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IN THE PICTURE #22
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! With in this edition Rachel Alderson. Rachel is a likeable lady who is originally from England but has been living in Bangkok since 2018. Hi Rachel, welcome! We’re really looking forward to seeing Thailand through your eyes!
Hello, please introduce yourself.
Dear Thailand Magazine readers,
My name is Rachel and I moved to Thailand about two and a half years ago from London in the UK. I love living in big cities, getting lost in them and exploring all the sights, there’s always something to see and do. But I also love to travel and explore more far flung places. One of the blessings of being in Thailand during this COVID period, is getting to travel around within the country, it is just so beautiful. I’m a plant based eater and I feel passionately preserving the world that we have around us. I also tend to befriend most animals that cross my path.
This was one of the first photos I ever took when I moved to Thailand. It was in a place called Ang Thong Marine Park. I chose to hike to the viewpoint on Koh Samui rather than to go kayaking and I did not regret my choice. I’d never seen water so blue. The view was spectacular!
As a sky hunter and a temple lover this was a perfect and unexpected sunset. Moments before this, it had been raining & then all of a sudden the skies put on a glorious show over Wat Arun. Known as the temple of dawn because the light shines off the temple in the mornings, it is also famous for being a wonderful place to watch the sunset.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
My favorite destination in Thailand is….well it’s so hard to pick. I love Bangkok because it’s such an incredible cosmopolitan city to hang out in. You can see art, there’s a great music scene, you can take photos and the food options are endless. I love Railay Beach because the water is so warm and the sunsets are incredible. But I also love the province of Chiang Mai because it has a great city, plus mountains, endless temples and lots of elephants! I don’t know if I can pick just one!
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
I’ve heard amazing things about Pai and it’s top on my list for 2021. The photos of the Paddy fields look so green and gorgeous, with all these stunning coffee stops along the way. My idea of a good time!
I had just got my camera and was keen to pursue street photography. Then one night in ChinaTown, I shared a moment with a street vendor that ended up being one of my favourite photos. There was a situation with a tourist who kept asking the lady over and over how much the food was. I asked her in Thai & translated for him & things were quickly resolved. I believe, as a way of thanks, the lady only charged me 20 baht for the delicious spring rolls.
I loved the distant expression on the woman’s face, she seemed so lost in thought at that very moment. This again was shot in ChinaTown. I could go back to ChinaTown again and again to shoot because it has so much life and so many characters.
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
There are so many amazing parts of Thailand, I’m not sure what to recommend first, so here are my top 5 and reasons why.
- The mountains – Chiang Mai, Ratchaburi, Lopburi, go see them. People think of Thailand as a beach destination, but there is so much more to see.
- The beach – obviously. So many amazing destinations, Koh Chang, Koh Lipe, Railay…
- Khao Yai – (or another big national park like Khao Sok) so much beauty and nature, waterfalls, butterflies…perfect.
- A night market – My personal favourite is Ratchada Train night market. It’s such a big part of Thai culture, you have to go to a night market!
- An ethical elephant sanctuary – because if you love animals, you will smile so hard all day
Where do you like to eat?
My favorite restaurant is MANGO Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant and Art Gallery. It’s near the Khao San Road area and the food is just so fresh and delicious, the presentation is heavenly and the deserts are to die for!
Living in Bangkok is amazing, but getting to travel this beautiful country is one of the major perks. This photo was taken in Kanchanaburi. We got up at 5am to go and watch the sunrise and it is one I will never forget. I have this photo framed on my wall at home, it still gives me all the feels!
There are so many areas to explore in a city like Bangkok & people are friendly if you smile, say Sawadee ka and give them a wai. (Hand gesture used throughout Thailand) This photo was taken in Bangkok Noi. There was a particularly friendly barbour who waved me over, showed me his photo collection and then willingly posed for this photo.
Tip us a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
Out to the west of Bangkok, there is an amazing coffee shop called Nana Coffee Roasters, there is also one in Ari and one in Wang Thonglang area. Really good coffee and such a cool spot. Also, if you are travelling outside of the city I recommend google searching to find the nearest coffee shop near a rice paddy field, always a lovely place to hang out.
What is your favorite Thai dish?
My favorite Thai dish is either Tom Yum or a Larb dish. Both of these dishes have a good level of spice, but such a unique flavour that I’ve never had anywhere else before.
Every year on the full moon of the 12th Lunar month, Thailand celebrates Loy Krathong, the festival is for people to pay their respects to the water god. In Chiang Mai the festival is combined with Yi Peng, a lantern festival. The whole city and the temples are decorated, it is truly one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
I love going to temples, I find them so peaceful. This photo was taken at Wat Saket, the Golden Mount temple, on my phone before I had a camera. It was one of those right place at the right time moments & was 100% what made me pursue photography further.
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
I tend to not spend tons on accommodation, because whenever I visit somewhere I am always out adventuring around, so I don’t feel the need for real luxury. I stayed in a place called the Bayview Resort, in Koh Samui, that had the most amazing sunrise view. I’d stay there again just for that!
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
It is very hot here, but this is a conservative country, so make sure to respect the culture. You need to cover up to visit a temple, but there are tons of markets here, so treat yourself to a new kimono or two! If you are in Bangkok, try to have a bit of a plan, otherwise you can end up wandering around a lot, it’s a very big city. And learn to say please and thank you, that coupled with a smile will get you everywhere.
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
The phrase I taught my parents when they came was ‘mai ped’, which means not spicy if you can’t eat spicy food. I also use ‘mai wan’ a lot when ordering coffee, which means not sweet. Some coffee stands love to give some sugar syrup!
Another shot from Chiang Mai, but this time the paddy fields. We drove a motorbike from the city, up into the mountains. The roads were windy and steep & the views were absolutely outstanding. I’d highly recommend a trip like this to everyone.
Rainy season in Thailand can stop people going outdoors, but it’s a great opportunity to go and see the city with less people around, and there’s a chance of getting some great reflection shots. This photo was taken outside Central World and I had some wonderful luck with the green umbrella matching the reflection.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
On my Instagram page.
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
Clint Kovacs – to be honest I’ve never met him, but he does a great job at capturing daily life in Bangkok.
On the day of the Chinese New Year (2021) I went out before the crowds came out to celebrate. The girl was in the street outside her parents restaurant. This side soi is famous for its street food, but in the morning there was no one around and people were preparing for the day. I just loved the image of her banging in the pot!
This photo was also taken on the day of the Chinese New Year (2021). I love the signs in ChinaTown, it’s so unique to see the colours both during the day & lit up in the evening, at Chinese New Year it’s even more vibrant. Tuk tuks are a fun way to travel round the city and this was captured before all the people came out to celebrate.