Friday, January 29, 2016

World Travels 8: Thailand

Made two separate trips to Thailand and visited the small island of Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Everywhere was hot. It was an interesting transect from a small fishing village to major metropolis to a more relaxed city that gave me access to the hill tribes of the highlands.

Images of the royal family were ubiquitous but I saw more photos of the Crown Prince than in previous visits, perhaps getting the public ready for the death of the current King. The reigning monarch is popular but the Crown Prince has long had a bad boy reputation.

Small fishing boats in Ko Samui (© John Rennie Short)

Bangkok (© John Rennie Short)
Elephant sanctuary outside Chiang Mai (© John Rennie Short)

Young girl from hill tribe (© John Rennie Short)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

World Travels 7: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Spent a few days in Colombo, Sri Lanka. After years of civil war, an uncertain peace is encouraging a lot of foreign investment. The city is being transformed with the refurbishment of the colonial buildings and new-build apartments. East Asian investment into the deep-water port is making it an important transshipment point for super carriers to smaller cargo ships.

Visited religious sites and found a great example of tropical modernism in the house of architect Geoffrey Bawa who fused colonial and traditional Sri Lankan architecture. 

Colombo docks (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)

Staircase in house of Geoffrey Bawa (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)

Buddhist temple (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)

New investment in the city (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)

Monday, January 11, 2016

World Travels 6: India

Traveled through India visiting Mumbai, Goa and Kerala. Mumbai is a dynamic city, the center of India’s business life. It is big, brash and poverty and riches sit side by side. I loved it.

Goa is moving away from its reliance on iron ore and metalwork and tourism is becoming more important. The Portuguese influence is evident in the wonderful Catholic churches.

Kerala is one of India’s most interesting states with the highest literacy levels, the weakest caste system and a powerful communist party. Hindu nationalism has much less purchase in this part of India.

Busy street scene in Mumbai (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)

Catholic cathedral in Goa (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)

Trucks outside the port of Kochi, Kerala (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)

Union workers- in red- moving rice in backwaters of Kerala (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)

Ladies in Kerala wear their best saris to celebrate Diwali (Photo: ©John Rennie Short)