Back in January I was lucky enough to photograph the beautiful wedding of Donna & Dan out on Koh Pha Ngan in Thailand.  It might be one of the coolest weddings I’ve ever photographed (check out the wedding highlights here) and sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am to get to do this for a job!  But the icing on this wedding cake was that a day or two after their wedding Donna & Dan said they wanted to treat me to a trip to the Angthong Marine Park with them as a little thank you for my work!

I just realised I somehow forgot to blog this little adventure, so have dug out a few highlights …

Man look at this weather!  This is the Gulf of Thailand in January.  It all just reminds me how pants English weather truly is!

If I remember rightly, the day we headed out we were all a little tender from an overzealous night on the frozen fruit market cocktails!  Nothing like a bumpy speedboat trip to settle a hangover.  Though Donna ‘The Cat’ happily napped all the way there!

Donna & Dan had heard me say that I’d always wanted to visit the Angthong Marine Park – a beautiful archipelago of 42 or so islands a short hop from Koh Pha Ngan – so it was more than a little bit amazing of them to decid to spend the day taking me there!

Dan had an underwater housing for his compact camera & let me have a play at our first snorkelling spot!

Most of the islands are close to each other, making a brilliant vista when sailing around the park. All the islands are of different sizes and shapes. Most of them are covered with tropical forests and named after their distinguishing shapes such as ‘Sleeping Cow Island’, ‘The Sphinx’ & ‘Monkey Island’ (the last two spottable above)

As well as Donna, Dan & I on our boat was a brilliant dutch couple called Sabine & Ben.  We all got on like a house on fire and enjoyed more than a few Singa’s together in paradise.  I had a brilliantly philosophical discussion with Ben (also a photography enthusiast) about how a degree of a photographer can be seen in every photograph they take.  What makes them tick, smile & why a photo was worthy for display or not – it’s all a distillation of life experience in a moment.  It all seemed super profound after a few beers in the mid-day sun.

[I don’t think I’ve met a Dutch person I didn’t get on with – and each time I do I find our linguistics frankly embarrassing next to theirs]

I thought it wouldn’t hurt to do a few portraits of the newlyweds!

Mmmmm. Massuman chicken curry, spring rolls and beer.  Arguably my death row dinner.

What a brilliant place eh?!

Ko Mae Ko (Mother Island) was another stop on the tour, with a steep 40-minute climb up to a view over a spectacular saltwater lagoon

This emerald seawater lake in the middle of the island is encircled on all sides by limestone cliffs and linked by an underground tunnel to the sea.

It was the inspiration for Alex Garland’s secret backpacker hideaway in the book ‘The Beach‘, which became the movie starring Leonardo Dicaprio

Just as steep going down!

Watch where your walking: leggy creatures at every turn!

Man, what I’d give to be here right now, without a care…

Thanks for the awesome trip kids!  Hope you’re still having fun on your extended globe-trotting honeymoon!

x B

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