Things I Saw In Bangkok – Part I

Girl at the gypsy market

I like Bangkok, but it wasn’t love at first sight. When I first visited nine years ago, I wasn’t a fan. We arrived after several months traveling through Asia and I was tired, in no mood to deal with the insane heat and humidity and hordes of fellow backpackers.

Moving there this spring and living in a quiet district about 20 kilometers from downtown, I have really come to appreciate the city and the millions of people who call it home. Outside of the tourist zones, it is a hassle free metropolis with friendly people and interesting sites scattered around.

I did not do many touristy things in the time I was there this spring but instead explored the local neighborhoods. This photo series is a collection of street photos, snapshots of everyday life and pics of random things I saw. I’ll be posting more photos in the series in the weeks ahead. I hope you enjoy seeing a different side of the Bangkok.

Bangkok Street Photos


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35 Comments on “Things I Saw In Bangkok – Part I

    • Sometimes we have to go back and dig a little deeper or be in a different mood. I think had we started that trip in Bangkok I’d have loved it.

      Where are some places that grew on you?

      • well I have not travled the globe as much as you…. but have traveled to about 5 countries – but here in the States – it is Florida that finally grew on me… ha!

        thanks for asking…

  1. I can see why you like that Fuji camera…very solid shots, clear! I like the header shot, with the girl playing guitar, and the Harley behind her. But I was hoping for more of the truly bizarre side of things in your town–tats and scorpions.

  2. That is one cool kid! I also love that cat photo, just because. It’s nice to see this side of Bangkok. I had a bad experience on my first trip to the city, but that didn’t stop me from coming again for the second and third time. Next time I should take the Bell Tour!

  3. I look forward to hearing more about your everyday life at a slight remove from a major tourist crossroads. The photos are great, a great combo of the mundane and the slightly quirky.

    • Well you are in luck! I have about 5 more posts coming up of photos. I am going to be really busy the next month or so and I actually planned ahead with some posts. Thanks for reading.

  4. Like Bama I want to take the Bell tour! Cool collection of images and I’m very fond of that guitar playing kid. 🙂

    • That kid was too cool. I started to tell you the story behind her, but I thought it might ruin it.

      You are welcome on the tour. As I told Bama, we will visit a different side of Bangkok with lakes, parks, street markets, spicy food and lovable street cats.

  5. Great set of photos Jeff. My favourite is the family on the motorbike. Must practice getting that blurred background look! I’m guessing – you were moving at the same speed as the motorbike with a very low Fstop right?
    Alison

    • I use a 1/60 or 1/30 shutter speed, set it to burst mode and pan along with the bike. I could spend hours just shooting panning images of bikes in Asia. You never know what you are going to get until the bike is right there.

  6. We first visited Bangkok around the same time as you, and headed straight to Khao San backpacker ghetto, for lack of knowing where else to go. We stayed on Soi Rambrutti and it was great and interesting for a first trip there, but on every subsequent visit, we’ve stayed either at Chidlom area, or way out at in Bangna in the suburbs, at a friend’s house. No stress, no touts, no drama, and real Thai life. It’s a shame that more people don’t get out of the backpacker area, because it really isn’t representative of most of Bangkok at all, is it? Great photos! 🙂

    • I agree that Bangkok is so different than the downtown area. We’ve been over to Bangna a few times – that is where the IKEA is 🙂

      We are in an area called Sammakorn that has lakes, parks, a lively main street with street food and some great cheap places to eat. There is also a western market about 10 minutes walk away. The people are so nice. I think for a 2nd or 3rd time visitor who isn’t looking to party staying in the suburbs is a great idea. Thanks for your feedback.

  7. I’m always very reluctant to shoot candid photos of people on the street. It makes me feel very conspicuous, so I enjoy looking at what other photographers have done. My two favourites are the little girl with the guitar and the motorcycle as well.

    Keep them coming!! You are feeding my excitement for Thailand 🙂

    • It can be intimidating to photograph strangers for sure. If I’m not in the right mood, I can’t do it. I am very busy with work this month so I have just scheduled lots of posts of Bangkok photos. I hope you enjoy 🙂

  8. It was only last October when I finally made it to Bangkok – and that was a brief one-night stopover before heading to Myanmar! I only got to take the ferry up and down the Chao Praya, visit the Royal Palace and explore Silom… my favourite part was eating at the street stalls in Silom while the Hindu temple there was preparing for a big festival.

    And it is great to see a side of Bangkok that isn’t really covered on most travel blogs. As usual your street photography is exceptional; the two standouts for me are the girl with the guitar and the family on the motorbike.

    • Thank you James. I think you’d like Bangkok if you had more time. Overall, I like Thailand, but, and I hesitate to type this, but everything you can do in Thailand you can do somewhere else in Southeast Asia but better. Indonesia has better beaches and volcanoes and jungle treks, better diving too. Myanmar, though I’ve never been, I think is like Thai culture years ago. Cambodia has Angkor Wat, Laos has Luang Prabang. But Thailand has the best food, in my opinion, and outside the touristy areas, the people are so nice and friendly. You’ll have to come visit!

      • I can definitely see where you’re coming from. Indonesia has an advantage over Thailand when it comes to beaches and diving because of the sheer number of islands, plus the volcanoes are a huge bonus.

        Although I did enjoy the food in Myanmar it rarely had the complexity and refinement of Thai cuisine. That said, I actually preferred Lao food over Thai (though they say it’s very similar to what you find in Isan).

  9. Great start to the series. I love seeing what places are really like, not just the touristy crap. It is an entirely different view.

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