Nimmanhaemin


I had heard Nimmanhaemin being compared to Hongdae in Seoul, and thought well this could be something. There is no doubt that Nimmanhaemin is something, but other than the fact that the street and neighbourhood is located next to a univeristy and is known for its artistic vibe, many of the comparisons stop there.

Don’t let that dissuade any Koreaphiles from the place, because what it lacks in comparison with Hongdae it makes up for in spadefuls with it’s own vibe which does a lot to add to the personality of Chiang Mai itself. It is not a tourist location, it’s more a place where people live hang out. There is a plethora of expats mixed in with young Thais enjoying the trendy culture Nimmanhaemin grows.

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Around these parts you have fewer Buddhist temples and those pesky (so-called) travel agents, and more places to chill and eat. It is a place to frequent, to hang about, and be a man or woman about town. The long street is always busy it seems, but branching off this thoroughfare are alleys, or Soi, each conveniently numbered from one upwards (odds on left, evens or the right), that have more bars, cafes, boutiques, and all sorts of other things, that make exploring a healthy past time on a warm January afternoon.

On Nimmanhaemin you have two sides; the hectic main street busy with not only purring tuktuks and songthaeus, but music and merry making from the assortment of patrons who have decided on this area for the day, and the lazy laid back alleys as green as a rain forest and as warm as a mother’s hug.

There’s a lot to see on Nimmanhaemin, and the best way to do it is just to walk around and get lost. Bring lots of money and prepare yourself for amazing dessert options even before you consider your main meal. They also serve some fantastic coffee in parts too. I’ve only been here during the day, so I can’t speak of the place after dark, but it has the look of devilment which I may subscribe to.

Today we spent a wandering about the Soi of Nimmanhaemin. Being me, I took many photos (mostly with my iPhone 4), and if it takes your fancy pop over to youtube and view this as a slideshow.

What about your neighbourhood? What sights and sounds abound?

A Year in Instagram


Here is my Year in Instagram. 508 Images, I believe, and over 9 minutes of wonderful filtered goodness.

Just in time for the new year I’ve come across a neat little app for the iphone called Flipagram. Essentially it collects all your photographs and allows you to organise them into a very simple slideshow, which you can then share across your various social networks, or whatever.

I had been looking for something like this to share my past year of photographs taken on Instagram, an app I’ve a lot of time for and one I enjoy not only posting but also looking at other people’s photographs. Of course it has it’s critics, but it also has its avid users (such as myself) who have taken amatuer mobile photography to a different level. For me, I use it as a photo-blogging or daily-photo tool (not that I post every day), as well as a convenient way of sharing photographs across multiple platforms.  I’ve spoken about Instagram a bit before so I’ll try and break new ground here.

You can read other Instagram related pieces here:

Instagramming My Environment October 2013
Italian Students Speak August 2013
In the Evening on the Twentieth Floor September 2012

What I’ve managed, eventually it has to be said, is to put together a slideshow of every instagram shot I’ve taken over the past twelve months, totalling over 500. I say eventually because this only came about after a number of mishaps which can probably be blamed on my slowly aging iphone 4, my dodgy internet connection, and faults with the app itself. I know there are faults because the person who made me wise to this app also expressed frustration with the actual processing.

It turns out that you can’t leave the app during the creating process, so I had to keep tapping the screen and to watch the percentage dial gradually progress towards 100%.  On more than one occasion my vigilance failed me and it was back to the start with my slideshow creation game, and by back to the start I mean all the way back.

That being said, both of us have created an almost 10 minute long slideshow with over 500 hundred shots, so perhaps it isn’t easy to actually develop an app capable of doing this fluidly. I think sometimes with the over propenderence of new tech and apps we just expect outright for things to work to our incredibily far reaching and rigid expectations. Nothing is ever really perfect, is it? But the more we see new things our expectations seem to spiral further beyond a reasonable level.

I could go about doing it the way I was actually considering doing which is to go through my folders on my computer and copy and paste all my backed-up instagram shots from the past twelve months. This would not only be frustrating, but undoubtedly one hundred times more tedious and prone to mistakes than this newer means of accomplishing the task at hand. Equally handy is the ability to go through Facebook albums to create a similar experience, and it is something I might do next.

The Flipagram app just about to process another slideshow,

The Flipagram app just about to process another slideshow,

In the end the final product came out rather well, and if I had some nice long piano concertos uploaded onto my iphone it would have been ideal. As it turned out I had no music at all. So once the slideshow was finished processing I had to save it onto dropbox, and from my laptop upload it to youtube where I used some of their ad supported music – the only free music they had was the Funeral March, which was not what I was looking for.

Do you use Instagram? Why not make your own Year in Instagram and share a link in the comments. 

Also, a big happy new year to all my readers!

Photos of Korea 2007-2008


I’ve taken hundreds of photos over the years in Korea. I’ve noticed my style and ability to frame better pictures improve, and especially I’ve noticed that I take more better pictures (yes I know this is a matter of opinion).

I’ve always found Korea a fantastic and exciting location to photograph. There’s so much to see and it’s always changing, and while many parts of the cities and even countryside may not be aesthetically beautiful, there’s so much that can be done photographically. Over the past year I’ve increasingly found myself taking pictures of urban spaces, but before it was different. These photos mostly deal with the countryside and nature, with the occasional city shot. Maybe that’s because that’s what I thought photography was all about.

Since I came back to Korea in 2010 I’ve had this blog and I’ve shared many of my recent photographs as I take them. Before I left in 2008, I think that myself and Herself went everywhere in Korea, and sometimes to the same place twice. I think I always had my camera with me. I had a rummage through my old folders of photographs and pulled out some of the better ones. As I said, my ability to take more better quality pictures has improved, so it was hard to find some which I thought were good enough.

I’d like the to give a special shout out of thanks to the photographers whose photographs I’ve been enjoying which have allowed me to develop my present style. Notably in Korea, The Bobster and Liz Groeschen at Seoul Suburban.

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I hope you enjoy these. I’ve tried to caption them with a location where possible. If you would like to know more about any of these photographs, please leave a comment below.

An Old Car in My Neighbourhood


Neighbourhoods are great. The longer you stay in them the longer you become accustomed to the way life is lived there. You find more and more unique and interesting aspects that make your neighbourhood stand out more. One thing about living anywhere, but especially in Korea, is that when you fly through a neighbourhood you are frequently only presented with a shell of where it is you are passing. When you spend a little time there, you get a better feel for that place and you can appreciate it more.

Take Yeongtong-dong. The shell of Yeongtong-dong is very familiar to anyone who has lived in Korea for any decent amount of time. It is full with highrise apartments surrounding a central business area where shops, restaurants, and assorted offices and schools dominate in an electric and frantic bustle. If you go through the middle of Yeongtong you get the impression that everything here is done in a rush, but once you step away from here, the pace does slow down a little.

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