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I'll Do It My Way

By AlanBW
Not far from Bangkok's main business and entertainment district – and close to our usual hotel - is the impressive temple known as Wat Hua Lampong. This temple is a focal point for the Thai community who live and work around upper Silom and Surawongse Roads. Although it is not especially significant in comparison to the more famous of Bangkok’s many beautiful religious buildings, Wat Hua Lampong is very lively and a wonderful place to observe a 'real' working temple.

This temple was extensively refurbished in 1996 to honour the 50th anniversary on the throne of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, (also known as King Rama IX). The royal seal of the Kanchanapisek Year (as it was called) features extensively throughout the temple's ornate decorations. The seal depicts two elephants flanking a multi-tiered umbrella.

Whenever Tricia and I visit Bangkok and stay at our chosen hotel, we always take the short walk around to Wat Hua Lampong, where we usually discover something that we hadn’t noticed before. On this particular occasion in December 2006, we came to a halt at the bottom of the steps in order to remove our shoes before entering the main part of the temple. At the top of the steps there are several small shrines outside the doors, where people will often stop to pray. Glimpsing upwards, I noticed the couple pictured above. The husband was at his devotions in front of a shrine, while his wife waited patiently for him. Her upward glance and sincere expression, which were held for some time, suggested that she too was at prayer, but in her own private way.

Thai people are very devout and show no embarrassment about praying at spirit houses or shrines in the street or within buildings. I have even witnessed a waitress at prayer in front of a small spirit house in a bar full of customers. The sincerity of their religious beliefs has nothing but my utmost respect.

Tags: Photo journalism Woman Travel General Man Bangkok Candid Thailand Temple Prayer Portraits and people

Voters: mrswoolybill, Paul_cats, Badgerfred and 109 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2397 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 8:06AM
It's a fascinating image, and treated with respect and dignity.
11 Jun 2007 8:15AM
Excellent capture,
Paul_cats 15 61 22 Scotland
11 Jun 2007 8:16AM
As always very colourful and expressive. A great moment to capture.
Barbaraj 14 450 England
11 Jun 2007 8:33AM
Very colourful and yes you have caught her in a world of prayer.
imagio 14 12 1 England
11 Jun 2007 8:37AM
Good expressive image, with good colors..
Marian 15 62 England
11 Jun 2007 8:37AM
Your introduction to this image was interesting to read.
jaspernina 14 1.0k Wales
11 Jun 2007 8:39AM
Another great shot and equally good title! Smile


PhilScot Plus
14 901 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 8:44AM
Another good shot from my favourite part of the world.
Nicely observed and your usual story behind the photograph.

Well done
A Booth 18 11 4 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 9:07AM
colourful well captured candid -
franken Plus
18 5.2k 4 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 9:26AM
Well observed and well taken Alan.

CatMouse 17 115 Russian Federation
11 Jun 2007 9:30AM
Nice captured, fine exposed and framed.
Great story too Wink

Malik & Mary.
LesleyJ 14 247 England
11 Jun 2007 10:19AM
As always a facsinating image - and story
bricurtis Plus
15 2.4k 51 England
11 Jun 2007 10:22AM
I like the back to back composition of this Alan.
Each doing their own chosen way I suppose.
Herge88 Plus
14 40 6 England
11 Jun 2007 10:23AM
Cracking candid shot Alan, I visited Bangkok for only 3 days I'm afraid back in 2000, and yes their devotion and friendliness certainly struck me.

Best Matt
11 Jun 2007 10:28AM
You always supply something that makes me think Alan, and this is no exception... excellent candid and fabulous colours with plenty to look at. Great description too. helen x
Nettles 13 England
11 Jun 2007 10:46AM
Superb image, excellent candid shot. Nettles
ChristineL 16 39 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 11:10AM
you captured her thoughtful mood beautifully, a lovely and colourful image,
g_parry 15 332 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 11:54AM
Excellent shot - and interesting description
11 Jun 2007 1:13PM
Love this great shot and commentary.
xinia 16 54
11 Jun 2007 1:20PM
excellent capture -
Brilane 14 5 12 Wales
11 Jun 2007 1:25PM
Great, colourful, picture, Alan, it suits the moment well. Nice exposure.
chodge987 14 20 Scotland
11 Jun 2007 2:12PM
Fascinating alan, you've definetaley done your homework Smile

HUMIE 14 2 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 2:21PM
Excellent capture..superb expression and narrative.
tull 17 181 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 2:58PM
Excellent colours and a wonderful expression Alan.

11 Jun 2007 6:32PM
And you did it your way Al'. Nice capture.

John (-:
dianah 14 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 6:43PM
You deserve an award for your descriptions Alan..they are so interesting with a fantastic capture to go with it..thank you.
S_Boulding 14 72 England
11 Jun 2007 7:25PM
Love it, Im liking the busy background! well done
DolphinLady 15 54 1 Wales
11 Jun 2007 7:54PM
This is a wonderful image of these two people at prayer in their own way.
Your description is really wonderful Alan...thank you for so much information.
Nice one Alan ...
elcid 16 150 England
11 Jun 2007 9:21PM
Again, a superb candid shot and great description to go with it, great stuff Alan.

Pegon 15 78 1 England
11 Jun 2007 10:07PM
Nicely captured Alan and a good write-up.
John_Humphreys 15 69 2 Ireland
11 Jun 2007 10:34PM
Insightful (and respectful) explanation to this picture. Well done. John
brownsilent 14 7 2 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2007 10:57PM
Nice capture, Alan, I like the way these people include spiritualism in their daily lives. They live with their gods, and therefor are not as cramped as we are concerning prayers. Well spotted,
oppo 15 6 2 Scotland
12 Jun 2007 12:53AM
I always look forward to your candids Alan. This one is so clear and colourful, and a big thank you for the informative write up.

chrissd 15 304 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 5:48AM
top work Alan, colours are amazing
Libby_M 14 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 6:57AM
you dont need my vote look at them all show what a great photo it is
so clear and sharp
colours and detail just fab an all round nice photo
GlenD 14 United States
12 Jun 2007 7:05AM
Always a good story to go with a good shot.
Nice one Alan
Buffalo_Tom Plus
14 2.3k 16 Wales
12 Jun 2007 7:48AM
Great story and a lovely image Alan.Always a joy to read your descriptions.
12 Jun 2007 8:52AM
Great image, story and title.
danbrann 16 640 17
12 Jun 2007 8:57AM
Your intros are equally as good as your travel work.
patsy88 14 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 9:40AM
A great shot and interesting information on Bangkok.
bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
12 Jun 2007 9:53AM
a good capture and story....
12 Jun 2007 9:59AM
Another excellent shot from your travels Alan, interesting story too.

gingerdelight 14 298 11 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 12:37PM
A lovely capture Alan (as are all your others!). Thanks for your comments!
Love, Carol x
iajacks 15 24 England
12 Jun 2007 1:30PM
great natural expressive face and thats what candid is all about.

well spotted ian
Joline Plus
14 34 59 United States
12 Jun 2007 2:07PM
Great expression, and such lively colors.
Desh_M 16 410
12 Jun 2007 2:29PM
i like the colours on this one. Nice shot
trissie 14 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 4:10PM
A lovely candid Alan, and a very interesting story.

Trish x
User_Removed 16 386 2 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 4:31PM
colourful capture and great description.
AlanBW 15 20 England
12 Jun 2007 5:12PM
Thanks everyone, much appreciated as always
glazzaro 16 70 23 United States
12 Jun 2007 5:12PM
Looks like she is calculating when the day will be over! Wink Well taken! Spot on! Click!!!

RockArea 14 18 3 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 6:28PM
Lovely picture. I like the way the seem to be back to back, as you say, each doing it in their own way.

kinfatric 16 550 9 Scotland
12 Jun 2007 6:29PM
a very colourful scene with an interesting description as always.
daffydill56 17 190 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 7:35PM
A very nice take Alan....

GeorgeRusky 15 1 4
12 Jun 2007 7:41PM
End of Prague shots?
I thought they would be endless :-(
All right, I can't love just one place on the Planet.
GrahamBaines 13 39 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 8:55PM
Great character shot, wonder what she's thinking, very thoughtful shot.

daringdaphne 17 82 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 9:56PM
Very good settings, which really bring the picture to life. Good journalistic and spiritual picture. One does feel I 'm afraid the life in the west is leaving out that space "to bring us us daily nearer god" We do not strive for that gentle thoughtful moment as pictured here. Very colourfully portrayed.

phototime 15 8 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2007 10:10PM
Fantastic candid shot Alan,like the colours and pose.

Chant57 Plus
15 395 3 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2007 12:03PM
A very colourful and expressive image Alan, your narratives are an enthralling read too.
kevski 14 14 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2007 12:28PM
Great candid shot,nicely captured.
13 Jun 2007 12:59PM
Caught the moment perfectly as usual Alan, she looks lost in her thoughts, excellent write up, Adrian
myrab 14 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2007 2:27PM
You have caught her expression beautifully,
another good shot as always.
GlynnisFrith 14 23 3 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2007 4:06PM
Wonderful capture of this moment in time, what super building this looks
TonyFrith 14 3 6 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2007 6:32PM
Very impressive temple & a good candid shot
Ceciliat 16 6 Philippines
14 Jun 2007 5:42AM
Excellent capture, great moment.
Well done...
wyatturp 15 2 England
14 Jun 2007 8:08AM
Good background sense of place , well done Alan-------click

norton 17 2 6 Jersey
14 Jun 2007 10:38AM
Lovely natural colours to this shot,great image,well captured.........

moglen Plus
14 14 1
14 Jun 2007 12:03PM
you keep getting the shots
14 Jun 2007 2:12PM
A superb candid and excellent detail.

cat_mc 14 17 Australia
14 Jun 2007 3:29PM
panda 16 5 1 England
14 Jun 2007 7:41PM
Great shot, and absorbing information on it. Top notch Alan
JimV 14 6 3 Canada
15 Jun 2007 4:03AM
All well deserved kudos have already been said Alan, another great candid and informative write up!
Rgds., Jim
angelamary 15 6 England
15 Jun 2007 9:31AM
Nice shot! Well caught. Your pictures always have so much intrest, both in the subject and the story behind them. You must have albums full of wonderful memories!
TelStar 16 116 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2007 10:42AM
I agree with Angela. Very interesting insight to lives.

15 Jun 2007 1:56PM
Alan, a very telling image and as ever so well explained. Truly deseving of this amazing number of votes.

KevinMW 14 14 Wales
15 Jun 2007 10:16PM
Excellent candid Alan, and great detail in both the picture and storyline. Having visited Bangkok on several occasions (for business) I feel I have missed so many opportunities for great photographs, which you capture so well.

BigK 15 8
16 Jun 2007 9:55AM
It is a pleasure travelling the world with you through your photos

helena 17 134 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2007 2:05PM
Lovely candid shot Alan, well spotted regards Tara x
korni 14
16 Jun 2007 5:34PM
perfectly photographed!!
ginz04 17 281 20 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2007 10:05PM
excellent shot good colours and detail
Possum 14 148 England
16 Jun 2007 10:52PM
Very expressive, both visually and narratively. I love the detail within the image.
Hop-A-Long 14 52 1 England
17 Jun 2007 12:31AM
Great shot. She looks so deep in thought.
Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
17 Jun 2007 2:09AM
A great candid, Alan - I love this sort of stuff! Smile
You do get some great candid shots Alan, well done.....Joe
Rogerex 14 32 12 Australia
17 Jun 2007 9:50AM
Interesting expression on the face of the woman. I wonder what she is thinking, or praying.
firzhugh 16 13 New Zealand
17 Jun 2007 10:43AM
great expression and colours
jkennedy 15 4 1 Indonesia
17 Jun 2007 3:24PM
A poignant moment for sure with the lady in deep thought. So well captured Alan and a great description as usual - sorry for the late vote but I missed this one somehow. Well done. CLIK,
MickS 16 23 14 England
17 Jun 2007 6:13PM
Watcha Alan,
lovely capture, although I would have prefered to see just the shrine.
evelen 16 5 England
17 Jun 2007 7:00PM
wonderful capture you have some wonderful shots of your holidays love to see these pictures. great places to see. eve.
thorn 16 124 2 Scotland
17 Jun 2007 7:58PM
Hi Alan,
As always,excellently photographed,great photojournalism and presentation.Take care.AnnSmile
tuhin 14
18 Jun 2007 4:53AM
Vere Nice.
liparig 16 233 United States
18 Jun 2007 6:45PM
wow great portait well taken
sandrish 17 36 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2007 5:57PM
Stunning shot and very interesting write up.

bayleaf 13 8 United Kingdom
5 Sep 2007 9:17AM
I love this shot Alan. It has a certain spirituality about it. Nice, tranquil and very well taken. John.
AlanBW 15 20 England
5 Sep 2007 9:26AM
Many thanks John, much appreciated - Alan
12 Sep 2007 5:23PM
great great shot! well done!
AlanBW 15 20 England
12 Sep 2007 5:31PM
Many thanks Lisa - Alan

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