Way up north in a remote corner of the Golden Triangle region of Thailand, a town called Lak Taeng sits next to a defunct border crossing with Burma.
Perched on a promontory directly above this unguarded border crossing is the sleepy Buddhist temple, Wat Fah Wiang In.
One day while exploring this area on my motorcycle I wandered into Wat Fah Wiang In and was struck by its remoteness and isolation.
I saw an abandoned building and took a peek inside. I was surprised to see that all the walls were lined with a collection of old photographs displayed like a gallery in a museum.
Judging by all the cobwebs and the the layer of dust that covered everything, few people, if any, ever entered this building.
The photographs were formal portraits taken of the minor rulers of the surrounding pocket kingdoms along with their families and the palaces they once lived in, a glimpse into a way of life that lasted for centuries but now no longer exists.
There were also some photographs of historic events that took place in this area as well as some of their ceremonies and celebrations.
My first thought was, ‘Wow! Look at what I just discovered.’
My second thought was, ‘These photos aren’t going to last much longer if they are kept in such miserable conditions. They’re bad enough as they are already.”
And my third thought was, “Someone should share these photographs with the world; they are of too much historical significance to simply store them in this out-of-the-way location and allow them to deteriorate even further or be lost forever through neglect.’
So a few months later, this is exactly what I did; I rode back up to Wat Fah Wiang In with my camera gear and photographed all the photographs.
And here they are, displayed in a slideshow for your viewing pleasure.
I apologize for the lack of quality of some of the photographs, especially the glare.
All the photos were in poor condition to begin with. And all were covered with a pane of glass, the frames screwed into the wall and could not be moved to avoid the reflections.
But something is better than nothing.
I hope you enjoy them.
If any viewers can offer any insights into these photographs, I would be most appreciative if you would contact me by email. I will then update the captions on each photograph accordingly.