The Mekong river, Laos.
It’s an interesting thing looking across the river at another country.
The Mekong river is a natural border between Thailand and Laos and this image was taken on a misty evening when on the Laotian side of the border, facing Thailand.
The Mekong river, at certain points during its journey down the Himalayas, creates a border between at least three different countries. Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. Three incredible travel destinations. For me, one of the most dynamic, colourful and interesting regions of the world. There are more new species of animals being found around the Mekong delta than anywhere else in the world. Of course, if you are anything like me you will go photography crazy in places like this.
South-east Asia is without a doubt one of my favourite travel and photography destinations. I will probably never have enough of it. I even lived in Thailand for a few years working on a book that will hopefully finish in this lifetime. You never know, I might go back there for another few years…working on the book. Maybe, I am actually not even really working on a book but just using it as an excuse just so my wife will agree to go back there again. I don’t know…Have you ever felt like that? Or am I just a really crazy guy?
I have already been there so many times and photographed so much that I probably have enough material for two books. Still…not enough. Must go back…soon.
Ps. If you really think that I am crazy…don’t tell me. It might hurt my feelings and then I am probably going to need a vacation to Thailand just to make myself feel better.
It’s a hard thing…not travelling. Not being on the road.
It can be addictive and like every addiction it can also burn your soul…not travelling. Not being on the road.
Be careful what you see out there on your little trips. It might nest itself in your heart and not let you forget. Just like that summer crush you thought was your soulmate…the one that got away.
The first time I travelled to Laos was in 2005. It was on my honeymoon…Yes, I am that weird…I went to Laos for my honeymoon and I loved it.
The first thing that happened to me and my wife when we arrived in Laos was when I stepped out of the rickshaw and the driver offered to sell me a huge bag of cannabis. I politely declined. Later that night, going out for dinner and some Beer Lao, I started to think about that incident and it made me realise that lao people are so humble and polite. Not even the weed dealing rickshaw driver was threatening or rude.
We travelled around Laos for a month and it was amazing.
During that journey I felt like I was struggling a lot with my photography. I was a novice and I was shooting film. I couldn’t see any progress until much later. Luckily, I did a lot of shooting so I managed to get a few keepers on black and white film.
Appart from the misty mountains and the beautiful rivers I really like the dignity of the lao people. They are so friendly and never pushy. You can have your own space and create your experience the way you want it. If you have a philosophical nature and you like to contemplate Laos is the place for you. Laos is culturally rich but quiet and serene.
…In photography, when you lose yourself in the moment you can go back and forth at the same time.
You can go back and forth as much as you want…As long as you have an umbrella you will be fine.
I had been walking a lot that day.
At times, not really knowing where I was.
When I arrived at this temple the monks looked like they wanted to take it easy as much as I did…so we did.
The sunset is a calling.
You must go and watch it burn the horizon.
Sometimes, the light is better when the sun has already set. Although, you must be willing to play with it…the light, if you are not quick it will run away from you and you might be left lost in the dark…
Once in Vientiane, you must also mind the river. Just put the river on your mind before you arrive and stay close to it.
In the coming days I will post some images from Vientiane, Laos. Most of them will be included in a collection of images I have been working on for the past 6 months. The collection is named The Forgotten capital. I will give you more information about the collection and my work as we go along.
Unfortunately, I have no prints for sale of this collection nor can I have an exhibition yet…there is no money. However, I’m working on it. Someone, tell my wife.
There is a certain feeling you get as soon as you arrive in Laos.
I have never felt it anywhere else.