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April 8, 2009

Sayonara Tokyo

I dragged myself out of bed just after 05:00 after drinking Asahi and chatting online with Nina until 02:00, and checked out of the hotel.

The sun had risen, the city was wakening up, and it was going to be a lovely day in Tokyo. The sky was blue and the air had the cool, crisp feel of a hot day brewing - chasing away the cold of the night that you never feel in the tropics.

I was going to miss Tokyo. It looked like spring was kicking off and soon it would be a hot summer in the big city. Thinking of everything that had happened on this trip that I hadn't expected, I pulled my camera bag into the elevator and disappeared into the subway beneath the city, wondering when I'd be back.

April 9, 2009

Japan Locations Map

View Japan in a larger map

Here's a map of some of the places where I hung out in Japan... and some that I didn't!

April 10, 2009

Twitter (#1489306999)

is finding Bangkok chilled after Tokyo's crowds http://twitter.com/bronek/statuses/1489306999

April 29, 2009

Koh Pangan

After the stress of shooting the Bangkok protests I headed down to Surat Thani to photograph a Monkey Training College there, planning to only be away from Bangkok for a couple of nights.

I finished the job at lunchtime, but really didn't feel like heading back to Bangkok and the big city so I made a snap decision to head out to the islands if there was an afternoon ferry going to Koh Pangan. I made my way into Surat Thani itself, had a pizza for lunch, and the women in the restaurant told me there was a bus that went to the afternoon ferry at 14:30. One of them even took me to it on the back of her scooter with my enormous backpack! It was one of those sudden decisions and it felt good.

The ferry left at 16:00, gliding away from the dock into the smooth blue gulf as the sun gradually sank on the port side. I called a couple of guesthouses on the east coast, thinking I'd head to somewhere chilled, but they warned me that it would cost a fortune to get there by taxi by the time the ferry arrived so I opted to spend a night in Coco Huts near Hat Rin instead.

In the pickup taxi were a bunch of Canadians and a Scottish guy called Woodie, and the Canadians asked him what currency we used in Scotland and we both started laughing! It turned out that he'd lived in Dundee for a few years, we started chatting, and he was living on the island and working in one of the bars.

The next day I left my room just to buy sandals, but ran into Leila in 7-11 and ended up going off for an extended trip around the island. Back in Hat Rin, I took advantage of Woodie's offer of some cheap drinks and sat at Cactus Bar chatting with him and watching the firedancers on more than a few nights.

The last days I moved to Lighthouse Bungalows, a collection of huts built on stilts above the rocks at the very south of the island, looking across towards Koh Samui. The following morning, I decided it was time to go and check out Koh Tao and maybe return to Koh Pangan for my birthday. I packed my bag, caught a minibus to the ferry and walked ashore onto the much smaller neighbouring island in the late afternoon.