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Roadbook Tips: Photographer’s Guide to Bangkok

Roadbook Tips: Photographer's Guide to Bangkok

It goes without saying that Thailand, and its capital Bangkok, is filled with countless spots for photography. A smartphone snapper’s Instagram feed and a professional stock photographer’s shooting list will be satisfied.

Thai people are very welcoming to photography, however, you should approach your photogenic subjects with kindness and a smile.

Make the most out of your visit with Roadbook’s guide to photography in Bangkok.

Best Bangkok Temples to Photograph

Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is one of the quieter temples and peaceful places in Bangkok to make some photos. Leave behind the crowds at the Grand Palace. Find courtyards lined with Buddha images and stupas.

Find the time to catch a massage at the traditional healing school!

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, is one of the most Instagrammable places in Bangkok. Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, it has a distinct look from its porcelain and ceramic tiles. Looking for a spot for a sunset cocktail?

The best vantage point is to see Wat Arun is from one of the many bars and restaurants across the Chao Phraya River.

Wat Arun

Check out Wat Maha Pruettharam Worawihan which is less visited than other temples in Bangkok. However, if you have a knack for photographic composition you can get some memorable shots.

The temple’s glistening elements and intricate designs go without saying and you can get one of the best views of the architectural marvel that is the King Power MahaNakhon building which now has the famous MahaNakhon Skywalk.

Use your telephoto lens to compress the shot and you’ll get a contrast of traditional Thai architecture and modernity in one photo frame.

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Best Bangkok Markets to Bring your Camera

As traditional markets give rise to glistening shopping malls, there are still spots left in Bangkok (and its outskirts) to add to your Bangkok photography tour list.

Looking for a mecca of street food and souvenirs? Talat Rod Fai Market or Rod Fai Train Market at Rachada is the place to go. For a great shot we suggest coming here just before sunset. Photograph the colorful tents that make up the market stalls from above.

Go up in the parking garage of the Esplanade shopping mall next door and look down for a great view. The market is a short walk from the MRT Thai Cultural Center station.

Rachada Night Market

Looking for a traditional Thai market with a twist? You’ll find that with Maeklong Railway Market. What’s unique is that train tracks run right through, with a train passing a few times a day.

However, vendors are accustomed to this “disruption” and adjust their wares and shops accordingly as the train passes.

This can make for great photos but we caution you to be aware as you photograph and not get run over by the train! Reach Maeklong Railway market by catching a train from Wongwian Yai station.

Maeklong Railway Market — watch your toes!

While most Thais no longer shop at floating markets, if you’re looking for “tradition” then head to Damnern Saduak Floating Market. Yes, it’s a tourist attraction where vendors sell their wares from boats.

While it makes for great postcard photos during your Bangkok photography tour, and you can work a bit harder to find moments between the cliche imagery.

bangkok, floating market
Floating market

Best Places for Bangkok Street Photography

Are you a rangefinder Leica carrying street photographer? Looking for that decisive moment? There are many great locations for street photography in the City of Angels.

The Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok is a busy spot where you can frame through a haze of smoke worshippers paying homage to Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

At all hours of the day, you’ll see visitors and locals lighting incense sticks and commissioning Thai classical dancers to perform.

Yaowarat Road, Chinatown

Yaowarat Road in Chinatown is active night and day for photographing timeless scenes with old Bangkok backdrops. Sample a wide variety of street food along with the myriad of alleyways. You’ll find some shops offering photographic film and papers.

Lumpini Park is a sanctuary of peace in the middle of Bangkok. And a great place to take photos. In the early morning, Lumpini Park will fill with people exercising (there’s a great open gym where weightlifters workout) and jogging.

There’s those seeking peace sitting alongside the lakes. And you may catch a few monitor lizards crossing the road. Good for early morning and late afternoon.

Peaceful Lumpini Park

Part of any Chinatown street photography walk or tour should be a stop at Hua Lamphong Train Station. The architecture is from 100 years ago, and the hustle and bustle of any train station with people (and monks!) on the move will make it a gold mine for Bangkok street photography. Good for early morning and late afternoon shooting.

Hua Lamphong train station

Bangkok’s Unique Instagrammable Places

The Airplane Graveyard is not an official tourist sight, however, it is an abandoned property that is looked after by the community. There you will see abandoned planes and airframes.

You may be asked for a small donation. It’s a popular spot with very little supervision, and a favorite of fashion and film shoots.

Airplane graveyard. Photo: @mrs.annkathrin

If you want to see the nightlife that Bangkok is (in)famous for, Soi Cowboy in Bangkok’s Asoke area is worth a look. The street connects Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asoke) to Sukhumvit Soi 23.

There you’ll see the bright lights and neon lights over bars replete with drinkers and dancers. Be mindful of reactions from who you point your camera at!

Bangkok’s Grand Palace, which is the previous home to kings of the Chakri dynasty, is also where you’ll find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Don’t miss one of Thailand’s most revered sights. Prepare yourself for this visit with Roadbook’s tip sheet.

Ramakien mural at the Grand Palace

Featured in the movie The Hangover 2, the Lebua Hotel Skybar the 64th-floor rooftop bar is popular for that reason. It’s very busy, however, the staff is very polite. And the views you get of the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok city are amazing.

We suggest sunset as a good time for photos. Long exposures in the evening also recommended.

The Skybar at Lebua

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Roadbook Tips: Photographer’s Guide to Bangkok

It goes without saying that Thailand, and its capital Bangkok, is filled with countless spots for photography. A smartphone snapper’s Instagram feed and a professional stock photographer’s shooting list will be satisfied.

Thai people are very welcoming to photography, however, you should approach your photogenic subjects with kindness and a smile.

Make the most out of your visit with Roadbook’s guide to photography in Bangkok.

Best Bangkok Temples to Photograph

Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is one of the quieter temples and peaceful places in Bangkok to make some photos. Leave behind the crowds at the Grand Palace. Find courtyards lined with Buddha images and stupas.

Find the time to catch a massage at the traditional healing school!

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, is one of the most Instagrammable places in Bangkok. Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, it has a distinct look from its porcelain and ceramic tiles. Looking for a spot for a sunset cocktail?

The best vantage point is to see Wat Arun is from one of the many bars and restaurants across the Chao Phraya River.

Wat Arun

Check out Wat Maha Pruettharam Worawihan which is less visited than other temples in Bangkok. However, if you have a knack for photographic composition you can get some memorable shots.

The temple’s glistening elements and intricate designs go without saying and you can get one of the best views of the architectural marvel that is the King Power MahaNakhon building which now has the famous MahaNakhon Skywalk.

Use your telephoto lens to compress the shot and you’ll get a contrast of traditional Thai architecture and modernity in one photo frame.

Best Bangkok Markets to Bring your Camera

As traditional markets give rise to glistening shopping malls, there are still spots left in Bangkok (and its outskirts) to add to your Bangkok photography tour list.

Looking for a mecca of street food and souvenirs? Talat Rod Fai Market or Rod Fai Train Market at Rachada is the place to go. For a great shot we suggest coming here just before sunset. Photograph the colorful tents that make up the market stalls from above.

Go up in the parking garage of the Esplanade shopping mall next door and look down for a great view. The market is a short walk from the MRT Thai Cultural Center station.

Rachada Night Market

Looking for a traditional Thai market with a twist? You’ll find that with Maeklong Railway Market. What’s unique is that train tracks run right through, with a train passing a few times a day.

However, vendors are accustomed to this “disruption” and adjust their wares and shops accordingly as the train passes.

This can make for great photos but we caution you to be aware as you photograph and not get run over by the train! Reach Maeklong Railway market by catching a train from Wongwian Yai station.

Maeklong Railway Market — watch your toes!

While most Thais no longer shop at floating markets, if you’re looking for “tradition” then head to Damnern Saduak Floating Market. Yes, it’s a tourist attraction where vendors sell their wares from boats.

While it makes for great postcard photos during your Bangkok photography tour, and you can work a bit harder to find moments between the cliche imagery.

bangkok, floating market
Floating market

Best Places for Bangkok Street Photography

Are you a rangefinder Leica carrying street photographer? Looking for that decisive moment? There are many great locations for street photography in the City of Angels.

The Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok is a busy spot where you can frame through a haze of smoke worshippers paying homage to Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

At all hours of the day, you’ll see visitors and locals lighting incense sticks and commissioning Thai classical dancers to perform.

Yaowarat Road, Chinatown

Yaowarat Road in Chinatown is active night and day for photographing timeless scenes with old Bangkok backdrops. Sample a wide variety of street food along with the myriad of alleyways. You’ll find some shops offering photographic film and papers.

Lumpini Park is a sanctuary of peace in the middle of Bangkok. And a great place to take photos. In the early morning, Lumpini Park will fill with people exercising (there’s a great open gym where weightlifters workout) and jogging.

There’s those seeking peace sitting alongside the lakes. And you may catch a few monitor lizards crossing the road. Good for early morning and late afternoon.

Peaceful Lumpini Park

Part of any Chinatown street photography walk or tour should be a stop at Hua Lamphong Train Station. The architecture is from 100 years ago, and the hustle and bustle of any train station with people (and monks!) on the move will make it a gold mine for Bangkok street photography. Good for early morning and late afternoon shooting.

Hua Lamphong train station

Bangkok’s Unique Instagrammable Places

The Airplane Graveyard is not an official tourist sight, however, it is an abandoned property that is looked after by the community. There you will see abandoned planes and airframes.

You may be asked for a small donation. It’s a popular spot with very little supervision, and a favorite of fashion and film shoots.

Airplane graveyard. Photo: @mrs.annkathrin

If you want to see the nightlife that Bangkok is (in)famous for, Soi Cowboy in Bangkok’s Asoke area is worth a look. The street connects Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asoke) to Sukhumvit Soi 23.

There you’ll see the bright lights and neon lights over bars replete with drinkers and dancers. Be mindful of reactions from who you point your camera at!

Bangkok’s Grand Palace, which is the previous home to kings of the Chakri dynasty, is also where you’ll find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Don’t miss one of Thailand’s most revered sights. Prepare yourself for this visit with Roadbook’s tip sheet.

Ramakien mural at the Grand Palace

Featured in the movie The Hangover 2, the Lebua Hotel Skybar the 64th-floor rooftop bar is popular for that reason. It’s very busy, however, the staff is very polite. And the views you get of the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok city are amazing.

We suggest sunset as a good time for photos. Long exposures in the evening also recommended.

The Skybar at Lebua

More stories in Roadbook Journal

Explore more with Roadbook Experiences

Book first-class Roadbook Transport

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE ROADBOOK JOURNAL

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