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Light Time Photography

Nature and Travel Images

Thailand is the most exotic country I have ever visited. In fact we liked it so much that we have gone a couple of times. Excursions to Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and across the border into Myanmar show a world much different than our western norms.

Northern Thailand is populated by numerous ethnic groups with their own customs and beliefs. The people that have settled the villages in the hill country have come from Myanmar, China, Tibet, Laos, Vietnam and several other lands in the region. You can probably see more distinct cultures in a week here than any other place on earth.

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Hats.jpg (67199 bytes) Ahka Woman.jpg (80572 bytes) Akha_mother_baby.jpg (48347 bytes) Pastels.jpg (61595 bytes) Mekong_Taxi.jpg (101604 bytes)
Hat anyone? Akha woman Akha mother with baby The subtle pastel landscape of Northern Thailand hill country Mekong River Taxi
Market_Goods.jpg (58750 bytes) Villager.jpg (63789 bytes) Playing.jpg (65449 bytes) Mountain_Harvest.jpg (90738 bytes) Mekong Children.jpg (59841 bytes)
Colorful market goods Mao man in Chiang Rai province Playing on the farm equipment Harvest time in the mountains Children at tip of Golden Triangle next to the Mekong River where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar come together
Chiang Mai Man.jpg (53985 bytes) Old Woman.jpg (60233 bytes) Kings Temple.jpg (57992 bytes) Mao Woman.jpg (57460 bytes) Tuk_tuks.jpg (66929 bytes)
One of the friendly residents of a village in Chiang Mai Province Mother of the man to the left smoking a pipe at the side of the road The King's temple Mao woman with child in backpack Tuk tuks in Chiang Rai
Weavers.jpg (55672 bytes) Karen Teen.jpg (57013 bytes) Karen Weaver.jpg (73767 bytes) Mother.jpg (48915 bytes)
Most of the women spend a large part of the day weaving colorful cloths Teenage girl proud of her rings Teenage girl weaving. She is a good friend of the girl to the left. The largest stack of rings in the village.

These last four pictures are from a Long Neck Karen village in Chiang Rai Province. The Karens are one of many ethnic groups in Myanmar and have been involved in a long civil war in that country. This village was settled just across the border in Thailand by a group of refugees from the war. The Long Neck Karens are a small portion of the Karen ethnic group and are the only ones who practice the use of neck rings.

The neck rings are added one per year on girls starting before they are ten years old. There are also rings on their calves. The practice started over two hundred years ago as a form of protection. People realized that tigers mostly caught women in any incident involving a human. Tigers also most frequently bit onto the calf or neck to snare their victim. The brass rings were developed to protect the women from the tigers.

The Long Neck Karens are not very accurately named. The reality is that the shoulders are crushed over the years and pressed down. The neck is not actually elongated. They are uncomfortable, however, and you can see the cloth that is kept inside the rings to provide some relief on the skin. These villagers consider a large stack of rings very beautiful and all the women use them.

All photos İRoy Breslawski