The Real Thailand?

I’m annoyed this week.  No, actually I’m angry.  Why?  Because in the course of my normal web browsing this last week I’ve visited over ten sites that feature images showing “the real Thailand” and after almost seven years in the Kingdom I can assure you that these pictures represented only a very small part of Thailand!

It seems that most photographers visiting Thailand, especially those who fancy themselves as photographers, photojournalists, and newsmen have only visited the same “authentic Thai villages” which are expressly designed for tourists.  When the rest of the world sees these images of old ladies in traditional dress, old men smoking long pipes, and the such.. they must really think Thailand is some backwards country stuck back in the 1800’s.  How would you feel if the only images of your country portrayed to the rest of the world showed your quaint towns of Quakers, native Indians, pilgrims, or ethnic towns?

I also hear “Thailand/Cambodia/Laos” is so “photogenic” and perfect for photographers.  So are zoos!  I say hogwash.  No country is more “photogenic” than any other country.  Some countries are just different than what you’re used to and so are its people.

I feel we have a responsibility to portray a country honestly.  In Thailand we have taxi drivers, businessmen in suits, farmers, salesman, musicians, rich people driving Porches, and just about every kind of person we have in our own countries.  So why aren’t you guys showing them?

There is much more to Thailand than the tourist areas, attractions, nightlife districts, and purpose built traditional villages.  I’m angry because I’ve been guilty at times as well.  I plan on correcting this.  Future Outings will feature business centers, industrial parks, and other locations that show the real Thailand.  Help me portray Thailand with accuracy.  It’s only fair.