Bangkok monks

Bangkok Color Part 1: Orange

Photo Essay, Thailand

Min Buri monk

Bangkok motorcycle taxi

Bangkok curry street food

Monk with camera

oranges for sell

cat with monks

Monk at train station


laundry day

Bangkok monks

This is part one of a series of photo essays exploring the color of Bangkok.

Have you been to Bangkok? What color is emblematic of the city to you?

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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~

35 thoughts on “Bangkok Color Part 1: Orange”

  1. As a painter I am definitely color oriented and I love both your theme and color choice for Bangkok! Orange is also the color of Luang Prabang, Laos ~ have you been?

    I also remember the bright colored taxis in bubble gum pink, apple green, bright blue and orange, in Bangkok and thought that was pretty unusual.

    I particularly like the last photo with the woman in orange in the middle. Fun post!


    • Thanks Peta. Orange, yellow and gold are the big three colors I think of in Bangkok, but going through my photos I have a lot of pink too.

      I like looking down on taxi ranks when they are full and seeing the rainbow of colors.

      We went to LP about 10 years ago and want to go back.

  2. The monks robes are a saffron color….a shade of orange and a reference to the spice saffron, the stamens of a species of crocus flower. Saffron gives rice a lovely color and mild flavor.

  3. All great shots of color – I think of orange in many Asian cities. (And I spied the pious cat again – love him!)

  4. The pink taxis caught my attention when I went to Bangkok for the first time. I love this color-themed post, Jeff. As a visual person, colors often left a deep impression to me of the places I went to. Did you notice that Buddhist monks in Thailand and Laos wear saffron robes, while those in Myanmar wear dark red, and in Indonesia dark brown?

    • Do you know why they are different? Myanmar even had some pink ones too.

      There will be a pink taxi in a future post.

      • Actually I don’t. Oh and I should’ve said turmeric, not saffron, for the color of Buddhist monk robes in Thailand. Saffron is for those in Myanmar, and maybe cinnamon for Indonesia.

  5. Eleazar says:

    Undeniable proof of orange colours in Bangkok!
    I really like your focus, I find very original to look at a city and its atmosphere through the different colours that prevail.
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Orange is a colour that had to grow on me for a while and now it’s a favoured colour … bright and cheerful! I love your feature photo.

    • It is nice and cheerful and the orange robes really stand out in Bangkok.

      On the featured photo, it was great luck to that scene with the ladies robe matching exactly the robes of the monks. Serendipity.

  7. My favourite part of Bangkok was seeing the monks move through the chaos in their orange robes… you’ve brought me right back to that feeling this morning! Your shots are beautiful, especially the one with the older monk leaning on the post…

    • Thank you Jess. Since the king died almost everyone has been wearing black so the orange robes are a nice splash of color.

      • I am doing my best to embrace it this year. We are trying every winter activity we can think of. Still I am in color withdrawal. 🙂

  8. Dark gray to black is the color I remember from Bangkok…from all the diesel smoke coming from the back of buses and trucks. And red, because last time I was there, I got so embarrassed because I lost my travel documents. Love the concept of your post. If there is such a thing as past lives, I wonder if that cat was a monk…he is orange in this life.

    • That cat had to have been a monk. I think he was even meowing along to the songs.

      Certain sections of the city are gray and black with concrete and fumes, but among that there are potted flowers, Chinese lanterns and bright tuk tuks to give color.

      Red because you lost your documents. Classic.

      • I did like Bangkok when I was there. Just not all that gunk in the air. Hey, have you visited Ayutthaya yet? It’s not too far from Bangkok as I remember. If you want to post on the color of brick…go there.

      • I went last year and I have some photos I need to post. For some reason I’ve never gotten around to it.

        Our neighborhood in Bangkok is 10 miles from downtown and we have trees and breezes, so the air isn’t too bad, but I know what you mean.

      • 10 miles from Bangkok I think would be more livable, my experience was right downtown Bangkok. Fun…but not livable…for longer than it takes to visit the Buddhas and that big temple thingy Palace. All my photos of Ayutthaya are in 35mm slides.

  9. What a gorgeous tribute to Bangkok! I’m looking forward to the other color series – I definitely agree on the gold and yellow because there was so much of it in the architecture (especially the Royal Palace) and also the food. Now that I think about it, mango sticky rice is gold and white, while pad thai is mostly brown and yellow. We do have some orange here in Jakarta but blue is a lot more dominant… I may eventually steal your idea for a future post!

    • Since I started putting these posts together I have really started to notice color everywhere. It is a city of bright colors – orange, red, pink, yellow and of course gold. I’d love to see what colors you have in Jakarta.

  10. Pingback: Bangkok Color Part 2: Pink | Planet Bell

  11. Great theme. Writing posts like these always make you so much more aware of the visual stimuli around you. As Jess said, love the monk leaning on the post.

    • Thank you. I never get tired of it either – always a burst of color, especially not with so many of the people wearing black.

  12. Pingback: Bangkok Color Part 3: Red | Planet Bell

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