Thailand 3 weeks in April

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jo45800, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal
    Hi everyone,

    I have finaly decided to go to thailand in april for 3 weeks (minus 3 days for the flight trip).

    I would like to know if any of you have suggestions on what to do/see (or not^^). It will be my first long trip alone.

    I thought of bringing my em-5 mark II and ep-5 for backup, 12-40 pro, PL 25mm, O 75, and not yet decided between O 40-150 f3.5 or the 75-300 and a compact tripod

    Do you think I should take others lenses? (I have also O17, Sigma 60).

    Also considering the weather sealing of the em5 and the 12-40. Do you think it safe to go Under the Songkran festival where there are water battle in the street or is it too much water?

    thanks :)
     
  2. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    It depends on how you will be getting about. Your basic kit is similar to my travel kit for the last few years before I got the EM1. I tend to walk everywhere, carrying my gear on my back, or use public transportation, so light/small is the way I prefer to go. I would leave either the 75mm OR the tele-zoom at home and not take the macro - unless you plan on spending time in botanical gardens and such where macro would be needed. The 12-40 focuses pretty close and can substitute for many close-up shots. You don't say what lens is on the EP5 but I would put the 17mm on it and not take anything else for it. That makes it almost pocket camera size. If you will be traveling about by vehicle, this all won't matter and you could take everything. But if you travel like me, I'd suggest not duplicating focal lengths. Cover the full range but leave extraneous stuff home. The only reason to take the 25mm is for the extra speed, shooting flashless interiors for example. I'd take it for that.

    I don't think you need to worry about the weather sealing. It really is good. If you want to be ultra cautious, I'd toss in an Op-Tech disposable rain sleeve, just in case. They are cheap and light and fold up small.

    For an extended trip in Asia and assuming you won't be moving about by tour bus or automobile, you will enjoy the experience more by keeping gear light and very portable. When I used to carry my full DSLR kit, I'd be surprised at how much of it was never used. No more! Lesson learned. The last half-million or so air miles have been done with much less gear and much more enjoyment.

    Oh, and if you are not experienced with international air travel, the best tip I can give is DO NOT put your camera gear in checked baggage. It goes in your carry-on with other valuables and electronics.
     
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  3. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal

    Thank you for your tips. I will indeed travel lightly, Just a small backpack (like school backpack) and a Messenger bag for my gear, so everything should go in the cabin plane. My favorite lenses for street photography are the O75 and The pl25, so I intend to put the 25mm or the 75 on the ep5 and leave the 12-40 on the em-5. I know the PL25 or O17 duplicate the focal lengths but I barely use the O17 so I think I will go with the 25mm.

    and yes I will walk a lot.

    So no telezoom even the small 40-150?
    Forget to said also I will bring also the O9-18.


    thanks again
     
  4. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    In that case, I'd leave the 17mm and the 75mm home and add the smaller tele-zoom. This sort of decision depends a lot on your photo style. I tend to shoot "wide" much more than I do "long," so I take minimal longer lenses. Just enough to cover the range. If you prefer going longer, you might take more of the long choices and cut back on wides. YMMV. Just remember that you will be carrying whatever you take. It is your back.
     
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  5. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    641
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    2 bodies and the 12-40,O75 and PL25mm is exactly what I take when I travel. Unless I know I'm going to see lots of wildlife I leave the longer lenses at home. The 75mm works for me most of the time and with it's fast aperture has many other uses. In south east asia you are unlikely to be there for the wildlife and even getting landscapes is a struggle. You will be able to get waterfalls, seascapes etc
     
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  6. Glenn S

    Glenn S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    788
    Feb 1, 2010
    I would advise you to avoid having your kit with you at Songkran unless you have a rain cover. The Thais don't hold back and will throw buckets of water over anyone on the street. Very refreshing but not good for even weather-sealed kit.
     
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  7. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal
    Thanks . So maybe I Will just go with my xiaomi yi (like gopro)
     
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  8. dancebert

    dancebert Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Jan 18, 2014
    Hua Hin, Thailand
    I live in Thailand. Those Songkran buckets of water may also contain pieces of ice. Wear sunglasses as protection. It's tap water or worse (canal water), so remember to keep your mouth shut.

    Not knowing how you shoot, maybe my experiences maybe helpful.
    I use the O9-18 for day time temple interiors when the O12-40 isn't wide enough.
    Except at night, I always start out with the O12-40 mounted.
    My favorite street shots are from behind stalls at night markets, so I have the vendor's back and the customer's face and torso. O45 works for me, though in majority of cases I want 10 more fast mm so I wouldn't have to crop as much.
    I find the 040-150 f3.5 good for architectural detail, candids, city streets from pedestrian overpasses, and beach / harbor shots. Image quality drops off after 100mm, so sometimes I want more focal length, but not enough to have bought something.
    Temples have many reflective surfaces. Tripod + HDR works for me.


    April will be HOT. Check out climate history for 8 Thailand destinations at Bangkok Climate Guide: Monthly Weather - Thailand Stay hydrated, replace electrolytes, add salt if you avoid it for health reasons, bring a wide brimmed hat. Get up early for the good light, have enough alcohol with a late lunch so you will sleep in your air conditioned room in the afternoon.

    April will be the burning season in the north. Check out the first posts in this thread for links to official air quality info Smoke, Smog, Dust 2016 Chiang Mai - Chiang Mai Forum It's also the last month of kiteboarding season. In Hua Hin, it's not uncommon to see 80+ boarders in the water at one time. Given our usual wind direction, boarders make out and back runs, usually doing some sort of trick turn close to water's edge. It's a good photo op.
     
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  9. Kalifornier

    Kalifornier Mu-43 Veteran

    431
    Apr 29, 2014
    California
    One non-photographic thing in the 'what not to do' section: avoid elephant rides or giving money to street begging elephants. Most tourists are unaware of the horrible abuse these poor creatures suffer and that keeps the industry going. Thailand/Cambodia/India are the worst in this regard.

    Photography wise, Bangkok is awesome for street photography. And of course, Thailand = Stunning beaches....and sand. So weather sealing might be a good thing. IMO 12-40 will cover pretty much everything. And yes, Thailand also has some beautiful National Parks if you get tired of the urban scenery.

    Last but not least...The Food!
     
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  10. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal
    Thank you for your input, I am aware of the hot weather but it is the only time in the year I can take 3 weeks from my work... So I guess I will have to drink a lot

    Is there people that it's offensive to shoot or is there pictures restriction somewhere?

    thanks again
     
  11. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal
    Yeah the Food, one of the many reasons I wanted to go to thailand :D

    For the elephants I have seen some documentary about animal abuse. Also I saw one about tiger temple on netflix but when I make some search on the net, it seems that they are not treated well..
     
  12. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I would not worry about this if you have a weather sealed lens on your camera. I routinely shoot or get caught in weather like this with my gear and have had no problems. The Olympus weather sealing is top notch and some of the best in the business.

    24399326631_2fc1bdb485_b.
    File Jan 19, 08 42 57
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    Edit - guess you have to click on it to watch the video.
     
  13. Glenn S

    Glenn S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    788
    Feb 1, 2010
    I wasn't talking about rain, however heavy. I was talking about having many buckets of water thrown over you. No weather sealing is designed to cope with that.
     
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I doddled around in Thailand for 3-4 weeks back in 2009.

    Muay Thai matches make for interesting photos (one place where the 75/1.8 could earn its keep in your kit).

    Ayutthaya is a nice smaller city that's easy to get to on a train from Bangkok and has a lot of interesting scenery and temples that are easily accessible by renting a (non-motorized) bicycle and tootling around town for the day.

    Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple, is a really fun photographic location if you are in Northern Thailand. It is near Chiang Rai.

    Lots of good outdoor activities (mountain biking, rock climbing, etc...) for tourists in Chiang Mai, as well as nightlife.

    Pai is also scenic and the mountains around there are beautiful, but is super gentrified, touristy and kind of lame at this point (just my humble opinion). It's probably worse now, and I suspect it got its good reputation a few decades ago.

    Try and resist the temptation to rent motorbikes, as convenient and fun as they are.
     
  15. dancebert

    dancebert Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Jan 18, 2014
    Hua Hin, Thailand
    The appropriate comparison (if I remember high school physics) is the force of a raindrop vs the force of a flung column of water. The column moves faster, has more weight and mass, so it applies more force for longer duration than any single rain drop.
     
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  16. dancebert

    dancebert Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Jan 18, 2014
    Hua Hin, Thailand
    The only ones I know of are military and military installations. Just to be on the safe side, I ask cops if I can take a photo. The answer always is 'no'.

    Some vendors get really bent out of shape if you take photos of their wares, ignoring their bogus 'No Photos' sign.

    It's OK to shoot photos inside a temple, though I've never entered one during a ceremony. Tourists walk through temples. If you're going to hang out a bit, sit on the floor because it's respectful to place one's self below the level of the Buddha images.
     
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  17. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
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  18. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal
    I think I will try, but as mentioned by Jfrader, I will buy a optech rainsleeve just in case.
     
  19. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal
    So I have decided my itinerary, I will not go to the north (Chiang Mai ) because I will not have enough time in less than 3 weeks and because it's seems that It will be very very hot.


    Here is my planning, any thoughts?


    Bangkok 3 days

    Puhket 2 days
    Koh pipi 3 days
    Krabi 2 days
    Khao sok 3 days
    Surat tanit 1 night
    Ko Samui 2 nghts
    Kanchanburi 2 nights
     
  20. dancebert

    dancebert Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Jan 18, 2014
    Hua Hin, Thailand
    Does Krabi mean, or include Railay beach? The climbing wall at the harbor faces north, so one can shoot photos in the shade. Most arrive on longtail boats. Be prepared to wade what seems like way too far and in too deep of water. Make sure your electronics are well bagged. Those staying in the high priced places are met by a tractor pulling a flatbed trailer with TALL wheels so no wading for them.

    3 days at Koh Phi Phi is too much, IMHO, unless you're not staying at the isthmus. It's long been a tourist trap from which few day trippers venture out very far. At least before the tsunami wiped it clean the place had some charm.

    I'm a son of a son of a sailor, so when scheduling island trips I always remember no matter how bad I need or want a ride, the captain's decision about the wind and sea conditions are final.

    Have a great trip!