CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – Despite the effects of globalization—especially tourism, technology, and urbanization—Buddhism remains a pillar of this Old City in Northern Thailand. As the sun begins to rise over the ancient, majestic temples, monks travel to and from their community to receive food and alms from local Thais. Monks in Thailand still rely on this morning ritual for all of their food.
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – In the bustling city of Chiang Mai, thousands gathered to celebrate the 720th Anniversary of the founding of the Lanna Kingdom at the annual Flower Festival over the Lunar New Year holiday. These Lunar New Years toys being sold at the parade illustrate and symbolize just one of the ways cultural diffusion and integration play out. Due to Thailand’s centrality in the region, ancient kingdoms and modern-day cities alike continuously experience this unique blending, morphing, and intermingling of culture.
PATTAYA, THAILAND – Though not as well known as most massive Buddha monuments in Thailand, Thais and tourists alike still travel to this town on Thailand’s eastern gulf coast to see this image that is over 100 meters tall. Using modern day laser technology, this ancient image was carved into this mountain to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the coronation of the current king, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Much like fashion and food, Thai religious rituals ebb and flow with time and trend. You cannot merely read about Thai Buddhism in a textbook or ancient teachings because it is a melting pot of old, new, and everything in between. You must come to Thailand to see the richness and diversity, the meditating, pouring oil, lighting candles, floating lotus flowers, and of course, burning incense.
BANGKOK, THAILAND – This statue is one of many featured in the garden of the Erawan Museum built by a banker and businessman known as Khun Lek. Khun Lek built this sanctuary in the mid-1900s to encourage Thais to learn and remember the richness of Eastern culture in the wake of globalization and ‘Westernization.’
BANGKOK, THAILAND – On Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights about 3 blocks down from where I live, there is a fresh market where you can do all of your grocery shopping (and shop for just about anything else—cell phones, clothes, beauty supplies, pots and pans, sewing kits, screwdrivers, spare light bulbs, and more, depending on the day). Globalization has brought immeasurable amounts of products into every crevice of the world, and people adapt—continuously finding new livelihoods and incomes. This woman at the beginning of the market makes her living selling all sorts of meats and seafood that are grilled or deep-fried and then covered in some spicy sauce—YUM!
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Though Bangkok is usually known for its senseless hoards of traffic, you can still find a few moments to move with ease about this unique city. Here you can see that many Thais pull their cars off to the side to pick up some clear noodle soup to-go from a road-side stand as they arrive home from a long day of work in Bangkok.