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IN THE PICTURE #89: RENKE
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.
Renke is a friendly German who feels completely at home in Thailand. We came across him because he was tipped in and earlier edition of In the Picture, namely edition 79. Nice that you wanted to join us dear Renke! Wishing you many happy years in Thailand!
Thanks for joining us Renke, chock dee krub / kaa!
Hello Renke, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
my name is Renke, born in Düsseldorf, Germany. Since 2018 I have been living in Bangkok and working in the garment industry. I have never been before in Asia, and that I finally ended up in Thailand is pure coincidence. A friend asked me to come over to Thailand. As I came to a deadlock in my hometown, I took this opportunity to escape from a toxic relationship and to start a new chapter in my life.
My move was somehow hasty and either my family and my friends had some reasonable doubts, if it was the right decision. After all, I wanted to leave my closest supporters.
The question was: How can I be as close as possible to them, and moreover I wanted to let them participate in this new adventure. This is the least I can do for them to show my thankfulness.
Thereby the idea of an own website, with blog, podcast and videos was born and went live. Photography has been a part of it, but as I have no background knowledge I just started at that time and I am far away from calling myself a photographer.
One of my passions is to try to make people smile and give them a warm nice feeling and I hope with my selection of shots, I can achieve it for you too.
And last but not least, thanks to Tanja Reuß for the tip and to Ilonka & Riel for having me here in this feature.
2021 @ Bangkok
Bangkok is a fascinating city. It seems there are endless possibilities and even the streets of the city are never ending. Whatever you are interested in, Bangkok and the people can provide it on a scale you have never seen before.
2021 @ Bangkok
Public transportation in Bangkok can look way different. Of course you can go by scooter, at your own risk, or you can go by these kinds of shared minibuses. Do it once and maybe never again, because private space might be a rare good. However, do it and you get a feeling how locals go to work day by day.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
I have a preference for “being on the road”. Just driving or cruising around and looking for new people, things and places can give me all I need. I don’t care if East or North, Sea or Mountain, just put me in a car on Thailand’s road and you can make me happy.
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
There are two specific things I still want to do / to visit. One is the far North at Chaing Rai, with all the mountains and curvy roads. The other one is to tick off all island including to drive at least two rounds with the scooter around them.
2021 @ Koh Phangan
Besides taking a boat, the best way to drive around Koh Phangan is by scooter. And I mean best in terms of joy. When the fresh wind is passing by, the roads are fairly new and not busy. The hills let you go up and down, and suddenly the day passed by. Rent a scooter and give it a try, just don’t forget to wear a helmet and cover your arms.
2020 @ Koh Chang
As much as Thailand is known for Bangkok, the same is said for the islands. So call it cliché, but to see the sunset at one of the beaches is one of the best evenings you can have in Thailand. And this every day again. Just pick one island and enjoy the moment with full awareness.
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
A really new tip could be the Benchakitti Forest Park in Bangkok, because it just finished recently (Spring 2022).
As an area I would recommend the region Loei in the North-East close to Laos. First it is cooler (good to have the change sometimes), it is not crowded and very green.
Regarding the island I can give you one important tip to clarify before you go, what you expect from the island. Because each island satisfies different needs and wishes.
Where do you like to eat?
I have to pass this one. I don’t have the one ‘go to restaurant’ (besides that my girlfriend is the best chef anyway 😉 ). I still want to answer this question and I always prefer Street Food over restaurants. And as you don’t know what vender is coming it has this unpredictable and curious vibe.
2020 @ Kanchanaburi
A tip is the region Kanchanaburi. If you like it mountainous, watery and green, go West. Driving for hours through this region is again and again a fulfilling experience. You can breathe nature and get lost in the untouched areas. It is one of the best examples to see what sustainability is fighting for.
2020 @ Sukhothai
I also want to give you some of my favorite spots as well. As Bangkok and islands should be on the list, there are some other areas worth to be mentioned. One is the plain fields of Sukhothai in the Center of Thailand, especially when the rice fields are green. Never was the transit less boring by driving through those endless greens.
Tip us a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
Instead of sharing one place, I would like to refer to my open list on Google Maps, where I add all Cafés, I would visit at least a second time. Both lists are not complete of course.
What is your favorite Thai dish?
Mushroom Larb. After trying to live a more vegetarian lifestyle, the options of amazing Thai dishes are a little bit limited. However the larb variation just with mushrooms was the best I could find so far.
2022 @ Koh Kood
Speaking about islands, you should avoid the tourist hotspots. If you want to feel the exact opposite of Bangkok or overcrowded walking streets, go the extra mile. The locals will teach you what you (not) need to achieve your personal happiness and living along with the calm nature. As this is hard to capture, I have chosen this fisherman, who was completely at peace alone on the wide sea.
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
The best resort was in the region Sai Yok. I don’t remember the name or specific place. Just go with one resort which builds the bungalows on the river or lake or nearby. It’s a wonderful experience to wake up and see the lake and the mountains.
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
Go with the flow. Tourist hotspots are of course known as they promise the best experience. But there is more, just one alley/ beach/ river/ restaurant next to the recommended one. Don’t worry or scare to make your travel to your individual unplanned Thailand experience, instead of the standardized travel route.
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
I chose “Lo Lin”, which means something like “joke”. Even if you are not the funniest person, sometimes these two words can help you to solve some difficult situations due to misunderstandings.
2020 @ Kanchanaburi
One specific experience, in Kanchanaburi as well as in many other regions, are the waterfalls. I could spend hours under them. It’s like taking a shower but way more intense. And the best thing is, after getting the nice massage you don’t need to worry it will be cold, even though you are in Thailand.
2021 @ Chiang Khlan
“Never try, never know” was never an obstacle regarding ice cream in this country. Maybe you heard that it can be quite hot in Thailand and one of the best ways to cool down is the daily ice cream. You can choose from coconut ice cream, ice on stick, crushed ice, fruit ice, jelly ice. My recommendation: Try them all and find your favorite.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
I shoot mainly with the iPhone. First iPhone 7, then iPhone 11. I barely take my Olympus to shoot something.
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
My website is called: www.thailandteilt.net. As there is everything in German, you can follow me as well on Instagram, @thailandteilt, as images go without words. In case you understand German or you don’t mind and just want to see more from Thailand, you can check my videos out on Youtube, as well ‘Thailand teilt’.
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
I would like to recommend Ice Pandaica. She has this urban touch in her pictures and shows more of Thailand than the all known motives and sceneries.
2020 @ Buriram
Speaking about local habits. Sometimes you just can’t avoid it to adapt to satisfy basic human needs. The earlier you bite the bullet the faster it becomes your new normal. It took me a while and sometimes it might still be hard, however as you learn it in Thailand: “never try, never know”.
I also would like to share some more private but less amazing experiences. In case you have the chance to visit the rural areas and participate at any kind of local celebration, don’t miss it. If you join it once, it opens a whole “new Thailand” for you.
On a very personal note, I was blessed to participate at a house ceremony. Besides walking several times around the house and eating delicious food, the most memorable moment was sitting in the spotlight and feeling the honor to be fully integrated in the local tradition.
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