Back At The Football

Firstly, before I commence this post – let me explain why the logo has changed and the reasoning behind it. When I began SK Photography around seven or eight years ago, there was only one person working under than name in the UK and one other, I discovered later, in the USA. Now there are a number of people using the name and it was becoming difficult for people to locate me on Facebook.

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So after months of deliberation, I opted to re-brand and change the logo to suit. I considered a number of names but finally chose ThaiSken, simply because I now live in the Kingdom of Thailand and Sken was a name that was used to identify me at BT when there were two people called Steve and we both had the same initials. So he became Skin and I became Sken.

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So – back to my day out with the camera. Well it was actually two days out. Saturday was men’s football in a tournament style. Group stages in the morning and knock out stage in the afternoon, leading to the final around 17:30. The photos for that are not ready yet.

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The second day, which was on the Sunday, was under 10s, following the same format.

I used to work in the field of football photography back in Scotland, firstly in non-league football, then youths and finally women’s football. However, It has been a couple of years since I attempted to capture fast moving subjects, such as kids chasing a ball.

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The first thing I noticed was the standard of play and skill on display and not only from the boys, for there was an odd girl playing too, and they were in a similar class.

I worked with kids this age in Scotland and in my opinion, the standard here at this age group, is higher. What happens when they get to adulthood I do not know, for the Thai national team is pretty poor, judging by their results over the last couple of years. But if these kids can produce the quality on display on Sunday, then nation has a lot to look forward to in the world of football.

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The top image is of one of the girls, who played in the early stages of the tournament. She was taller than most of the boys in her team and this could be why she took most of the throw ins.

The next two I selected because I like the facial expressions of the kids. One chasing the ball, determined to catch the attacker and the other fighting hard to retain possession.

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The one with the youngster in the light blue shirt, shows him running with the ball as he scans the park, looking to make a pass.

The kids here are not greedy when the have possession of the ball. They happily look for players who are in superior positions. Someone in space or in a better location to shoot, will get the ball, generally speaking anyway.

As a former goalkeeper, I love the image of the boy bravely diving at the feet of the attacking player. He tucks his head in to avoid injury and safely collects the ball.

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Again, the lad taking the throw in, shows tremendous focus. His face is full of intense thought as he aims the throw in towards a team mate. And of course the hair style adds to the image.

Back with the goalkeepers. This was the third of six images, that captured the kid with the gloves making a tremendous save. He dives to his right, pushing the ball away from the goal and onto the post. One of the defenders then cleared the danger.

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Most of the goalkeepers were of a high standard too.

The chap above displays great poise and elegance as he steps up to take a free kick. Again the majority of the boys and girls, were very adept when striking the ball.

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Most passes found their team mates and those who shot at goal either rattled the frame of the goals, brought out a save from the keeper, were blocked by defenders or indeed, scored! As in all games, some were off target.

The victory celebrations are featured above. The team in blue had lead by a solitary goal in the final but lost a late goal, which took the game into a “golden goal” situation. Within two minutes, the lad being held aloft, drove at the opposing keeper from the right of the box, before firing in the winner.

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His elation had to be seen to be believed. I captured the goal in a series of around eight photos, including his run, shot, two of the ball passing the keeper and bulging the net and the celebrations. I elected to use this one, simply because the others were posted earlier on Facebook.

The last one is by far my favourite. It shows a young girl playing with friends on a spare pitch. She is barefoot and could strike a ball harder and more accurate than most of us can do wearing trainers.

But what makes this photo for me, is the joy on the children’s faces as they chase after the lass, with not a hope in hell of catching her.

A fantastic day, eight hours each day, sweltered in 32 degrees, burnt to a crisp, aching back and for the most part, wishing the day was over. But I would happily do it all again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Food At A Top Bar

A few weeks ago it was announced that the Corner House Bar in Rompho, Pattaya had done a deal with a local Chinese takeaway company called Wok N Rok, with the outcome being, the bar would be hosting a special buffet featuring Wok N Rok food.

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Going forward, the Corner House will also be offering Chinese cuisine from Monday to Saturday, so not only do I have access to some of the best delicacies in town, I can now eat it at one of my favourite bars.

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I decided to pop along to the buffet night and took my Nikon D750 with me to grab a few photos.

The food is cooked in a typically British style of Chinese cuisine, similar to what you find in almost any town or city across the UK. The chef is Thai but she spend many years working in Chinese restaurants in Scotland, so this for me is like a piece of home.

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My favourite is Chicken Curry, I cannot order a Chinese without having a curry, and Wok N Rok offer a fantastic variety of curries including beef, pork, chicken and special curry.

I am also partial to some Sweet ‘n’ Sour or Spare Ribs in either Gravy or Barbecue Sauce or in some instances, I will even have them dry.

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Wok N Rok have an extensive menu so it could take me some time and many visits to see Stuart and Phetch at the Corner House before I have worked my way through what’s on offer.

The buffet was a huge success as people ventured in over a four hour period.

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I hope that the daily service will take off, for Chinese restaurants are few and far between in the city of Pattaya.

I only took a few photos on the night, mainly due to a variety of circumstances but the food as you can see is amazing.

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The Corner House rarely do things by half measures and this was no exception. Everyone appeared to enjoyed their “All You Can Eat” buffet and washed their meal down with a few drinks of their choice.

Sadly I got caught up in other things and did not get the opportunity to sample the self service fare on offer but I will be around soon to order my favourite curry.

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Nom on the other hand, delved in and sampled the delicious food from what was, a substantial buffet.

Can you do it again Stuart?

And we need another Rompho party night ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Party Times In Pattaya

It has been a while since I found time to update my blog but despite this, I have been active with the camera, although not as much as I would have liked.

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I still have an ongoing issue with my Nikon D750 but there is little I can do until I find a way to get my D610 delivered to me from Scotland.

Most of my attention has been taken up by parties, a subject that often involves great hilarity and meeting new and wonderful people here in Pattaya.

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Take my first image for instance. I was at a birthday party for a good friend “Phetch” when I spotted a gorgeous little girl enjoying a lolly. I introduced myself to her mother and asked permission to take a few photos.

The result is an image of an angelic little girl.

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My next offering is of the birthday girl herself and her boyfriend Stuart as he presents the birthday cake. This lovely couple own the Corner House in Rompho.

Next we have two images that for me, were the best of the night. Wan attended the party and sat beside myself and Nom. She had a couple of drinks and got up to dance. At the time however, she was on the stage and singing along with the band, providing me with a few classic images.

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Wan is one that you never take your eyes off, for you just do not know what she will do next.

The image of the lady singing (the one WITH the microphone) sings with a another chap that I have never managed to discover their name either as a duo or own identities. They are often seen entertaining around Rompho though.

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They are an excellent duo and produce some great cover versions of rock standards and ballads.

Staying at the Corner House Bar, I have included one of Nom, taken with Wan, before either of them had been dancing.

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I was going to say they were taken before any alcohol was consumed but that may be a lie.

Shortly after Phetch’s party, I was invited to another party for my good friend “Dong” er Martin.

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Martin and his delightful partner Oil, own New Country Road Bar (NCR) in Rompho, a short walk from the Corner House. I had assisted with some arrangements for this event, following the highly successful Jerry Lee Carlson gig at the NCR. Click here for photos and blog article.

Martin, like Stuart, has been very supportive of me during troubled times, and I owe this pair my very existence in Thailand. Yes you know who to blame now ūüôā

Dong as he is affectionately known is pictured above.

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The entertainment for this came in the form of a Scottish lassie living in Pattaya by the name of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Stephanie. Steph does a lot of oldies like her name suggests, with a bit of hip shakin’, gyrating and knee grinding thrown in.

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One of the guests was a guy called John, another top man living here in Pattaya. John loves to dance, especially to the likes of Chuck Berry and despite being in his 70s, the man can boogie all night – almost non-stop.

Where he gets his energy from I have no idea but I wish I had half of it. Stamina beyond belief!

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It is incredibly rare for me to feature in my photos, mainly because I am almost always behind the lens.

But due to camera issues, another splendid chap known as Marcus attended, with a view of offering advice but as a result of his presence, I got some time to be on the receiving end of the camera. Marcus is a top photographer in his own right.

This one is of Nom and I, which would usually only be captured on a phone picture.

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Anyone hosting a party in Pattaya should really look into hiring the Jäger girls. These two lovelies work for free, promoting Jägermeister and other drinks such as Jim Beam.

The deal is simple, they will sell customers one measure from your own stock and they will provide a free drink from their collection. The guest gets two drinks for the price of one, the bar gets the sale they may never have had and everyone gets inebriated. Result!

It is difficult to say no to a Jägerbomb when a two ladies are offering a free one, along with a photo too.

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So what happens when customers get free¬†J√§gerbombs and Jack Beam? See for yourself ūüôā

I don’t know the girl standing behind Nom but she was the life and soul of the party. She had everyone in tears of laughter all night long. A top girl and one that would be welcome at any party of mine. Here she has bent a drunken Nom over and well – I will leave the rest to your imagination ūüôā Jenny can be seen sitting on the bar looking weary.

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Another classic featuring the wonderful Julie, who is a regular with husband Steve at both aforementioned bars. Steve and Julie love to dance and are in fact, featured on many video recordings from this night. Friendly people who liven up every party they attend.

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The image above is one of my favourites. I had just met Karin for the first time and found her to be an outgoing person who loves to sing and enjoy herself. I snapped this photo when she was laughing and chatting with her friend Poi. Completely natural and one that I am proud of.

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Next is Martin’s girlfriend oil, who was still reasonably sober at the time but like the majority of Thai ladies, they love to dance. And boy can she dance! Later in the evening she was found on top of the bar with Jenny dancing to many party hits.

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Above, we have Poi and her magician boyfriend. The latter entertained us with some magic tricks when we required a bit of respite from the antics going on inside the bar.

Rompho throw the best parties ever. I have attending parties galore since arriving here and very few disappoint. Often people get very drunk but you never see anyone causing trouble. No requirement for bouncers here.

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I will finish with a photo taken at Phetch’s party at the Corner House, simply because I wasn’t sure what was going on but again, it depicts fun and beautiful people. Well OK – Stuart adds the fun part.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Songkran 2017 – The End

I wrote earlier that Songkran 2017 had so far been a huge disappointment compared to last year. But the Thai people were just saving the best for last.

Today, I travelled to Rompho Market, a large complex of bars, street food, massage shops, barbers, restaurants and other small businesses.

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I had observed from my condo window, that an assortment of small stalls were set up along the roadside, which are not normally there. Curiosity got the better of me so I had a sneak peak at what was going on.

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Street vendors were selling food, water guns, waterproof pockets and a variety of other items, which may prove useful for the water events and those in attendance.

But what was more surprising was the vast amount of people who had gathered by the side of the road, with one goal in mind – to immerse people in water.

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Now I am a good two miles from the centre of Pattaya and have never witnessed the likes of this previously. As I headed towards Rompho in my taxi, there were literally thousands of people. lining the streets and showering passersby with water.

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The traffic congestion was horrendous but far from boring. I could have spend all day watching the antics of the locals as they went about the business of soaking people or indeed being soaked in return.

A guy had a fire hose and was showering people as the they passed by in open backed pick-ups. Pick-up and trailers were full of people and containers of water. Again, there was only one place that water was going.

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People were dancing in the middle of a four lane road, which had cars using the wrong side just to make some distance, including my impatient taxi driver.

It was party time in Pattaya at last. A time for me to attempt to capture the action.

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However my camera was very much tucked away in my bag and remained there till I got to Rompho. Then I went in search of the hilarity.

It is fair to say that the majority of the people who take part in the shenanigans are either girls or kids. The men of Rompho preferring to remain in one of the fifty bars, although that did not always guarantee safety, as you can see in the second image from the top.

My good friend Jeff was treated to bucket of icy water as he enjoyed a beer.

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People walk around with buckets of what is either flour or talcum powder mixed with water, to form a paste, which they then use to cover a persons face with the substance.

I am not sure what the significance is but most people welcome the temporary facial.

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I had two fears. One was someone pouring a large bucket of water over me and drenching the camera and the other was being hit in the eye with the high powered jet from one of the water guns.

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The camera is allegedly waterproof and has had a number of wet days over the years.

The eyes however; well let’s just say one of these guns could blind someone.

I was hit in the eye on day one and I can tell you, it hurt like blazes. I did not hold back when telling the guy he was an idiot for aiming at my face. He did apologise profusely I have to add.

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Songkran from a photography point of view is a fantastic time. I only wish I had a back up camera so I could risk getting right in amongst the action but having only one with me, I opted for safer ground.

Today was the final day of the celebrations. The people of Thailand will no doubt party throughout the night but tomorrow, it will be back to work for most.

The image above of my mate Jimmy getting wet, came about because I instructed the girls and kids to target him.

This was actually the last in a series of six images. The best ones were taken seconds before but alas they were also blurry and no good.

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So it’s a sad farewell to Songkran 2017 but I sincerely hope I am around for the 2018 celebrations.

 

 

 

 

 

Songkran 2017

I arrived in Thailand on April 12th, 2016, just in time for the Songkran celebrations, which commenced on the thirteenth of the month.

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What an experience it was too!

Arriving from Scotland, I was thrown in at the deep end as Thailand celebrated its New Year. And I have to confess, the Thai people know how to enjoy themselves and have fun.

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It was partly because of these festivities and one or two other lifestyle changes, that influenced my decision, not to take my return flight back to my homeland. It was time for me to try something new and I believed that I had discovered just the place to begin a new and exciting life.

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When I arrived I was in the company of a fellow Scot and his Thai lady, Kenny and May. Five weeks later, I was on my lonesome. But I managed fine, met knew friends, and of course met a fantastic woman. We hit if off immediately.

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Now one year on, It is Songkran again and I was desperate for the celebrations to get underway so that I could venture out with my camera. The first day was a huge disappointment however. There was a lack of bars participating in the event compared to last year, so the hunt for a suitable vantage point to shelter from the water games was not forthcoming.

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I sat in a bar overlooking the road but alas, I failed to achieve a clear view of the activities.

Today though, I went alone, found a line of bars on the beach that were all actively immersing people with water as they passed by. I chose somewhere as close as I dared to be, for the safety of my photography equipment. It is allegedly waterproof but I don’t like to chance my luck.

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I had my first beer in over a month in bar number one, took some photos and repeated my activity in two other bars close by. Thai people love to have their photo taken and will often approach me to enquire where they may see the photos later. My Facebook friends list grows constantly because of this.

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Once I had enough images, I walked through the small alleys, taking the hits from the mixture of welcoming warm water and the incredibly freezing cold wetness from the bars that added copious amounts of ice to their supplies.

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The look on people’s faces when they are suddenly saturated in ice cold water is truly worth seeing. It is however, a different experience when it happens to you. Remember it is 32 degrees in Pattaya when someone pours icy fluid down the back of your sweaty shirt. It certainly comes as a surprise!

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Songkran is the celebration of Thialand’s New Year and is a “must see” tourist attraction. It offers not only the water sports as I call it but there are parades with people being transported around on the back of lorries dressed as anything from sailors to Thai traditional dress.

Music blares from every bar participating and massive containers are alongside the venues to hold the water, which is dispensed over walkers either by small buckets or water guns.

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It is believed that the water washes away bad luck amongst other things. So when a Thai person pours water over your head, they are basically wishing you a Happy New Year and a prosperous future.

When a tourist does it, well its because they are being childish and joining in the fun. And it is highly entertaining for those who like to participate.

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Many expats, flee the country at Songkran because they hate the time of year. I prefer to endorse it and engage in it as much as possible. I will offer myself for target practice to any child with a water gun or bucket, then enjoy their huge grins as they see me grimace when I discover the water is Baltic.

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This, for me is Thailand. Songkran, the rural provinces with the rice fields, water buffalo and ladies adorned in traditional Thai dress, is what the country is all about.

So if you ever come to the “land of smiles” do it during Songkran. You may never go home again!

St. Patrick’s Day, Thai Style

Last Saturday, I took to Beach Road in Pattaya, to take in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was a scorcher of a day and at first I believed my information regarding the time the parade would commence was wrong.

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I popped into one of the many bars along Beach Road, trying to determine if the parade was past, had I missed it, was I early or was I even at the wrong location.

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After forty-five minutes, I gave up and decided to take my camera elsewhere.

I was only left the vicinity by ten minutes when I was informed it had started. I walked with great haste back to the beach in time to catch the procession.

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First to approach me were the bands and there were a few. There wasn’t a great deal of music being played as those involved paid homage to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away in 2016, having served just over seventy years and the nation’s monarch.

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They were followed by a number of disabled people, some in wheelchairs, others more able bodied but clearly physically or mentally impaired. This for me was one of the highlights. You have to give praise to the organisers, schools and institutions, who made this little piece of magic happen for those lovely people.

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Those who took part were clearly thrilled at their involvement and it was clear to see, they were having fun. One fellow passed me, waving as it to say “take my photo” as he clung to the the back of a vehicle that was slowly pulling him along.

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As always at any parade held in Thailand, you will find beautiful ladies involved. On Saturday, we were treated to the gorgeous Hooters and dance studio girls along with the ladies who passed by in traditional Thai dress.

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My favourite form of photography is working with people. Whether it is in a studio, a football match, a concert, a party or like this one, a parade. I am in my element with people to aim my lens at. I love nothing more that interacting with anyone who wishes to get in front of my camera.

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Thai people seem to adore having their photo taken and will happily stand and pose, even if it means holding up the parade – and they did just that, much to my pleasure.

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Of course we were treated to men, women and children dressed up in their green garbs, especially for the day, and with bright sunshine, the colours were enhanced as they wandered up the road.

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Lorries and cars decorated in a variety of diverse adornments were seen by the large crowds that had gathered. Cameras clicked away as the procession slowly worked its way towards Walking Street.

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There was of course the comical outfits too, which was matched by those who had spent hours or possibly days preparing for the event.

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It wasn’t quite as fabulous as the Buddha festivals I have attended but it was still something to behold and generated a lot of interest in the city.

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There are numerous Irish bars to be found in Pattaya, some of which I have frequented and had a grand time. I think every bar or bar owner had contributed in one way or another.

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I think overall, the children stole the show. The youngsters were obviously delighted to be taking part, and their huge smiles filled onlookers with delight.

So here’s hoping I live long enough and remain in the Kingdom of Thailand to see another St. Patrick’s Day or maybe even ten ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hua Hin, Thailand

I have, at the time of writing, lived in Pattaya, Thailand for ten months and I have enjoyed every minute my time here. The land of smiles has, for the most part, defeated my clinical depression to the point that I rarely have to rely on medication. Considering the many years I suffered from this debilitating illness, this is by no means something I claim lightly.

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Thailand is a beautiful country. I have hardly touched the surface of what it has to offer in terms of tourist attractions.

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I have visited Bangkok, Roi Et, Chantaburi and of course Pattaya I have travelled around on foot, bike and bus, to learn what the city of Pattaya has to offer. There is an abundance of must see and do tourist attractions in Chonburi Province. It is not just Walking Street I can assure you.

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I was afforded the opportunity to visit the town of Hua Hin on the opposite side of the Gulf of Thailand when the new passenger ferry services came into operation early January 2017.

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The ferry is of a catamaran design and glides over the waves at an average speed of 27 knots or 30mph. Security is high at both sides with airport style scanners and searches before you are permitted into the waiting areas.

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The staff are polite and helpful at the ports of Pattaya and Hua Hin. They even salute their passengers as they depart the ship.

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The ticket allocation was a bit of a disaster on the outward bound trip but the staff handled the situation well and we were actually given premium seats as an alternative to the ones paid for.

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The journey takes around two hours and is effortless. We booked business class for that little bit of additional comfort. The extra cost is minimal and worth paying for a tranquil area, with padded seating and free coffee during the trip.

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Upon arrival in Hua Hin, it was evident that the traffic was nowhere near as chaotic as the city of Pattaya, where everyone appears to be in a hurry and lacking patience. My new home city is well known for its accidents and deaths on its roads. Hua Hin was far more relaxed. People travel with less haste and display superior commonsense. The roads were in better condition too, and even had pavements on most of them. Hard to believe but it is true!

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There were plenty of tourists but the majority are older married couples. There are no Go-Go Bars to be found in Hua Hin and although it does have a fair sized area of sexy bars, it is not in your face the way it is in Pattaya.

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There is also a large ladyboy contingent within these bars and I found it difficult to tell who was and who was not a ladyboy. There are many gay men, the camp type too. However, none of this should put you off visiting these bars.

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There is fun and hilarity and non stop entertainment to be had, for these people know how to enjoy themselves and never force themselves on to anyone. They simply enjoy their work and put a lot of effort into assuring the customer is happy. We had a fantastic time singing and dancing along with the bar staff.

 

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I found the prices higher than in Pattaya, which was surprising. From a can of coke being six baht dearer to the average meal being 25% higher.

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There is no bin to hold your drinks bill in, so you have no idea how much you are spending till you ask for the bill. I prefer the Pattaya method, where I can check the contents of the bin and see how much I have to pay at any time.

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The town has much to offer its visitors. The Hua Hin Safari is a must. It has Elephant Rides/Shows, Cobras and Crocodile Events and much more.

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The highlight for me however, were the tigers. Not any old tigers here. No drugs are used, for there is no requirement. No these are babies. You can handle a four week old cub and have your photo taken with it. You can bottle feed an eight month old tiger, which is a massive creature and not much smaller than the parents. Lie down beside them and rub their belly, let their rough tongues run over your leg or arm.

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This is an amazing experience and one that you should do. It is not cheap, costing around £25 but it is probably a once in a lifetime experience and if the truth be told, I would have paid £50 to get close to these animals. You can spend as much or as little time with the tigers as you wish. There is no one rushing you or asking you to move on.

The temples around the town are awesome and again, you have to visit Wat Huay Mongkol Temple for instance or the seven kings statues at Rajabhakti Park.

Another truly inspiring and exceptional place is Monkey Mountain. As the title suggests this is a mountain featuring an abundance of monkeys, that you really can get up close and personal with.

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You can purchase food and stand amongst them as they climb all over you to access the edibles. You will do well to retain ownership of the bucket of fruit for more than 45 seconds, for they will climb up your body, sit on your head and basically turn the bucket upside down and empty its contents on the ground. Great videos and photos to be obtained here.

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There is a Floating Market, which I found disappointing in comparison to the equivalent in Pattaya, for there were no boats in the water, shepherding customers around. They were present but there was no one to take you out on the water. Maybe it was their day off, who knows. The market itself is very good but that one aspect let it down.

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We spent three days in the town and had an absolute ball. The people are friendly, there is plenty to do and restaurants galore. Some of the eating places are excellent and they are always chokablok with diners.

Taxis are slightly different in Hua Hin. They have the traditional Tuk Tuk, which is not available in Pattaya. They have the standard Taxi Meter cars but not so many. They also have what I can only describe as a small, unstable looking van, with the back removed and replaced by open railings.

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They have baht bus style taxis but these only have eight seats as opposed to the twelve of Pattaya and of course there are taxi bikes and private cars too. Oh and the cycle rickshaw is also to be found in Hua Hin.

Fishing plays a large part of the local life in Hua Hin. From small boats to individuals collecting crabs in the sea. There is plenty of evidence at the markets too where a multitude and vast variety of fish can be purchased.

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My biggest regret from this trip was losing two memory cards with over 500 images that unless I revisit the town, cannot be replaced.

For this reason I have had to use photos from the places we visited to populate this post and for that I apologise.

I did have a walk along one of the many quiet beaches, where I snapped fishermen at work, children frollicking in the sea and enjoyed the tranquility on a very hot and humid day.

Hua Hin is a town I will return to, hopefully before I depart Thailand. A one day trip is all I need to obtain the images I have lost. The ferry and hotel will be under 3000 baht. My personal taxi cost me around 2000 baht on my last outing and food possibly 1500 baht. So adding it all up, £150 will cover another trip to this fabulous town.

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Oh and £25 to hold those baby tigers!

Please note that the images without my logo on them were not taken by me and utilised from Hua Hin sources. Thanks to those who captured the scenes.

 

 

New Year In Thailand 2017

For the first time in my life, I celebrated the bells at New Year away from my homeland, seven hours ahead of Scotland. Yes Р a new experience for me as Thailand and its many tourists got into party mode.

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My second invitation to take photos at a wonderful bar in Rompho in the south of the city of Pattaya, Thailand was presented to me from the bar owners. This bar is known simply as The Corner House and is aptly named, seeing as it sits on the corner of The Rompho Complex.

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I had attended the Christmas Lunch festivities last week and enjoyed a delicious meal, courtesy of the The Corner House but it has to be said they surpassed everything I have witnessed at Rompho previously.

I have attended many parties and events with the Rompho Complex, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed but none had went to the expense of laying on a live band before. And what a great band they were too.

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The party was put together in conjunction with The Sexy Girl Bar on the opposite side of the thoroughfare. Between them they hired a group of musicians from the Philippines, who I later discovered had no name for they were put together especially for these sort of events. This had no reflection on the quality of the musicians, for they were excellent, doing great covers of mainly rock songs. From Blondie to The Animals to Dire Straits, they nailed every tune.

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The party was halted by twenty minutes of rain, which threatened to sabotage the night’s entertainment but like most precipitation in Thailand, it did not last long, and if anything enhanced the atmosphere of the early celebrations as everyone crammed into the bars. I met a multitude of new people as the rain poured from the heavens.

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The raise ceased and soon everyone was returned to the seating areas outside in the warm evening to enjoy a drink and edibles.

The Corner House had a buffet laid on as did their counterparts The Sexy Girl Bar and by all accounts, the offerings were superb, although I was kept busy and missed the opportunity to sample the food.

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That was until the barbequed pig was cooked to perfection and served to the many queuing patrons. I will add that all this marvelous food was free of charge.

I said the to the owner of The Corner House “You have put on a fine spread here and the band are phenomenal”. The response was simple and to the point. “If something is worth doing, then do it right.”

It was indeed carried out to perfection.

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Faces young and old were present. From babies to great grandparents. People from the UK, Canada, America, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Australia, France, Germany and many more were to be found partying and dancing the night away. A multitude of Thai people helped balance things out as everyone mixed in unity. The world could learn some valuable lessons from Thailand from the way everyone gets on together.

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There was one gentleman who entertained a number of children for hours on end. His stamina and patience was a joy to watch as he danced with the youngsters for the majority of the night. I was enthralled just watching the kids jubilant smiles as ran around getting into the party spirit. I bet the slept well when they got home!

The band were exceptionally good and before long people of all ages were bopping away on an area retained for dancing.

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I was kept busy, for as at all parties, people see a photographer and wish to have their photos taken. This is me in my element. I love working with people and Thailand has lovely folks in abundance.

I had the opportunity to take photographs of beautiful ladies and handsome men. People with faces that told stories, that lived in appearance.

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Dancing children prancing around having a ball. One little girl saw it as a game, running away just as I was about to press the shutter button. I got her though – in the end.

At the bells streamers and tinsel were strewn everywhere as the band brought in the New Year.

Sadly there was no fireworks out of respect for the late King, who passed away earlier in 2016 but the party was still a massive success, pulling in at a guess around 200-300 guests. Over the piece it would almost certainly be more for visitors came and went as they sought out friends to wish them all the best for 2017.

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Personally I felt tearful at midnight for I miss so many people back home but it didn’t stop me enjoying myself with new friends in Pattaya.

There were no lager louts, no one so drunk that they became troublesome or even a little bit annoying to others in attendance.

So well done to both bars and the festivity goers, who made this a brilliant night to remember.

A happy New Year to one and all and as they say in Scotland “Lang may yer lum reek.”

A full set of photos can be found here https://www.flickr.com/gp/139555139@N07/9xu7V4

 

The Corner House Bar

On Christmas Day I was invited to attend Christmas lunch at the Corner House Bar in Rompho in the city of Pattaya. I didn’t intend to venture far for Yuletide but I decide to take my friend up on his offer. I also took up the option of taking my camera with me.

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I have been in The Corner House a few times previously and always found it a friendly place to have a drink or an inexpensive meal, so I knew roughly what to expect.

Upon arrival, I sat outside, for in Thailand Christmas is a warm event. The sun was splitting the skies as the temperature peaked at around 33 degrees, unlike the cold wintry Crimbos I am accustomed to in my homeland of Scotland. a pleasant change indeed.

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The bar is situated at the corner of the Rompho Market Complex in Jomtien and is one of the first you will observe as you approach the area from Jomtien Beach. It has ample seating inside and out or you can sit on a bar stool within the bar and enjoy the sun as you watch the world go by. It has two open sides, which contributes to its spaciousness, with ambient lighting giving it a homely feel.

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You will be welcomed by friendly and courteous staff, who will serve you swiftly but will never hassle you in anyway. Press the bell for service and the girls will appear, take your order, delivering it to your table posthaste and always with a smile.

There are TVs suspended from the ceiling or walls as the bar offers live football and other sporting events for the customer to peruse whilst enjoying a cold beer.

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The Corner House serves excellent food from a small but varied menu, which is very affordable. The food is delicious and portions are on the large side.

If you fancy a game of pool, there is an excellent pool table in the bar and I am told the pool team is rather good.

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So back to Christmas lunch. Turkey is something I am not a huge fan off, unless it is for Christmas lunch or dinner. My food was well presented and looked mouthwatering. As I sampled my first piece of white meat, I was in heaven. The turkey breast was moist and cooked to perfection. The brown meat matched the breast for taste and quality, mixed with succulent potatoes and trimmings.

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I had of course been working the camera before and had watched with interest how the staff dealt with the high demand, seeing as the bar was sold out for Xmas lunches. They worked their socks of attending to their customers. The kitchen staff, the waitresses and bar girls all toiled in the heat of the moment to ensure that every customer was a happy one.

The bar had a DJ playing a mixture of Christmas tunes and assorted songs covering most genres. However the music was never overpowering, with the volume set so that people could enjoy each others company.

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What truly amazed me, was the diversity of the people in attendance. The majority were from the UK or Australia but it wasn’t single men. The bar had attracted families from the age of seven through to people in the sixties or seventies.

The was an extended table, which had twelve people seated at it, all English, all ages and with one intention; to enjoy themselves.

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The Corner House has a fantastic laid back and friendly atmosphere within good surroundings.

So if you are ever in Rompho and you fancy a quiet drink or a luscious meal or even to take in a football match on TV, then give The Corner House Bar a visit. You will not be disappointed.

Walking Street may be the place for wild nights out but The Corner House offers an alternative that is often desireable. This is a venue where everyone is welcome.

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A Family Shoot

Meet my favourite family. Due to the ages of the children I think it best that I do not mention their names but who requires names when you have superstar looks?

Brother and Sister

Their mum Ashley is a top class model and it is clear to see that the kids will follow suit.

On the left we see the youngsters posing away like it is second nature to them and it is!

I had worked with Ashley at EMP Studio in Glasgow a year or so previously then by chance I bumped into the whole family whilst doing some street work in Glasgow.

Once I met her offspring I quickly requested their presence at the Kirky Studio as soon as possible. Their parents swiftly agreed and the shoot was on.

Sadly the youngest and possibly cutest was rather tired and didn’t participate in the studio but at two years old we have to make allowances – till next time of course.

It is not difficult to realise where the kids get their good looks from when you see Mum below.

I would predict a long modelling career for these two, if they are managed correctly.

Oh – and I agreed with Ashley that I could take the kids into the studio every year. Ashley – I feel that we should just do it now…..

Ashley