The Nine Emperor Gods Festival begins on the eve of ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The Chinese community believe that abstinence from meat will help them obtain good health and peace of mind.

This exciting festival in not for the faint-hearted.

Unlike Phuket Vegetarian Festival which is geared towards tourists, there is very little English information about the Krabi festival, hence few Westerners attend.

 

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This girl dances for tourist ‘tips’ at a night market in Krabi, Thailand… apparently to pay for her education. 3 nights a week, 52 weeks a year. She’s been doing it for years… I remember when she was very small.

 

Met this lady in a park in Vientiane, Laos… she was sweeping up leaves. I was resting in the shade, she came over and started chatting. Nice lady but tough going… she could hardly speak English and I don’t know Lao. Said she was looking for a husband. She wrote her phone number on a piece of paper and handed it to me. I never called.

 

All photos are copyrighted © thosmajor.com. All rights are reserved. No commercial, non-profit or governmental use of any kind is allowed without written permission.

All images in this gallery may be commercially licensed.

Click on any picture to open the gallery

 

All photos are copyrighted © thosmajor.com. All rights are reserved. No commercial, non-profit or governmental use of any kind is allowed without written permission.

All images in this gallery may be commercially licensed.

Click on any picture to open the gallery

 

All photos are copyrighted © thosmajor.com. All rights are reserved. No commercial, non-profit or governmental use of any kind is allowed without written permission.

All images in this gallery may be commercially licensed.

The concourse of Hua Lamphong train station, Bangkok. This wonderful old building is due to close soon when train services move to the new station at Bang Sue. The old station will be renovated and turned into a train museum.

 

Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani, Bangkok, Thailand. Although dubbed ‘The Flying Saucer Temple’, the site is vast and there are a number of these impressive structures on the site.

 

Ghost Tower, Bangkok. The unfinished and abandoned Sathorn Unique Tower.

 

For the funeral of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (Rama 9), replicas of the Royal Crematorium in Bangkok were built all over the country so that Thai people everywhere could pay their respects. This one was in Krabi town.

 

Tham Krasae Bridge (Wampo Viaduct) on the Death Railway in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand was built by Alied POWs during World War II. This train is the regular Nam Tok to Bangkok service which also crosses the River Kwai bridge.

 

The Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

Patuxai, Vientiane, Laos. This concrete monstrosity was built in the 1960s using American funds and cement actually intended to build a new airport. Visitors can go to the top. Inside are stalls selling tourist tat and fake designer bags etc.

 

Wat Sainyaphum, a Buddhist temple in Savannakhet, Laos.

 

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It’s not street photography. In this project, I try to capture the feel of everyday life in South East Asia.

I was inspired by Nick DeWolf’s photo trips to SE Asia in the early 1970s… but obviously time marches on and South East Asia has changed considerably.

There are motorbikes… lots of motorbikes. Small motorbikes (100-125cc) are often the only means of family transport in Asia. Complete with luggage and chickens, this family of 5 were travelling through Vientiane in Laos. I tried to ask the guy about their journey, but he couldn’t speak English.

 

In Thailand, it is common for young men to spend time in the temple as Buddhist monks. It’s a big event for the family with many rituals. The walk to the temple is lively with music, dancing and alcohol.

 

One of the most troubling things in Thailand is the total disregard for personal safety on motorcycles. Crash helmets are rarely worn. Parents carry babies and toddlers. The Buddhist belief when you die, you come back again doesn’t help… nor does the Thai logic if you lose a child, it’s easy to make another.

 

Most Thais are Buddhists and Buddhism is a big part of daily life in Thailand. Early every morning, monks walk through towns and villages collecting Alms. On New Year’s Day in Krabi, all the monks descend from the temple into the town for a mass Alms giving.

 

Like all Asian countries, Thailand is a land of stark contrast. Away from cosmopolitan Bangkok and the ‘famous’ tourist beaches, life in the provinces is much different. Parts of the village where I live are virtually Third World with no made up roads, open drains and rickety power supplies.

 

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