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Montag, 3. Juni 2013

Sri Satchanalai Historical Park, Landscape, People and Thai Cultural Photography

The Sri Satachanalai Historical Park is located only about 60 km from Sukhothai and has its  very own charm. The entire area is a lot wider then the Park in Sukhothai and has a peaceful and quiet atmosphere.

One of the participants, the Japanese man Sugawara Masaki didn't arrive at the airport. So we were only five in the car and had the comfort of more space. The Australian couple, Porter, weren't really interested in photography but wanted to use the opportunity for an enjoyable weekend trip.

The weather was wonderful and usually it's rather isolated in this Park. Today however there were 2 travel groups so we had to coordinate our tour to stay out of their way.

The Thais have their own way of visiting historical sites.


The Temple Wat Chang Lom (surrounded by elephants) is one of the most significant. In 1285 King Ram Kamhaeng excavated the holy relics of the Wat Phra Sri Rattana Maha That Temple , which was built under the reign of the Khmer in Chaliang.
After he worshiped them for one month, he buried them 3 km west where the Sri Satchanalai Park is today and build the Wat Chang Lom Temple above them.

Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo, which is directly opposite, was another photographic challenge.

The temple ruins seemed a lot older and less restored compared to the Historic Park in Sukthothai. I think that's what creates this special atmosphere.

After a refreshing lunch in a beergarden directly at the Yom river , we did not want to miss the new excavation site in the Wat Phra Sri Rattana Maha That.

In the evening, after an hour of driving and a break at the Ruean Thai hotel, we went to the fields in front of the Ramkhamhaeng mountain range in Sukhothai.

We hoped for fantastic evening light to capture the beautiful landscape.

Kenneth and I were thrilled when a cold front moved into the sunset. We had almost an entire hour to shoot before it started to rain while the light disappeared and we had to return to the hotel.

On the next morning we had to get up early. We wanted to use the morning sun for landscape shots. This time we didn't have much luck and the lack of light couldn't be created through Photoshop either. The sun was blocked by a thick veil of clouds and left us standing in troubled waters.

We used the opportunity of the diffused light to make some macro shots of the flowers growing on the fields edge.

Here's an example of what modern image editing programs like Photoshop are capable of and how you can put a little more "magic" into the pictures with a little bit of post processing.

We ate breakfast in the field and began searching for encounters with the natives. We met a cowherd , talked to a family whose daughter got married a few days ago, visited a potter and a family which made palm sugar.

We earned a break and were craving for a nice lunch. Before I had to bring Catherine and George to the airport, we had an appointment with the monks in the Wat Pak Khwae Temple.

My son did me the favor to go with us and Kristen made this nice photograph of us with the monk , who patiently stood model for our portrait shots.

Kenneth and Kristen stayed for another day and Kristen booked me for the next day to explore the Historical park in Sukhothai.
In the evening I had an appointment 30 km outside of Sukhothai and invited Kenneth to join me. Originally he was looking for the classic postcard scene: sunset between two palm trees. Instead a storm swept over us and we were unlucky to be on the wrong side of the mountain.

Sometimes that's how it is with landscape photography.