Bangkok, the amazing and vibrant capital of Thailand has many identities, from a holy city to the city of Sin 😅. The mix between the fantastic temples and history with the modern city with incredible energy is, as well, one contrast that makes Bangkok very special.
That post does not intend to provide a holistic view of the tens of attractions and things to do and see in Bangkok but just highlight 7 places or activities not to miss if you’re e passionate about travel or if you’re a photographer or just a visitor with interest for travel photography.
Visit the Grand Palace
While the victim of its magnificence (crowded with tourists), the Grand Palace and it’s royal chapel Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) are absolutely a must-see place in Bangkok
If you like travel photography, the Wat Phra Kaew will provide you with endless opportunities …
The Golden Garuda sculptures around the chapel are incredible
and the amazing Golden Kinnari statues looks alive and ready to have a chat 😊
The Palace has been in permanent evolution under every Thai king so it is today a (great) patchwork of Thai, Khmer, Chinese, and even European architectural styles but my favorites as a photographer remain the amazing demon guardians statues everywhere.
Keep looking for perspectives on the amazing temples!
If you are a photographer or simply what to avoid the crowds, I strongly advise you to arrive before the opening and start around Wat Phra Kaew before the crowds of tourists arrived (even the statues look to have enough of those 😢😂).
Visit the Wat Pho
This is another must-see temple complex on the bank of the Chao Phraya River just south of the Grand Palace. The Wat Phra Chetuphon temple (or Wat Pho) is surrounding the of the amazing 46-meters (151 foot) long gold reclined buddha
That famous status that stares up at the beautiful ceiling is mind-blowing!
There are several beautiful Buddhas at the foot of the statue
There is much more to see in the (huge) temple complex, especially the lines of gold, seated Buddhas, with beautiful wall and ceiling paintings.
As a photographer, the blend of gold and black Buddha statues with orange and saffron yellow robes are worth the visit on their own.
So, keep exploring the complex for more …
Visit the Wat Arun
Another classic must-see is Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn that sits on the western banks of the Chao Phraya River (just opposite to Wat Pho) in the old capital of Thonburi. That majestic white temple with five towering prangs (towers) is covered with vibrant porcelain and colorful ceramic tiles, many of which look like pieces of foliage
Like most major attractions, it’s best to go when it opens, before the buses of tourists arrive
Explore the river Khlongs
Tired of temples and or tourists 😳 ? Take a private long-tail boat tour and get for a few hours in the authentic canals (Khlongs)
You’ll discover people real life and beautiful travel photography opportunities like the many tiny floating boat shops all around
Enjoy Rooftops bars and restaurants!
There are many amazing rooftop bars and restaurants like the one below…
Those are obviously the place to be if you are looking for some parties (😎) but as well as a photographer paradise for sunset shooting…
For photographers, a tripod is not often allowed in most bars unfortunately so I advise you to bring a bean bag (buy rice on the market) to stabilize your camera. If you’re crazy about photography, become friends with the rooftop bar staff and negotiate access for sunrise shooting as well when it is closed 🤩…
If you’re trully a mad photographer like some guy I know, find people that know people to get access somehow to skyscrapers roofs (but stay safe 😉)
Explore a Floating market
While getting very touristic and honestly less traditional, floating markets remain however great places to visit like the famous Damnoen Saduak floating market below.
Keep exploring …
There are obviously many other great places in Bangkok beyond the selection above like Wat Suthat temple, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Jim Thompson House Museum, Wat Traimit, Khao San Road bars, China Town, Lumpini Park, and much more but I’ll stop there for today …