01 April 2007

Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Saturday, 31 April 2007 - Erawan Shrine, or San Phra Phrom (ศาลพระพรหม), houses an image of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

31 March 2007

Central World Plaza, Bangkok

Saturday, 30 March 2007 - Central World Plaza is the largest shopping mall in Southeast Asia (5,920,000 square feet). A large open area in front of the mall provides an activities area for live music and, at night, huge crowds often gather here to have a drink in the open air bars. Look at the relative size of the people standing in front of the Adias store.

It has seven monsterous floors, with a very well stocked (Western-oriented) grocery store, food court, several restaurants, and a huge movie theatre on the seventh floor.

The SKECHERS store is located on the third level. Other shoes brands including, Saucony, Puma, and Clarkes are on the same level.

18 March 2007

Manhattan Beach, Flowers Near the Beach

Sunday, 18 March 2007 - I took this picture yesterday. It was a dull, overcast day, but these kind of days really help the color saturation.

Sunday Morning in Manhattan Beach

Sunday 18 March 2007 - I left home before sunrise and walked down the Strand. I arrived at the Manhattan Beach Pier a little before sunrise on a cool, overcast morning. For this picture, I stopped the camera down to f36 with a -1EV with a 5 second exposure to make the waves nice and silky. The focal length was 135mm, but the focal length equivalent to a full frame 35mm would be 216mm (1.6X for a Canon EOS 30D).

A little later in the morning, it was a little brighter and I walked across the sand, almost to the water's edge. This picture was taken at f22 with -1EV and a 0.5 second exposure at 100mm (160mm, equivalent to a full frame sensor). I rendered an HDR image from the picture using a +/- 2EV, then used detail enhancement in the tone mapping. I loaded it back into Photoshop an increased the contrast.

18 February 2007

Tiananmen Gate

Tiananmen Gate at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, November 2006.

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Forbidden City in Beijing, China, November 2006.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China, November 2006.

Eoy and First

Eoy and First in a songthaw, April 2006

Prasat Hin Phanom Rung

Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is a beautiful Khmer-style temple in southern Buri Ram province in Thailand. It was built during the 12th century A.D. and is set on top of Phanom Rung Hill.


So this elephant walks into a bar...
No, this isn't the beginning of a really bad joke - The elephant really did walk into the bar.

Eoy and I ride an elephant in Koh Samui.

Vegetable Stand in Pattaya

Vegetable Stand in Pattaya, Thailand.

Kata Beach

Kata Beach in Phuket Thailand in the late afternoon, December 2003.

Long boats in the light rain.

Uthumphon Phisai

Early morning market in Uthumphon Phisai.

Songkran 2006

I was walking down 2nd Road in Pattaya when I noticed the boy on the man's shoulders. I snapped the picture as I walked past. I was using a Pentax Optio S5i in a waterproof enclosure.

A truckload of people driving down 2nd Road.

25 December 2006

Pla Dip (Thai Sashimi)

This is pla dip I had in Pattaya. It is pla saem-mawn,ปลาแซลมอน, (salmon), pla too-naa daeng, ปลาทูน่าแดง (red tuna), pla gapong daeng nam leuk, ปลากะพงแดงน้ำสึก (deep water red snapper), pla meuk yak,
ปลาหมึกยักษ (octopus), bpoo at, ปูอัด (pressed crab), and wasabi, วาซาบิ.

17 December 2006

Shrimp and Prawns

In the USA, people commonly call large shrimp "prawns", but that's not correct because some prawns can be smaller than shrimp. Some people think shrimp are saltwater and prawns are freshwater. That's not correct either.

This is the difference:

  • The structure of the gills is different between shrimp and prawns. If you turn a shrimp over and look at its "belly", the side plate of the second segment of the abdomen overlaps the segments in the front and behind. If you do the same to a prawn, all of the abdominal side plates overlap like tiles from the front.
  • Shrimp "brood" their eggs like a chicken (the eggs are held in their swimming legs -- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleopod). Prawns don't brood -- They just shed their eggs into the current.

In Thailand, there are mainly three types of "prawns" served in restaurants:

  • กุ้งแชบ๊วย Goong Chae-biao (White Prawn, Banana Prawn) Penaeus merguiensis - It has a white body with small rust-colored dots. Fully grown, they obtain a length of 20 cm (8 inches) or more, but they are harvested before they reach half that size. The small ones are sorted and sold as กุ้งชีแฮ้ Goong Chee-Hae. This is the prawn that is found in recipes that just indicate "prawns".

  • กุ้งกุลาดำ Goong Goo-Laa-Dum (Tiger Prawn) Penaeus monodon - It has black and white stripes and is the giant among Asia prawns. The females grow to over 30 cm (1 foot) long. Look at the size of these tiger prawns!

  • กุ้งก้ามกราม Goong Gaam-graam (Spiny-Clawed Prawn, Giant Freshwater Prawn, Freshwater Lobster) Macrobrachium rosenbergii - These are the prawns with the long second walking leg and a large spiny pincher. Spiny-clawed prawns with blue bodies are more tender when broiled or baked than those with grey-green bodies. Smaller spiny-clawed prawns are called กุ้งนาง Goong Naang.

28 November 2006

Dinner at Eoy's Home

Pattaya, Thailand

I love going to Eoy's home for dinner. Eoy's mother and father always prepare a wonderful meal.

To start, the best chicken soup I ever tasted. It was a very rich chicken stock with chunks of all kinds of chicken parts, cooked egg yolks, slices of kaa, ข่า (galangal), pak chee, ผักชี, (cilantro), a generous portion of nam manao, น้ำมะนาว, (lime juice) and, of course prik kee noo, พริกขี้หนู.

This fish is "pla see kohn", ปลาสีขน -- I'm not sure what kind of fish it is, but it must be in the mackerel family. It has a similar, but milder, less oily taste than mackerel. It is wonderful with nam jim, น้ำจิ้น.

This is the nam jim, น้ำจิ้น -- Lot's of hawm daeng, หอมแดง, sliced red shallots, firey prik kee noo, nam pla น้ำปล่า, and lime juice. It is fantastic with fried fish, and the little pieces of chile occassional give quite a hot bite!

This is pla nin, ปลานิล, (tilapia) fried to perfection. Several deep slices are cut in each side prior to frying. When served, you just pry off a big chunk from each slice. It comes off with ease and no bones.