This is the second in a series of articles about Thailand. Start here to read the first one.
All photos taken with the Fujifilm X-T2 and various lenses.
Bangkok is rightly famous for its beautiful Buddhist temples, but truth be told, one can only visit and photograph so many wats and Buddha statues before it all starts getting quite repetitive. One other problem with those temples is that they are rightly popular and therefore crowded and overly photographed.
Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho
When we were at Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, for example, there was a bazillion Chinese tourists in organized groups and it became really hard to get a shot with no people. I had to resort to shooting up towards the sky, which luckily had some interesting clouds, or details like the row of Garudas that adorns the Phra Ubosot.
In order to add some interest and go beyond the usual snapshots, I decided to concentrate on people, mostly the local Thais who were either praying or eating, unlike the tourists who were all intent on photographing.
Many classes visit the temples of Bangkok at every day and all the students are always very happy to have their photo taken, so I obviously had to oblige. Some of these portraits were taken at the neighboring Wat Pho.
Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, is interesting from the inside, but it also provides one of the most recognizable views of Bangkok when photographed from across the Chao Phraya river.
The last temple for today is Wat Benchamabophit, the Marble Temple, so called because of the profusion of Carrara marble used for its construction.
When you have had enough with temples, there are several other places in Bangkok that are worth a visit and a few photos, starting with the Baan Baht neighborhood. It consists of a handful of alleys east of Ratanakosin that even most Bangkok natives (our taxi driver included) would have trouble locating and that are home to the last five remaining families of artisans that create by hand the copper bowls (baht) used by monks to collect alms.
Nowadays most monks use industrially produced bowls, so those craftspeople still practice their centuries-old art for the benefit of tourists.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
This is a market in the northern part of Bangkok that is open on weekends. We spent most of our time there in the vintage clothing section, but it’s so huge that you could easily spend a full day there. It is also a source of great photo subjects and of yummy and cheap street food. The Tom Yam Kung was too heavy on the coconut milk, however.
Back to Chinatown
On our last night in Bangkok, we went back to Chinatown for some street food and some street photography. Using Chawadee Nualkhair’s ever useful guide, Thailand’s Best Street Food (hat tip to Gordon Laing), we zeroed onto Elvis Suki, a place that seems to be populated exclusively by locals and that didn’t disappoint. The grilled scallops with pork were delicious!
The morning after we took a train to Ayutthaya. You can follow the rest of the trip here.