XperiaZ3 in Thailand

I recently did a week long trip in Thailand and my cell phone was XperiaZ3. It was my first real trip out with Z3 even though I had it in my clutches for about 2 weeks now. And the real test of a cell phone is when you travel with it. I have to say I am pretty happy with the results I got. I am also extremely happy with the battery life it provides. It never even once threatened to die on me mid way through the day.

The Speed Boat Rides

Speed Boat
Dropping Anchor at Hong Island, Krabi, Thailand

I did 4 speed boat rides on this vacation. Right at the trip number one I realized that sitting on the open deck was a good idea for seeing with your own eyes, but not so much for seeing through the camera! There would be a tearing wind on the deck as soon as the boat started gathering speed. A good cell phone camera like XperiaZ3 is more manageable in such conditions.

Sofitel Speedboat Clicked from a Kayak, Hong Island
Sofitel Speedboat Clicked from a Kayak, Hong Island

I also went kayaking at Hong Island. Now I would not even dream of taking my SLR on a kayak. As XperaZ3 is waterproof (under certain conditions, do check it out) I easily took it on a kayak. The gentle splashing it got, the camera took it quite easily in its stride.

Night Markets

Flowers
Beautiful Flowers

XperiaZ3 gave me decent results in low light conditions. I took this photo at the Pak Khlong Talat, the Bangkok’s biggest flower market. I was delighted with the results I got.

Clicking People

I have said this often on my blog, I am quite timid when it comes to clicking pictures of strangers. I have realized that people care less if you point a cell phone at them rather than a SLR. This is just a personal observation but that is how it works with me.

Kids at Koh Lanta Beach, Thailand
Kids at Koh Lanta Beach, Thailand

I was going closer and closer armed with my XperiaZ3 to where the kids playing but they didn’t pay me any attention.

Getting Your Picture Clicked

Koh Lanta National Park, Krabi, Thailand
Koh Lanta National Park, Krabi, Thailand

Just hand over your cell phone and get the picture clicked, it is that easy. Now hand over your SLR to a stranger and a complicated discussion can follow.

Not will cell phones, not when I gave people my XperiaZ3. You may ask, why give your phone and not take a selfie? Well if I took a selfie how would I show the beautiful beach behind me?

Clicking Food
Most of the times the kind of people I travel with, there will be 5 SLRs pointed at the food as soon as it makes a contact with the table. But there are times when people give you secret (at least they think it is secret) nasty looks while you fuss about clicking the best possible food picture, you see there are others who just want to eat their food even in this day and age!

 

Veggie Salad at Bangkok, Thailand
Veggie Salad at Bangkok, Thailand

A camera like XperiaZ3 comes in handy at such occasions, you still get a great food picture and other get to eat their food before they start shooting secretive nasty glances at you!

When you are Tired
There are days when you know you are staring at a great photo opportunity and yet your feet and mind refuse to cooperate with each-other. I do get truly tired on some days.

The Pretty Swedish Restaurant at Koh Lanta
The Pretty Swedish Restaurant at Koh Lanta

A good cell phone camera saves the situation. You need not change the lens, lug around the SLR which mysteriously starts weighing more right at that moment! Just pick your phone and shoot.

When you want a Low Angle Shot
While I was looking at this blazing sunset, I was challenged for a foreground element. There was a boat but then I had clicked a gazillion pictures of it already. I do not mind getting dirty, getting on my knees to get a good picture.

Sunset at Krabi, Thailand
Sunset at Krabi, Thailand

But I was wearing a dress that I didn’t wish to spoil. So I decided to take the shot by putting my cell phone closer to the ground. It is easier to manipulate and with new improved cameras like Z3 you are assured of a good shot too!

A while ago if someone would have asked me about cell phone cameras I would have been quite dismissive about it as the quality of the pictures used to be not good. That is changing for sure. With my XperiaZ3, I have taken a wide variety of cell phone shots which I would not have even considered clicking with a cell phone earlier!

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It is not every day that I have a luxury speed boat all to myself, well almost to myself! For accompanying me were 3 people, the driver of the speed boat, Salim and Nana, my beautiful host for the evening. Our destination was the Hong Island, Krabi. Sofitel Krabi had arranged this wonderful trip for me as a private excursion on their hotel speed boat.

Hong Island is a popular hop over from Krabi, Thailand. The island is a 10 minute ride from the Sofitel Hotel. The beach is right across the road. Long tail boats and shared speed boats are also available from various tour operators in Krabi.

Speed Boat Ride to Hong Island
The Speed Boat Ride to Hong Island

We started in the late afternoon and by now due to my earlier speed boat transfers I knew this was going to be a lot of fun. I always sat on the deck on all my speed boat rides and this was no exception. As a result, I don’t have a tan, I actually have a sun burnt face now!

We were on the beautiful Hong Beach 10 minutes later. As it was late afternoon, the tourists were mostly going back. Nana told me that in high season the beach gets much more crowded. We tried to visit the lagoon but it was low tide so the speed boat could not enter it. But I did get a glimpse and it was beautiful.

On the beach Nana revealed that they had sparkling wine for me as well! Now that was luxury! But before that I went snorkeling. The bay was peaceful and I could spot some colorful fish and coral as well.

The Beautiful Hong Island, Krabi, Thailand
The Beautiful Hong Island, Krabi, Thailand

I sat down next to Nana after snorkeling and we indulged in some girl talk! Before coming to Sofitel, she was working in Bali! Then she asked if I wold like to go kayaking with Salim, her colleague.

Kayaking at Hong Island, Krabi
Kayaking at Hong Island, Krabi

I was quite willing to do so. Salim told me to just do the photography and leave the paddling to him! I reluctantly agreed, after all he understood the conditions better. We did a short round and I was back to the beach.

With my Beautiful Host, Nana from Sofitel
With my Beautiful Host, Nana from Sofitel

It was now time for some sparkling wine with canapes. It was the perfect end to a wonderful evening.

Many thanks to TAT New Delhi and Sofitel Krabi for offering me this incredible luxury! I was told that the cost of the private trip to Hong Island from Sofitel is 16,000 Baht.

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at mridulablog@gmail.com

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