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IN THE PICTURE #20
In ‘In the Picture’ photographers from all over the world share their 10 most beautiful pictures of Thailand. See Thailand through the photographer’s lens, read background stories about the pictures and learn more about the beautiful Thailand! We are very happy to have Jang from Bangkok Tips join our column. Jang is the owner of a super nice and great Instagram page. And nowshe shares some of her favourite images here! Sawasdee krub/ka Jang, welcome!
Hello, please introduce yourself.
Sawasdee ka. I am Jang and originally from Bangkok. When I was young, I studied in the UK until I finished high school and flew to Australia to complete my university degree.
Now I am working full time as a marketer and photography is currently my new hobby. I started taking photos just a few years back with my mobile phone camera when I was unemployed. With so much free time I wandered around Bangkok and found that the place where I was born is full of colours and full of life despite being called “poor and dirty” by some people. I grew to love the city more and more that I cannot keep some special moments I captured to myself, so I decided to share them on social media.
As a Thai person, I never get bored of going to temples. Wat Arun is still one of my favourite temples to visit as there are so many details and corners for great photo opportunities. I always wondered what it was like back in the old days to put each tiny porcelain together to form such a masterpiece. Thai craftsmanship for me is another level.
I love wandering in “soi” or backstreet of Bangkok because I get to see the real Bangkok neighbourhoods – where locals live, eat, mingle and actually be themselves. No need for a big house, no need for a playground, no need for a fancy car, but these people still have smiles on their faces.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
I love Chiang Mai so far because of its diversity. One day I can do temple hopping, the next I can wander into the forest and hike up the mountains, the next I can sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee in the cafe while the other day I can play with elephants – there is just so much to do.
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
Being in Thailand and stuck in a full time job means I don’t have a lot of time to travel far. Koh Kut in Trat Province is still on my wishlist for its pristine water and peacefulness. I hope that next year I could take a week off and just hang out on the beach there doing nothing and eat a lot of seafood :)
Two Hmong girls in their traditional outfits soaking up the sun in the cold morning at Mon Cham, Chiang Mai. I wondered what it is like to grow up in such a beautiful environment – have they ever thought of living in the city? By looking at them grooming each other with sisterly love, my heart feel warm already.
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
Since Thailand is so diverse, there is something for everyone. If you like fun city life, partying, drinking, shopping then Bangkok. If you like real simple country life, rice fields then East of Thailand. If you like Lanna culture, beautiful temples and mountains then North of Thailand. If you like beautiful islands, beaches, pristine water and lots of sunshine then South of Thailand. If you like caves, beautiful waterfalls and water rafting then West of Thailand.
Where do you like to eat?
I would recommend local restaurants on Buntadtong Road, not far from Siam Square where I work. This road is full with decent local restaurants and some won Bib Gourmand from Michelin. There are so many varieties to choose – ranging from rice menu, noodles menu, seafood menu, BBQ menu, desserts menu – the price is affordable and very popular among locals and they open until late at night.
If I have to explain to a foreigner of Bangkok city, I would show this picture instead. I took this picture from the top floor of the Queen’s Gallery. It is tall enough that I get to see the highlight of Bangkok old town – the Golden Mount and Bangkok new town in the background with its highlight – Mahanakhon Building. A contrast that blends in harmony.
Spirit houses are everywhere in Thailand and I am sure you must have come across one when on a trip here. Thai people believe that every land has a spirit that lives and protects that land. So when we build a house, we must also consider building one for the spirit so the spirit will protect our house and so we could live in peace just like the one in the background.
Name a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
I love iced Thai tea and my favourite place in Bangkok to enjoy these kinds of drink is the Chinese influenced style cafe called Kope Hya Tai Kee. Serving all day breakfast, simple Thai menus and lots of beverage menu including nice Thai tea.
What is your favorite Thai dish?
I love all Thai dishes, especially those cooked by my mum and grandma with home grown herbs from my garden. But still I enjoy common dishes like somtam, grilled chicken, green curry, pad se-ew, padthai and stir fried pork with basil because they are full with flavours – sweet and spicy – the flavour that most Thai people like.
I took this picture when I was waiting for my tom yum noodles for my late night meal. A tuk tuk carrying passengers at its full capacity just flew by the new colorful bar that just opened next to an old mini mart. Bangkok never sleeps. It is constantly moving along with the colours and the contrast in the peaceful chaotic beat.
Chiang Mai is famous for its beautiful temples and fascinating Lanna culture. I visited Chiang Mai for its famous Yi Peng festival and was drawn into “Wat Lok Moli” or Lok Moli temple for its colourful lantern decorations. The temple itself is small, but there are so much details to appreciate.
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
Recently I just got back from Jomtien beach in Pattaya and I stayed at a resort where I have stayed before a few years ago called Dor Shada Resort. I love the peacefulness of the place, Thai style decorations, the nice swimming pool, the friendly staff and the perfect quiet beach. Covid-19 had a huge impact on the tourism industry all over Thailand, so I recommend checking out this lovely place once the border is open.
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
There is more to Thailand than beaches, bars and beers on Khaosan Road. Taking things slowly to get to know the locals, visiting the morning market, trying the street food and wandering off into the countryside is something I highly recommend. Knowing a country through its culture and people is something to appreciate and it can create a memorable lifetime impact. And don’t forget to SMILE when talking to locals!!
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
Knowing a little Thai can be a little advantage if you are in Thailand and Thai people appreciate it when you learn to communicate with them in their language.
– If you like shopping “Rod Noi Dai Mai?” = can you discount on this? Do this when you are at the street market to see if they will give you some discount.
– Instead of saying hello, Thai people greeted each other with “Pai nai ka ?(for female to use) / Pai nai krub ?(for male to use) ” = where are you going? It is not considered getting into someone’s business but it is a common kind of greeting here.
Majority of people living in Thailand are Buddhists and there are countless numbers of temples in Thailand. I took this picture one afternoon when I visited Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn because I love the vibrant colours of the tiles on the roof which contrast nicely to the golden Buddha statue.
Another shot taken at “Wat Lok Moli” during the preparation of Yi Peng festival. I just love the way ancient ruins and old temples are well preserved as well as the Yi Peng festival that is made even more special every year. It has always been on my bucket list to visit Chiang Mai for Yi Peng and I am sure I will keep coming back again.
Nagas are mythical creatures guarding the temples similar to gargoyles guarding the churches. Different temples built in different centuries have different designs of nagas. Here at “Wat Ram Poeng” in Chiang Mai, there are so many wood carved nagas, I don’t mind looking at them all day as they contrast greatly to the clear blue sky.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
My mobile phone camera from the Samsung Note 9.
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
I don’t know anyone in person but I like the beautiful Thailand photos taken by Oddkrub.
Another beautiful temple that I spent a few decent hours here is “Wat Chiang Man”, the oldest temple in Chiang Mai built in 12 century. Having lived in Bangkok for a big while, I get used to seeing the sky covered in smog. Being able to see the clear blue sky everyday here, contrasting to the Lanna style multi layered wooden roof is a special gift in itself.
There are also other interesting things to do in Chiang Mai besides temple hopping. “Mae Kham Pong” a small village on the mountain is another impressive hidden gem that mostly known among Thai people. It is a peaceful humble little village that a traveller from busy city like me wish to stop and stay for a month or two.