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Author Topic: foreign travel planning questions  (Read 2632 times)
Mark D Segal
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« on: February 01, 2005, 05:46:42 PM »
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Neil, the only aspect of your questions I am competent to answer is #3 on carrying a camera in Thailand. No problem. I have done it often and there has never been an issue with any one, any where, except for one ultra-modern shopping center in downtown Bangkok where a security guard told me it was not allowed to take pictures inside - search me why. In Bangkok, the street vendors selling food and flowers are particularly colourful and interesting; once requested they never hesitated to allow me to take pictures of them and their "operations", and they didn't pose - they just went about their business. In some parts of town it is simply too busy and congested for anyone to pay any attention to what you are doing. Language is an issue there, but one manages to communicate somehow. As for subject matter in urban and rural Thailand - it is quite vast, between people shots, landscapes and cultural attractions. Your first trip will probably not be your last. Enjoy.

BTW, I don't know how you plan to fly there - I think I've tried most combos available and find that Air Canada or Cathay Pacific direct to Hong Kong, then connecting on Cathay to BKK is hands-down the fastest, most convenient routing. When you emerge from the airport building in BKK, if you are planning to go downtown, head for the public tax stand - the line moves quickly, and they are metered, air-conditioned, cheap and efficient. Tell the driver you want the tollway and you pay 60 Baht in tolls - well worth it!
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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BlasR
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2005, 09:16:51 PM »
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Neil,

I spent a bit of time in Thialand and China with my wife.  We also spent some time in Chang Mai.  Chang Mai is an interesting place to see with a busy downtown or as they call it.  More like a large rotary with plenty of traffic.  Watch out for the Tuk Tuks.  It is the most convenient way to travel but wheel and deal on the price.  We did an elephant ride through the jungle during a 4 day trek.  It was quite an experience.  I would recommend it just for the scenery.  It is a beautiful country and the culture is also amazing.  It is a nice escape from the congestion of the town streets and a great way to see the tribal culture.  Chang Mai is full of guest houses and fellow travellers.  I would recommend a net for your back pack that you can lock closed and to bars on the trains especially when travelling over night.  Good luck and enjoy.  It will be a fun journey.


China is another very interesting country.  Watch out for the title journalist when engaged in conversation with locals or other travellers.  It got my visa time cut in half from 2 months initially to 1 month when they found out I was a journalist via renewal for a visa with a travel agent.  Hong kong and Macau are interesting places to visit, but once you leave the main land of China you must reaply for a new visa to get back in from these two places.  If at all possible make your way to Tibet.  It was one of the most interesting countries we visited and the culture and is something to speak of.  The police take their jobs quite seriously so if in contact with any of them, do exactly what is asked of you.  Let me know if Tibet is in your plans and I can inform you of exactly what we did to get there.  If you have the opportunity when you arrive in China contact the embassy and let them know where you will be travelling and your plans.  They will inform you of any places that as Americans are not welcomed or are unsafe for them to travel at this time.  We did this and it was quite helpful to us.  No problems were encountered from our end.  Enjoy and safe travels.  I hope this info was helpful.

Blas R.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2005, 07:46:50 PM »
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Neil, further to my post from yesterday, here is a great website about things Thai (culture, history, language, customs, practical stuff, etc):

www.Sawadee.com

I read that you are trying to focus on fewer rather than more places, which is very sensible; BUT - if you don't know when you will ever get back there it would be too bad if you missed a trip to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap Cambodia. It is just accross the border from Thailand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a "must see" on anyones' list who are interested in the World's greatest archeological and cultural heritage sites. The photographic potential there is breath-taking (temples, landscape, everything). It is easily reached with Bangkok Airways or Siem Reap Airways. There are over 2000 hotel rooms there from very cheap to five star. Renting cars and guides is cheap. (The park is enormous and you need transportation and guidance inside.)

You can make reliable arrangements through Diethelm Travel in Bangkok:

DIETHELM TRAVEL ASIA LTD.
140/1 Wireless Road, Kian Gwan II Building 12th Floor, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: (66) 2255 9150-70 Fax: (66) 2256 0248-9 E-mail:

(BTW, "Wireless Road" is known in Thai (for taxis) as Thanon Wittayu.)
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2005, 09:42:32 AM »
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Blas, I just went to your website and I like your photographs. They are very good indeed. I immediately recognized your shots of the Angkor complex and they are indeed representative of the kind of work one can do there. Laos of course is a different country, different landscapes and offers a different kind of photographic experience, so it depends on what one is more interested in. Can't go wrong in either place.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2005, 12:34:46 PM »
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Hello Group,

I'm leaving for a three week trip to Thailand and China in 15days and have some questions (This is my first trip off the contenent):

1. I'll be shooting self assigned stock imagery.  Do I need to get model release from subjects (do agencies expect it for foreigners)? If so, should I have the releases translated?  What might the subject's reaction be?

2. Do you develop a creative brief, shot goals or other guidlines to keep you focued creatively when there?  I will be shooting assignments for several NGOs but will have plenty of time to develop my own projects.  I know its easy to get sort of overwhelmed by everything new or not really penetrate the 'spectator' role of a tourist.  Do you have any techniques you use to break the ice with people?  My interpreter situation will be varied.  If you'd be willing to share your written plans from past trips it would be practically helpful for me.

3. Where do you find the most helpful information about studying the culture and social norms, practices, etc?  (links here would be great). But your specific reactions to carrying a camera in these cultures would be great as well.

Thanks everyone!
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2005, 07:23:46 PM »
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Thanks mark, I'm leaving the us on united to BKK through Tokyo.  I'm headed over to Chiang Mai on Tai air.
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2005, 10:01:20 PM »
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Quote
I would recommend a net for your back pack that you can lock closed and to bars on the trains especially when travelling over night.

I have a Pac-Safe and I intended to bring it and use it.  Thanks for the help.  Tibet will be too far for this trip.  I try to get more involved in a single place than keep traveling while I'm there.
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BlasR
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2005, 11:21:54 PM »
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[  missed a trip to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap Cambodia  ]
Cambodia is nice,,,Even so Laos will be more beautiful.

Check some photos in my not yet finish website.  From some of those places


BMRWorldPhotos.com

BlasR
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BlasR
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2005, 12:56:36 PM »
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[They are very good indeed]

Thank You, I just put those there for Neil to look at..

Those country are beautiful you really can't get wrong in anyone....My wife and I spend a year travelingaround those place...
Thanks again
BlasR
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