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Thread: Recommendations for Bangkok

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Recommendations for Bangkok

    Hello chums,

    Next week, I will be in Bangkok on business and plan on taking my camera along. I'll only be there for a few days but wondered if anyone has any strong recommendations for places to photograph (and ideal times of day). I will mostly be free to shoot in the evenings, but may also have some daytime opportunities. Impressive cityscapes, urban landscapes or accessible country/coastal scenes are generally my thing.

    Thanks!

    Ed

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    That would have to be urban landscapes and cityscapes then. It's difficult to find country/coastal scenes without with a local and/or have a lot of time. The sky-train (BTS) is the way to get around, and I would start at one of the following stations: Asok, Siam or Saphan Taksin. Saphan Taksin is by the river, and there are river boats that will take you upstream. If you need more information, please feel free to contact me by PM.

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    Thanks Jorgen - that's great advice! I will be in touch by PM.

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    Senior Member Dogs857's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    I will have to dig into the memory bank a bit for this one but my two recommendations for Bangkok are;

    Wat Arun. There are a million temples in Bangkok and this one is my favourite. It means Temple of the Dawn so it's made for photographers Great place and my pick of the temples there. Golden Mount is also nice. If you have never been to BKK before the tuk-tuk's are a great way to get around. Just watch out for the scams, they are always running.

    If you have time for a day trip then head north to Ayutthaya. It's the old capital and quite interesting. It's not that spectacular, especially after the floods, but it does have the tree with the Buddha head in it. Worth the trip.

    If I can think of anything else I will let you know. I have spent a lot of time in Thailand (used to rent a house on an island) but didn't spend too much time in BKK. It's a great town though, good street food and a good hustle about it.

    Have fun.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

    Jeff, but my friends call me Dogs

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    If you have 3-5 hours at daytime, preferably from early in the morning, there's a very interesting train ride from Bangkok to one of the neighbouring provinces, Samut Sakon. The ride takes about one hour each way and costs $0.30, so it's rather affordable. It leaves from a really tiny train station in Bangkok, Wongwian Yai and ends in the middle of a great market. Samut Sakon is one of the biggest fishing ports in Thailand and the seafood market is exceptional, as are both of the train stations.

    To get to the station in Bangkok, take the sky-train to the station by the same name and walk the 10 minutes to the railway station. Print out a Google map of the area in beforehand, and you'll find it. You can find the time table here (Wongwian Yai - Mahachai): การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย - STATE RAILWAY OF THAILAND

    Edit:
    About scams and tuk-tuk drivers mentioned above: If a tuk-tuk driver claims that a temple is closed during daytime and he offers to take you to another one, it's a scam. Temples don't close during daytime and he'll take you to a jewelry shop with some really pushy sales staff before he takes you back to the temple which is now surprisingly open.

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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    There are obviously some nice, particular scenes photograph, but there's also a picture on every corner down there. It's a place to explore if you can, depending on what you want to capture.

    Don't bother buying a suit or tailored clothes unless someone trusted can recommend a place. Even the hotel concierge will not advise well in my experience.

    You do need to be a bit streetwise, don't take too much stuff out on the steet that it's unmanageable, don't leave your bag open and remain aware when setting up a photo, don't leave things hanging out of pockets, commons sense things really. The ones that do this are all petty 'opportunists', just be aware of yourself and they won't take the risk. It's much much safer than places like London, Paris or Barcelona, but not as safe as say Hong Kong or Singapore.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    Chinatown is a great part of town for photos. The main street, Yaowarat, can be rather crowded, but the smaller streets are more quiet. The best ways to get there is by boat from Saphan Taksin (sky-train station with the same name) to Rachawong or take the MRT (underground) to Hua Lampong (the main railway station) and walk from there.

    Another interesting area is Pratu Nam, particularly the clothing market. Much of the market has been modernised though, and the dark, old, dusty places can be a bit hard to find.

    From Pratu Nam, you can take a canal boat to the Golden Mount (Wat Saket) which was mentioned by Jeff above. The Golden Mount is at the last station, so you don't need to worry about where to get off. If it's not too hot, Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew is within 30 minutes walking distance from the Golden Mount along Rachadamnoen, the parade street of Bangkok. Just be sure not to go down Rachadamnoen Nok which starts at the same location but goes in more or less the opposite direction.

    Another temple near Sanam Lueang (the location of Grand Palace etc.) is Wat Mahathat. A very beautiful temple and much more tranquil than the crowded Wat Prakaew. North of that temple there's a street called Phra Chan. If you walk that street down to the river, there's a ferry pier, but through a small passage to the left, there's a narrow "footpath" along the river with small, local restaurants. It can be a bit flooded now during the rainy season and it's very crowded at lunch time (12.00-13.00), but it's a nice place for a mid-day break.

    If you take the small ferry across the river to the Sirirat Hospital, there are also riverside restaurants and a nice walk down towards Wat Arun. The best sunset view to Wat Arun is from the other (East) side of the river, a restaurant/bar called Deck by the River at 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Road. The outdoor bar on the top floor has a perfect view to the temple, but is obviously also very popular.

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    Senior Member Dogs857's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post

    If you take the small ferry across the river to the Sirirat Hospital, there are also riverside restaurants and a nice walk down towards Wat Arun.
    Is this the hospital with the medical museum in it?? The one with the mummified serial killer and all the body parts?? I know it was on that side of the river and worth a look just for curiosity sake.

    Sounds like you are almost a native Jorgen, I might have to hit you up for tips next time I have some time to spare in BKK as well.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

    Jeff, but my friends call me Dogs

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    The "Museum of Death"? Yes, I think that's the one. I haven't been there though, and as I've understood it, there are 5 or 6 small collections within the hospital area. It's a gigantic hospital and the King actually lived there for 3 years until he recently returned to his palace in Hua Hin.

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    You guys are awesome - thanks! I will be share to post shots here if I get anything good :-)

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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    go to one of those ladyboy parlors for some candid shots

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    I said I was going to Bangkok, not I was going to bang cock. Sorry for any confusion.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    Quote Originally Posted by mmbma View Post
    go to one of those ladyboy parlors for some candid shots
    Taking candids of ladyboys is not entirely risk free. Some of them eat funny hormones and can become aggressive.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    I will certainly bear that in mind before thrusting a model release form and a 600mm into the face of a ladyboy.

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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    now we got you excited

  16. #16
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Bangkok

    I won't rise to that mmbma ;-)

    Just got back from the trip and my day job was so full-on that there was virtually no opportunity for photography. However, the excellent advice above won't be wasted on me - I will be back there in a few weeks' time and I am determined to act upon it.

    All the best,

    Ed

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