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IN THE PICTURE #37
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!
In this edition the friendly Italian Mirko who has been living in Thailand for a while. He tagged us in a photo with the Mystery Mind Mapper and thus we got in touch. Below you can see some of his favorite photos shot in Thailand.
Hello, please introduce yourself.
My name is Mirko I am from Gela, a city in Sicily (Italy). I left Italy after I broke up with my Italian girlfriend in 2017 and since then I have only returned to Italy 3 times.
During that time, I first traveled around for a while and then moved to Thailand. Since I had already been to Koh Phangan a few times and am totally in love with this island I settled there first. Today I live in Samut Prakan, about 30 km from Bangkok where I currently have a job as a teacher in a school. In Italy I was an interior designer and entrepreneur focused on the furniture industry, by moving to Thailand I have become a more open minded and free traveler enjoying life from day to day to the maximum.
A few years ago I started taking pictures and posting them on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. This way I can show everyone what I see and experience on a daily basis.
I hope you like the photos provided to Thailand Magazine!
Greetings from Thailand,
In 2016, my almost 10-year relationship with my Italian girlfriend was about to break up. That time she decided to get time off from work in a different period than mine and so I decided to go for my first solo vacation. I chose Koh Phangan, this photo was taken of me at Thong Nai Pan Beach at the time.
Another photo from my solo vacation in Koh Phangan in 2016.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
I am in love with Koh Phangan, which for me is the perfect balance between chilling, partying and solitude. But it’s progressing so fast that more and more people are coming in day after day to cut down palm trees and build new businesses.
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
I would like to visit Phang Nga and to a remote town on the border in the northeast. I don’t like popular destinations in Thailand.
The Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple about 40 kilometers from Bangkok. I visited this temple in 2020 during the preparation of the Light Peace Ceremony in the early morning.
A visit to the Dhammakaya temple has long been on my wish list because I always see this huge place from the plane as we are about to land in Bangkok. I attended the Light Peace Ceremony, one of the strangest and theatrical ceremonies I have ever seen. This photo was taken in the night at the end of the ceremony.
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
I have worked in the travel industry in Thailand, but I am not a normal tour operator, first of all I am a traveler and explorer, so I will never suggest to visit the popular destinations. I must say that it depends on person to person and on the trip. Thailand is not only Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya. Want to know which place to visit? Let’s have a conversation first and then I will tell you.
Where do you like to eat?
I don’t have a favorite place i like to change and always try new things.
In the same Dhammakaya temple before the light ceremony, there is a Buddhist meditation with hundreds of monks including children. Those pure baby monks cannot afford such a hard day and fall asleep.
A young girl in the slum of Khlong Toei. Watch the beauty of this child as she plays on an old TV box next to a canal in the slum.
Tip us a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
Not being a normal tourist or expat, the only place I can recommend to visit is on top of the hill of Koh Phangan with no name and no service, just open a homeless man’s fridge and grab what you can find and then enjoy the nature and the view and pay for what you have.
What is your favorite Thai dish?
Tom yum noodle soup with pork ribs.
I met this man in 2019 somewhere in Samut Prakan. I was making a video while fishing and he took out his old phone to take a picture of me taking a picture of him. How do you mean point of view….
This picture may not be the most beautiful and does not represent anything special, but for me it is the memory when my mother had arrived in Thailand from Italy. She decided to come visit me and we traveled together as two backpackers. In this photo we were at Bangkok’s Maha Chai station waiting for the train to Maeklong where the famous Maeklong Railway Market can be found.
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
I stayed as a volunteer during the Covid-19 pandemic for 10 months at the Been Hostel in Ratchatewi (I think now closed) today I can say that was the best place I have been in Thailand.
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
Don’t go to the popular destination, the real Thailand is at other places.
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
Su Su what means keep fighting = stay strong.
When I lived in Bangkok in 2020, I learned that the best place is where the poor people live. Especially in the slums, so I went to spend some time in the slums in Khlong Toei more than once. In this photo, a real tattoo artist is tattooing Sak yant in an anonymous slum. (A Sak yant is a tattoo applied by monks, which is considered a kind of initiation into Buddhism. Sak means tap yant means “sacred geometric design.” – source Wikipedia).
The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown also brought me something wonderful! I met Didi from Myanmar and on April 19, we celebrated one year together. This photo is from September 2020, we went on vacation together to my favorite island Koh Phangan. By the way the elephant in this picture was free and we only gave him some bananas to eat.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
I use a Huawei P20 Pro, a Panasonic TZ90 and I just bought a Panasonic GH5 to improve the quality of my photos. I sold my GoPro some time ago.
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
My Thai friend the.horizon.expedition and my English friend and expat in Thailand hodgyhodgking. He was introduced to me by the.horizon.expedition and he takes very nice pictures all over Thailand.
It was in 2018 that I was volunteering at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project in Phuket. I spent my free days exploring the island and that time I decided to go to Mai Khao Beach while waiting for the planes to land. It took me some time but in the end I got this beautiful photo.
For two years I followed the path of someone who made weird maps and diagrams around Bangkok in the streets…. Finally I met him in 2020 but I was so excited that when he called out to me I ran away…. A few months ago in March 2021 I found him again and was more polite. After a short conversation he accepted to take a picture with me.
TIP! Also watch the documentary below made by Raphael Treza about this special and mysterious person!