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IN THE PICTURE #64: WILLIAM HICKS
In this feature called ‘In the Picture‘ we ask great photographers from all over the world to share their 10 most favorite Thailand photos with our readers. See Thailand through the lens of the photographer, read the background stories and learn more about the land of smiles.
Wow almost every picture this amazing photo literally pops off our screens! Nice that you wanted to participate in this column too William, we love it! Hopefully one day we’ll have a beer on a nice rooftop terrace in Bangkok together! Chock dee ka / krub!
Hello William, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello Thailand Magazine Readers,
My name is William Hicks. I was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the United States. After several years of wandering and backpacking in different places around the globe, I finally settled in Bangkok, Thailand and have lived here for about 2 and a half years.
Photography has always been a passion of mine since I was a kid walking around with disposable film cameras. But I began to take it seriously in university & my first degree is in photography / visual arts. After that I worked for many years as a freelance photographer / videographer before moving here to teach.
My original plan was to travel much of S.E. Asia while living here and the pandemic of course put that on hold but the silver lining is I’ve gotten to really explore Thailand and see places I might have missed otherwise.
Love and Peace,
A sunrise view of the MahaNakhon Tower in Silom area, Bangkok. I enjoy photographing this unique skyscraper (as many photographers do) and I happen to be lucky enough to have a great view of it from the balcony. This shot was taken around 6am just as the city was waking up.
Some of the bungalows at Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park. I had traveled here with a friend and we took a long boat out on to the lake one afternoon. Out a nowhere a pretty terrifying thunder storm rolled in but after it passed the sky cleared and this rainbow appeared. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
My favorite part of Thailand is the surrounding area of Krabi because I think it’s the most beautiful and most diverse part of the country. A person can spend time partying on Koh Phi Phi or hide out on a quiet, secluded beach on Koh Yao Yai. The entire area just has the feeling of living inside a beautiful destinations travel magazine. I have countless memories of amazing times in Krabi with my friends so it will always be special to me.
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
I’ve done a decent amount of exploring around Thailand but I have yet to really see the Isaan region so it’s definitely high on my list. From what I understand it is very rich in culture and some have called it the “heart” of Thailand so I plan to spend some quality time here seeing all it has to offer (hopefully sometime this or next year).
This photo was taken during a trip to Hua Hin Beach. I woke up at sunrise to take some photos and I caught this Monk on his morning journey along the beach.
The infamous Khao San Road (pre Covid-19 of course). This was taken a few years back on my very first day in Thailand,
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
I think everyone should visit the Ancient City Park in Samut Prakan. It’s a massive park with dozens of temples and building inspired by historic ones around Thailand. You can rent a bike or even a golf cart and spend a day exploring. It’s a good place to get some cultural education, cool photos and some fresh air.
Where do you like to eat?
One of my favorite dine-in restaurants in Bangkok is Jack’s Bar in Bang Rak area along the river. They have really good Thai food and the river views are amazing in the evening (great for some sunset photos while you have dinner).
For street food there is virtually unlimited options. I think street food is more about experimenting and finding a vendor you really connect with. When you build a good relationship with them, they’ll start making your favorite dish just the way you like it when they see you coming without having to say a word. That’s the best part in my experience.
This was my first time visiting Lopburi province back in August. I woke up at sunrise to get some aerial views with my drone.
Tip us a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
My favorite bar in Thailand is Ploy Talay on Koh Samet. They have the best drinks and an amazing fire show every night right on the beach. And the guys that work there are all super chill and will teach you some fire tricks.
What is your favorite Thai dish?
My favorite Thai cuisine is Pad Krapow (with chicken or pork) with a friend egg. It’s one of the first dishes I tried after coming here and not much can top the flavor in my opinion.
A well known street vendor in Chinatown. I really enjoy photographing places and scenes that are popular with other photographers and seeing all the different perspectives
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
One of the nicest places I’ve stayed is the Samed Villa Resort on Koh Samet. It’s nice to stay in a beautiful place right on the ocean that is still close to the shops and nightlife of the island.
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
My best advice for anyone visiting or living in Thailand is to learn some of the language. In addition to making it much easier to navigate and do things, I have also personally found that Thai people really appreciate it and are pleasantly surprised when foreigners can speak more than the basic “sawidee khrap” and “Khap khun khrap”. I think it shows respect for the country and the people when foreign visitors don’t expect the native people to speak English.
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
ไม่เป็นไร (Mai Pen Rai) – which is like saying “It’s okay” or “never mind”. Thailand can be somewhat confusing and chaotic at times so I think knowing this phrase and also adapting this overall mindset can be helpful when things don’t go as planned (It will usually work out in the end).
One of the many temples in the Ancient City Park in Samut Prakan. This photo was taken right after sunset.
One thing I love about Bangkok is the abundance of rooftop pools, which people normally don’t have access to back in America unless they are very wealthy so I’m grateful. I’m a big fan of the retro aesthetic and this pool feels like it’s straight out of the 80’s. This was taken in Thong Lo area.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
My main D-SLR is a Canon 5D Mark IV. I also use a DJI Mini 2 Drone and an iPhone XS. And for film I use a classic Canon AE-1.
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
My Instagram is @Bangkok_After_Dark. I also have a photo portfolio website which is www.Billigan.com. And of course the book of Faces: Facebook.com/Mr.Billigan/
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
I would recommend Danny (@True.heo on IG). He’s a nice guy to hang out with and a great photographer. I’m a big fan of his portraits and his street photos of BKK.
A shot of the full moon in the Chum Saeng / Wang Chan area of Rayong Province, which was my first home when moving to Thailand. This small city was very beautiful and welcoming.
One of my favorite things to photograph is cities at night and part of the reason I wanted to live in Bangkok is because there’s endless beautiful scenery here. This shot was taken in Nana area and overlooks the Hopeland Hotel on Sukhumvit 8.