About Damon Billian
Damon Billian has spent a fair amount of time traveling through Thailand, where he has a wife and home on the lovely island of Phuket. In addition to spending a fair amount of time in Southeast Asia over the past five years, Damon has worked as a Community Evangelist for companies like PayPal, SimplyHired, Mint, Tokbox and CloudFlare. Damon's primary hobby, when he isn't working 60 hours a week, is cultural and animal photography.
Latest Posts by Damon Billian
This is a Long Exposure photograph of a Fire Show in Koh Samed, Thailand
This image of a Buddha in a tree, also known as the Bodhi Tree in Thailand, is perhaps one of the more iconic images you will find being sold at nearly any shop selling photos in Thailand. The Buddha is actually made out of sandstone & isn’t carved out of the tree as some suspect. If you travel to Ayutthaya one of these days, you should be sure to visit Wat Mahatat to get your own image so you don’t have to pay for one.
Ayutthaya is one of the old kingdoms of Thailand that was sacked by the Burmese. If you visit the main city of Ayutthaya, which is an easy trip of about 1.5-2 hours outside of Bangkok, you will notice that nearly all the Buddha statues in the area had their heads cut off by the invading Burmese forces (kind of odd because both countries were then Buddhist, if I’m not mistaken).
I took this picture of an Asiatic Leopard at the Safari Park in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. While tigers are probably my favorite animal of the big cat family, with a very close second going to the snow leopard, I’ve always admired the strength of leopards and the overall menace in their eyes (many people have commented on how piercing the eyes of a leopard are). Leopards are generally regarded as the strongest member of the big cat family on a pound-for-pound basis, which would make them the Manny Pacquiao of the big cat family, and I have no doubt that this animal would have no problems dispatching me to the netherworld even if I weigh considerably more than they do (leopards generally way about 100-150 pounds or so).
A panoramic view of Wat Tham Suea in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
I’ve been playing around with the Sony Nex-5 camera I just purchased. While I don’t think I’m ready to give up a regular DSLR just yet, I have been impressed with the abilities of the camera. My only gripe has to do with learning the menu via the wheel, which makes it a little more difficult to make quick changes to what you’re photographing. The camera does have some pretty nifty features, including HDR and a panoramic option.
My wife and I recently made a trip to Kanchanaburi, Thailand because it is one of the few tourist areas we hadn’t been to yet in Thailand. While the initial draw to Kanchanaburi was visiting The Tiger Temple and the River Kwai, we were very surprised to find a lovely temple called Wat Tham Suea in the region as well. The temple had a very impressive Golden Buddha in the temple, and also appeared to have both Chinese (a pagoda) and Burmese influences in the design of the temple.
As an aside: While visiting the Tiger Temple was cool because of all of the tigers present there, I must admit to being a little bit disappointed because it seemed that there was more of a focus on rushing tourists through “Tiger Canyon” to take a photo (and yes, I do contribute to the problem by visiting there). I think I would have been a little happier if the animals were in a more “natural enclosure” and if some of the animals were entirely off-limits to visitors.