A Travel Photography Trip to Thailand

If travel photography is your passion, then visiting Thailand is an absolute must. From ancient temples to paradise islands, colourful festivals and the bright lights of Bangkok, there are unmissable photo opportunities everywhere you turn. This is a shortlist of my favourite places to capture this exceptional country on camera:

Buddha, Ayutthaya Historical Park

In this stunning historical park, a statue of a Buddha is seamlessly joined with a Bodhi tree, creating a unique and unmissable photographic opportunity. Try off-setting the grey of the statue with contrasting colours and textures, particularly if there are Buddhist monks passing in their traditional attire.

Wat Lokayasutharam Chedi Ayutthaya

Khao San Road, Bangkok

It may be touristy, but Khao San Road is also packed full of urban character and is a haven for travellers and backpackers. Spend time relaxing in the countless street bars and restaurants and before long you’ll see some great street theatre or break dancing, perfect for action shots that capture the colour, movement and chaos of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city.

The Floating Market (Damnoen Saduak), near Bangkok

This floating market is a fabulous place for photography – boats are piled high with a colourful array of flowers, fruits, vegetables, accessories and hats for sale. The bright colours, the warmth and expression of the local people and the unique backdrop of the water make floating markets a real joy for landscape photography. But Damnoen Saduak has sadly been overrun by tourism, so make sure that you visit at sunrise before the busloads of tourists arrive to truly make the most of its authenticity.

Elephant Nature Park, Chaing Mai

This is a very popular elephant sanctuary where tourists can interact with the elephants by washing and caring for them. If you can get past the mass tourism and popularity of this fabulous place then you will be rewarded with exceptional close up shots, capturing the behaviour and expression of these wonderful animals.

Loy Krathong festival in Chiang Mai

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to photograph hundreds of floating lanterns launched into the night sky. The mass of light and colour against the black sky is a photographer’s dream. Arrive early to try and get as much space around you as possible, so that your shots are not overrun by other likeminded photographers!

Khlong Toey Market, Bangkok

Get off the beaten track with this vibrant city market, frequented by Thai locals, and enjoy photographing the range of fruits, vegetables, flowers and live produce – including frogs – on offer! Street markets are an ideal way to photograph the chaos, hustle and bustle of daily life in Thailand.

The Maeklong Railway Market
The Maeklong Railway Market

Pristine coastline, Ko Kut (near Ko Chang, Gulf Coast)

If you are desperate to capture the serene idyllic beauty of Thailand’s famous beaches but can’t get past the crowds then head to Ko Kut, a short trip from the popular Ko Chang. Here you can enjoy white sands, turquoise waters and untouched forests, providing perfect colour contrasts for your photographic diary of paradise.

There are literally hundreds more locations across Thailand which all provide exceptional photographic opportunities. I’ve opted for those which reflect this fantastic country’s diversity, tradition, landscape and culture, but there are many more. For the best Thai travel experience, travel light, take time to meet local people, get up early to avoid the crowds and enjoy every moment of your travels around Thailand with a camera.

Professional photographer Simon Lane from Indigo Plum travelled to Thailand for a photography holiday, see his account and a full set of his photographs: A Taste of Thailand.