Passengers boarding the plane at the crack of dawn.
Bangkok. This was to be S’s surprise trip for my belated birthday present. I had spent my birthday (as well as her’s!) in Hangzhou this year working.
We woke before daybreak, making our way to the airport to catch the early flight out. Its always exciting to be going off somewhere, in my opinion, the only legit reason to be waking up at that time of the morning. This was to be my first trip without my trusty Canon 5D mark II, in its place, was the Sony NEX 5N, with my Leica 50mm f2 Summicron, Zeiss ZM 35mm f2 Biogon, Sony 18-55mm and Sony 16mm f2.8 pancake. The whole package probably weighed less than my 5DmkII with 24-70mm f2.8 lens attached, which was the whole point of this exercise. I love the Canon but lugging it around all day whilst traveling is not my idea of fun. For the first time (in my opinion), there is a viable ‘small camera’ package that compromises little on image quality.
Portraits of the King throughout the city.
There was a festive spirit in the air as the country had just celebrated the King’s birthday a couple of days prior, and throughout the city, there were portraits of the king, large and small, both in public spaces as well as private, with numerous stands set up for well wishes to write a birthday message to the king. The only monarchy I was familiar with was that of England, where the royalty seemed out of touch and for the most part, rather irrelevant to the general population, not so in Thailand, where the king is revered, especially by the common man. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world’s longest serving head of state and has been ruling the country since 1946, through the political careers of many a prime minister and government. In any case, the next 6 days was going to be a riot of colour and sounds and a proper culinary adventure!