Visit any Buddhist Thai temple in Thailand to appreciate an almost forgotten visual art form which preserves Thailand’s history, literature and cultural way of life through elaborate mural paintings, which adorn the majestic walls of their interiors.

Photograph Copyright ©Marc Schultz 2016 – Pictured are villagers arriving by boat, having traveled from their village by water, to a temple where they will present their merit making offerings to the Buddhist monks who are awaiting inside the temple grounds.

These magnificent works are beautifully laid out and some of the sections measuring many meters in diameter. Yet each is intricately hand-painted and were done so by some of the finest Thai artisans at the time.

Photograph Copyright ©Marc Schultz 2016 – A scene of an ancient historical battle between an invading Burmese army that is staging an attack against the Siamese Kingdom.

The paintings often date back decades, or even hundreds of years. But what I love about them so much is that they offer a window into old Siam, with its charming history and vibrant rural culture.

Photograph Copyright ©Marc Schultz 2016 – Villagers are seen presenting food offerings to the monks as a merit making gesture while the monks pass through the village collecting their daily morning alms.

Some show scenes of olden village life while other, more traditional murals depict elements of Buddhist mythology, which portray The Lord Buddha through his many incarnations.

Photograph Copyright ©Marc Schultz 2016 – A scene depicting a battle between deities, spirits, and various soldiers and laymen.

What amazes me is how some of these paintings still remain, after such a long period of time, looking as if they were just brushed-on yesterday.

Photograph Copyright ©Marc Schultz 2016 – Thai women are seen seated on the deck of a stilted, Thai wooden home playing traditional Thai musical instruments in a village setting with monks offering prayers to other villagers.

It is also inspiring how well many of them have endured, in such pristine condition, and after so many generations.

Photograph Copyright ©Marc Schultz 2016 – Villagers going about their daily lives and enjoying their life in rural Thailand.

So when visiting temples in Bangkok like Wat Pho, Wat Sakhet, and Wat Suthat, I suggest taking a bit of extra time to also look at these beautifully crafted pieces of art and learn more about the Thai culture through its wonderful past.

Photograph Copyright ©Marc Schultz 2016 – Thai angels from Buddhist mythology seen riding horses and surrounded by Buddhist followers and worshipers.

Photograph Copyright ©Marc Schultz 2016 – Farmers, young and old, playfully going about their daily lives and enjoying life in rural Thailand.