Philippe Teston – photographer, observer, monopoly player.

March 15, 2012

Vietnam – The Middle

Filed under: photography, Singles, Vietnam — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Philippe Teston @ 7:43 pm

My journey continued, this time heading north. To what I think is the best place in Vietnam – Hoi An. This tiny town is located smack dab in the center of Vietnam by the coast, only a short taxi ride from bustling Da Nang. Now, Hoi An is most famous for the multitude of high-quality yet inexpensive custom tailors. You could have a suit made there in two days. And it would probably be one of the best suits you’d ever wear. But that wasn’t the draw. Not for me.

Hoi An is brimming with history, and it shows. Originally a stop-off point for sea merchants dating back to the 16th century, the town’s architecture is influenced by the various occupants at the time – Portuguese, Chinese, and later, the Japanese. There’s a timelessness that permeates the walls, the streets, the people. Most of the town is preserved as it was back in the day, as the town has strict building codes and doesn’t allow motor vehicle access into the historic center (which is pretty much the whole town) for most of the day. So you have to walk or ride a bicycle, and as a result, time slows down. The locals all of a sudden start to appear more approachable, like you’ve lived there your entire life. Sipping a cup of coffee takes hours.

I found myself meandering through tiny alleyways, encased by the bright yellow paint slathered across countless buildings. I would get lost, wandering around in circles, only to find myself back at the same place I started. And it was awesome.

Oh, and the food. THE FOOD! Rather than describe it, I suggest you book a plane ticket down there ASAP. It’s something you have to experience for yourself.

And if you get bored of the town (which I don’t imagine will happen), you can bike on east for about 15 minutes through the countryside to a beautiful beach with endless sand. ┬áThere’s also the My Son ruins about an hour away by van, remnants of the Cham civilization that occupied the area during the first millennia.

If I could pick one place to retire to, it would be Hoi An. Hands down. Here’s a few images to help convince you.

Coming soon – the North.

More after the jump.
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March 4, 2012

Vietnam – The South

Filed under: photography, Singles, Vietnam — Tags: , , , , — Philippe Teston @ 4:44 pm

This past January, I spent two weeks traveling through Vietnam. And I got into some adventures. I was robbed (twice), got into a car accident, watched two Vietnamese men get hit by a fast-moving bus, almost got run over by a big ship, broke two camera lenses, and killed a snake with my teeth.

I realize I’m not really selling anyone on visiting Vietnam.

But despite all the crazy and bad things that happened to me, there was something absolutely magical about Vietnam. I happened to arrive during the Tet holiday, which is the most important holiday in the country – it’s the start of the new year in the Vietnamese calendar. Bustling metropolises were cleared out, the inhabitants journeying back to their hometowns. My first stop on my holiday was Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), the largest city in the country. Known for it’s horrible traffic, the place was devoid of the ubiquitous motorbikes that Vietnam is famous for. Streets outside the backpacker’s district were empty…it was eerie to say the least.

There are also vestiges of the Vietnam War – in fact, there’s an entire museum dedicated to it, the War Remnants Museum. Housed here are captured American military vehicles and weapons, preserved fetuses affected by Agent Orange, and a brutal (and one-sided) view of the war. There was also an excellent exhibition of work by photojournalists who died while covering the war.

I also took a trip through the Mekong Delta. The place is filled with sweet sweet fruit…and what at first glance looked like a cocaine manufacturing plant. You know, like the ones you would expect to see in the jungles of Colombia. Except it was a coconut candy village, or so they said.

So I meandered down the Mekong Delta, crawled through some Vietcong tunnels, and ate more Banh Mi’s (vietnamese sandwiches) than I could count. Oh, and drank heavily to cool off from the intense heat (bottles of Johnny Walker were $1.50!!!). And that was only the first four days.

Below are images from the Ho Chi Minh and the Mekong Delta. Enjoy!

Next up, what may be my favorite place in the world…stay tuned.

More after the jump.

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November 13, 2011

Korea Through An iPhone Part II

Filed under: Korea, photography — Tags: , , , — Philippe Teston @ 10:45 pm

Round 2! 31 photos. Oh Korea…

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September 28, 2011

Portraits Part III

Filed under: Korea, photography, Portraits — Tags: , , , , — Philippe Teston @ 7:15 pm

Part three of a continuing portrait project. From Korea and New York.

I don’t know where this is going, or really what it’s about anymore. But here are 19 images to hold you over.

Dianna

Liam

Kevin

CJ

More after the jump.

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August 9, 2011

South Korea, Part II

Filed under: Korea, New York City, video — Tags: , , , , , , , — Philippe Teston @ 1:28 pm

A long time coming…

As we wind down on year one of our time in Korea, here’s a video I made of the highlights and beauty we’ve witnessed. Korea really is a magical place.

And also a place where you get iced a lot. At least on your birthday anyway.

So for those of you who may be leaving in a few weeks to continue on with other things, don’t be sad. We’ve had a lot of great times together. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

Without further adieu, here’s the video – ENJOY! (a version in HD is available here … I STRONGLY recommend you view that one, in fullscreen mode:) )

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