What I realized during my time in Thailand is that the deeper you go into detail, the more interesting this country becomes to me. What I am saying is that Thailand and especially Bangkok with its over six milion people is much more than just temples, tuk tuks and Khao San road. I have become an urban explorer over the last months, always searching for hidden things and off-the-track adventures in this beautiful city. Climbing the ruins of the Sathorn Unique building or exploring the slums of Klong Toei are only a few examples of trips through the urban world of Bangkok, searching for the unobvious sites and hidden corners. 
 
But the most interesting and most beautiful thing in Thailand you can find is the people. I think I fell in love with Thai peoples behavior. I really want to know everyone here and talk to the people, though my Thai is definitely not the best. But as I don’t want to be treated as a tourist, I don’t act like one. Sometimes this is hard for me, taking my camera with me everywhere I go, which seems to be like the most obvious indicator of a tourist. But I think I am doing this because I don’t want to let all these great moments I had here and I am still having go. So I capture them.
 
 
 
 
 
One day I went to Klong Toei with June, a really kind Thai girl I made friends with to talk to people there and take pictures of the environment. We expected it to be really bad from what we read on the internet when we did some research. People said it is dangerous to go there, that people live under really bad conditions there and don’t really like foreigners beeing there. But this made it even more interesting for us to go there and it turned out that people are really open minded towards us, most of them seemed to be really happy we are around there. Kids wanted to play with us, families wanted us to take pictures of them. This was a great experience, especially for me as a farang. Besides that, people do live under bad conditions there, but far from how bad most people are saying and most importantly: They are happy. They don’t need an own car, they don’t need a plasma TV and they don’t need a three course meal. They have themselves, as a community. And I think they are a very strong community.
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Even the farangs come! Even the farangs come!” the man on the stage is screaming through his microphone towards the thousands of people in front of the stage while he is pointing at me with his hand. I am a bit scared since one day before, a german photojournalist was beaten up by demonstrants. He continues his proclamations in english “I want to see Thaksin in hell” makes the people going crazy and the noise of thousands of whistles sound through the court of the ministry of finance buildings. He continues in Thai then and I am walking into the crowd again, standing there between yelling, laughing, clapping and whisteling people.
 
As I am normally a foreigner, today I am one hundred percent Thai because people treat me like this, ask me questions and teach me some thai and explain what is going on. They really appreciate that I am interested in this movement although I have actually nothing to do with this. But from the moment you stand for the same thing, there is no difference between natives and foreigners, eastern and western, young and old. Food and water is given away for free at the demonstration sites, flags and headbands with the national flag is shared among the crowds. Strengthen the democracy is definitely a thing worth fighting for and so do the thai people with heart and soul. They really want to change something and act, not just react and you can feel that. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unfortunately, things changed at a time and in certain points, the demonstrants went too far, cutting of electricity of news channels or even start shootings where people died. This has nothing to do with differences of political views in my opinion. Things went really nasty when the demonstrators tried to occupy the house of government which was defended by the police. There were fights over days, many people got hurt and no one wants to give up. The police continously used tear gas, water cannons and barbed wire against demonstrants who answered with homecrafted weapons, petrol-bombs and stones. 
 
At the third day of the fights, the police decided to put down shields and helmets as a sign of their unwillingness to fight and to respect the King’s birthday in two days. Demonstrators entered the area of the government house, went to the policemen and welcomed them with hugs and handshakes, took pictures with them and it seemed like they are the best friends in the world after fighting so hard for days which caused so many victims. And I could see in their eyes how happy they were the fights stopped, even if it was just a break.  All of them united to honor their majesty the king. This shows that the love for the king is bigger than any will to fight, to overthrow or to demonstrate. This was the first time in my life I’ve seen something like this.
 
 
 
 
 
 
After I got such great feedback and exposure to my images, I decided to put them together into a book. 
After I got even bigger exposure and suppport, I planned an exhibition on those images, bringing the topics I wanted to show to a bigger crowd.
 
 
 
Equipment used:
 
Nikon D7000
Nikon D810
Tamron 60 mm f/1.8
Nikkor 85 mm f/1.4
Nikkor 14-24 mm f/2.8
And so on.
 
 
 
 
 
THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION!
 
 
 
 
FACES OF THAILAND
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Daniel Reuber

FACES OF THAILAND

After one year of taking photos, this is what it turned out to.
125
1.9k
8
Published: