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Bangkok, Thailand and beyond - suggestions?

atanabe

Member
I am soliciting any suggestions for great photo opportunities in and around Bangkok. I plan to be there for about 10 days, four spent in a photo seminar with Ira Block, David Alan Harvey and Mike Yama****a. Trying to avoid the over touristed areas if possible.

Thanks,
Al
 

Lisa

New member
On my trip to Thailand, my favorite place for photos near Bangkok was the old capital of Ayutthaya (there are various ways to spell it in western characters), easily doable by train as a day trip from Bangkok. I think there are also tourist boats that go there, but by train you can do it on your own instead of on a tour. Large numbers of historic old temples in various stages of disrepair, very photogenic.

Lisa
 

atanabe

Member
Lisa,
Yes, I was also thinking of going there for the ruins. Did you see any floating markets as well?
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Bangkok? I think I've heard about that place :)

Ayuttaya is recommended, particularly by train. Rent a bicycle to get around. If it's hot, it's very hot in Ayuttaya, and not much shade. I would avoid it from February to May. The Summer Palace in Bang Pa In is also nice, just south of Ayuttaya. Doing both in one day is possible, but exhausting.

Another nice place, and closer to Bangkok, is Koh Kred. That's a big island in the river in the Nontaburi province. The inhabitants, mainly of Mon origin, make very distinct earthenware. If you go there in the middle of the week, there are not many tourists. During weekends, it's crowded, but mostly by Thai people. Take the ordinary express boat from the Satorn Pier (Taksin Bridge sky-train station) all the way to Nontaburi and then hire a long-tail boat to take you to Koh Kred. The first boat costs next to nothing, the second one will be 1200-1500 Baht ($40) for a return trip.

The floating markets that look colourful and nice are mostly there for the tourists. Those with a genuine Thai clientele look rather boring.

And so on... :)
 

atanabe

Member
Jorgen,
Thank you for the tips! Any suggestions for inland of Ayutthaya? I am trying to see if I could get the rural feel of the country without having to go way north to Chiang Mai.

Thanks,
Al
 

Dale Allyn

New member
I was going to suggest Koh Kred as well (as Jorgen mentions) since it's so close to BKK. I've not paid the 1200-1500 for the return boat, but know that some do. I've been fortunate enough to pay much less, but don't count on it as a foreigner.

You may also like Pi Mai or Buri Ram for the Khmer-style ruins, depending on your schedule.

I like to drive to Mae Sot from BKK, but your time may be a bit tight. And one of my favorite areas is Kanchanburi province, but not so much the typical "Bridge on the River Kwai" stuff (actually River Kwae), but Sangklaburi at the border with Burma/Myanmar. It's about a half-day, pleasant drive from BKK and you'd want at least a night or two there. Look to stay at P Guest House or Ploy Palin Resort. Nothing fancy there, but these two spots are pretty good. The food at P Guest House is good, so I often stay at Ploy Palin and eat dinner at P Guest House. (I don't eat at Ploy Palin. It's probably fine, but not my cup of tea.)

I don't see where you mention the month you plan to travel, so that could have an influence on suggestions.
 

atanabe

Member
Dale,
Thank you for your suggestions, I will be in Bangkok from Nov 18 - 25 and will be hiring a local guide to take care of the logistics of getting around. I have some audio books - but am afraid that I can barely get the basics of the language.

Thanks again!

-Al
 

Dale Allyn

New member
Al,

During the dates you mention one would normally expect rather pleasant weather. The rainy season is now winding down (passed actually, but some days seem to belie this), and it is now the cool season (by "cool season" it simply means "not unbearably hot" ;) ). December is quite nice for the cool season, but your timing is good too.

One drawback to the cool season, especially as it progresses into January, is that the jungles can be less lush as the cool season is dryer. Again, your timing may be really nice since there is still some rains. Much later and many views will be a bit more brown in the countryside.

Enjoy your trip!
 
Resurrecting this thread rather than starting a new one.

I'll be in Thailand/Laos in February and am trying to see several places. I'll be flying into BKK but quickly heading down the East side of the gulf, most likely to Koh Kood. Eventually being the areas of Chaing Mai (NW) and Nong Kai (NE). Then finally in Vientiane before heading back to BKK.

I like the earlier suggestions of Ayutthaya and the floating markets. There are multiple elephant sanctuaries near Chaing Mai as well that seem interesting if you like that sort of thing.

Further suggestions would be appreciated if anyone has new insights.
 
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