Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Southeast Asia - 19 Sept - 1 Nov 2012

Flight from Auckland to Sydney.

Meal on the flight.

First, but certainly not last, banana shake I had.

Some of the devices/mechanisms had different looks from what I was used to and so made their way into my sketchbook.

Done from memory but fairly accurate to the event. Only the second rat I've ever seen actually, and both of them were while I was traveling (the first was in Venice).

Cats and dogs abounded.

Visting the Killing Fields was sobering, to say the least. Sometimes you are just reminded how lucky you truly are to come from a very stable country/region/time.

We saw people selling, and eating, these the whole time we were in Cambodia. The seeds are popped out of the little indentations you see on the top and the rest is discarded.

Bet you can't have just one. Cheap and delicious, drinks in Phnom Penh, where it seems to always be Happy Hour.

Angkor Wat: A spread made from various photo reference mixed in with my ticket (you can probably make out my pic on there in the lower righthand corner). Amazing doesn't cover it.

The next day we visited the larger complex of Angkor Thom and the Angkor National Museum (the ticket you can see pasted in there). Again, there's no way to do this justice. And, yes, we saw the temple where part of Tomb Raider was filmed.

A quick, lazy, pencil sketch done looking from the patio of the guesthouse we stayed at in Pakse, Lao PDR.

My favourite watercolour sketch I completed during our trip. Again completed on the patio at our guesthouse in Pakse, but the next morning form the last image.

In case you can't read my hand-writing, which is a good bet, this stuff was everywhere in Southeast Asia. And no matter how little it cost it wouldn't be worth it -- it literally fell apart and became like dust as soon as you touched it. Given how humid it was that's quite a feat for a paper product.

I was introduced to fresh peanuts in Lao. I never knew that peanuts are not naturally hard. They are actually very damp and soft when fresh. And delicious. Thanks to Danny for introducing them to me!

This next doodle illustrates part of our bus trip in Vientiane, capital of Lao PDR, to visit Buddha Park. I don't think my sketch is much of an exaggeration really. 

While in Vientiane we visited the C.O.P.E. Visitor Centre (http://www.copelaos.org). They assist people who have been affected by cluster bombs but also those that are afflicted with other injuries or birth defects. Quite heart-wrenching but, at the same time, inspiring. At the bottom left you can see the business card from the visitor centre I pasted onto the page.

Another mechanism that struck me -- the lock on the train cabin door going from the Lao border with Thailand to Bangkok. Pretty sweet way to travel!

We worked our way to the southern part of Thailand, to Phuket, for the Vegetarian Festival. It happens every year for about a week or so and includes everything from massive amounts of vegetarian food, people poking stuff through their faces (really) to crazy firecrackers and fireworks going off in the streets. On the last night we couldn't see from one side of the street to the other because of the smoke. Pasted onto the page shown below was a firecracker box label I picked up from the street. The illustration is of a pole with a large firecracker attached, near the top, along with several small ones below it. This contraption would be lowered over a shrine type throne thingy and lit, igniting the lower firecrackers first and ending with the large one at the top. Picture four or so people doing this at once, and then again and again, and you'll have a small idea of what it was like.

Decided to buy a new refillable brush pen at an art supply store in Phuket. Like $2!

Connect four is fairly big in southern Thailand it seems.

View on the beach on Lanta.

Another image from Lanta while we waited for our food one night.

The original of the following image is now in the hands of the owner of the Greek Taverna on Lanta.  The owner saw me painting this sketch and asked if he could have it.The Greek gentleman and his wife were fantastic hosts and the food was amazing! It was a nice change from rice. And, of course, the ouzo was refreshing and tasty. I have both the bottle and the glass as souvenirs.

This last image is of the "hut", cottage really, that we stayed in on Lanta. This was done literally half an hour before we got on the bus. While I sat on the ground and painted several local children crowded around and watched me intently. Not my favourite sketch but they seemed to think it was okay.

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