The People behind the Wall
The children of Mahakan Fort have always been very curious of my camera. They wanted to see what I was doing, and they followed me everywhere to understand how it worked. So I decided to borrow it for a few hours. What you see here are the portraits that they themselves have done without my help. ;)
The restored ramparts of Mahakan Fort mark the entrance to the Royal City, or Ratanakosin Island as it's also called. A wall punctuated by 14 such forts and 16 gates once encircled the city, which was further protected by the canal. Mahakan Fort is one of only two such towers that remain from the original late 18th century walls.
Inside, a magical atmosphere takes you back in time. No traffic noise, these narrow streets are animated by small shops and places to relax.
Living behind the wall. The People of Mahakan Fort.
For over 300 years the Mahakan people live behind the big wall. Located in the heart of the city, The Fort is one of the last two forts remained intact. In this little hidden paradise, closed between the mighty walls and the river is a community that for more than six generations takes care of this special place. For many years, however, they have to fight for their own survival. The city administration's plan to transform their space in a public park is taking life. In recent months many homes have already been demolished. But the community does not want to give up, they wants to fight in order to stay. It would be a shame to miss this magical place. "Community leader Tawatchai Woramahakun told they would not leave the homes they have lived in for several decades.
He said the residents did not object to the city’s plan but would like a community model for the fort where they are allowed to take part in managing and conserving the fort as a tourist attraction." Is a piece of Bangkok history about to disappear? I want to share their story with you.
Backstage The Face Thailand season 3
A quick report from those that were the selections for the new season of the famous TV format The Face Thailand (season 3). More than a thousand girls arrive from all over the world to participate. Friends and family to help out. All the waiting and anxiety about an event that could change the lives of some of them forever.
By the way, they perform every day near Pattaya. The address is Phon Nimit Prapha 13, Muang Pattaya, Amphoe Bang Lamun. Follow the link.
From the dust arise diamonds. And so does the Likay theater. It all starts with a stage, chairs and a truck used as a wardrobe. There is also a small kitchen and the walls are made of plastic. Like all the big dreams, they need just a few elements to create the magic.
Make-up boxes. Each actor has his own. A kind of magic box full of things that could be useful if necessary. And off course it contains make-up.
Likay. The Glittering Family.
ลิเก What is Likay? Likay it is a glittering dream. It's life, death, music, and all the joy and sadness combined. Likay it is a traditional Thai dance theater. The actors sing, recite and improvise. With their colorful makeup sometimes they are princes kings and warriors. They speak of past stories and epic battles. Extraordinary costumes and precious stones make this incredible show more magic. It is not the classical theater, is a popular theater did for fun. I followed these extraordinary actors who have allowed me to learn about their art and love this piece of thailand little known to foreigners. They are a big family, read why.
For me, the symbol of this ceremony was this little girl. With her inverted umbrella she tried with all his strength to collect more candy and coins as possible. Funny ingenious.
Shaving the head and all the facial hair is a fundamental part of the ceremony. The candidate rejects vanity.
บวชพระ BUAT PHRA CEREMONY
Most of Thai men enter the monkhood (Buat Phra) at some point in life. Many of them remain in the monkhood for only a short period, often a couple of days, sometimes months or years (even lifetime). The ceremony is complex . It lasts a few days , usually 2-3 days, during which the candidate will be shaved , dressed in white and carried around the city with pride. The whole family is involved, the whole town is involved. Dances , music, sweets and alcohol will be part of the fun.
IN THE FIELDS WITH BUFFALO
A journey to discover the Asian Water Buffalo and people who raise them in the Golden Triangle. Today fewer communities take care of raising the water buffalo. At least here in Thailand. The breeding of the buffalo is for meat which, however, is mainly sold to Laos merchants. The few remaining communities, breed water buffalo as they did a thousand years ago. Follow them is an extraordinary adventure.
Waiting for passing ships. Hoping for some small tip left, hoping to sell some rope bracelet or plastic pearl.
PIRATES IN THE INDONESIAN SUNDA ISLANDS
Indonesia. Sunda Islands . Among the hundreds of islands that make up this archipelago, there are dozens of small shabby villages. Tin roofs and walls of paper and wood. They call them "Fishermen Villages" but they are not. Sure they are fishermen, traders and sailors, but once they were pirates and sometimes they still. Should be approached with caution, they are accustomed to tourism, which is becoming more mass in these parts, but that is why they want to maintain their privacy. Far away from habits that are being imposed by force on their culture. Poor people , tough life, villages who live in close contact with the deadly Komodo dragons, dozens of children have grown up from sand, sun and sea wind. Free as a birds.
Kids waiting their turn for a free dance
Everyone wants to have the opportunity to show their dance skills. You can pay some money to get the dance floor private.
SONGKRAN FESTIVAL. THAILAND VILLAGE.
Songkran festival is well known for its folly. between water and colored powders. Big attractions every years for foreigner tourists in Bangkok, Pattaya and Pucket. But what happens in small villages it has a different flavor. It's a collective celebration of life and joy. The whole village comes together to sing, dance and celebrate. But things are not always as easy as they seem.
It often happens that the Japanese are not welcome in restaurants and bars.
The Guangzhou market is still a point of reference to buy insects and living animals for traditional Chinese medicine.
CHINA LAND OF CHANGE.
China is a huge country . We know well how much change is going through ,but yet, in rural China millions of people still live like a hundred years ago. With all the contradictions of a countryside that often fight against overbuilding cities, with Chinese middle class tourism every day more urgent. With huge income differences, study and education. Many people try to face the new way of this endless country.
Young rich Chinese couple take pictures before the marriage. They like to dress in traditional Tibetan clothes.
Young monks crowd.
TIBET. NO WAY BACK.
The Tibet road is marked. No way back. Not anymore. Chinese tourism asks for space, Chinese industry calls for resources and Chinese agriculture needs those waters and those lands. The Tibetan people have no more space. They picks up the crumbs and clings firmly to their traditions, knowing that it will be only a matter of time before it all disappears.
JAPAN. THE MODERN WAY.
Tokyo is a great little town. Thousands of busy people move neatly along the thousand of rail networks and bus lines that serve the city. Difficult to grasp the different souls of this mysterious city and many times indecipherable.
RICE HARVEST IN CHACHOENGSAO. THAILAND.
The rice harvest is a crucial moment in the life of this country. Every year thousands of peasants struggling against drought and pollution for harvest, sell and feed theyr family The Thailand climate allows them 2-3 crops per year. Although it is increasingly difficult given the scarcity of water due to climate change.