This is a vast, mostly rural country with a population of about 70 million of which about 14 million live in and around Bangkok. On this trip to Thailand I wanted to familiarize myself with places that were not frequented by tourists - so with Bangkok as my base I flew to its the southern tip to Nakhon Si Thammarat for the religious and cultural life there and then north east to Udon Thani, a relatively poor industrial area that is historically renowned for its production of fine silk.

Nakon Si Thammarat (View Portfolio)

Wat Phra Maha Tart Woramaha Wihan is the most important religious shrine to Buddha in the south of Thailand and a major centre for religious festivals with many Theravada Buddhist pilgrims paying their respects. Stalls selling all manner of local produce and handicrafts, including shadow puppets are close by in the Viharn Luang. The town is home to two puppet masters who practice and teach the art of Nang Talung and one of these features in the Art and Artisans section. Their shadow puppets made of leather hide are a key source of the ancient storytelling culture.

Bangkok (View Portfolio)

A key feature of Thailand's culture is its cuisine. Life on the waterways is a particularly interesting perspective from a photographic point of view. I wanted to capture with my camera something of the life of traders and shoppers in Bangkok's land and floating markets. This slideshow compares and contrasts these different ways of negotiating trade.

Udon Thani - Isaan (View Portfolio)

The North East of Thailand is a relatively flat rural area that grows rice and sugar cane and is renowned for its production of silk featured in the Art and Artisan section. There is also an important National Museum - Ban Chiang, which is attached to a Bronze Age archaeological site. It is thought that this site shows evidence of sericulture in the Bronze Age, which would date its beginnings to 2000BC, the same if not earlier than that China. What attracted me most visually though were the interconnected lakes of lotus flowers where people live in wooden shacks on stilts and eek out an existence by fishing.

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