The graceful movements of Thai dancers entertain the Siamese royal court and night-market tourists. A fabulous addition to the elegance and precision of the performers are specialized costumes. Depending on the dance, performers might wear six-inch-long brass nails or specialized decorative headdresses.
Like a mountain that holds up the sky, the handle of an umbrella supports its dome, or so goes the mythology of the Buddhist umbrella. This golden parasol from Chiang Mai’s Wat Doi Suthep is a symbol for the exalted person whom it would protect from the heat of suffering and desire.
These novice nuns in Burma are on their way to a morning bath. Many Burmese families send their daughters for a religious education in the warm summer months. The “Thilashins” live together in compounds near wats. Numbers of resident nuns can double in summertime.
Founded in 1350, Ayutthaya was once the thriving cosmopolitan capital of Siam (Thailand). The reign of Ayutthaya ended in 1767 when Burmese troops sacked the city and carried away its treasures. The remains of temples, palaces and statues artfully permeate the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site located about an hour outside of Bangkok. In the severe flooding of 2011, this particular statue in the base of a tree was underwater for weeks.
The National Museum in Bangkok houses incredibly interesting items, including royal funeral chariots, historical dioramas, ancient sculptures, and traditional costumes and games. The second most important Buddha in Thailand, the Phra Buddha Singh, sits in the Buddhaisawan Chapel. Wandering through the chapel with its mixture of old and new, I took this photo of one of the smaller buddha figures next to its more famous neighbor.