Thailand offers all kinds of distinctive Southeast Asian travel experiences, including a rich culture and history, incredible landscapes, friendly locals and cuisine that is rich with vibrant colours and aromatic flavours.
It’s a country that’s brimming with character and bursting with energy. Every step is full of surprises with fresh tastes, new smells, warmth, friendliness and spiritual harmony.
Thailand has amazing places for capturing great photos, from Bangkok´s largest flower market and the temples in the Old City of Chiang Mai, to the natural beauty of Phang Nga Bay and the picturesque viewpoints of Phuket Island.
Anybody can pick up a camera and snap a picture of something nice and scenic, a glimmering Buddhist temple, sunset view, or a beautiful beach. However, looking back at that photo is that all it is, a generic photo of a beach or does it bring memories flooding back of that time?
There are various ways you can capture authentic travel photos in Thailand, so sling your camera over your shoulder and let’s go and explore.
Take to the Streets
Thailand has so many unique destinations, but none of them quite match Bangkok for eclectic photo opportunities, where the vibe changes every time you turn the corner. Create a visual story with photos of smiling street vendors pounding papaya for somtam, pavement peddlers selling colourful hair accessories, exotic fruit stalls, makeshift markets, street dogs, motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks, the opportunities are endless.
Get lost in the narrow lanes of Chinatown, it’s a photographer’s paradise. Sampeng Lane Market is a series of narrow lanes brimming with vendors selling everything from fabrics, cheap clothes and colourful stuffed animals to electronics, wigs and gaudy gold.
In the middle of it all there’s people pushing past each other, pushcarts stacked high with produce trying to squeeze through, and vintage vespers, it’s total madness but the photos you can get will be fantastic and perfect for Instagram.
Wear something casual and try to look more like the locals than a tourist and no-one will even notice you snapping away.
Respect the Local People
Look for everyday flashes of life that tell a story of the time and place, a Thai couple praying at the temple, monks waiting for a bus, or a group of smiling schoolchildren, scenes like these make great photos.
Be respectful of the people you want to snap. Having a camera pointed in your face without being asked for permission is just rude, and some people will, understandably, take offence. Try to get to know the locals a little first, order a sizzling Pad Thai from them, strike up a conversation, or just smile and nod happily – Thailand is the land of smiles after all!
Be Open to your Surroundings
Thailand has no shortage of photo opportunities, but if you hurry from one tourist attraction to the next just to get a photo to say you’ve been there, then really, you’re missing the point of what travelling is all about.
You’re also missing the details, whilst you’re focusing on that view of a temple, you could be missing a great shot that’s just as fascinating. Look around you at the one-off characters and background scenes that add vibrancy and life to the place. Tuk-tuk drivers hanging out waiting for their next rides, old Thai ladies searching the markets for bargains, this is the real Thailand.