About a month ago when I returned from Cambodia, I posted two of my favorite shots from the trip, portraits of two monks taken at Angkor Wat. Since I was in a rush to get everything uploaded from the trip, I neglected to post these shots, also taken from the same day. The monks were gracious enough to allow me to photograph as they wandered around and took pictures themselves.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be processing and posting shots from my recent trip through Cambodia and Thailand, which took us from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to Bangkok and Ko Samet. It was an exhausting yet rewarding trip, though we definitely saved time for the beaches of Thailand at Ko Samet near the end.
I’m still trying to contemplate how different the two countries are. Both are based in the same lines of cultural, religious, and historical ancestry but are bitter enemies. I will consider some of these differences in future posts, but should start off with something both countries have very much in common: Theravada Buddhism.
These monks were wandering around Angkor Wat on our third day in Cambodia. The older monk was showing about eight or nine young monks, boys around the ages of 8-10, around the temple complex. In Thailand and Cambodia, monks are not always dedicating their entire life to service in the monastery, so I’m guessing these boys may have recently entered service and will remain living the lives of monks for a few months at most.
While an obvious language barrier existed, it was interesting to see them explore the temple almost as tourists themselves. They were nice enough to stop for some photos as another tourist took a photo of the group with the eldest monk’s cameraphone.
This monk was on a street corner in Jhubei last night begging for alms during that beautiful hour of sunset, making for a nice chance to get a good image. I was really struck by the amount of people passing by as he stood there, making me want to take the shot on the right. I wish I had a tripod so I could’ve tried an even longer exposure, but was happy enough with what I got. I finished off the shots by dropping some change into his bowl and he was gone by the time I came back half and hour later.
This shot was taken at the Taipei 101 observation deck while my family visited last weekend. We are currently in Kaohsiung still and I’m glad to be able to spend time in the southern parts of Taiwan for a change.
I liked this mix of old and new – this monk and nun were visiting the top of the second-tallest building in the world, and I thought it showed good contrast to the many facets of Taiwan. I feel like I’ve certainly been seeing this this past week, as I’ve been dragging my family members through futuristic city districts which sit next to traditional markets.
These are from a short visit to City God Temple, a main cultural/religious point in Hsinchu City. There’s a market right in front of the temple which has some great food and it’s always full of activity.
These were taken in Sanxia, Taipei County last weekend – it’s an interesting town with an “old” section of older-style brick buildings nearby a large temple and a bridge.