First and foremost, let me give you a little bit of context before diving into the project itself.
This summer, I traveled to Thailand for one month. We left at the end of May and came back at the end of June and let me say right now that it wasn’t enough. One month is the minimum amount of time you should spend in a country if you want to understand it. Time flies a lot faster than we think when we’re not in our precious little bubbles. I’m not saying living in a bubble is bad thing, but it definitely helps to go out into the unknown once in a while.
So, I went there for a month with two friends whom I had never traveled with. We had settled ourselves upon a vague itinerary but most of the trip was improvised once we were there – it was kind of a day-to-day thing most of the time. I had plans to document the whole trip in a single video montage, but I soon realized that it was going to take up a lot of my time and distract me from the whole experience. Instead, I decided to do something a little more contemplative: I made a three-part video series where the main purpose is to show you a singular moment rather than cramming a bunch of images together to give you an epilepsy attack. Personally, I am very proud of the result and I believe that these videos are the best way to describe my experience throughout the whole trip. I hope you enjoy them as much as I had fun doing them!
We explored the whole country so I decided to make a video about the north, the middle, and the south. Also, the videos were not shot in that particular order. Without further ado, here are the videos.
Part 1: Askew Sunset in Ko Pha Ngan
This first video was shot in Ko Pha Ngan which is located in the south of Thailand. We were exploring a nice beach when we noticed that the sun was going to set. So, my friend Paul and I decided to film the sunset while we had the chance. Once he set up his camera to do a time-lapse, Paul went to go have a swim with our friend Luca. That’s when I placed myself on a rock and filmed them for a couple of minutes. They didn’t know I was filming them so their interactions are genuine and not choreographed.
This is my favorite video of the whole project because Paul and Luca’s interactions with each other describe their friendship in the most honest way possible (at least, that’s how I see it).
Part 2: Bamboo Rafting in Pai
The second video was shot in a northern part of the country called Pai. We woke up one morning and wanted to go do some rafting. Once we arrived at the booking place, they told us the rafting had to be booked a day in advance. However, we noticed that they offered some bamboo rafting. Feeling very curious and being told that it didn’t need any reservation, we went with the bamboo rafting.
Once we got there, we noticed that they had built a bamboo raft exclusively for our trip. They made some finishing touches before launching it into the river and inviting us onboard. With a little bit of hesitation, we went onboard and clutched our bags like their was no tomorrow.
It took me a couple of minutes before realising how beautiful this experience was. So, I whipped out my camera and filmed the old man guiding us through Pai’s main river.
Part 3: Mesmerizing Flower Market in Bangkok
The last one was a little tricky because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. The first and second video were easy to conceptualize because the south has beaches and the north has mountains. So, here’s my question: what characterizes the middle of Thailand? Well, that’s when I decided to go for Bangkok’s flower market.
I talked about it with Luca and he convinced me of going before dawn because that’s when the market receives all of its flowers. And so, during a sleepless night, we cabbed off to the market at 4 in the morning and got the last shot.
Thus concludes The Thailand Project. I hope you enjoyed the three videos (or at least one of them) and I hope it incites some of you to go out into the world and get out of your comfort zone because it is extremely rewarding. I feel a little sketchy when I tell people this trip has changed my life, but it’s true and I hope you can experience something similar during your lifetime.
Also, here’s a collection of pictures I took during the trip: https://www.flickr.com/photos/157471784@N02/albums/72157687574611235