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IN THE PICTURE #73: ALEXANDER
In this feature called ‘In the Picture‘ we ask great photographers from all over the world to share their 10 most favorite Thailand photos with our readers. See Thailand through the lens of the photographer, read the background stories and learn more about the land of smiles.
Yesss, we are so happy that Alexander is also participating in this column! Since the first day we saw his photos, we asked him if he would like to participate. The answer? You can see that below in twelve beautiful images!
Hello Alexander, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Dear Thailand Magazine readers,
My name is Alexander and originally I’m from the land of Siberia. My home city is Krasnoyarsk (means “the red steep bank’’). It is situated so close to the great river Enisey, the taiga and the nuclear secrets of the Soviet Union. But now I live in Thailand, so generally, I can say, that my motherland is Asia: sometimes I stay in its inner part and sometimes move to the southern realms.
I work in IT and digital photography is one of my favorite hobbies, so my life is totally devoted to digital technologies, yeah. When did I make my first shots (except spontaneous frames while playing with Father’s Zenit SLR in early childhood)? Difficult to say, maybe the first Siemens cell phone with a camera showed me that it can be interesting to register reality in pixels. Then I got the simple ‘point-and-shoot camera’, then the first DSLR…(It was Nikon D40). Now I can’t realize how to live without photography.
What about other passions in my life? The history and culture of Asian societies from Mongols to Japan is very interesting for me and I spend a lot of time reading and listening about it (even computer games can tell a good story, I mean Total War series with its “Shogun” and “Three Kingdoms”). So here is the reason why I’m in Thai now and why I drove thousands of kilometers in Khakassian steppes, the land of ancient nomads.
I really love nature, I am addicted to the observation of wildlife, so long hikes in the forests, bird watching, and scuba diving are on the list of interests too. And of course astronomy. Now I have no telescope under my hand but every time at the night the sky full of stars is the best gift for me even I have to stare at it with a naked eye.
Enjoy the (little) things in life!
It is well-known that tropical forests are full of exotic life. It was a surprise for me to see this quaint bird in the middle of the urban area. Those storks live in King Rama IX Park. If you are passionate about bird watching you must see them in that beautiful place! Their appearance reminds me that birds are descendants of dinosaurs.
Voice of this birdie is familiar to everyone who‘s ever been to Thailand. Yes, that hysterical cry in the morning it’s the song of Spotted Dove – the proper name of this beauty.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
It’s a really difficult question. Every day I find new favorite locations from the small cozy cafe on the narrow street of Phuket Town to forest and mountain trails of Phang Nga or Krabi or Ranong or… But if I have to distinct something very special – of cause it is North of the Country. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pai… All Thai history began on this land and it has a very specific spirit and atmosphere. And it’s impossible not to mention the marvelous nature of these lands and it’s diversity from jungles and immense caves to pine forests in the mountains and sandy canyons.
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
Ayutthaya. I’m listening to lectures about the kingdom of Ayutthaya, the second meaningful state in the fundament of Thai history and I hope to see its relics and archeological sites with my own eyes in the nearest future.
“…Three times Randolph Carter dreamed of the marvelous city, and three times was he snatched away while still he paused on the high terrace above it <…> He knew that for him its meaning must once have been supreme; though in what cycle or incarnation he had known it, or whether in a dream or in waking, he could not tell.”
© The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H. P. Lovecraft.
Night covers the town and the unique atmosphere comes with thousands of lights and sounds.
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
As I mentioned above, it is very difficult to select something special, Thailand is full of gems. North of the country must be visited. Phang Nga, Krabi, Surat Thani (where also the Khao Sok National Park is located), Ranong provinces must be visited. Bangkok? Obviously. Koh Phangan? Without any consideration. But I will try to list 9 particular locations from my list:
- Pai Canyon (amazing natural sight)
- Fang Hot Spring National Park (hot springs and real 17 m geyser)
- Doi Inthanon (the highest point of the country
- Bottle Beach Viewpoint on Koh Phangan (stunning views especially near sunset)
- Dusit Dheva Cultural Center on Koh Samui (atmospherically park with the spirit of ancient culture)
- Ban Khao Na Nai (Stunning landscapes around and Buddhist architecture)
- Takuapa Old Town and Little Amazon (streets of the city which was a city-state in 13th century with a strong influence of Chinese culture / exiting river-trip)
- Bang Riang Temple (temple with beautiful Guan Yin statue and amazing views around)
- Khao Khai Nui (stay for night to see the cloudy waterfall in the morning)
Where do you like to eat?
Some of my most favorite restaurants are close now and it is sad. So let it be small street cafe on Phuket with the name “Krua Khun Eat”. It has the best Tom Kha Gai on the Island (IMHO).
There are no two similar sunrises viewed from Samet Nangshe Viewpoint. But every time it is a stunning performance of fire in the sky.
Tip us a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
Chain Cafe and Slowbar Diary. Both on Phuket and both not to touristic.
What is your favorite Thai dish?
Tom Yam and Tom Kha Gai obviously and all kinds of curries with squid.
The ray of darkness is the last patch of the night which is going to be wiped by the over mighty power of the Sun. It is the sunrise from Koh Yao Noi island.
Aquarelle colors of the evening captured from the pier on the Koh Yao Noi island.
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
Taryn Hot Springs – A small hotel with private bath with water from hot springs.
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
Get rid of stereotypes. Thailand is not just bars, red-light streets, and lazy beach-time. It is a country with a rich history, deep culture, and absolutely unique nature. Do not follow noisy advertisements, avoid crowded tourist areas, but talk with locals and explore google maps carefully to find new points of interest. There are thousands of them. If you like nature and are fond of hiking it is a good idea to install the AllTrails app and search for trails to walk and explore.
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
It’s a pity I don’t know anything, this tonal language is too hard for
Two worlds are meeting here. Eternal light from the sky full of stars and the land glowing with artificial light of human habitats. A chaotic mess of tropical plants and mathematically calculated shapes of the powerful machine.
The rays of the … palm.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
Nikon D7500 DSLR, Sigma 17-50 mm lens, Tamron 150-600 telelens is my usual arsenal.
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
Check the Thai photographer Suwan FCP, a fan of film cameras.
Trolls live not only in cold Scandinavian lands. Some of them prefer more friendly tropical islands.
It is how I see the Yin and Yang, interconnection of two universums, made by chaos of nature and by perfect order of the Reason. The Strings made of light and the strings made of metal.