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.

Stable - A Tsunami memorial in Ko Lak, Thailand
Stable – A Tsunami memorial in Ko Lak, Thailand

Celebrations were abundant during Songkran - the Thai New Year - especially at Wat Pho in Bangkok
Celebrations were abundant during Songkran – the Thai New Year – especially at Wat Pho in Bangkok

I love the symmetry between these two photographs.

Left, is Stable – a tsunami memorial in Ko Lak, Thailand.

On the right are stupas in Wat Pho (which you can visit by finding Bangkok deals), decorated in celebration of Songkran: the Thai new yearCheck out these images in person with a wonderful Expedia tour package of Thailand.

Civil Unrest in Bangkok and Going Behind Red Shirt Lines

The streets of Bangkok burn as a Red Shirt protestor waves a flag in victory
The streets of Bangkok burn as a Red Shirt protestor waves a flag in victory

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.”

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read the rest of the story from my time getting to know the Red Shirts in Bangkok, Thailand
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The Buddha statue in the group meditation room at Wat Umong, the Forest Monestary
The Buddha statue in the group meditation room at Wat Umong, the Forest Monestary

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. 

A Buddhist temple in Krabi (not the same one I studied meditation in)
A Buddhist temple in Krabi (not the same one I studied meditation in)

“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.”

The Wat Maha Phruettharam Worawiharn Buddhist monastery in Bangkok
The Wat Maha Phruettharam Worawiharn Buddhist monastery in Bangkok

Before booking your flights to Thailand, please enjoy the rest of the images on this page, as well as in the Thailand Photography Gallery.

Rice fields and terraces in the mountains of northern Thailand
Rice fields and terraces in the mountains of northern Thailand
One of the Erawan waterfalls in the Erawan National Park
One of the Erawan waterfalls in the Erawan National Park
 Wat Arun from the Bangkok ferry
Wat Arun from the Bangkok ferry

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