Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ten phenomenal places to make photographs in Phuket

The Beach at Cape Panwa Hotel
There are dozens, if not hundreds of places in Phuket to make a memorable photo, but to make things easy on you we’ve created a general list of 10 amazing places to let your creativity run wild.   

One of the Temples at Wat Chalong

1. A Buddhist Wat 

In Thailand, the Buddhist Wat (or temple) is an ideal place to take a photograph.  These serene monuments to the divine are definitely both works of art and sacred places of worship. The candles in the dimly lit prayer rooms, the statues of various deities, the detail in the woodwork and tile mosaics, and even the monks, present a myriad of opportunities to make amazing photographs. 

Please remember to take your shoes off when you enter each temple and kindly leave a donation when you leave.

Cape Panwa Promenade
2. A Sunset

Close to the local village promenade near Cape Panwa Hotel is a view point named Khao Kad.  While standing at this viewpoint during the right time of day it is possible to make a glorious photographs of the sun as it sets over the large Buddha statue in the distance.  

Simply breathtaking.

3. A natural waterfall

There are three natural waterfalls in Phuket; Ao Yon, Bang Pae and Ton-Sa.  Each waterfall is a marvel of the natural world and will make for an amazing photo, granted that you have a tripod and a keen understanding of your camera.

4. A traditional market

An early morning jaunt to the traditional market in Phuket Town is a fantastic destination for making great photographs.  The mix of foods, fruit, clothes and the mosaic of Thai faces exuding various expressions provides you with multiple subjects to photograph.

5. Phuket Old Town

Phuket Old Town is a great place to take a lackadaisical afternoon stroll with camera in hand. The Sino-Portuguese buildings lend to great images because of their beautiful patterned doors, windows and detailed woodwork. 

Another place of interest in Old Town is the nearby Amulet Market, which runs alongside a small klong. While on your journey there are a number of photogenic places that you will likely find; Buddhist Wats, Chinese Shrines, Chinese medicine shops, traditional noodle shops and much more – definitely worth the day out.

After wandering through Phuket Old Town and photographing the exterior of antique colonial shop houses, it is wonderful to actually walk into one.  This exquisite colonial home - with its ivory columns, intricate woodwork and antique furniture - allows you to document the work and living quarters of the Chinese Tin Merchants that lived in Phuket.

This exotic spot on Phuket Island offers three ideal spots to take photographs. Monkey See is an area where the main road runs next to a mangrove swamp.  Here there is a small spot to throw food to the wild monkeys, and photograph them.

Located on top of the hill, Wat Koh Sirey (accessible only by foot) is home to a Golden Reclining Buddha and the most breathtaking views of the beach.

Another place to make great photographs is the Sea Gypsy Village – inhabited by villagers adhering to a very traditional, pre-industrial way of life.

The Beach at Cape Panwa Hotel
8. A beach

There are plenty of beaches in Phuket to photograph, but in order to get an amazing shot of the waves rolling onto the coast, go out at either dawn or dusk to make your images.  The lower the sun is positioned in the sky, the more dramatic the image will.

Tha Rua Chinese Temple 
9. A Chinese Temple

There are a number of Chinese Temples throughout Phuket, and like the Buddhist Wats are a joy to visit and photograph. Many of the temples have been on Phuket for decades and are community hubs for the local population.

10. A festival

There are several festivals that take place in Phuket throughout the year, all of which  – the Por Tor Festival (held late August to early September), Chinese New Year Festival (February 19, 2015), Mooncake Festival (September 8),  and especially the Phuket Vegetarian Festival (September 23 to October 1) – will make great opportunities for capturing amazing moments with your camera.

And remember, always do research about each festival before you go and take a photograph.  Know the subtle cultural nuances that dictate proper behaviour at each festival can make the difference between blending in and making great photographs, or embarrassing yourself and insulting your hosts.