10 Mar 2014

Saffron robes: Buddhist monks in Thailand

Thailand is a country where rooted traditions coexist with modern customs without any issues: they are proud of their culture and they strive to keep it and pass it on to future generations, while they also rapidly and gladly accept and incorporate the latest trends and habits to their everyday life. A short walk in any city of this country will let you find a fancy shopping center protected by a spirit house at the entrance, for instance. Mores and modernity hand by hand, because they believe that in order to advance, there is no need to leave the past behind, as we can carry it along with us, just adapting it to the times. And this is precisely what happens with the subject I wanna present today. 

Grey morning, saffron robes, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Crossing the bridge in Si Satchanalai I, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm 
Crossing the bridge in Si Satchanalai II, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm 
Somewhere in Isan, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm

Collecting alms, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm
Descending the stairs, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Feeding the herd, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm
Being a Buddhist country, there are plenty of monks in Thailand, both mature and novice, and it's easy to spot them, specially in the mornings, when they leave their temples to collect alms through the streets. But the monks, as the rest of the Thai society, have also adapted themselves to the challenges of the postmodern, globalized world we live in, hence they can be seen performing tasks that many had deemed impossible just a few decades ago. If there is a lesson to learn from here is, simply, to find a balance between old and new in order to survive, keeping the essences intact but adapting the surface to the changing times.

Afternoon break, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm 
Withdraw or deposit?, GM1 + Lumix G Vario 12-32mm
Trying his mundane luck, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm 
Photo shoot, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm  
Holy selfie!, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm 


  1. I enjoyed your pictures of Thailand very much. It such an exotic place where the past blends in with the present. You have an excellent eye for your shots. Great work!

  2. Hello epiac! Thanks a lot for your warm words! What you say about Thailand is a perfect way to summarize this country: opposites meeting, past and present merging together.

  3. Were you laying on the ground for the first monk shot? I also love the one of the monks at an ATM machine. Oh the irony...

    1. In the first picture I was crouching down, quite low but not laying down.
      And the monks in the ATM, yes, as soon as I saw them, I knew I had to capture that moment. Benefits of having a small camera with you at all times!