From the Bangkok skyline to the coves of the Similan Islands and the mountains in between, Thailand captivated me for the month+ I spent there.
I love the symmetry between these two photographs.
Left, is Stable – a tsunami memorial in Ko Lak, Thailand.
Civil Unrest in Bangkok and Going Behind Red Shirt Lines
While in Bangkok for Songkran, Carrie and I found ourselves surrounded by the Red Shirt protests. Rather than avoid it, we hopped out of our tuk tuk right at their front line and wandered back into their encampment to meet the protesters.
“From what we gathered, the Red Shirts had set the bus on fire to form their own blockade against the oncoming army, but as a result the army had to stop all traffic from going by. This caused the motorists to become quite angry and as we got out of the cab and joined the scores of onlookers on the sidewalk tensions seemed to mount.
I’m sure it will surprise no one that the first thing I did after leaving the cab was to start taking photos. The drivers of the blocked cars (none actually wearing red shirts) honked, yelled and kicked flower pots that lined the street in the direction of the army. One man seemed to be the ringleader, as he continued to incite the crowd whenever the noise began to die down.”
Studying Meditation in a Thailand Monastery
For two days, Carrie and I got off the tourist trail to study meditation with monks at the Wat Umung “Forest” Monastery outside Chiang Mai, Thailand.
“First we learned walking meditation, which involves walking in a straight line thinking about every move. For each step there is “lifting, moving, placing.” Then, after a few meters, it’s time to turn around slowly saying “turning, turning, turning.”
If a noise interrupts the meditation, the brain should not focus on the noise itself but rather the fact that there is a noise by saying “noisy, noisy, noisy.” … No attention should be paid to the thought itself, just to the concept that a thought is happening. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time saying “lifting, moving, thinking, thinking, thinking, noisy, thinking, noisy, placing, thinking, turning.”