Writing about the strange, explosive, and puzzling festivals of Thailand give me real joy, but is not without its unique challenges. Some of these things are pretty remote, and there's often a dearth of information you can count on. You know, little things like time, date, and location. Hey, it's what I get for not learning to read and speak Thai, I suppose.
The bigger challenge is, if you'll forgive the pretentiousness of the statement, is trying to craft a quality piece after the fact. I'm not a trained journalist, and frankly am not trying to write in that style. But I want desperately to deliver more than the pump-and-dump output associated with lazy bloggers. That's one reason I share most of my best work with 3rd party publications like TravelSmith. Not only do they have great editors that make my content better, I want to do better by them. Sure, I want the story to still sound like I wrote it, but when you've as strong a voice as mine, that's hard to quiet completely.
Of all the pieces I've written over the last year or so, I'm most proud of this story on Thailand's Sak Yant festival, just published by TravelSmith. Letting it soak in my brain for two months was the right decision. Working with pro photographer and fountain of Thai knowledge Rick Gazarian was a treat. Knowing that maybe some of the readers might actually make the trek to experience this completely Thai event was just icing on the cake.
Enough preamble. Go read Thailand’s Crazy Sak Yant Tattoo Festival on TravelSmith's Travel Center.