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Photo TR of Asia (1/22 - a favor to ask!)

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Since I have quite a few posts in this thread I decided to put links to all of the photo posts to make things easier:

1. Hong Kong (beginnings), Macau, and Ocean Park

2. Shenzhen and Happy Valley

3. Hong Kong mini-update

4. Shanghai

5. Hong Kong big update

6. Taipei, Taiwan

7. Yangshuo, China

8. Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong

9. Lotte World, Seoul

10. Seoul, South Korea

11. Tokyo, Japan

12. Kyoto, Japan & a last day in Tokyo

13. Universal Studios Singapore

14. Singapore, Singapore


We all threw our cameras into a locker since we were going on a lot of rides so I apologize in advance that I did not get many shots of the park itself. Hence mini TR. BUT I'm going to Happy Valley Shenzhen this weekend and possible Happy Valley Shanghai at the end of this month and I WILL get more photos there.


Anyways, Ocean Park was very fun. They didn't have much in the way of rides but what they did have was decent. Plus there was so much to do that we were never bored. Dragon was pretty painful and all of my friends (non-enthusiasts) hated it. The Mine Train was fun, and being so close to the edge of the mountain/cliffside was a definite plus. The drop tower was very good too.


The water rides were funny because you didn't actually get wet at all from any of the splashing that the boats made, just the massive amounts of water guns and sprinklers


As for the new B&M, it looks like it will be the best ride at the park when it finally opens. The ride looks finished but it wasn't open or testing. Granted, my view was obscured but the lift hill was topped and completed and it looked like all of the track was put on.


TPR's photo uploader never works for my photos so captions will be ABOVE the pictures


Stayed with my cousin for a few days before heading off to campus (studying abroad in Hong Kong)



Chinese junk boat in Victoria Harbour:


Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui:


Hong Kong Island at night:



Fishing village we visited during orientation:


Hong Kong Island from the top of Victoria Peak (we HIKED up to the top instead of taking the tram btw...)


Senado Square in Macau:


Portuguese egg tart (delicious...):


The Venetian:



Dragon boat racing! The next three pics were taken at a place called Cheung Chau Island, a moderately sized fishing island south of Hong Kong



Just playing around with long exposure


Mid Autumn festival festivities in Hong Kong!



And finally, for the Ocean Park pictures:







If you look carefully you can see a roller coaster in this picture, I swear!


Ocean Park at night:



Edited by JDo217
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Thanks for the comments guys. The reason the uploader never works for me is because the files are horrendously large. They're already jpeg files and most of them are 5-6 MB.


^I shoot with a Nikon D3100. All of the pictures in the first post were shot with the kit lens (Nikon 18-55mm AF-S VR lens). I have recently (after most of these pictures were taken) bought the Nikon 35mm/1.8G prime lens and I absolutely love it. The picture of the lantern at night is from the first (and so far only) shoot I've done with it but for the low price it was so worth it.


I've also been playing around with a polarizing filter and grad ND filter so maybe I can get some new perspectives I'm currently saving up for either Sigma 10-20mm or Tokina 11-16 and my goal is to have one by December since I am planning on going to Tokyo, Seoul + Everland (!!!!), Beijing, and Shanghai (pushed back the trips to Shanghai and Beijing back since schoolwork is picking up and I've already skipped a lot of classes to travel ) at the end of the semester.


Anyway, IMPORTANT: do you guys know if Happy Valley Shenzhen has "facilities" to store backpacks and other belongings in? We can't check into the hotel till 2pm but we're traveling relatively lightly. Only one backpack per person but obviously it will be difficult to ride stuff with them and I will have my DSLR so I don't want to leave it on the platform

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^^ Ah thats awesome. I have just purchased a Canon 500D but currently only have the stock 18-55mm lens kit. Planning on getting a EF100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM Lens before January as I also have a trip to Shanghai (Happy Valley + World Joyland), Harbin (Ice Festival) and Seoul (Everland + Lotte World) booked. However its such lenses are perhaps a bit beyond my price range just now :S

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Update time! I just got back from Shenzhen for the weekend and I'm pretty exhausted. Somehow though I seem to be wide awake once I get back to my room...I resized my files this time so hopefully the uploader will finally work


Anyway, I made lots of travel plans. I'm going to Shanghai for 5 days at the end of September (ie Happy Valley Shanghai!), Seoul (Everland), and Tokyo at the end of the semester! Beyond excited to ride my first Mega-Lite, dive coaster, and T Express. Anyways, We got to Shenzhen around 10 since it took a really long time to get to the Luohu border from Hong Kong and immigration is always such a pain in the ass.


Shenzhen is no Hong Kong unfortunately. While I loved the two days I spent in SZ, it was pretty grimy. I thought the metro was quite possibly worse than NYC's, which is saying a lot. While many Hong Kongese say that Shenzhen is dangerous (in terms of pickpockets), I didn't really find that to be the case. We went to many of the crowded, tourist shopping areas and we were fine. We even walked about 2 km back to our hotel at night and had no problem either. Haggling is always fun, but the shopping in SZ wasn't that good and the malls were kind of cramped. At least Hong Kong's are spacious to balance out the sheer number of people that visit them


We checked into the hotel, had a bite to eat, then went to Happy Valley. The park was very nicely themed but the operation policies were not that good. Aside from a horrid one-train operaton on the SLC, I thought they did a pretty good job loading all of the rides in a timely manner. We didn't rent a locker/couldn't find lockers so we just left our stuff in the cubbies on the platforms. I was a little worried since I had my DSLR in there but since there was a one train operation on the major stuff, it was fine.


Would you believe me if I said I actually enjoyed an SLC? It was still rough but at least re-rideable aside from the 1 hour wait. All of my friends enjoyed it too


Bullet Coaster is STILL not open. We got excited when we saw the ride from afar and when we saw it on the park map labeled "new!" Seriously, when will this thing be up? All of the track is completed but they still have cranes in the construction site. From where the crane was, maybe they're putting trims onto the bottom of the top hat? This thing seriously better f***ing be open before I leave because I would totally go back just for a day to try it out. Because let's face it, it'll probably break in a few years anyway. Chinese visa is kind of a pain for Americans though because we have to apply beforehand (they stopped letting us get visas at the border when the U.S. started fingerprinting Chinese citizens on entry to the U.S. ). We asked some workers if they knew when it would open but they just said it's "up in the air" (in Mandarin of course).


Afterwards, we headed to the splendid china folk village for dinner and to see the dragon/dance show. I thought the show would be lame but it was pretty incredible. The drumming and dancing was slightly out of sync, but the performance was so dynamic that any flaws could easily be forgiven.


Er, I'm really lazy and even though my files are under 2 MB this time they're not sized correctly :/ just using IMG tags for now. I've been playing around a lot with the filters so there are a few shots that are similar but with different filter settings so let me know which ones you like best!


They have benches everywhere on the SLC line, pretty cool


It actually wasn't bad



Bullet Coaster is very photogenic (taken three times with and without filters. WHich you do like best?):




Rapid fire:







We actually went on their splashboat ride and it was f***ing hilarious. We bought the ponchos since we didn't want to get a full body soaking. The ponchos for your feet were both helpful and absolutely hilarious. But the beginning of the ride was so long that we were dying of heat in the ponchos




Take special note of the guy in the front row:




Some close ups of Bullet Coaster:






This helix after the top hat looks absolutely crazy:




Very nice looking mine train:


Playing with my gorillapod. It gets me such weird looks in China since I guess it's not really seen:





These are from the folk village + show:





Delicious dinner:






I have some videos of the show...should I just upload to youtube and embed here or upload directly?

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Here are some videos of the show. Not the greatest quality but I was intent on watching at the same time. They are open to the public so hopefully you guys can view them:


Shenzhen Show (part 1)

Shenzhen Show (part 2)


Also, I caved and bought the Tokina AT-X 11-16mm UWA lens over the Sigma 10-20. I did a horrible job at haggling but since I got it for cheaper than I would have in the U.S., I'm regretful but not disappointed. Hopefully this lens will see some use in my travels to Shanghai at the end of the month. I also plan on heading out to the city just to take some sample/practice shots

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Update time! I actually haven't been to any more theme parks since, but I have some decent shots from a night out in the city. I caved and got the ultra wide angle lens. It's the Tokina 11-16mm/2.8 and it's absolutely gorgeous. I got it for less than I would've back in the states, but I think the warranty is a little more limited.


Anyway, I had originally planned to head out to the city with a friend because she was interested in getting a new camera and I also needed a spare battery (after my battery died in Shenzhen I didn't want to take the chance that it could happen again). I got SO distracted taking pictures and we actually never made it to the store before closing...what store closes at 8pm on a Friday night anyway!?


Also, I'm going to Shanghai next weekend for 5 days! Hopefully I can convince everyone to go Happy Valley for a few hours but after the experience at Shenzhen I'm not sure who's willing



I believe this is the Bank of China building:





My school's campus at night:


We went to Sharp Island yesterday. I rather liked this shot:

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I went to Shanghai for 5 days last week. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go to Happy Valley as none of my friends were really interested after the Shenzhen experience. But Shanghai was very nice. The end of it turned out to be a nightmare though:


1. On the second to last day, my friend ended up with severe food poisoning. She was vomiting for 3 days straight and almost fainted on the flight back. She had to be hospitalized for the good part of a week. I think I had a mild case of food poisoning too as I was nauseous and had an upset stomach, but didn't get it as bad as her.


2. I bought a counterfeit knock-off sports bag in Hangzhou (city near Shanghai) as I needed the extra storage space for the trip home. It turns out I was really allergic to some weird industrial by-product chemical they treat their counterfeits with because I broke out in a full-body rash on Saturday and needed an injection of antihistamine. Leave it to China -_- anyway, after figuring out that the bag was the problem, I threw it out and washed all of my clothing/bed sheets and all was good


We took the bullet train to Hangzhou and it was very nice and scenic. The streets were like a real-life version of Frogger though. We met this nice local woman on the bus ride who took us up to her friend's private tea house. Thought it was some scam at first but since we had tea for free...


ALSO, I will be going to South Korea at the end of semester and am most definitely going to Everland! Going to Singapore and Tokyo too


Here are just a few pictures:


sugar cane drink stand on the street:



A night out on The Bund:


Jing'an temple:



Some nighttime street life:




A stranger in a strange land...not exactly sure why I took this picture:


A bit of background on these next two shots: Shanghai shuts down their lights at around 11 PM. So I raced down the boardwalk in the cold to get a nice shot and two pictures in, the lights freaking turn off. These two shots are with the lights off. I did super long exposure and I think the result was better than with the lights on actually:



Just some fooling around on a nature trail in Hangzhou:


the nature trail was pretty popular for local tourists, and even weddings.

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not to whore myself out or anything, but i'd really love it if this topic got some more posts


Update! This weekend the weather in Hong Kong was actually relatively nice, and by that I mean it was crappy by most standards. The sky was blue though and the full moon actually came out! I went up to Victoria Peak for the occasion and got some decent shots. I'm HORRIBLE at finding good spots though so I usually end up not getting the perspectives I want. Today's weather was okay so I tried to go up to the peak again but found out the weather today was actually pretty bad. And I despise the swarms of tourists that come out on weekends. Remind me never to go up to the peak on a Saturday...ever again. I roamed the city afterward and got some shots.


Anyone good at HDR? I tried for the first time tonight but they all came out horrid. Even things that should not be that difficult, like static night cityscapes, come out poorly for me.


Anyway, the pics. My apologies for no theme parks in a while


Two versions of this pic with just a simple edit between them. Which do you prefer?



Here are a bunch more cityscapes from slightly different perspectives:




The opposite side of Victoria Harbour...much less action


This place sells "authentic New York french fries," which is funny because as a New Yorker I can tell you that the only foods we really take seriously are pizza and bagels. but I guess since New York is so well-known it's a good advertising scheme


I've taken this shot already, but decided to redo. Better?


This is the Bank of China building btw:


another redo:



I need to come back to this spot so I can get the full view. I was rushing a bit and the nice security guard was shoo'ing me away since I guess taking pictures from a parking garage isn't allowed. I'm so disappointed that I couldn't find a spot to get the skyscrapers completely in though. It's not a matter of my lens not being wide enough, it's that the roof of the parking garage extends too far forward so that tilting to camera upward results in me getting a nice shot of roof.


Enjoy and please leave feedback - I appreciate it!

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I don't think there are any pictures that can do justice to how beautiful Hong Kong is at night. We were up on Victoria Peak at dusk watching the lights come on in the city. What a view.


I'm assuming you went to the sky terrace? It's nice but the view is kind of limited by the mountains on both sides, and even moreso by the massive amounts of people in your way. If you're ever back there (or anyone who is considering going to Victoria Peak), definitely head to Lugard Road. The entrance to the road is just past the tram building next to the building with Christmas lights. Lugard Road is much much much less crowded and offers a much nicer and full view IMHO. On weekdays it's very quiet, with the occasional jogger. Weekends there are plenty of people with tripods but no where near as bad as the peak.


Also, I think the road in the opposite direction might offer an interesting view as well, but I didn't explore enough

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^anyone going on the TPR trip next year should take note of this. We would have stayed at the peak longer but wanted to see the light show from the other side and I was very dissapointed in it.



NOTE: Some of your pictures are no longer coming through from Flickr. You should upload them to the TPR server.

Edited by gisco
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