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IN THE PICTURE #36
In ‘In the Picture’ photographers from all over the world share their 10 most beautiful pictures of Thailand. See Thailand through the photographer’s lens, read background stories about the pictures and learn more about the beautiful Thailand!
This time a friendly Fleming who has spent his life in Thailand for many years. What we like about his pictures is that they are taken from the daily life of special cultures and tribes. Thanks to his participation, we also bring more diversity to this series In the Pictures. Thanks Lode!
Hello, please introduce yourself.
Dear Thailand Magazine readers,
My name is Lode Engelen and I was born in Limburg (Belgium) in 1952. Until my retirement in 2012 I lived and worked in Belgium as a technician X-ray equipment. The last 13 years of that I lived together with my Thai wife Pat.
In January 2013 we moved to Thailand, and we have chosen Chiang Mai, on the one hand for the environment (mountains) and on the other hand because it is a fairly modern city where you can find everything.
By now we have visited almost all provinces in Thailand, only the three lower Muslim provinces. That means we are on the road a lot. Pat is an anthropologist, who used to travel all over Thailand for her job, using all kinds of transportation and even on foot through the forests to visit the mountain tribes.
This makes it very easy for me to get to know Thailand. Along the way we use all kinds of lodging options, from hotel to the smallest homestay. The best is of course to stay in remote areas and mountain villages. The contact with the local people is always much more intense there.
I have been photographing since I was fourteen, then in black and white, and my darkroom was in the basement, so certainly not a luxury. Nowadays it is digital of course, with a Canon D60 (semi professional camera). The developing (I only use digital negative) and the editing is done in Photoshop.
Have a wonderful day and the very best from Thailand,
A man sits with his family under a three-pronged tree, nine monks recite a series of prayers to drive away the bad influences that gave the man cancer. Unfortunately, the man died two months into this shot anyway.
Brothers in crime… two Lisu boys in Khob Dong were clearly saying funny things about the photographer (unfortunately I don’t understand Lisu) but it was a particularly pleasant moment.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
For me, there are no favorite destinations in Thailand. I’ve traversed the country from north to south, west to east and vice versa, and all regions have something to offer for me.
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
I have not yet visited the three southernmost provinces of Thailand. My wife is not enthusiastic about that with the unrest there. So that’s where I want to go again.
A Mon flower girl on the bridge in Sangkhlaburi. Her face beautifully decorated with thanaka, and for 20 baht she will decorate your face too!
Loy Khratong, every year we let our worries float away on a khratong. Here on the Ping River in Pa Dua.
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
What I would recommend, don’t pin yourself down to Pattaya, Bangkok or the islands like Phuket and Koh Samui. Get off the beaten path and cross the country. That way you are going to be able to discover the real Thailand!
Where do you like to eat?
No restaurant for me, just go to the thannon khon deun (these are kind of streets where people walk through looking for something tasty, or the talaat nat (there are numerous markets open on different days of the week). I prefer to buy some food at a few stalls and there is always somewhere with benches and tables to eat it. Just slide in with the Thai, they like that! I’ve never eaten anything I didn’t like, even the worms and beetles were not too bad!
Christmas with the Karen. A particularly friendly welcome with these people. The woman in the photo did her best to explain in Thai what she was making for Christmas dinner.
The people in the village have been raising money for the village school which wants to build a classroom. A big procession is organized to bring the money to the school. Music and dance moves along in the procession.
Tip us a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
Bars? No idea where I would find them. Coffee shops have come up very much in recent years, and many are very good, but you really have to go into the smallest sois (side streets) to find them. Without a some Thai words you are never going to find them.
What is your favorite Thai dish?
So if I had to choose a favorite dish it might be Kaaw tom pla, something very simple but always delicious. I like to eat fish and soup, so the combination is really nice.
An important monk has died, and the coffin is pulled to the cremation site by the local people. Surely it is a very emotional event for the people pulling the cord.
A continuation of the previous photo (#7), the sled with the casket and its companions standing in a kind of tribute along the casket.
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
For accommodation we always choose small resorts or guesthouses, the name varies, but that has only to do with taxes. Small family businesses where you get to know the owners themselves. Much more pleasant than big hotels where you don’t get to know anyone.
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
I may be repeating myself, but get off the beaten path! Explore the countryside and try to talk to people about their daily concerns. It will be the vacation of a lifetime here in Thailand! You will quickly make many friends, with whom you can stay in contact for years to come.
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
Surely the most important thing is “tam array? ” can be translated as, what are you doing, or what are you making, or what are you working on. People don’t like to do anything better than show you what they are doing, and explain how they are doing or making it. Be careful with food though! You are always obliged to taste, and it can be spicy! I’ve seen steam blow out of my ears before! And they enjoy it of course, another farang (white foreigner) fooled!
Karen schoolgirls playing with pebbles in the playground of their little school. What struck me is the simplicity of the game, and the joy that could be read from their little faces.
An Ook Phansa celebration, the end of the Buddhist fasting. A beautiful procession of dancers dancing the bird dance. This girl dreamed away so much during the dance, it looked like she could really fly.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
My camera is a Canon D60, a semi-professional device, already 10 years old, but still satisfactory!
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
Take a look at my website www.lodeengelen.be or check out my photos on Flickr.
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone here who is into photography, unless a Thai, then i recommend you ketsada.uns.