she drink with them, but they didn’t have to ask me twice! I obliged, and I ended up hanging out with them every day. Thy sat outside drinking coffee and playing chess in the mornings, and sharing food and drinking (lots) of beer in the evenings. One of them even had me over to him and his wife’s house for lunch, which was DELICIOUS.

If you find yourself in Vietnam, you cannot skip Hoi An. It’s a little touristy, but for good reason, if you’re like me, you’ll find the locals and the town’s underbelly. Here are some of my favorite shots from Hoi An.

got a little turned around on a side road and chatted with this woman who sold me a cold drink

clothing shop, pajama party in the background

bought a couple bracelets from these nice ladies

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i freaking love these guys

if you want to shop, hoi an is the place to go, custom made everything

i stumbled upon this woman singing karoke by herself,  LOVE HER

the sandwich lady!! ate about 20 of these things

my friends who hosted me for lunch

one of the only shots i took in ho chi minh, the view from jesse and luisa’s apartment

Photography by New York City Photographer Erica Camille. Follow me on Facebook.

Koh Samui | Thailand | Couchsurfing with Alex

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

I ONLY PLANNED TO SPEND A FEW DAYS on Koh Samui to a shoot a wedding, but a few days turned into a week, and it became one of those experiences that left me saying, “this is why I travel.”

I’ve couchsurfed all over the world, but couchsurfing in Europe in 2005 will always stand out, because it was my first big trip. It’s like falling in love for the first time. Though I am still in awe of each place I go, there’s nothing like one’s first taste of the road, and for me, couchsurfing was a big part of that. In Lusanne Switzerland, my host Jerome greeted me with swiss chocolate, pizza, and hookah, and my own room overlooking Lake Geneva. I met my friend Sophie in Lyon, France when I surfed her couch, and had a magical weekend in the countryside with her and her friends. (We’ve since seen each other two more times). I had a free boat tour and private scuba diving excursion while couchsurfing in Australia with Meg. I met Alison, who took me on a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. The list goes on. Couchsurfing is not only a way to experience culture and meet new people, it is, for many people, a way of life, a philosophy, a value system.

Every once in a while (actually more often than not), I meet hosts that go above and beyond, and Alex was just one of those guys. I was immediately comfortable in his home and his presence; it was as though we had met before. Alex moved to Koh Saumi from Russia after a friend encouraged him to pack up his bags and live on the beach. He works as a translator, and since he works mostly from home, we had a lot of time to explore the island on his motorbike and widdle away hours at his favorite beach spots. We spent our evenings down the street at a new pool bar called lucky lips (haha) where we got to know the local ladies (oh yea), and I frequently kicked Alex’s ass in pool.

Our mornings were lazy, but eventually, we’d cruise into town to find the best coffee on the island. We also put away a lot of pad thai and Tom Kha Gai soup at Alex’s favorite food joints. “This is the best soup I’ve found on the island, and I’ve had a lot of soup.” Tom Kai Gai is a traditional soup that I’d had many times but not like this.This was, as Alex affectionately called it, magic soup. It was a freaking pimped out party for your tastebuds. Where does one find this soup? A German sports bar of all places, owned by a German/Thai couple whose daughter prepares the soup. It doesn’t have an online presence yet, so you’re just going to have to ask around for directions to Baden Sports Bar.

During one of our post-swim motorbike adventures into the hills, Alex and I stumbled upon this hidden cafe with spectacular views. We enjoyed a coconut shake while we talked about life and looked down into the valley. It was at that point Alex said, “Yep, life here is pretty sweet, Erica.” And that’s all he really needed to say. “I’m coming back,” I told him.

I went to Koh Samui expecting something similar to the over-developed touristy, (but beautiful) Phuket. But I was lucky, thanks to Alex, I got to experience an underbelly of Koh Samui that few travelers do. Thank you Alex! See you next year…

alex + the magic soup

view from the hidden cafe…

post-coconut shake bliss

alex putty lips at lucky lips

the beach

morning coffee

my attempt at this didn’t go as well, so i’m not including the pictures!

and so begins one of the most epic sunsets i’ve witnessed…

from darkness to light.

 

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