My Obsession with Rice Fields

My Obsession with Rice Fields

One of the many reasons I wanted to return to Asia, is my obsession with rice fields. I remember while at university seeing a picture of terraced rice fields that my friend had in a collage. Something about this image struck a chord with my soul and I knew one day I would have to visit these surreal landscapes.

I did see rice terraces in Vietnam, Bali, and Nepal, back in year 2000. There are rice fields all over SE Asia and from Thailand, to Laos, to Cambodia, I never tire of seeing them. Their scent, the gentle way they undulate in the wind, the water fowl they attract, all delight me.

Here in northern Thailand, I work near Hang Dong outside of Chiang Mai. Everyday on my bike ride to work I ride past these rice fields. Over the few past months I have watched them transform from emerald green, to gold, and then be neatly cut for the harvest.

Here is a photo progression:

Early November


Later in November...

Rice harvest with Wat in the background


Late November...

These next few are an ode to Monet Asian style: not Haystacks, but Rice Stacks.

Rice stacks and Panyaden

Rice stacks and Doi Suthep

I looked at a house with the following view. The house itself felt more like a brick cabin refuge. It was small, dark, isolated, unfurnished, had small rooms with no closets, a tiny bathroom, a makeshift kitchen, no screens, and would be a perfect habitat for snakes and spiders. I had to pass on the house, but the view really sucked me in.

My favorite is looking at these 3 pictures of the rice fields with Panyaden in the background taken over about 3 months:

October 31


November 28


December 19

Seeing the rice fields on a daily basis constantly reminds me that I am in Asia. Their transitory nature reminds me that life is made of evanescent moments. Enjoy them while they last, because like everything else they are temporary.

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