If you have a camera, no matter the type, and an eye for photography, then Phana, Thailand is calling you. This small village of 2,000 is tucked away far from the tourism industry (about 650 KM from Bangkok) and hosts some of the most ideal landscapes that you could ever come across. Small creeks, floating huts, iconic temples, and the most beautiful people who call this village their home. The only question that you need to ask yourself is which F stop will you use. My name is Chris Love and I am an avid videographer/photographer and have been living in the village of Phana for four months now. Within’ those four months, I’ve taken thousands of photos and have added numerous shots to my growing portfolio.
One of the biggest attractions found in Phana, is Don Chao Poo, a monkey forest boasting some 1,000 Long-Tailed Macaques. Depending on the time of day as well as the season, monkeys offer an array of opportunities to work on your photography. These creatures are so akin to humans that you will just want to sit amongst them for hours to capture every second of their interesting lives. Whether they are sleeping, grooming, or jumping from tree to tree, you are sure to capture a moment in time that will keep you hypnotized for years to come.
As you venture into the heart of the town, you are quickly embraced by the local people who adorn their faces with the biggest grins that you’ve ever seen. Hundreds gather in the early mornings to buy and sell food and supplies at the various markets throughout the week. Exotic fruit, pancakes on a stick, and barbecued squid are all arranged beautifully, basking under the warm sunlit skies. If landscapes are your forte, then you will be left breathless. Rice paddies as far as the eye can see envelope the entire village in the most beautiful sea of emerald green. During the planting and harvesting seasons, you will find farmers donning their paddy (wooden conical shape) hats with sickle in hand to work 12 hour days. Beautiful streams and rivers flow through the town giving it life, nurturing the rice as well as the farmers.
Three beautiful temples are situated throughout the town, each with it’s own special allure. If you’ve always dreamed of photographing monks in their natural environment, then this is the place. Many monks call Phana home and walk the streets in the wee hours of the morning to collect food offered by the village people. Having an opportunity to photograph such an event would be worth the visit alone. There are also hundreds of ceremonies/festivals that take place throughout the year. These are awesome opportunities to capture TRUE Thai culture away from the loud and crazy tourist areas.
Plants and flowers of every kind are also found throughout this fantasy land. If you’re into macro photography, you will have some magazine ready shots just waiting for your trigger happy finger. Along with beautiful and exotic plants / flowers, are hundreds if not thousands of species of insects, birds, and reptiles. If you’ve ever dreamed of living in a tropical paradise deep in the heart of Thailand away from chaos of Bangkok and Chiang Mai then Phana, Thailand is for you. I take roughly 200 photos per day and as stated before, have quite an extensive library of photos. I’ve collected and added a few to this blog so that you can get an idea of what this blog is all about.
If you have any questions for me about Phana or the wonderful photography opportunities that exist there, please feel free to drop me a line. Happy shooting!
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer