Where to take the best photos of Bangkok? Bangkok is very chaotic, but there is no arguing that Thailand’s capital has a unique charm. It’s a cheerful, giant city, and its qualities are often captured through the lens by professional and aspiring photographers. Trying to perfect my photography skills, I stumbled upon this great list with a detailed knowledge of the best places to go to capture the best angles of the city, and present it through the eyes of a foreigner at its exotic best. Follow this tips to ensure you go home with photos that will impress your friends and create a lifetime of nostalgia.
- Wat Arun
Known as the Temple of Dawn, this is one of the most alluring images of ancient Bangkok. While the temple is actually located on the Thonburi side of the river, the best photographs are taken from across the river on the city side of the water. Choose a bar opposite and take your time with a glass in hand.
Where to Shoot: In the morning, the rising sun bathes Wat Arun in light when seen from the city side of the river, whereas at sunset, professional photographers can get beautiful silhouettes in front of a deep orange orb. Alternatively, take a river cruise in the evening to see this stunning Khmer-style temple lit up at night.
2. Golden Chedi at Grand Palace
The most famous palace in Thailand and the former seat of the king, this magnificent complex has several postcard worthy vistas. The biggest challenge for most people is finding a nice angle free from thousands of other visitors blocking the view.
Where to Shoot: The most popular is in front of the patch of grass next to the ticket booths. From here you see three golden spires stretching elegantly into the sky, with many arched temple roofs glimmering in the sunshine. However, for our pro tip, you can get a shot of Wat Pra Keaw (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) practically free of other people if you run straight there when the gates open at 08:30 – remember to dress appropriately with shoulders and knees covered otherwise you will be asked to rent long pants and a shawl.
3. Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
Wat Pho is a huge temple complex with many buildings and stupas inside, although it is the reclining Buddha that draws the crowds. Perhaps the most famous Buddha image in Thailand and wildly popular, there are two classic photos of the reclining Buddha.
Where to Shoot: The first position is looking directly up at the serene face between two poles. A wide angle lens is needed for best results. The other position is down by the feet of the Buddha image. Adorned with intricate pearl details with the full length of statue still in shot, this is where people queue for a photo with their family and friends. It’s tough to get a shot here without others intruding, so, patience.
4. Yaowarat Road (Chinatown)
Chinatown is a real photographer’s playground, with intriguing scenes confronting you at every turn. However, the most alluring image of this area of Bangkok must be the shot of the numerous shop signs with their multi coloured Chinese characters.
Where to Shoot: This scene is beautiful during day or night, but for the best shot, try to find a 7-11 at the beginning of a gentle curve in Yaowarat Road, as this allows for the most shop signs to be in the photograph.
5. The Dome at Skybar
The Dome on top of the lebua State Tower can be seen from very far away, and every night is lit up like a beacon of luxury due to the collection of fine dining restaurants and posh cocktail bars it houses. Head up to Skybar for a cocktail and to enjoy the impeccable views or splash out and enjoy a great meal with a great view. The classic shot of the Dome at dusk is likely to be a treasured memory.
When to Shoot: Don’t run away once the sun has set. Stay another 30 minutes when the sky drops into a dark blue which balances the light from the golden dome beautifully.
6. Cityscape from Baiyoke Tower
This old skyscraper held the record as Bangkok’s tallest building for many years, and although it has now lost that accolade to the new MahaNakorn Tower in Sathorn, the 88 storey Baiyoke Tower still offers bird’s-eye-views over Bangkok, and on a clear day you can see well into neighbouring provinces.
Where to Shoot: The night shot from here, looking out east over the tangle of expressways, is a classic, while those with a video camera setting or GoPro might consider a time lapse video.
7. In front of the fountain at Siam Paragon
Believe it or not, Siam Paragon was one of the most photographed places in 2014 on Instagram. Exactly why this shopping mall beat cultural landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Burj Khalifa nobody knows, but it seems no one can resist taking a snap of Siam Paragon.
Where to shoot: The best shot is from outside the shopping mall on the mezzanine level that leads to the BTS Skytrain. Stand just behind the fountain and wait for the water to shoot out the ground, with the glass and steel atrium of Paragon in the background.