On the surface, it may seem like a cute idea to have monkeys roaming wild around a tourist attraction. But don’t be fooled. These animals can be quite vicious. They are also very sneaky. If you are not careful they will snatch plastic bags from your hand or even sunglasses off your head. They will steal anything in the search for food. It is not advisable to feed these monkeys and do try your best to keep your distance.
Every now and then I come across an unexpected scene while driving around Thailand which makes me want to stop and take pictures. This is such a place that I found while driving in Phetchaburi. I have seen spirit houses alongside a road before, sometimes to mark an accident blackspot or sometimes just abandoned. They usually start with one or two and then soon there are a dozen or so. But this long stretch of road had regularly spaced spirit houses that were obviously put there with a purpose. Maybe someone rich and famous died on this curve?
One of the best things about going to a beach in Thailand is that you don’t need to worry about getting hungry if you are lounging on a deck chair. This is because beach vendors go up and down selling wares. This guy came to sell us some deep fried shrimp. Local restaurants will also bring you menus and then deliver you the food freshly cooked.
I met this Bangkok taxi driver in Cha-am, which is a seaside resort about 200 kilometers south of Bangkok. Taxis don’t usually go this far, certainly not on a meter. But people can rent them out for the day from as little as 1,000 Baht depending on the destination. This driver caught my eye as he had quite a few amulets around his neck. But, on closer inspection, I noticed his taxi dashboard was also filled with amulets and Buddha images.
This is a replica of Dusit Maha Prasat Palace at Ancient Siam outdoor museum in Samut Prakan. It is based on an early 19th Century building found in the Grand Palace. What is interesting about this building for history buffs is that this replica is based upon the original design. The building that we see today in Bangkok was renovated during the reign of King Rama III and no longer looks exactly the same.
One of the most colourful and unusual festivals in Thailand is Phi Ta Khon which takes place every year in Dan Sai in Loei Province. The date is not fixed and usually takes place over a period of three days in either June or July. It is often called the Ghost Festival by the English language media due to the masks worn by the participants during the big parade on the second day. If you are planning on going, you need to book your accommodation in advance as all rooms in the area go quickly.
At the start of every academic year in Thailand, students come to school with flowers and jasmine garlands to give to their teachers. They do this as a way of paying respect to their classroom teacher, but also to gain merit or luck for the coming year. Older students often seek out their former teachers to pay them respect as well. The Wai Khru ceremony also takes place in Thai boxing.
Who says monks cannot enjoy themselves? Well, maybe they do need to show detachment to the pleasures of the world, but that doesn’t mean that the young novices monks cannot have some fun. After all, in many cases they are only ordained for a short while during school holidays. I captured a picture of this young novice monk enjoying a water fight on a hot summer’s day.
For rock climbers, the limestone cliffs in Krabi are like a paradise on earth. Many people head for Railay Beach which has become famous worldwide for this extreme sport. You can climb here or at a number of different nearby beaches. There are a variety of different climbs that are good for complete novices and the experts. Ask at your hotel or guesthouse about hiring a guide.
This is a common sight seen throughout Thailand. It’s a blind beggar with a speaker hanging around his neck. In his hands are a microphone and a donation box. Sometimes they have a “minder” helping them along. Often that person is handicapped in some way. This man was alone as he walked along a street market in Chiang Rai. I don’t normally give money to beggars because of the worry over trafficking. But, I made an exception for this man. Technically, he is a street busker.