Songkran!

Happy New Year! Songkran, the celebration of the Thai New Year, takes place from April 13th to 15th, and it involves a lot of water. Since Thais operate on the Buddhist Calendar, this past week marked the beginning of the year 2560. Everyone takes part in water fights, and it's impossible to leave home without getting soaked.

Songkran is rooted in Buddhism, and many people will return home to spend time with family since this is the longest Thai holiday of the year. April is the one of the hottest months here, and the huge water fights offer a reprieve from the heat. Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand, is best known for Songkran celebrations. People gather along the outside of the old city and use the moat as a source of ammo. Armed with a squirt gun and a protective case for my camera, I set out to get soaked and take photographs.

Volcanoes of East Java, Indonesia

I just got back to Thailand after photographing some of the most beautiful, surreal landscapes I've seen. This series includes photographs of Mount Bromo and the sulfur mine in the pit of Mount Ijen's crater. I hope you enjoy the photographs.

Mount Bromo

Mount Ijen

Thai Bamboo Tattoo

Thai bamboo tattoos have deep roots in Thai culture. They are sometimes given using long bamboo needles that are repeatedly dipped in ink, which is how they got their name. The ink is traditionally made with a mixture of snake venom and dyes. There are many different designs, and each has a unique meaning. Some give the owner strength, power, or even protection from ghosts. Ghosts are an integral part of Thai culture, and a number of Thais believe that certain symbols will offer protection from these spirits. After being tattooed, and individual will go to a Buddhist monk to have it blessed.

Krit, the owner of Thai Bamboo Tattoo and a tattoo artist, has adapted this art form to a modern tattoo studio, and he uses sterilized metal needles and conventional tattoo ink to create beautiful designs on his customers. He was gracious enough to let me photograph one of his sessions. Allie Holtzer and Elora Herberick are featured in this post, and I greatly appreciated their willingness to let me photograph them.

Villages of Northern Thailand

A selection of photographs taken while trekking through villages in the mountains of northern Thailand

Ayutthaya

I recently took a two-day trip to Ayutthaya, Bangkok's old capital, by train (one of my favorite modes of transportation). The city is filled with ancient ruins, many of which are in the process of being reclaimed by nature. I hope you enjoy the photographs.

Khao Sam Roi Yot

A weekend trip to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park.

Chinese New Year

The previous Dragon Parade post was a part of the Lunar New Year Celebration, but there was more to the celebration than that. Here's a little bit more about what happened. Also, I threw in a cityscape photo at the end. I hope you enjoy the photographs.

Dragon Parade

There was a massive celebration in Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The streets were packed, and I was lucky enough to shoot this amazing dragon parade. Another post covering the New Year celebration more broadly will be posted later. These were just too much fun to keep to myself, and I hope you enjoy the photos.

Chatuchak Market and the Best Pad Thai

Photos from the best Pad Thai joint in Bangkok (supposedly), and Chatuchak Market. 

(Click on photos to enlarge them and see captions)

Rot Fai Market

Rot Fai Market contains an interesting assortment of antiques, old cars, and novelty shops.