The many treasures of Bangkok appeal to visitors from all over the world year after year. Rich culture, delectable street food, glittering temples and bargain hunters’ haunts are just some of the magnets that draw people there.
There’s a myriad of things to do and to share on Instagram or to photograph. To help you plan your trip, we’ve rounded up 10 best Instagram spots in Bangkok, including some hidden treasures of the city.
Just south of Chinatown is Asiatique The Riverfront, a center with shops, restaurants, cultural attractions and entertainment outlets by the Chao Phraya River. This family-friendly place, which resembles a theme park has statues of dock laborers lifting bags of rice, pedicab drivers, and railway cars. At the front of the center are two golden elephants – an adult and baby.
Elephants are Thailand’s national animal and hold a special place in the hearts of the Thai people. If photographing the elephants in their natural habitat is not an option for you, why not get to Asiatique and observe the locals admiring their beloved animal and photograph the golden elephants.
2. Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
The often-crowded Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace can be hard to photograph if you just focus on eye level objects. Look beyond the glowing stupas and orange and green roof tiles outside, and check out the exquisite pillars and marble pediments.
Wat Phra Kaew is adjacent to the Grand Palace. Both are important sites for devout Thais to pay respect to Buddha and the royal family.
3. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
No trip to Bangkok is complete without riding on a long boat at one of the floating markets. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is by far the most popular. Instead of taking photos with boatloads of tourists, head up to the main bridge, look down and photograph the congested canals with hard-working women in white-brimmed straw hats and their colorful fruits on long boats.
4. Food stalls
Just after sunrise in Bangkok, the fluorescent lights flicker and vendors begin their chores. They place their display tables in front of their stalls with condiments and disposable utensils – getting ready for the first batch of early rising customers.
It’s the best time to get to one of the food stalls to observe the morning ritual and to photograph the empty stalls.
5. Chinatown (Yaowarat)
Established in the same year as the city in 1782, Bangkok’s Yaowarat Chinatown boasts of good food and vibrant markets. It’s also near impossible to stand in the middle of the busiest thoroughfares in Bangkok and photograph. So, get ready with your camera. Photograph the street in Chinatown while your tuk-tuk moves slowly behind motorbikes and taxis. Wander about in Chinatown’s tiny streets (sois) along the river and discover hidden treasures of Bangkok.
6. Chinatown’s pastry shop
Pastry shops selling cookies and mooncakes are aplenty in Bangkok’s Chinatown. At the turn of the 20th century, many southern Chinese immigrants that moved to Bangkok were no longer just laborers. They were tradesmen like bakers and cooks. If you’re friendly with the owner, you may get a ‘pass’ to go behind the scenes to the kitchen. Witness the age-old tradition of baking enfold before you as you photograph the processes of making mooncake.
7. Terminal 21 Food Court
Situated on Sukhumvit, the longest street in Thailand, Terminal 21 Food Court is one of Bangkok’s most comprehensive food courts. Every dish you have on your food bucket list can be fulfilled in this clean and air-conditioned food court. But that’s not all! This place is a feast for a photographer’s eyes. One thing to keep an eye out for is the “world’s largest pan” – a pan of stewed pork knuckles (khao kha moo) and hard boiled eggs floating in dark broth. There’s a constant stream of people queuing to get their bowl of khao kha moo; a must eat dish when in Bangkok.
8. Stilt houses along Bangkok’s rural waterways (khlongs)
Bangkok is also home to waterways, known as khlongs, dotted with wooden stilt houses. To take in the views and to photograph these stilt houses, you must take a boat. These khlongs are man-made canals located on west side of the Chao Phraya.
9. Gourmet Market at EmQuartier
Chatuchak Weekend Market is not the only option to photograph tropical fruits in Bangkok. When the heat is overbearing, and you need a piece of paradise in a climate-controlled market, head over to Gourmet Market at Emquartier, a high-end grocery store in an upscale shopping mall. Not only will you find cheeses and ham for your sandwiches, but there is also the exotic durian, the king of fruits in Thailand. Though durian season is from April to August, these supermarkets stock durian year-round.
10. Rooftop bars
From stunning city and river views to a chill-out atmosphere, Bangkok’s rooftop bars are best enjoyed from sunset to dawn. The bright lights of the city illuminate the sky and high rise buildings, setting the scene for relaxation and connection.
Photos and article by Claudia Looi