Homeward Bound

Well, that’s me at the end of my trip to South East Asia, I’m currently in Bangkok airport waiting to board my flight home. I think the city wanted to say goodbye to me in a fitting manner, I drove to the airport during a massive thunderstorm and torrential rain.

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I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ve enjoyed myself immensely, more than I thought I would, however, it’s time to come home and spend a bit of time recharging my batteries before my next trip.

While I’m at home, I will update my site with all my stories and photographs of the trip, there have been many requests from my fellow travellers to see it, and too bring back so many memories.  During the last couple of days wandering the city, I did manage to find some street art, these are just off the top of the pile, there are much better pieces to follow.

Leaving Cambodia

I last posted when I arrived in Siem Reap, this final post from Cambodia is also coming from Siem Reap, as this is where I get my bus back to Bangkok tomorrow morning.  Since my last post, I’ve visited many places, we left Siem Reap for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, I didn’t think much of the city, too busy and very messy, I did a 16 km trek searching for some non-existent street art, which gave me a new set of blisters!

Before leaving Phnom Penh, we visited the infamous Khmer Rouge prison, S21 and the nearby Killing Fields, which seemed strange to find it in a peaceful lakeside location, both of them were very sobering visits and gave me an insight into the terrible events of the Khmer Rouge regime. This certainly was a different part of Cambodian history that should be remembered and never repeated.

We then made our way South to Kampot, a sleepy little riverside town, we arrived in time to board a riverboat for a sunset cruise,  as usual we didn’t get to see a sunset but the cruise was very nice and relaxing.  Fortunately the next day was a free day, which gave me the chance to have a bit of a lie in before a leisurely breakfast.  Kampot is not too large, I wandered about to see what sights it had to offer. I eventually found some paint on walls in the town, most of it pretty basic , but there was a couple of really good pieces.Our final visit in the Kampot area was to the Kep Gardens on the outskirts of Kampot,  this was a great visit, it was to a community education project, set up and run by an elderly Australian couple, we were shown round by Janiine and we then spent the next few hours teaching English to 6 and 7 year old kids, it really was great fun, I don’t know who enjoyed it most, the kids or us, I was blown away by how clever some of the kids were and how well they responded to us.

Following our visit to Kampot, we returned Phnom Penh, as we had a bit of a late night, there were a few sore heads first thing, mine included, I had a wee wander around the area in the afternoon as I didn’t really like the city much, my second visit didn’t change my mind.  As I was leaving the group in the morning,  we all gathered for our final dinner together,  we chose Friends the Restaurant, a collective project restaurant where all the profits are returned to the community, it was a nice way to finish off our trip together.

As I said, I did however discover little pockets of good street art, only one or two in each place, but it was good to see that some are trying, despite the local government crackdown.

I was picked up in the morning and taken to the bus station, where Tra Tra and I boarded our Mekong Express Limousine coach to Siem Reap,  my final destination in Cambodia.  I’ve enjoyed my time here, it’s a country full of happy friendly people, despite the visible poverty, the only time we felt threatened was in Phnom Penh as we had been told there were bag snatchers about.  The countryside and history is fascinating, it really good to spend some time amongst the villagers and normal expletive not jus the ones in the tourist pots.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

I have now left Bangkok on the next stage off my trip. I met up with the rest of our small group, and last night we took the night train to Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand.   The journey was interesting to say the least.

The train was very clean and efficiently run and shortly after we left Bangkok an attendant changed or seats into reasonably comfortable beds, however I didn’t get much sleep during the night.

Now that we are out of Bangkok and are in the more rural north, I hope to see more of the true Thailand.  I did discover that they quite like street art in Chiang Mai, but it was a bit unfortunate that I was too late to take a Bicycle Tour around it when we arrived, I did manage to find some during my walk around town though.

Bangkok

At the start of this year’s big trip, I arrived in Bangkok an was picked up and taken to my hotel, which is near the middle of the tourist area of Khaosan road. As expected it is very warm and humid.I expect to take plenty of photographs while here and I will only post one or two on the blog, leaving the rest for a dedicated page on the site later.I did find a little piece of street art outside my hotel, it has quite a simple style.

Yardworks – The Arches

I recently took a trip down to see how the Arches Project at SWG3, was coming along, it was a really sunny day and it was good to meet up with Gaz, Dan, Barry, Smug, and the rest of guys working away. As usual, I took plenty of photographs, some from the narrow pavement beside the arches and some from across the Expressway.

Some pieces are completed, however many of the pieces are still to be finished and there are a couple of arches yet to be started. Most artists were assigned one arch, but Smug and the Cobolt Collective were each given 2, looking at what has been done to date on them they are making full use of the expanded space.

I was highly impressed with the work so far, but as I’m getting ready to disappear for a wee while, I’ll just have to wait to see the finished articles on my return.

A day at the races

An interesting day on Sunday, I headed East to Knockhill Racing Circuit with my mate Jim to see the British Touring Car Championships, we were presented with a great days racing made all the better for the nice weather.

In addition to the three BTCC Car races, there was a superb support line-up featuring Renault Clio, Ginetta and British F4 Championship racing.

After the racing, we headed over to Cowdenbeath to see the new mural by Fife artist Kerry Wilson. The spectacular new mural of a local girl fills a gable end of a building in the centre of the town. Kerry’s work certainly adds colour to the town and adds to the similar-sized mural of a miner Boy I photographed earlier in the year.

I really enjoy visiting Cowdenbeath, in addition to the large scale murals she creates in the town, Kerry, assisted by the local school pupils, has also produced some striking pieces of shutter art which really brightens up the High Street after the shops close, I think I may have to create a new section of the site devoted to shutter art.

Arch Project

I took a trip to SWG3 today to see how Yardwork’s Arch Project is progressing, it was really great to see a new piece by Inkie, the London based painter and street artist, originally from Bristol.  much as I love Rogue-One’s masterpiece for this year’s Yardworks, I was a wee bit sad to see Inkie’s Glasgow Girls go, his piece on the Arch is almost a homage to the original.  New works from OhPanda, Sledone, and Voyder have been added during the week and add to Mark Worst’s beautiful unfinished artwork I photographed last week.

On the way there I stopped off to see the Cobolt Collective’s 20-metre high piece for this Year’s Open Doors at Brown Street near the Broomielaw,  This and the work completed last week at SWG3 with the Design Kids, a group of recently qualified design students, is up to the usual standard expected from the Cobolt crew, I really love their style.

Back in Glasgow

When I returned from Berlin I had to return to my old employer for a few days, so I was unable to get the blog and site updated.  Whilst out and about on Saturday, I popped into SWG3 for a coffee and spotted the Cobolt Collective passing on their skills to a bunch of design kids fresh out of Uni and a couple of new pieces, one that stuck out was one by Mark Worst on the first of the Arches facing the expressway, I’m not sure if he has finished it yet, but it does look impressive and up to his usual standard.  Whilst going into the city, I stopped on Cathcart Road to see a nice wee mural on the back wall of the Hampden Bowling Club pavilion commemorating a Scottish defeat of England at Hampden Park on March 11th 1882, Scotland won that match 5-1.

I have now updated the pages and they can be seen here,  Travel Blog and Street Art  I have yet to upload all of the images I took whilst I was away.

Berlin Day 5

A much quieter and relaxing day today, I discovered an app which showed a great number of Berlin’s mural and how to get to them, using the time left tome I went out into the suburbs at the Western Edge of the city to see and photograph the large scale murals at Tegel, 8 murals by artists such as Fintan Magee, PixelPancho, The London Police Borondo and Herakut.  The works are on the ends of 4 high rise buildings situated near Lake Tegel and it was nice just sitting, soaking up some sunshine by the lake.  Back in the city I caught some more photographs from my list before returning to the accommodation to have a rest and to pack my case for the morning.

I finished off the day by going up the TV Tower in Alexanderplatz, which was OK, but not the most impressive tower I’ve been to recently. A nice meal and a beer, in the Standige Vertretung Restaurant topped of a good day.