Last updated on May 29, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Thailand

Best 50 Bangkok Photography Spots for day and night photography

Bangkok is one of my favourite cities to visit and stop by whenever I fly from Australia to Europe, or vice versa.  

Photography in Bangkok is so inspiring, from the markets to the streets, from the river life to the amazing sunsets on the rooftops.

During the last 15 years, I have explored this city far and wide and in this guide you will discover my best spots for photography in Bangkok.

Every photo in this article has been tagged on the map (see the end of the post) for easy city navigation

By the way, if you are wondering which area to stay or visit, based on how long you will be there, have a look at my guide to where to stay in Bangkok for more tips and info.

Check best areas and hotels to stay in Bangkok

Best Bangkok photography spots organised by type

The fun that you can have in this city with your camera is just incredible. The subjects are behind every corner of Bangkok.

I am a fan of the water and I love the Khlong (water canals) that are all around the city. They are always a great place to take pictures of the Thai life

Below is a table with the top 50 Bangkok photography spots, followed by a better description based on the type of photos (water, street, temples, rooftops, etc)

No.Photography Location in BangkokType of PhotographyBest Time to Visit
1Khlong (water canals)Water, LifestyleSunrise
2Hua Chang StationTravel, SunsetSunset
3Phan Fa Lilat StationNight, ReflectionsNight
4Chao Phraya RiverSunset, BoatsSunset
5Loy La Long Guest HouseLifestyle, SceneryAnytime
6Sukhumvit RoadTraffic, CityscapeAnytime
7Democracy MonumentNight, Long ExposureNight
8Tuk-tuk DepotCulture, VehiclesAnytime
9Wat ArunTemples, SunriseSunrise
10Grand PalaceTemples, CultureMorning
11Chatuchak MarketStreet, CultureDaytime
12AsiatiqueNight, RiverEvening
13Erawan ShrineCulture, PeopleAnytime
14Lumpini ParkNature, LifestyleMorning
15Ratchada Train MarketFood, NightEvening
16Wat PhoTemples, CultureDaytime
17Golden MountCityscape, TemplesSunset
18Jim Thompson HouseArchitecture, CultureDaytime
19Siam ParagonModern, LifestyleAnytime
20Khaosan RoadStreet, NightNight
21Terminal 21Modern, LifestyleAnytime
22Yaowarat RoadStreet, FoodEvening
23Pak Khlong Flower MarketFlowers, StreetMorning
24ICONSIAMModern, RiverAnytime
25Victory MonumentCityscape, TrafficAnytime
26Baiyoke TowerCityscape, SkylineEvening
27Wat SaketTemples, CityscapeSunset
28MBK CenterModern, LifestyleAnytime
29Thonburi CanalsWater, LifestyleMorning
30Ananta Samakhom Throne HallArchitecture, CultureDaytime
31Dusit ZooAnimals, NatureDaytime
32Bangkok Art and Culture CentreModern, ArtDaytime
33Wat BenchamabophitTemples, CultureMorning
34CentralWorldModern, LifestyleAnytime
35Platinum Fashion MallFashion, StreetDaytime
36Pratunam MarketStreet, FashionDaytime
37Sea Life BangkokAnimals, UnderwaterAnytime
38Rod Fai MarketVintage, NightEvening
39Wat TraimitTemples, CultureDaytime
40Bangkok National MuseumCulture, HistoryDaytime
41Ekkamai Bus TerminalTravel, LifestyleAnytime
42Benjasiri ParkNature, LifestyleMorning
43Wat MahathatTemples, CultureDaytime
44Sathorn PierRiver, BoatsAnytime
45Patpong Night MarketStreet, NightNight
46Soi CowboyNight, StreetNight
47Chulalongkorn UniversityModern, LifestyleDaytime
48Bangkok PlanetariumScience, SpaceDaytime
49Ancient CityCulture, HistoryDaytime
50Don Mueang AirportTravel, PlanesAnytime
Best 50 Bangkok photography spots

Photographing the water in Bangkok

The Khlong (water canals) network is extensive, have a look at the Official Site to get an idea.

Making photos of the water traffic is not as complicated, many opportunities along the day.

You just need the right moment and time.

Wake up early, take a boat and go outside the city, it does not matter where.

Have a walk around.

You will not find any tourists there, that’s for sure, only locals and the real Thai lifestyle.

The last station of a Khlong in Bangkok : Unusual place to make a photo
The last station of a Khlong in Bangkok: an unusual place to make a photo

I jumped on the boat at the Hua Chang Station, direction of Ramkhamhaeng University. I stopped almost at the last station.

I thought it would be interesting to visit an area outside the city centre and close to the University.

Once disembarked, I walked back to the side of the canal and experienced the local life, a unique adventure.

The sooner you are the better light you will experience, sunrise is the best time. As you see above, I was already too late although the light was still ok

Following the klongs can always provide a great spot for a Bangkok image as it is Hua Chang Station
Hua Chang Station: Best place for travel photography in Bangkok

For the sunset go to Witthayu station and look at the other side of the bridge, where all the boats are queuing up to start the service.

You will have the sun reflected on the building which will work as a gigantic light reflector.

At that time of the day, the river is buzzing with the commuting time. Not to be missed

Phan Fa Lilat Station in Bangkok is another great spot for pictures, especially late in the evening
Phan Fa Lilat Station in Bangkok is a great place for night photography 

I suggest also a visit to the end station of Phan Fa Lilat. The best time is at night when the public service is almost closing.

The lights have a nice reflection on the canal and you will feel will like in a village, not anymore in the crazy traffic of Bangkok.

Chao Phraya River in Bangkok is another must visit for photography
Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, a great spot for sunset photography

Navigating the big Chao Phraya River is an experience in itself. So many things going on. 

If you are not close to the river in Bangkok, take the metro to Central Pier station.

From there jump on one of the many public ferry services. Just wander around.

For a photo, you have two possibilities. At sunrise, stay on the east side of the river. At sunset time stay on the west side.

There are many locations, and any ferry station is good, you do not need to adventure further.

If you can, include a longboat, so characteristic of Bangkok

Windows with a view in Bangkok
Windows with a view in Bangkok

I titled the above photo Windows with a view.

It was done in one of my favourite guest houses in Bangkok, the Loy La Long. A unique experience straight over the river.

The view from the bedroom is unique.

The access to this guest house is through a Buddhist temple, very quiet and a thousand miles away from the traffic you have been experiencing along the day

Bangkok_20130107_165-min
Have a good sleep in Bangkok

Photographing the Bangkok street

The streets of Bangkok have evolved in the last 20 years into a maze of raised pedestrian areas, busy roads and small back streets.

Traffic is of course everywhere, not matter the time of the day

Traffic in the crazy streets of the city
Traffic in the crazy streets of the city

The most characteristic photos are from one of the many pedestrian bridges on Sukhumvit Road, the local car traffic, is almost static, through the day and the night and the day……..and forever

Lights strips at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok (Khao San Road)
Lights strips at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok (Khao San Road)

Head to the Democracy Monument for a night shot on the tripod.

You will get that nice mix of car light strips and the monument on the background

A vespa in Bangkok : Best places to make a photo
A Vespa in Bangkok

The Piaggio scooter is not really a typical Thai icon, however, if you find one, stop and have a shot.

You will not find a new version, that’s for sure, and, to be honest, the oldest it is the more you will feel you are in Asia.

The one in the above photo has been hand-painted, old school 😀

And yes, do not miss the tuk-tuk.

This is a must-have photo, together with the longboat on the river.

I was so lucky to find a tuk-tuk depot, I could not get it better than that 😀 (see below map for the exact location)

Photographing the Bangkok temples

I had a fantastic very long stay in Bangkok a few years back.

I took some great photos in the few months there.

It was all amazing. I was so happy I built a Bangkok photo catalogue I was really proud of…..till somebody broke into my room and all gone in a matter of few minutes.

That was the time I moved to Nikon. As a result, I need to source these photos from Flickr (I added also these locations to the map of course)

The first temple I definitely suggest is Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), marvellous and mysterious.

Located on the other side of the Chao Phraya River (assuming you are staying in the city centre), it is a 5-10 minutes ferry ride from any of the central stations.

Wat Arun from the bottom.
Wat Arun from a lower corner

The Grand Palace is also another must-visit place. It is one of the most popular attractions in Bangkok. This means expect to have lots of tourists around you.

Yes, you can try to get some unique corners however this area has been photographed hundreds of thousands of times.

My suggestion here is to try to include some of the monks that walk around to have that nice contrast of colours between the orange of the clothes and the gold of the temples.

Photographer Darrell Goldliman has done a remarkable job here

Thailand - Bangkok - Grand Palace Monk

Another temple I like to suggest is Wat Suthat.

This is a Buddhist temple with an amazing set of statues, a great subject for your photography.  

Markets to make photos in Bangkok

There are three markets that you should not miss when in Bangkok

  • The Pak Klong Talad. This is the main flower market open in the early hours of the day. Amazing colours. I have been again a few months ago and I can just say it should be in any photographer’s list.
  • The Chatuchak Market. This is a remarkable size market. So easy to get lost. They sell everything. Get to the animal section to take some unusual shots. They close at 6pm, however, a night market with food and clothes start straight after that. Easily reachable by metro (see below the map)
  • The Bang Nam Pheung floating market. This is a small-scale version of the famous Damnerm Saduak (100 km out of the city) and maybe for this reason not that crowded with tourists. It is unfortunately not a secret corner anymore

Rooftops and high viewpoint in Bangkok for photography

There are a few famous bars that should not be missed, either for a drink or for a photo, or possibly for both 😀

  • The Sofitel So Rooftop Bar
  • The Dome at Skybar
  • The Baiyoke Tower II – Visit the Observation deck at sunset or nighttime (84th floor). Tickets at 400 Baht.  Please note that I was told that the deck is now revolving continuously making impossible any kind of night/sunset photography. You may have to approach the restaurant for that.
China Town Gate
China Town Gate – photo by Grant Cameron in Flickr

My next trip will include a visit to the Odeon Building. This interesting location is in a car park, the Odeon Car Parking.

Take the elevator and go to the top floor. It can be busy with other photographers at sunset and blue hour

Travel Photography in Bangkok – how to move around

I always thought that the easiest way to move around was just to jump on a tuk-tuk

Nowadays it’s even easier because you can check on Google Maps your GPS position and be sure the driver is actually going where you asked for.

However, sometimes, the street traffic is really unbearable, even for a quick tuk-tuk

Another possibility is, of course, renting a motorbike, although it is an option I would suggest only to the brave rider. This is not a place for any newbie.

People drive fast and sometimes careless. Having spent 4 years in Rome I had enough riding training to drive in Bangkok, but I am not sure I would do it again.

The public transportation includes a metro, fantastic, and an extensive bus system.

Meanwhile, the metro is an easy system to move around, the bus system can be a challenging one if you are not familiar with some basic Thai words.

The last and best option is the water.

There is a big network of canals (Khlong), all ending in the big Chao Phraya River.

It’s quick, mostly used by locals and you can easily navigate outside the city centre

I usually use a local website called Transit Bangkok.

It’s a great source.

Photography gear used in Bangkok

I usually take with me a few lenses to cover most of the circumstances. See the free Travel Photography Gear Guide for more information.

I love to visit at least two local markets and the low light could be a problem (I do not like to use flashes in public environments).

And of course, I do plenty of photos at sunset/sunrise along the coast and a zoom lens is in several cases a lifesaver.

For my pictures of Bangkok, I took:

  • Sony A7R/A7 in the last 10 years and a Nikon D600 in the years back

Both Sony A7 are great cameras, I really love them. Great dynamic range and I can shoot at a very high level of ISO, essential for street photography at low night 

  • Sony lens 24-105mm f/4

it covers most of the photo opportunities although the lens below does a better job in some cases

  • Sony 35mm f/2.8

a Bangkok photo gallery must include images of local life, especially the local markets.

It is mandatory to have a quick lens in these cases.

I like the Sony 35mm also because it is a small one and people are actually less worried about the photographer

Shopping for photography gear in Bangkok

If you are looking to buy a new camera or some new gear, and you are wondering if you can find better prices compared to your country, be sure you are not the only one with this question mark.

I did a bit of investigation myself and I checked a few camera shops in the Thai capital.

The first thing you should make sure is that you don’t buy from the street (or dodgy shops).

There is not much point in buying a fake camera just because of the brand name.

Yes, you can buy it half price but the quality of the component is probably a 10th of the original one.

As a result, you will be disappointed by the outcome of your photos.

The second important point is that the warranty should be international, and not only cover Thailand.

If you live in Thailand that’s fine, however, if you plan to go back to your country and you start experiencing problems with your gear, basically, you are left on your own, and you would have to pay for any repair.

I personally decided not to buy in Bangkok any gear, that’s just because the difference in price was minimal and not worth the risk in case of issues.

I am not saying that you should not buy, I am just saying that it is important to evaluate the pros and cons; price is not the only factor.

These are a few shopping malls and shops you may be interested in. They are good also in case you need to repair your camera gear

  • MBK Shopping Mall: there is an authorized Nikon reseller and a few other camera shops on the top floor. They have cheaper prices than in most countries, however not real super deals. Fotofile, one of the big Thai camera chains, is on the 5th floor
  • Central World Plaza: Foto Friend (pro-market) and World Camera on the 4th floor
  • Central Rama 3: other shops (check the Shopping Center map once you enter)
  • Try one of the shops Fotofile or AvCamera (both websites are in English). You can select the shop location closer to your needs

The MBK shopping mall is probably the best bet. My advice is to go to the big shops and not the small stalls, especially if you are not based in Bangkok.

Buying SD Cards in small stalls is not a good idea. There are so many fake products around. 

I have even seen a 1T SD Card at $10. How can you expect they are actually 1TB 😮

I hope this guide helps to improve your photographic experience in the city 😉

Map of the photography spots

Map of the best photography locations in Bangkok
Map of the best photography locations in Bangkok

Click here for the interactive Google map

Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

10 thoughts on “Best 50 Bangkok Photography Spots for day and night photography”

  1. Is the Tuk Tuk Depot location correct? I looked on Google Street view and didn’t see anything that looked right….Google could be outdated and your location is spot on, just wanted to check before venturing that way.

    Thanks for a great article with lots of good tips….

    Reply
    • Hey Mike,
      it is the street, as far as I remember it. I do not have GPS coordinates in my camera though, it’s definitely there, unless it has been closed or moved in the last few months.
      Cheers and enjoy Bangkok!!

      Reply
    • Hi Wanda, sorry for the late reply, I was on a trip with limited internet access.
      My feeling is that it was done with a drone or with a special permit. It was done at sunrise when all the state run offices are closed. It seems done from the National Treasury Bureau building, just behind the Wat Phra Kaew Museum. During the day this may be possible but not at sunrise unless you have a special permit.
      Please note that nowadays drones are not allowed in that area, and in most parts of Thailand
      I hope I was able to help
      cheers

      Reply
  2. While riding a tuk tuk may be one of the quintessential Bangkok experiences, it is far from being “the best” way to get around. It is the sure way to get ripped off and “taken for a ride” though. Taxis are far cheaper, air conditioned and move just as fast/slow, but without hassles, noise and fumes. Nothing beats BTS/MRT and river taxis for the speed.

    Reply
    • Hi Igor,
      my favorite is still to use the public boats, either river or the channels around the city, really unique. BTS/MRT is practical but not my first choice (it really seems like being in any city in the world, I loose the sense of being in Bangkok), obviously it is essential if you live in the city. I love tuk tuk and I find them quicker than taxis, and honestly nowadays it’s easy to agree on a price. I usually show the place on Google Map and the distance (km). We quickly agree on a price (I am not after saving 20-30 cents but just a fair price)
      Cheers and enjoy Bangkok

      Reply
  3. Hi Stefano. Really helpful article you’ve got here. However there is one thing i want to point out. I went to the Baiyoke Tower II and there is no way you can take nightscape as it revolves continously. I do believe that the images of other photographers are taken from the restaurant. Please include it in your article as it deceived me in thinking i could take nightscape from there. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Many thanks Jeff,
      I have added the update in the post. Really appreciated.
      Bangkok is such a great city to photograph!
      Cheers buddy and happy photography
      Stef

      Reply
  4. Hi Jan,
    it was a pleasure 😉 I am sure you will have a great trip in Thailand. I love this country. And Bangkok is awesome.
    The Loy La Long hotel room was the #2. I am not sure about the other rooms. Some of them have a similar setup, others were inside, with view to the backyard. If you book there I suggest to stay in the ones facing the river, more expensive but worth the financial “effort”. It’s so easy to save on other things like food or drinks.
    The hotel is on the back of a Buddhist Temple, super quiet and a complete different experience.
    Enjoy your photography experience.
    Cheers. Stef

    Reply
  5. Hi Stefano thank you so much for writing this very helpful article. This made me really be ultra-excited for my trip to Thailand in July and I couldn’t wait to take photos of what is in my photography shots list.

    Also, great recommendation regarding Loy La Long hotel, I’m not sure if all the rooms have similar views similar to yours would you still remember which room you stayed at? 🙂 Would look forward to your other similar articles in the future!

    Reply

Leave a Comment