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IN THE PICTURE #24
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!
Number 24 already and we will continue to have one every week! With in this edition Celeste Engelbrecht. Celeste and her husband are digital nomads who have been living in Thailand for a while now. They often take the car to discover beautiful Thailand. Below she shares some of her favourite moments with a few photos.
Hello, please introduce yourself.
Dear Thailand Magazine readers,
I’m Celeste, a South African living in Phuket with my husband Keith. For many years it was our dream to create a location independent lifestyle. We wanted to be able to live anywhere in the world and finally in 2017 our dream became a reality when we were able to earn 100% of our income online. Currently I coach new bloggers get started on WordPress and help them navigate the exciting world of blogging.
In early 2018 we packed up, sold everything and moved to Bangkok where we lived for six months before moving to Phuket. We call Phuket home for now. I’ve always loved photography and for a few years my husband and I did wedding photography. Since I’ve become location independent I travel with very few possessions because lugging a whole bunch of stuff everywhere I go just didn’t make sense. This is the main reason I gave up my DSLR. Since phone camera’s are just getting better and better I’ve embraced Iphoneography and challenged myself to step up my smartphone photography game. This is the only camera I shoot with at the moment.
For now I am soaking up Thailand’s contagious friendly atmosphere and enjoying the sunshine.
This photo is from our 2018 road trip where we drove from Phuket all the way up to Chang Rai. We noticed that a lot of the places we stayed at had bicycles we could use. And so to get a feel for the towns we were staying in we went for an early morning cycle to start our day. This particular photo was taken just outside Baanpufa Resort. We were spending a lot of time driving and so these early morning bike rides gave us an opportunity to breath in some fresh air and see things from a different perspective.
While we were living in Bangkok we made use of public busses. It’s cheap and the Bangkok bus network is very extensive. If you don’t speak Thai getting around on these busses can be pretty difficult. However, if you want to have a truly Thai Bangkok experience I suggest hopping onto one of these busses. You’ll really get a feel for what real life is like in Bangkok.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
We did a road trip through thailand in 2018 and I absolutely fell in love with Khao Sok National Park. We stayed at one of the floating raft houses where we enjoyed kayaking and chilling on the lake. I love Cheow Lan Lake because it’s so quiet and serene.
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
Since I live on the Island of Phuket I haven’t really explored many of the islands near Phuket. This is next on my Thailand bucket list. Some examples I will visit are Koh Lanta, Koh Yao Yai and Koh Pu.
This photo was taken near Kata beach in Phuket. It’s such a classic Phuket scene of a motorcycle sidecar vendor. They are everywhere and can sell anything from coconut ice cream or pancakes to a delicious street meal. The motorcycle sidecar often transports everything these vendors need to make a fresh meal on the spot.
One of the nicest things I’ve ever done in Bangkok is book a cycle tour through the city on Airbnb experiences. On these cycle tours you really get to see how real people live in Bangkok city. This particular cycle tour was absolutely fantastic. This photo really captures the narrow alleyways that you can so easily get lost in.
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
I highly recommend visiting Khao Sok and staying for a night on the floating raft houses on the Cheow Lan Lake. Another must do is visiting Chiang Mai and staying at one of the Hot Spring resorts just outside the city. These natural hot springs are good for your skin, relieves stress and helps you relax.
Where do you like to eat?
I love The Cove near Panwa on Phuket. The restaurant is set under some trees right on the beach. Come at high tide and order pizza and cocktails for sunset. You will be spoilt with a fantastic view.
We recently bought inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards and have been exploring Phuket on them. This is a photo of Freedom Beach and it can only be reached by boat or a 30 minute hike. Naturally, our iSUPS came in handy here and we were able to get to this beach in 15 minutes from Merlin Beach (a semi private beach with a secret entrance). What makes this photo so special is that it was taken during COVID when Thailand was closed for travel. We got to experience this beach with not a soul in sight.
This is a magical place (The Cove on Phuket) to have a meal or a cocktail and watch the sunset. We often meet our friends here for a drink. If you can, make sure you come at high tide
Tip us a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
I’m in love with Thailand’s coffee culture. If you are looking for some fantastic coffee shops in Phuket then just head to Phuket Old Town. Almost all coffee shops in Phuket have really great wifi making it a perfect spot to grab a coffee and get some work done.
One of my favorite things to do in Phuket is find new coffee shops. I have at least four favorites.
- Campus Coffee Roaster in Phuket Old Town
- Bookhemian in Phuket Old Town
- Rush Coffee in Chilva Market of Phuket Old Town
- Ketho Coffee & Kitchen in Kathu
What is your favorite Thai dish?
Hands down, Khao Soi (creamy coconut curry noodle soup with chicken) is my favourite Thai dish. Since I live in Phuket it’s hard to find here because this traditional Thai dish comes from the North of Thailand.
We spent a night at Sippa Hot Spring Resort near Chiang Mai. This resort is known for its natural hot springs. It’s the perfect stop for 2 – 3 days to catch up on some sleep or just relax in the hot springs after some hardcore traveling. I really wish we had stayed longer.
This is a photo of the semi private Merlin Beach right in front of the Marriott Hotel in Phuket. We’ve come to this beach a few times but have never seen these beautiful yellow flowers before. We use this beach as a starting point to iSUP around to Freedom Beach. Getting to Merlin Beach is a little tricky. You need to find a little dirt road running parallel to the Marriott Hotel from the main street. This beach is not great for swimming in low tide however, it’s one of the top snorkeling spots in all of Phuket.
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
We stayed at the Pullman Phuket Arcadia right on Nai Thon Beach for a few nights. Nai Thon Beach is one of the quieter beaches in Phuket and offers great snorkeling. This hotel has fantastic views and the staff are so friendly. Another one of my favourites is Baanpufa Resort in Kanchanaburi. This resort is situated right on the river, we booked the Floating Villa rooms. The location is simply idyllic.
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
#Tip1: Thailand is hot and humid all year round and you don’t realize how much you sweat and lose water while you are outside. Add a packet of electrolytes to your water. You can get them at any 7/11 and they cost around 7 baht each.
#Tip2: You will find MSG is all street food and most restaurants will add it to your food too. Always ask them NOT to put it into your food. MSG can often make you feel sick or very thirsty.
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
Mai sai, pong shoe rot (Phonetic) which means please don’t put MSG into my food.
Every Sunday (from 4 pm to 9 pm) Thalang Road in Phuket Old Town turns itself into a Sunday Walking Street Market. I love the energy at this artist market. The art on display is unique to Phuket. Whenever I have friends visiting from out of town I always make sure I take them to this market. Expect some unique Thai souvenirs, funky art, tasty street food, cocktails and craft beer.
Phuket has some amazing sunset spots to enjoy a meal or cocktail. This picture was taken at Baan Chom View Kamala and it’s one of my favourite sunset spots. Parking can be a real problem during the busy season but it’s well worth the effort.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
I only use my iPhone to photograph and I use an editing app called Snapseed.
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
You can visit my blog Feral Africa or the Instagram page of my blog. But you can also find me on my personal Instagram account.
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
I really like the photos of this Instagrammer.