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|Colors of Hua Thanon ~ Hua Thanon, Thailand||Slide 1 of 176 | Next >> |
Colors of Hua Thanon
Hua Thanon, Thailand
Copyright © 2018 OneWorldImages.com
My visits to the Muslim fishing village of Hua Thanon were among the highlights of my time on Ko Samui. Samui being one of the most popular resort destinations in Thailand, the island is packed with tourist attractions. Yet venture from the popular beaches, and one can find a number of local communities that maintain a sense of identity apart from the tourist trade.
Hua Thanon is one of those communities. A fishing village, Hua Thanon is simultaneously humble and proud. The village is extremely poor - homes are primitive, streets dirty. Piles of garbage line the beach. Beyond the refuse, however, is a sea of color. The fishing boats in the harbor - regardless of the state they're in - are works of art. Bows and masts are decorated with intricate designs, hulls lined with stripes of red, green and blue. Unlike other fishing fleets I encountered in the region, there is no common motif. From one boat to the next, designs and color schemes change. Photographers needn't work in Hua Thanon (I got the same feeling in Greece) - one can literally point and shoot.
While I enjoyed the village for its vibrant color, it was because of the people that I returned. During my first visit, I wandered the beach and village with some uncertainty. The only foreigner around, I was unsure whether my presence (with camera in hand) was appropriate. I hesitated to take pictures of villagers until I received non-verbal confirmation from a group of children (no English spoken here). Slowly, the quizzical looks turned to smiles - particularly when a pair of geese attacked me. The people seemed to allow it, but the geese of Hua Thanon wanted nothing to do with my camera.
When I returned for a second visit, I was armed with my PC and images from the previous day. The children loved it - I was soon shooting camel fights and villagers bearing gifts. Even the women (in scarves) enjoyed the images, often blushing when they recognized their likenesses. While there are some disadvantages, one great benefit of digital photography is the ability to share images instantly. (That I could display them on a reasonably sized screen was an added benefit). The villagers of Hua Thanon enjoyed seeing their photographs - and I loved the interaction. The ol' "A picture is worth a thousand words" adage is certainly true when there are no words to share.
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