Southeast Asia

Pieces of Bangkok: Night 3 + 4

Flight time: 1 hour || Distance: Singapore --> Bangkok - 994 miles || Project: The Unsung Heros of Bangkok

Photo 1: Phijit, a 32 year old Thai monk, stands outside a shop selling religious adornments, Buddha statues, and traditional robes. Phijit has been practicing for 12 years. There are over 300,000 monks, and 32,000 monasteries in Thailand. To become a monk you must be at least 20 years old, a man, and free of debt and disease. This lifestyle requires a great deal of discipline - as monks must abide by very specific set of rules (227 to be exact). These include not touching woman (even their mother), never driving a vehicle, and practicing chants, meditation, and worship techniques up to 10 hours a day. -
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Photo 2: Quinton, 24, of Montana, meditates inside the Wat Thepthidaram Worawihan Temple. I met Quinton on the plane to Bangkok, and we happen to have the exact same travel itinerary - small world. We will be trekking to Angkor Wat and rural southern Cambodia together next week.
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-Photo 3: Nipon, a 48 year old street vendor in downtown Bangkok, sells assorted grilled meats on a busy street corner. Nipon fought hard for the rights to this location, and makes a great return on his investment. Each day he makes around 3,000 baht ($95usd), an impressive daily wage for Bangkok. 
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Photo 5: A woman sews the bright orange robes worn by monks in the neighboring monasteries. The saffron color dates back centuries, and was chosen because of the availability of the orange dye at the time. The robes symbolize simplicity and the detachment of materialism. -
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Photo 6: Soi Cowboy is a 150-meter long street dominated by the sex trade. Consisting of 40+ bars, it’s serves as the central hub for strip clubs and prostitution. Despite being illegal since 1960, prostitution is a well-documented trade in Thailand - generating over 6.4 billion dollars a year in revenue. It is estimated that there are over 2 million sex workers in Thailand - 800,000 of which are under the under the age of 18. (We chose not to explore, as this is an industry I most certainly do not agree with/want to support in any way.)

Pieces Of Bangkok: Night 1 + 2

Flight time: 1 hour || Distance: Singapore --> Bangkok - 994 miles || Project: The Unsung Heros of Bangkok

With each destination, there’s a story to be told: For Bangkok - I’m choosing to focus on the hundreds of street vendors that make this city so unique. -
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Photo 1: Wan Tia, 30, sells a variety of meats cooked to order. Behind his stand is a charcoal grill that he regularly fans to keep alight. Wan has been a street vendor his entire life - and makes between 300 and 500 baht a day ($10-18usd). -
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Photo 2: Likto, 28, rests on his Tuk Tuk in front of the Democracy Monument in central Bangkok. He has been driving for 10 years, and says he enjoys it. “Some day the money very good, some day very bad. I like it though, good job here in Bangkok.” Likto’s father owns the cart - which he and his brothers share during the week. The cart cost his family around 200,000 baht ($6300usd), and Likto makes between 500-800 ($10-20usd) baht per night on average. On this day, he had been driving for 10+ hours, and made 300 baht ($10usd). -
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Photo 3: Kay Ut, chef and owner of a small outdoor restaurant near center city Bangkok, drains water from fresh noodles. Kay has owned the restaurant for over 20 years, and operates it with his wife and children.

38 Hours in Singapore

Flight time: 22 hours || Distance: New York ----> Singapore - 10,347 miles || Locations: Gardens by the Bay, The Bay of Singapore

Singapore’s 250-acre public gardens have evolved into a international spectacle since opening in 2012. Home to the infamous Super Trees - each of these 50-meter metal structures boasts over 200 species and 163,000 individual hanging plants. The 11 trees are also equipt with environmentally sustainable systems like solar cells, natural cooling conservatories, and air exhaust receptacles. Each night a massive light show is held free to the public - Singapore is on top of its game🌲