Page on Thailand
Include pictures, and at least one panorama image, and a webcam
image from two different times.
- Chaing Rai Hills
- Koh Samui Beach
- Rice Patty Fields
- Red Lotus Sea
- Krabi Town
- Pattaya Live Cam
Images of People
- Buddha Head in Tree Roots
- White Temple
- Wat Mahathat
Images from the book
- Surin Elephant Roundup
- Karen mom
- Vegetarian Festival
- Monk alms ceremony
- Doi Inthanon National Park
- Royal Park Rajapruek
Chiang Rai is the northern most
province in Thailand, bordering Myanmar and Laos. Chiang Hai is also known as
Jiang Hai. The scenic hillsides are
popular for guided cycle tours. The tours stops at the
White temple, traditional Thai villages, and the Khun
Kon (the highest waterfall in Chaing Rai). Chaing Rai is also popular for its “Golden Triangle” tour.
The tour is on Mekong River, where Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet. The boat
ride includes a stop on Laos and you can actually set
foot in Laos. The best season to visit is in the dry season, from November to
Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao are the place
to visit for a secluded island experience. Koh Samui is a resort island, known
for a good balance between party and relaxation. Koh Samui will give you less
of a traditional Thailand experience than other places, as the island is a
giant tourist trap.. Koh Phangan
is where famous monthly Full moon parties are held. The full moon party was
created by tourist, for tourists. The prices will be gouged on everything
during full moon week. Koh Tao is the
smallest of the three. Koh Tao stands for “turtle Island” and is the best
destination in Thailand for scuba diving.
One of Thailand’s many beauties are their rice paddy fields. Central
Thailand is often described as ‘the rice bowl of Asia’ because of their massive
areas of rice fields. Thailand’s fields are worked by hand, not machinery. The
rice paddies can cause big landslides during the rainy season. Thailand is also
home to many rubber plantations. They are the second biggest exporters or rice.
However, rice farming in Thailand is threatened because rice production is
becoming more competitive around the world, and modernization in Thailand has
led to increased labor costs, and over cultivation of the land.
The sea of red lotus at Nong Han Lake National
Park, Udon Thani, is in bloom from mid-December to
February and cover the surface of the freshwater lake. Tourists can take a big
boat or a private canoe on the lake. The best views are before 11am when they
are fully opened. Lotuses are rooted at the bottom of the ocean and grow to 1.5
meters. In January there is a red lotus sea festival. The lotus flower is a
sacred symbol of Buddhism, Thailand’s biggest religion. The flower represents
enlightenment. Its roots are in muddy water but the
flower rises above the mud to bloom clean and fragrant.
Kanchanaburi is known for its bridge over Kwai River. The town bridge is part of the “death railway”,
a railway through the town that brought so many to their death in WW2. It was
built by the Japanese empire to support the forces of the Burma campaign. The
working conditions were awful. Workers didn’t have the proper tools, were
malnourished and dehydrated. Over 100,000 died in just the construction of the
bridge. There is a saying that one person died for every wooden track on the
bridge. Once the war was over, immediately the railway was begun to be taken apart
and sold for parts. There are museums
and memorials in Kanchanaburi for remembrance and to pay respects.
Pictured is the Cathedral of the
Immaculate Conception. It is a gothic style cathedral in Chanthaburi.
The cathedral is known for its artwork and as a place to worship. The catholic
church has a big following including people from Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Chanthaburi is also a popular place to visit for
nature lovers. It lies on the banks of the Chanthaburi
river. From here you can head to Namtokphlio National Park or to take a hike to the
waterfalls and rainforest surrounding the town. Chanthaburi
is also a center for gemstone mining. Chanthaburi is
close to Bangkok, making it a day visit for people staying in Bangkok.
Bangkok is Thailand’s capital and
most dominant city. It is the only modernized city in Thailand, the rest of the
country is small villages and towns. Bangkok
is located on the Chao Phraya River, one of Southern Asia’s most important
rivers. Bangkok is well known for their ancient palaces, Buddhist temples and statues,
and their night life. Bangkok is also known as known as Krung Thep and is called this by most locals. Krung Thep means the “City of Angels”. Its called this because its believed that this is
where the immortal divinity dwells, and is thought to be an invincible city. It
is thought to be where the reincarnated angles reside.
Krabi town is one of the lessor developed beach cities in Thailand. It is one of the
greenest and more natural of Thailand’s beach destinations. However, Krabi has
limited tourist-available beaches on the mainland, but
has many stunningly beautiful islands off shore available to reach by boat.
Most of these Islands are national parks, meaning they are uninhibited and kept
in good condition. Krabi Town, however, doesn’t have much regulation for
zoning, and the town is beginning to see much of its natural habitat torn down to
build for tourist. Krabi town was once known for being a place to visit to get
away from the tourism and see more regular Thai life, but has become increasingly
a tourist city. Krabi is well known for its amazing sunset views.
Pattaya is on the east coast of
Thailand and is known for its miles of beaches. Pattaya was a small fishing village
before it became commercialized and lined with resorts, condos, golf courses,
and shopping malls. Pattaya is becoming a popular retiree destination and
Thailand has special visas for people over 50 looking to retire there. Pattaya
has a controversial reputation for being dangerous. However, most people who
get into these situations are out looking for trouble. If you don’t walk around
alone late at night belligerently drunk or go out looking for drugs you should be
safe. It’s always important to stay alert and be thinking smart while traveling
in anyplace. Remember this and you shouldn’t have any troubles in Pattaya.
This iconic image was taken at Wat Mahathat in
Ayutthaya. The Buddha head entwined in the tree roots is one of Thailand’s most
famous spots. Nobody knows for certain how the Buddha head got there, but one
theory is that tree grew around it while the city was abandoned after the
Burmese invaded and chopped off the heads of the Buddha statues in the temple.
Another theory is a thief stole it from the temple and went to hide it. It is
important to remember when visiting that the head is sacred, and photos of the
statue should be taken from a kneeling position.
Thailand’s white temple, Wat Rong Khun, is one of
the 33,000+ Buddhist temples in Thailand. It was built in Chiang Rai in 1997.
The all white exterior represents Buddhas purity and is embedded with mirror
fragments to reflect wisdom. The bridge to the entrance features arms reaching
out from hell. The symbolism behind this is that to enter (heaven) you must
overcome hell and cross the bridge of suffering, untamed desire, and greed that
reaches for you. Inside the temple there are murals of fire and demon faces
inspired by western idols, such as Michael Jackson and Freddy Kruger. There are
images of nuclear warfare, terrorist attacks, and oil pumps. This is to drive
home the message that humans are wicked.
The city of Ayutthaya was the former capital of Thailand and was destroyed
by the Burmese in 1767. Inhabitants were forced to flee, and the city lay
ruined and abandoned for many years. Restoration started in the 1960’s and since
then it has become a historical national park where some of the temples and many
Buddha statues have been restored. Some statues and buildings have been left
headless and ruined for contrast. Wat Mahathat is
located at the heart of the city, where you can find the rebuilt Buddhas are dressed
in a yellow robe. Yellow denotes stability and grounded nature.
4 Images of People
Thailand is home to multiple floating markets. Locals bring their crops and
other goods to trade. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/kids/photos/Countries/Q-Z/thailand-floating-market.adapt.945.1.jpg
Surin hosts a yearly Elephant Roundup cultural
festival where elephants and mahouts (elephant trainers) hit the streets to show
off their tricks. They play soccer, tug of war, and act out battle
reenactments, among other things. The festival lasts 10 days in November, but the
main events go on during the first weekends at See Na Rong provincial stadium.
The elaborate “battle” displays what warfare looked like when elephants were
used rather than tanks. Hundreds of foot soldiers pretend to fight like the old
days as well. The festival takes hundreds of people to put on,
and attracts thousands of locals and tourists.
Karen people in norther Thailand
are seeing a collision between technology and tradition. Sitting in a table
behind souvenirs, this Karen woman in northern Thailand looks down at her phone
(denoted by the photographer Ronan O’ Connell). She is wearing brass rings
(very heavy) around her elongated neck. It is tradition for women start wearing
these at a young age of about 5 or 6 to elongate their necks, but many young Karen
women see the tradition as isolating and embarrassing and are no longer
pressured to adopt it, so few choose to do so. Some compromise by wearing lightweight
plastic rings around their neck solely to amuse tourists, who pay to enter the village
and see the tribe.
During the Phuket Vegetarian
Festival, participants follow a strict vegan diet to cleanse the body, banish
evil, and gain good fortune. However, the festival isn’t widely known because of
their selection of vegetables. During the festival some also participate in
extreme body piercings through the check and out the mouth to show strength and
purify the body. Guns, shovels, car rims, and serrated blades are among some of
the items used. They believe suffering brings luck and is for the common good
of the community. The festival lasts nine days and includes other rituals such
as fire walking and climbing ladders of razor-sharp blades. These devotees ask their
Gods to enter and possess their body during the events and claim to feel little
pain and have little to no scarring afterwards.
At the Wat Phra
Dhammakaya temple Buddhist monks pray during an alms-offering
ceremony. The Dhammakaya is the country’s richest Buddhist
temple. All Thai men must become a Buddhist monk for some period before they
turn 20. During this time, they must follow strict rules such as shaving head
and eyebrows, wearing orange robe, engaging in numerous ceremonies, not swimming
for fun, and receiving daily duties. While in public, monks are expected to not
laugh or speak loudly. There are typically
around 300,000 monks in Thailand at any given time. Many non-practicing Thai’s start
their day by giving offerings to monks, and many will give up their seat on
public transportation for monks.
5 Images from the
These are screenshots from my Lonely
Planet Thailand eBook, showing both the picture and caption.
by Taylor Kocina on 3/29/18.