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Photography in Tourism

by nate on November 14, 2009

Sometimes consumer photography in travel doesn’t capture the moment, but rather erases it.

consumerPhotography
When seeing the “must-sees” in travel (the monuments, the waterfalls, the cathedrals…) sometimes the experience is killed by 50 little silver cameras trying to get the exact same photo, except they’re lob-sided, over-exposed, ill-composed, or just wrong. The visitor wants to document the experience, so that that night they may review it on their camera, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll upload or print it, and never look at it again.

Honestly, compare the lifespan of these photographs with a nice memory of experiencing the sight. You traveled to see it, then only see it through the digital screen?

We recently went to a Cao Dai service, and basically it was impossible to enjoy it because everyone was trying to “capture” it. Two people had really nice SLRs and everyone else had little digitals. While I was sitting there, flashes going off everywhere, I thought there must be a solution to preserve the moment, while giving the “postcard” photo to all the people who want it.

The idea I had was very simple. A little digital box with a “shutter switch.” No lens, just a simple GPS. Every time you press the “shutter” the camera takes the exact location, and then downloads creative commons Flickr photos with the closest location metadata. It might sound bizarre to do something like this, but it’s quite interesting to see the locations for yourself, and then relive it through someone elses eye. A sort of digital recycling that’s fun and interesting.

Sounds like an iPhone app doesn’t it?

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Later ‘Nam

by becca on November 4, 2009

Awesome old map

Awesome old map

After seven beautiful weeks in Vietnam, we’re leaving tomorrow for Cambodia. We’re also picking up the pace a bit. Nate’s sisters Sarah and Leah are joining us for Christmas in Thailand, so to make the most of our time between now and then, we’re going to be moving a bit faster than we have been. Today we spent some time drawing out a route, which we had the luxury of not really bothering with before. So here we go, starting tomorrow:

Enter Cambodia at the Southern most border crossing. A few days in Kampot, then up to Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap before heading into Northeastern Thailand to be in Surin for the Elephant Round Up. Then up into Laos for a few weeks of outdoor adventures: whitewater rafting, climbing, kayaking, tubing, cave exploring, and trekking are all available in Laos, woo! Then over to Northwestern Thailand and we’ll work our way down to meet Sarah and Leah in Bangkok just before Christmas!

Noteworthy adventures are surely to be blogged about, though we don’t know much of what to expect from internet connections and the time we’ll have to dedicate. I’m assuming that our new schedule may not accommodate four hour stints in cafes working on the blog, but we’ll see.

You can follow our path in the MAP tab of the site.

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Phu Quoc Island

November 4, 2009

Phu Quoc is a beautiful Vietnamese island at the very southern point. A gem in the midst of a huge transition. The dusty roads and rural villages are quickly changing as all roads are under major construction, with their little airport becoming an international hub in 2012. This will become a popular European holiday destination, […]

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War Remnants Museum

November 4, 2009

After exploring Vietnam for 7 weeks, the War Remnants Museum in Saigon is perhaps the only museum I would truly recommend as a must-see, especially as an American. The museum is well curated and the most comprehensive collection of artifacts and documentation of the entire ‘American War’. Traversing my way through the two story museum […]

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Saigon

November 3, 2009

We came to Saigon having heard many warnings that this bustling city would be overwhelming, with 6 million motorbikes zooming around the streets, and a pulse that far out-paces the rest of Vietnam. We had these warnings, and when we arrived, we loved it. Coming from NYC, this city felt like home. ATMs at every […]

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Life in the Mekong Delta

November 3, 2009

The Mekong Delta is the area in the Southwest of Vietnam where the mighty Mekong River fans out and flows into the sea. Through a tour company that prides itself on off the beaten track experiences, we were able to spend a night in a homestay in the heart of the area, in Vinh Long […]

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Fishing from a Basket Boat

November 3, 2009

Doc and his friends were very welcoming to Nate and I, and made sure we saw a side of Nha Trang that the common visitor wouldn’t typically see. We ate a few times with him at Local Restaurant where we met the owner, Son. From a small village a few hours from Nha Trang, Son […]

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Cu Chi Tunnels

November 3, 2009

As a day trip out of Ho Chi Minh City, we went to visit the premier Cao Dai temple (a religion in Vietnam that combines Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism), a crafts and tobacco factory, and the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Viet Cong’s base right outside of HCMC (Saigon) and sometimes right under American camps, […]

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Mui Ne… meh

November 3, 2009

After 11 blissful days in Nha Trang, Nate and I took the five hour bus ride down the coast to Mui Ne, another beach town in Central/Southern Vietnam. The hotels, resorts and restaurants are really spread out in Mui Ne and we found a nice little bungalow at a place with “beach front access.” Our […]

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Vietnam: Rules of the Road

November 3, 2009

1. All parties are allowed on the road: buses, trucks, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, pedestrians, playing children, various goods drying on tarps (shrimp, fish, coconut shells, incense), food stalls, and animals (cows, chickens, ducks, dogs, etc.) 2. Any part of the road is fair game. This includes any shoulders and dirt paths that may be connected […]

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