“Bangkok”

Bangkok, Thailand. November 2019. (12 photos)

This is Part 1 of my posts about Thailand, and Part 2 of my posts about my near month-long visit to Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore in November 2019.

Bangkok, Oriental Setting
But the city don’t know what the city is getting

…”One Night in Bangkok” is a song that featured in the musical Chess by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

So, what was Bangkok getting?

Me, for a week, after my visit to Myanmar.

For now, here’s an initial glimpse at Bangkok…

“Sunset on the Temple of Dawn”

Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

“Khlong Toei couple”

“A moment of serenity in the big city”

In 2019, for the fifth year in a row, Bangkok ranked as the most visited destination for global travelers, according to Mastercard’s 2019 Global Destination Cities Index. Bangkok welcomed approximately 22.78 million international visitors. Paris came second with 19.10 million visitors.

“The City of Angels”

The full official name for the city of Bangkok is:

กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบูรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์

That is,
Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit

The name translates as:
City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s behest.

The city is officially known in Thai by a shortened form of the full ceremonial name, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, City of Angels, which is colloquially further shortened to Krung Thep. The city’s English name is Bangkok, which appears nowhere in the official Thai language name.

“Chinatown nights”

Founded in 1782, Bangkok’s Chinatown is considered one of the largest in the world. At night, street food carts/stalls, some with Michelin Guide ratings, appear almost everywhere.

“Street Market”

Street markets in Chinatown are usually full of activity.

“Photobombed”

I was waiting for the sunset at The Golden Mount when a group of about 50 monks appeared and decided to have a group photo right in front of me.

“Jay Fai”

Jay Fai became a national celebrity as the first Thai street food chef to be awarded a prestigious Michelin star, with her face splashed across Thai and international media. She was quoted as saying, “I wish I could give the star back already” – not the first time a Michelin star recipient has said that.

“10pm at the Flower Market”

The flower market is open 24/7. Apparently the peak times for activity are around midnight and then around 4am. I didn’t have the stamina to hang around that long.

“One night in Bangkok…”

As the day transitions to night, lights gradually illuminate the individual stalls of the Ratchada Rot Fai Market. It’s quite a sight.

“Wanna Bangkok?”

I’ll have more for you in the New Year.

Until then…
Wishing you all the best for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

…..

This is Part 1 of my posts about Thailand, and Part 2 of my posts about my near month-long visit to Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore in November 2019.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Bangkok, Oriental Setting

Image

73 thoughts on “Bangkok, Oriental Setting

  1. This is a great collection of photos. I really like the monk at the train station and the monks who photobombed you at the temple. Pro tip: if a shady tuk tuk driver or con artist approaches you in the tourist area and says, “Hey, where are you from?” Just say “Krung Thep” and they’ll walk away.

    • Thank you very much. I was all geared up for an encounter at the Grand Palace with one of those tuk tuk drivers who tells you the place is closed, but I didn’t get there until the afternoon and they must have moved on already.

  2. Love the market shot and the photo bombing monks. 🙂 That long name is quite something as well. I enjoyed visiting Bangkok through your camera lens and words and without encountering any of those millions of people. 🙂

    janet

  3. Wonderful photos. That “One night in Bangkok” shot is stunning: intimate in a way, and a panorama at the same time. I also loved the photo of the station: never seen so much empty space in Bangkok.

  4. Love the evening market photo and the Golden Mount one…photo-bombed for sure 🙂 I am actually heading to Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Siem Reap in February so looking at your pictures is giving me some ideas! Have a very merry Christmas!

    • Thanks, I wasn’t particularly upset about being photobombed by those monks. They were very friendly.
      That sounds like a fabulous trip and at the best time of the year weather-wise. Planning is all part of the fun.
      I hope you have a fabulous Christmas and New Year.

  5. Not a city where you’re going hungry, Draco 🙂 🙂 Surprised at it being no. 1 destination over Paris but long distance travel is commonplace now, isn’t it? That last shot is a beauty but it’s sunsets and temples all the way for me. Wishing you a wonderful, relaxed Christmas, wherever you choose to spend it, and much joy in 2020!

    • Indeed, I may have overeaten when in Bangkok. So much good and cheap food to be had.I suppose the proximity of Bangkok to China may be a factor in why it gets so many tourists.

      I hope you have wonderful Christmas as well, in Portugal? There should be plenty of celebrations, I expect. I’ll be here in Sydney as usual.

  6. Great photos and stories. I’m not sure what to call Bangkok, now. But I have seen some beautiful, colourful photos, thanks to you. I think the monks did you a favor, as their contrasting robes gave depth to the original shot (to a non-photographer). Have a peaceful holiday and a new year with new adventures.

    • Thanks, everyone recognises the name, Bangkok. Indeed, I wasn’t upset to have been photobombed by all those monks. They were a jovial bunch. It seems it may be a particularly hot Summer this year, but I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Let’s all hope for the drought to break soon.

  7. What a lovely write up. Bangkok is such an interesting city, and it is always lovely to experience it through a different set of eyes. I especially love your photo of the Klong Toei couple.

      • So true. I loved my time in Myanmar so much more than the time I spent in Thailand, and wonder if it could, amongst other things, have something to do with the difference in tourists numbers. I found the people in Myanmar more personable and welcoming. As if they were genuinely happy that I was there, where in Thailand I was just one of the millions of tourists moving through.

        • My unscientific impression is that people in poorer countries tend to offer warmer smiles to tourists. For the countries I’ve visited, that’s Cuba, Cambodia and Myanmar. In particular in Myanmar, tourism is a newish phenomenon so tourists are a bit of an attraction of themselves. So many times, locals came up to me to take selfies with me.

        • Very interesting. I think you are on to something. In Myanmar I met two British friends. The one had red hair, and was asked everywhere she went to appear in photos. She was even roped in during the shooting of some advertisement. I met them at the end of their trip, and her friend told me that the novelty was starting to wear a little thin. I’m sure she will never forget that trip. 🙂

  8. Splendid photos, LD! Somehow Bangkok (or city of Angels erected at whoever’s behest and so on and so forth) strikes me as being a place that is effortlessly photogenic.
    Interesting story, the one of Jay. I remember seeing a documentary on her and being Michelin starred seemed more a curse than a blessing… not something I’d personally want.

    • Thank you. Jay Fai insists on doing all the cooking, and now every night is a full house because of Michelin, so that must be taking a toll on her. You’re right, Bangkok is a photographic delight and a very vibrant city. Never a dull moment.

  9. Bangkok is such beautiful chaos. I’ve heard it has cleaned up since I visited in 1992, but your photos show the vibrant, swarming life it holds. My ex lives there now and loves it. Hope your holidays are filled with love, light, and laughter. Looking forward to seeing more of your treasures in 2020!

  10. Love, Love and love your photos. It’s funny last time I was in BKK it was SO incredibly hot (think it is all the time) but was there for work and now looking at your photos it makes me think I did not see the best of BKK.

    • November to February generally seem the better (cooler) months to visit SE Asia. It has humid but not unbearable when I was there. Bangkok is a major metropolis. There’s so much to see, I had to give up my planned itinerary, and just enjoyed the city, particularly the eating. 🙂

  11. Your photos are amazing and the way that you write about your trip makes me wish to visit this place. But, as tourist, Is it easy to visit this city alone or I need the guidance of a local person?

    • Thank you very much. That’s an interesting question and I guess it comes down to what sort of traveller you are and how much time you have. You could hire a guide to take you around for a day or two, particularly if you have limited time, but I feel that a large part of the pleasure of travel apart from seeing what interests you, is just wandering around and making random discoveries. Bangkok is a big city.

    • Thank you. That particular photo was pre-planned. I’d seen similar photos so I knew where this market was and where to take the photo from. I like to research best photo locations just in case I’m able to get to the right place at the right time.

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