Where can you take the best photos of Bangkok? Bangkok isn’t blessed with the good looks of Kyoto or Rome, but there’s no arguing that Thailand’s capital has a unique charm. It’s a smiling, gap-toothed giant of a city, and its qualities are often captured through the lens by professional and aspiring photographers.
Our years of experience of exploring every corner of Bangkok have left us with a detailed knowledge of the best places to go to capture the best angles of the city and present it through the eyes of a foreigner at its exotic best. Follow our tips to ensure you go home with photos that will impress your friends and create a lifetime of nostalgia.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is one of the most alluring images of ancient Bangkok. While the temple is actually located on the Thonburi side of the river, the best photographs are taken from across the river on the city side of the water. Choose a bar opposite and take your time with a glass in hand.
Where to shoot: In the morning, the rising sun bathes Wat Arun in light when seen from the city side of the river, whereas at sunset, professional photographers can get beautiful silhouettes in front of a deep orange orb. Alternatively, take a river cruise in the evening to see this stunning Khmer-style temple lit up at night. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 5.30pm
- Location: 158 Wang Doem Road, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 891 2185
The Golden Palace is the most famous palace in Thailand and is the former seat of the king. This magnificent complex has several postcard-worthy vistas. The biggest challenge for most people is finding a nice angle free from thousands of other visitors blocking the view.
Where to shoot: The most popular is in front of the patch of grass next to the ticket booths. From here you see three golden spires stretching elegantly into the sky, with many arched temple roofs glimmering in the sunshine. But for our pro tip, you can get a shot of Wat Pra Keaw (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) practically free of other people if you run straight there when the gates open at 8.30am – remember to dress appropriately with shoulders and knees covered otherwise you will be asked to rent long pants and a shawl. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8.30am to 3.30pm
- Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin), Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 623 5500
Wat Pho is a huge temple complex with many buildings and stupas inside, although it is the reclining Buddha that draws the crowds. Perhaps the most famous Buddha image in Thailand and wildly popular, there are 2 classic photos of the reclining Buddha.
Where to shoot: The first position is looking directly up at the serene face between two poles. Bring a wide-angle lens for best results. The other position is down by the feet of the Buddha image. Adorned with intricate mother-of-pearl details with the full length of the statue still in shot, this is where people queue for a photo with their family and friends. It’s tough to get a shot here without others intruding so patience is required. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8.30am to 6.30pm
- Location: Maharat Road, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 226 0335
Bangkok’s Chinatown is a real photographer’s playground, with intriguing scenes confronting you at every turn. Even so, the most alluring image of this area of Bangkok must be the shot of the numerous shop signs with their multi-coloured Chinese characters.
Where to shoot: This scene is beautiful during day or night, but for the best shot, try to find a 7-Eleven at the beginning of a gentle curve in Yaowarat Road, as this allows for the most shop signs to be in the photograph. Read More...
- Location: Yaowarat Rd, Bangkok, Thailand
The Dome on top of the Lebua State Tower can be seen from miles around, and every night is lit up like a beacon of luxury due to the collection of fine dining restaurants and posh cocktail bars it houses. Head up to Skybar for a cocktail and to enjoy the impeccable views or splash out and enjoy a full meal of Mediterranean cuisine at Sirocco. The classic shot of the Dome at dusk is likely to be a treasured memory.
When to shoot: Don't run away once the sun has set. Stay another 30 minutes when the sky drops into a dark blue which balances the light from the golden dome beautifully. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 4pm to 1am
- Location: 63rd Floor, Lebua at State Tower, 1055 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 624 9555
Flashing neon reds and pinks, the gaudy 50-metre-long strip of Soi Cowboy is synonymous with Thailand’s naughty nightlife scene and makes a great photo. Unlike the other red-light zones in Bangkok, no one in Soi Cowboy particularly minds if you take photos OUTSIDE of the bars, yet don’t be too invasive snapping the girls who may not want their faces photographed.
Where to shoot: For the best shot, stand down the bottom end of the street (furthest from Terminal 21 and the BTS Skytrain) looking back at all the neon signs and active street life. Note: It is absolutely unacceptable to take photographs inside go-go bars. Read More...
- Location: Soi Cowboy, 23 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Toei, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
The most convenient place to photograph traditional dance in Bangkok is at Erawan Shrine on Ratchadamri Junction, close to Siam. Despite being surrounded by skyscrapers, shopping malls and the trappings of modernity, this shrine attracts devotees from far and wide who believe in the power of this Hindu deity to grant wishes. It is believed that if a wish is granted, devotees must return and pay for the ornately dressed dance troupe to perform a dance to entertain the deity.
Where to shoot: The best angle for photos is from the overhead skywalk that passes over the shrine that links to Chit Lom BTS. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 11pm
- Location: Ratchadamri Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Lumpini Park is the largest green space in downtown Bangkok and it is best seen from Park Society, the 29th-floor rooftop cocktail bar on top of Sofitel So Hotel. Bring your tripod and if it’s too busy there is a second floor to the bar which is usually empty so you won’t disturb other guests.
When to shoot: Any time of the afternoon or evening is great for photos, so aim for between 5pm and 6pm so you can capture Bangkok by day and enjoy the sunset before the streetlights in the park start twinkling with the financial district of Ploenchit and Chidlom popping up in the background. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 5pm to 1am
- Location: 29th & 30th Floor, SO Sofitel Bangkok, 2 N Sathon Rd, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 624 0000
This old and (some would say) outdated skyscraper held the record as Bangkok’s tallest building for many years, and although it has now lost that accolade to the new MahaNakorn Tower in Sathorn, the 88 storey Baiyoke Tower still offers bird's-eye views over Bangkok, and on a clear day you can see well into neighbouring provinces.
Where to shoot: The night shot from here, looking out east over the tangle of expressways, is a classic, while those with a video camera setting or GoPro might consider a time-lapse video. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Skywalk and observation deck open daily from 10am to 10.30pm
- Location: Soi Ratchaprarob 3, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Believe it or not, Siam Paragon was once one of the most photographed places on Instagram. Exactly why this shopping mall beat cultural landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Burj Khalifa remains a mystery, but it seems no can resist taking a snap of Siam Paragon.
Where to shoot: The best shot is from outside the shopping mall on the mezzanine level that leads to the BTS Skytrain. Stand just behind the fountain and wait for the water to shoot out the ground, with the glass and steel atrium of Paragon in the background. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm
- Location: 991 Rama 1 Road, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 610 8000