I spent two months traveling in Thailand, with quite a few adventures along the way. Here’s the photo album of my visit. You can also read more about my adventures in Thailand in the Thailand section of my travel blog.
Photos from Bangkok, the bustling capital of Thailand. I found it endlessly fascinating--you never know what's going to turn up around the corner. Elephants, tattoo artists working with a bamboo needle-holder and tiny cups of dye, street vendors selling fried grasshoppers and insects, or a thoroughly modern skyscraper with an embedded 7-11 store.
Chiang Mai, the second largest city in Thailand, is about 600 miles north of Bangkok, and the stepping-off point for hilltribe trekking. It is also the center for Thai handicrafts, which are many, varied, and (like artists everywhere) massively underpaid.
Very confusingly, there are actually two Ko Changs in Thailand. This is the one on the eastern coast of Thailand, near the Cambodian border. "Ko" means "Island" in Thai, and "Chang" means "elephant", so this is Elephant Island. It's an unspoiled island being rapidly spoiled by commercial development--so go there soon, if you can. I stayed in a bamboo hut for most of my five days there--you can also stay in concrete bungalows complete with air conditioning, cable TV, and so on, but why? Much of the charm in Ko Chang is its simplicity, and the chance to get away from annoying Western intrusions. Living with TV, cable, etc. it's hard to get away from the Western sense of urgency and time.
Photos from places I visited only briefly, so they don't have their own pages.
Photos from my 5-day visit with the Akha hilltribe, in the last traditional Akha village in northern Thailand.
I was privileged to spend 4 days studying spinning and weaving with Ahta, an experienced Akha spinner/weaver. Here are detailed photos from my weaving study, showing both loom and the weaving process.
In addition to studying weaving, I studied handspinning on the mid-whorl Akha spindle. Here are some photos and explanation of the process.
I studied for one day with an Akha silversmith. He makes the most amazing things with only a hammer and anvil...a skill far beyond me. I couldn't even hammer things flat!
<p>Silk weaving photos, showing the process from start to finish. (I'm reeling silk in the photo.)</p><p>I happened on a silkweaving demo site in Chiang Mai, and took lots of photos. If you are interested in the details of Thai looms, let me know and I'll send you the collection of detailed photos I took while trying to work them out. </p>