18 December 2015

Participating in Rural Yi Peng

Loi Krathong coincides with a Lanna (Northern Thai) festival known as Yi Peng which refers to the full moon of the second month, according to the Lanna lunar calendar. Swarms of Lanna-style rice-paper sky lanterns are launched into the full-moon night sky. Prior to the big spectacle, the setting is joyful and serene as Buddhist monks perform chants during an on-stage ceremony. The festival is meant as a time for making merit (Thai: tham bun). During Yi Peng, many events are being held all over Chiang Mai Province: traditional Thai dance, colourful Yi Peng street parades, beauty pageants, muay thai and dance competitions, fireworks…

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; groupshot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; street parade; Thai lady; beautiful; Lanna culture; make-up; red lips; golden Lanna lace dress; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination; hair jewellery; gold; drop earrings; charming; smiling; Thai smile; teeth; false eyelashes; tarted up; hairdo; flowers in hair

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; street parade; Thai girl; beautiful; Lanna culture; make-up; red lips; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination; hair jewellery; gold; drop earrings; charming; smiling; Thai smile; teeth; false eyelashes; hairdo

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; street parade; Thai girl; beautiful; Lanna culture; costume; make-up; flower in hair; red lips; necklace; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; street parade; Thai girl; beautiful; Lanna culture; costume; make-up; flower in hair; red lips; necklace; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; beauty contest; beauty pageant; Thai beauty; beautiful; Lanna culture; costume; make-up; flowers in hair; red lips; eye contact; world cultures; travel; travel destination; false eyelashes; tarted up; dolled up to the nines; necklace; drop earrings; village beauty; air balloons

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; beauty contest; beauty pageant; Thai beauty; beautiful; Lanna culture; costume; make-up; flowers in hair; red lips; eye contact; world cultures; travel; travel destination; false eyelashes; tarted up; dolled up to the nines; necklace; drop earrings; village beauty; air balloons

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; headshot; nightshot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; Thai hilltribe costume; Thai hilltribe culture; Thai hilltribe headgear; street parade; Thai girl; traditional costume; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination; festival; makeup; teeth; Miao people; H'mong headgear

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; Thai hilltribe costume; Thai hilltribe culture; Thai hilltribe headgear; street parade; Thai girl; traditional costume; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination; festival; makeup; teeth; Bai headgear

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; street parade; Thai girl; beautiful; Lanna culture; Lanna costume; make-up; red lips; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination; hair jewellery; gold; drop earrings; charming; smiling; Thai smile; teeth; false eyelashes; tarted up; hairdo

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; street parade; Thai girl; beautiful; Lanna culture; Lanna costume; make-up; red lips; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination; hair jewellery; gold; drop earrings; charming; smiling; Thai smile; teeth; false eyelashes; tarted up; hairdo

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; beauty contest; beauty pageant; Thai beauty; beautiful; Lanna culture; costume; make-up; flowers in hair; red lips; eye contact; world cultures; travel; travel destination; false eyelashes; tarted up; dolled up to the nines; drop earrings; village beauty; hairdo; blue orchids; hair jewellery

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; beauty contest; beauty pageant; Thai beauty; beautiful; Lanna culture; costume; make-up; flowers in hair; red lips; eye contact; world cultures; travel; travel destination; false eyelashes; tarted up; dolled up to the nines; drop earrings; village beauty; hairdo; yellow orchids; hair jewellery; necklace; double portrait

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; street parade; Thai girl; beautiful; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination; uniform; track marshal; beret; military hand salute; gesture; Thai army reserve force student

© Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; people; portrait; head shot; night shot; colour; flash; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; Nikon SB-400; Asia; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai Province; Mae Chaem; Yi Peng; street parade; Thai girl; beautiful; eye contact; tradition; world cultures; travel; travel destination; uniform; track marshal; beret; military hand salute; gesture; Thai army reserve force student

Portrait photographs of Lanna Thai beauties in Matt Hahnewald's

15 December 2015

Slurping Oodles of Noodles

Noodles are an essential ingredient and staple in the Chinese cuisine. There is a great variety of Chinese noodles, which vary according to their region of production, ingredients, shape or width, and manner of preparation. They are an important part of most regional cuisines within China, as well as in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and many other Southeast Asian nations with sizable overseas Chinese populations.

Chinese-style noodles have also entered the cuisines of neighbouring East Asian countries such as Korea (jajangmyeon) and Japan (ramen), as well as Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam (e.g. phở, bún bò Huế), the Philippines, Thailand (e.g. phad Thai), Malaysia (e.g. char kway teow, laksa, Maggi goreng) Indonesia (e.g. kwetiau goreng, mie Aceh) and Cambodia (e.g. kuy teav).

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; people; noodles; chop sticks; street portrait; closeup; eating; slurping; food; travel; travel destination; Southeast Asia; Malaysia; Langkawi; Kuah; vegetarian restaurant; Chinese Malaysian man; eyeglasses; yellow noodles; noodle soup; Panasonic DMC TZ-5

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; people; noodles; chop sticks; street portrait; closeup; eating; slurping; food; travel; travel destination; East Asia; Japan; Kyoto; Japanese girl; beautiful; noodle soup; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; ramen

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; people; noodles; chop sticks; street portrait; closeup; eating; slurping; food; travel; travel destination; Southeast Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; market woman; Thai woman; eye contact; lunch break; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; people; noodles; street portrait; closeup; eating; slurping; food; travel; travel destination; Indonesia; Indo mee; fried noodles; market; bad teeth; West Kalimantan; Sintang; old man; spoon; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; people; noodles; chop sticks; street portrait; closeup; eating; slurping; food; travel; travel destination; Southeast Asia; Vietnam; Bac Ha; little boy; with both hands; eye contact; cute; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens


Noodles may be cooked from either their fresh or dry forms. They are generally boiled, although they may also be deep-fried in oil until crispy. Boiled noodles may then be stir fried, served with sauce or other accompaniments, or served in soup.
Unlike many Western noodles and pastas, Chinese noodles made from wheat flour are usually made from salted dough and therefore do not require the addition of salt to the liquid in which they are boiled. Chinese noodles also cook very quickly, generally requiring less than five minutes to become al dente...

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; people; noodles; night; street portrait; closeup; eating; food; travel; travel destination; India; Rajasthan; Jaisalmer; turban; Indian man; fork; South Asia; fried noodles; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens

China; Beijing; Donghuamen Night Market; Chinese woman slurping noodles; Chinese food delicacies; chop sticks; Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; portrait; street portrait; food; noodles; noodle soup; night; bokeh; teeth; travel; travel destination; tourism

China; Beijing; Donghuamen Night Market; Chinese woman slurping noodles; Chinese food delicacies; chop sticks; Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; portrait; street portrait; food; noodles; noodle soup; night; bokeh; travel; travel destination; tourism

China; Beijing; Donghuamen Night Market; Chinese woman slurping noodles; Chinese food delicacies; chop sticks; Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; portrait; street portrait; food; noodles; noodle soup; night; bokeh; travel; travel destination; tourism; eyeglasses

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; people; noodles; chop sticks; street portrait; closeup; eating; slurping; food; travel; travel destination; China; Guangxi province; Xingping; V sign; double portrait; groupshot; little girls; instant noodles; noodle soup; posing; smiling; cute; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens

Street portraits of happy Asian noodle eaters in Matt Hahnewald's



10 December 2015

Watching a Lanna Street Parade

The Lanna Kingdom ("kingdom of one million rice fields") was a medieval state centred in present-day North-eastern Thailand from the 13th to 18th centuries CE. The resulting Lanna culture is a colourful combination of various elements brought together from both historic and multi-ethnic contexts. With the Chiang Mai Province being a place of trade along the historic first Silk Road, it has been a crossroads for centuries of various cultures that make up the Lanna blend that is found here today. Many northern Thai and hilltribes people still proudly retain their unique languages, traditional dress, and customs in this varied community…

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; floral hair wreath; lip make-up; drop earrings

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; floral hair wreath; lip make-up; drop earrings

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; lip make-up

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; lip make-up

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; floral hair wreath; lip make-up

“It’s not the photographer
who makes the picture,
but the person being photographed.”


Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; lip make-up

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; witch hat; lip make-up

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; floral hair wreath; lip make-up

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; lip make-up

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Mae Chaem; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai girl; Thai smile; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; outdoor; street parade; make-up; beautiful; folk costume; Lanna tradition; dressed up to the nines; floral hair wreath; lip make-up; drop earrings

More portraits of Lanna Thai beauties in Matt Hahnewald's

30 November 2015

Catching the Thai Smile

Every Tuesday Chiang Dao in Northern Thailand has a bustling and colourful authentic Thai market where people from the surrounding area come to sell and buy local produce and cheap clothing. Its filled with good vibe and energy from the enthusiastic sellers and buyers, mostly smiling local ladies. The market is a perfect place for catching the famous Thai smile and to find out what's behind it...

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; make-up; hat; Panama hat

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; outdoor

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; hat; outdoor

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; outdoor; make-up; sexy

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; hat; outdoor

According to Henry Holmes' and Suchada Tangtongtavy's precise observations (Working with the Thais), there are at least one dozen of different Thai smiles. They can be found at Chiang Dao's vibrant Tuesday market where both sellers and buyers perform each of the Thai smiles smiles with flawless accuracy:

  • the hearty “I’m so happy that I’m crying” smile (yim thang nam taa),
  • the polite smile from someone you barely know (yim thak thaai),
  • the very controlled yet beautiful “I admire you” smile (yim cheun chom),
  • the stiff smile, also known as the “I should laugh at the joke though it’s not funny” smile (fuen yim),
  • the devious smile which masks something wicked in your partner/opponent's mind (yim mee lessanai),
  • the teasing or the “I told you so” smile of your partner/opponent (yim yaw),
  • the “I know things look pretty bad but there’s no point in crying over spilled milk” smile (yim yae-yae),
  • the "I am not happy" smile of real sadness (yim sao),
  • the dry smile, also known as the “I know I owe you the favour but I don’t want to do it” smile (yim haeng),
  • the “I disagree with you” smile, also known as the “You can take the photo but this is not a good idea” smile (yim thak thaan),
  • the “I am the winner” smile, the smile given to a loser (yim cheua-cheua),
  • the encouraging “you can take the photo” smile (yim soo-soo),
  • the concealing and polite “I’m trying to smile but can’t” smile (yim mai awk).

Well, save face now and find out which photo below represents which smile…

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; wink; bowler hat; drop earrings; depth of field; outdoor

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; motorcycle helmet; outdoor

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; outdoor

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; red lips

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market


The expression "to save face" describes the lengths that a person may go to in order to preserve her or his established position in the society, taking action to ensure that one is not thought badly of by their peers. The famous Thai smile in all its versions and nuances belongs to this interesting psychological category.

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Northern Thailand; Chiang Dao; Tuesday market; people; closeup; portrait; street portrait; headshot; smiling; Thai woman; Thai smile; market woman; friendliness; Land of Smiles; world cultures; travel; tourism; eye contact; Nikon DSLR D3100; 50 mm prime lens; colour; face; market; wrinkles; outdoor; old woman


More portrait photographs with Thai smiles in Matt Hahnewald's

25 November 2015

Dancing with the Thai Chinese

The Thai Chinese are Thais descended from various Chinese ethnic groups, particularly Han Chinese. Thailand is home to the largest overseas Chinese community in the world with a population of approximately ten million people, accounting for c. 15 percent of the Thai population. It is also the oldest, most prominent, and best integrated overseas Chinese community. They have been deeply ingrained into all elements of the Thai society over the past 200 years.

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Doi Hua Mae Kham; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Thai Chinese people; Thai Chinese girl; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; closeup; traditional Chinese costume; smiling; beautiful; red; Chinese dress; parasol; red Chinese dress; floral hair wreath; Thai people of Chinese origin; Bua Tong Festival

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Doi Hua Mae Kham; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Thai Chinese people; Thai Chinese girl; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; closeup; traditional Chinese costume; smiling; beautiful; red; Chinese dress; parasol; red Chinese dress; floral hair wreath; Thai people of Chinese origin; Bua Tong Festival

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Doi Hua Mae Kham; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Thai Chinese people; Thai Chinese girl; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; closeup; traditional Chinese costume; smiling; beautiful; red; Chinese dress; parasol; red Chinese dress; floral hair wreath; Thai people of Chinese origin; Bua Tong Festival

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Doi Hua Mae Kham; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Thai Chinese people; Thai Chinese girl; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; closeup; traditional Chinese costume; smiling; beautiful; red; Chinese dress; parasol; red Chinese dress; floral hair wreath; Thai people of Chinese origin; Bua Tong Festival

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Doi Hua Mae Kham; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Thai Chinese people; Thai Chinese girl; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; closeup; traditional Chinese costume; smiling; beautiful; red; Chinese dress; parasol; red Chinese dress; floral hair wreath; Thai people of Chinese origin; Bua Tong Festival

Besides the distinctive Thai hill tribes (e.g. Akha, Lahu, Karen, H'mong/Miao, Mien/Yao, Lisu), the Thai Chinese are one of the culturally, historically and linguistically most interesting ethnic groups in the Thai Highlands.

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Doi Hua Mae Kham; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Thai Chinese people; Thai Chinese girl; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; closeup; traditional Chinese costume; smiling; beautiful; Thai people of Chinese origin; Bua Tong Festival

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Doi Hua Mae Kham; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; adult; Hmong woman; Hmong people; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribes; closeup; traditional Hmong costume; Hmong headdress; smiling; beautiful; young woman; Bua Tong Festival

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Doi Hua Mae Kham; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; adult; Blue Hmong woman; Blue Hmong people; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribes; closeup; traditional Hmong costume; Hmong headdress; make-up; blue; smiling; mature woman; Bua Tong Festival

Cross-border tourism and visitors from other Chinese ethnic groups and ethnic minorities are a significant factor for the ongoing development of Northern Thailand.

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Mae Salong; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; adult; Sani Yi man; Sani Yi people; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; male; Nikon D3100; closeup; traditional Sani Yi costume

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Mae Salong; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; adult; Sani Yi woman; Sani Yi people; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; closeup; traditional Sani Yi costume


“I love the people I photograph.
I mean, they’re my friends.
I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all,
yet through my images I live with them.”


Portrait photographs of Southeast Asian ethnic minorities in Matt Hahnewald's

Portrait photographs of Thai Chinese people in Matt Hahnewald's

20 November 2015

Joining the Flower-Lisu Tribe

Ethnic minorities living in the mountainous regions of Northern Thailand are often called hilltribes, or in the common Thai vernacular, chao khao (mountain people). Each hilltribe has its own language, customs, mode of dress and spiritual beliefs.

The Lisu aka Lisaw people are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group of semi-nomadic origin who are believed to have originated in eastern Tibet during the past 300 years. Their subsistence was based on paddy fields, mountain rice, fruit and vegetables. With the introduction of the opium poppy as a cash crop in the early 19th century CE, many Lisu communities were able to achieve economic stability. This lasted for over 100 years, but the opium production has all but disappeared in Thailand and China due to the interdiction of the production.

Perhaps the best-known subgroup of the Lisu minority is the Flowery Lisu hilltribe in Thailand. The women are notable for their brightly coloured dress. They wear a multi-coloured knee-length tunic of red, blue, or green with a wide black belt and blue or black pants. Sleeve shoulders and cuffs are decorated with a dense applique of narrow horizontal bands of blue, red and yellow. For headdresses, Lisu girls and women wear black, flat circular hats with coral tassels, strings of beads, tiny pompoms and other elaborate accessories (e.g. metal flowers, small stars, pins).

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Mae Salong; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Lisu girl; Lisu headdress; Lisu village; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; costume; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribe; closeup; traditional Lisu costume; tassels; embroidery

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Mae Salong; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Lisu girl; Lisu headdress; Lisu village; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; costume; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribe; closeup; traditional Lisu costume; tassels; embroidery

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Mae Salong; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Lisu girl; Lisu headdress; Lisu village; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; costume; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribe; closeup; traditional Lisu costume; tassels; embroidery


The historic Lisu religion is animism, a belief that all things are embodied with spirit, ancestor worship, and living in harmony with nature and all beings. Over the years many of them have converted to Buddhism and more recently Christianity. Yet even the converts express their spirituality with a unique mixture of the old and the new.

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Mae Salong; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; old Lisu woman; Lisu village; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; costume; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribe; closeup; traditional Lisu costume; Lisu turban


With their elaborate tribal dress, ceremonies, belief systems and customs the Lisu are among the most fascinating of the ethnic minority tribes in Southeast Asia. Along with the H'mong, they have retained their culture and autonomy from outside influences remarkably well as they have been exposed to forces like missionary conversion and globalisation.

Doi Hua Mae Kham; Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Lisu girl; Lisu headdress; Lisu village; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; costume; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribe; closeup; traditional Lisu costume; tassels; embroidery

Doi Hua Mae Kham; Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Lisu girl; Lisu headdress; Lisu village; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; costume; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribe; closeup; traditional Lisu costume; tassels; embroidery

Doi Hua Mae Kham; Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Lisu girl; Lisu headdress; Lisu village; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; costume; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribe; closeup; traditional Lisu costume; tassels; embroidery

Doi Hua Mae Kham; Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; Asia; Golden Triangle; Northern Thailand; 50 mm prime lens; Lisu girl; Lisu headdress; Lisu village; tribal; travel; travel destination; tourism; ethnic; ethnic minority; ethnology; colour; street portrait; headshot; culture; world cultures; costume; ethnotourism; eye contact; face; female; Nikon D3100; Thai hilltribe; closeup; traditional Lisu costume; tassels; embroidery



High-quality portrait photographs of Lisu hill-tribe people in Matt Hahnewald's

High-quality portrait photographs of Southeast Asian hill tribes in Matt Hahnewald's