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Bangkok (BKK) Photography Questions  
User currently offlineEDDL From Germany, joined Dec 2002, 738 posts, RR: 16
Posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3388 times:

Hi all,

I am looking for some information about BKK airport and the spotting facilities. I have been unable to find spotting websites and information in general (apart from 3-4 topics on here). I have quite a few questions .....

- Is there a website showing live flight arrivals? The airport site does not help here ... couldn't even find a flightplan.

- Does the viewing gallery have any opening times? What's the best time to shoot there (late afternoon / evening I guess)? Is it possible to continue shooting if there's some rain (rain drops on the windows ...)? I don't worry too much about the tinted glass, but more about window reflections ... did you experience any problems here?


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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Wim Callaert - Brussels Aviation Photography



- The next best spot should be the 21L approach ... see here:


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Photo © Shotaro Shimizu
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Photo © Malcolm Anderson - t.dot photography



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Photo © Jeroen Hribar
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Photo © Poowin Bunyavejchewin



I guess it's possible to reach this spot by taxi. What does the police / security think about people shooting there? Is it safe to be there (travelling alone ...), what about robbery?  worried  Where exactly is this spot? A map would help here.  Smile What's the best time to leave this spot?

- Any hotel recommendations will be much appreciated. Not too far away from Don Muang and not THAT expensive please ...

- Are there are any additional spotting locations? Ramp-tours are not allowed anymore and getting access to the golf course is quite difficult I think.

Any help will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Phil / EDDL

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3927 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

Phil,

You realize that the new airport should open soon?

I found a biker's map of the Don Muang area at:
http://www.geocities.com/bkkriders/routes/donmuang.png

Although I haven't been to the 21L spot myself:

The road along the eastern perimeter is Paholyolin? Phahon Yothin? Rd. At No 17 is the Thai AF Museum. I took a taxi there from the terminal (pretty cheap, be sure to have small money.) We drove anticlockwise, but the 21L spot should be a bit further north along this road, near where it makes a 30 degree turn to the left.
There are footbridges over this busy road, and I've heard one or two of these footbridges are used to shoot from. I can imagine they give you some cover too.

I've traveled alone a lot in SE Asia, and maybe I'm an optimist, but I generally feel very safe there.

Peter Smile



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineTommy Mogren From Sweden, joined Dec 2000, 912 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3349 times:

I added a section about BKK on SpottersWiki.com.

With photos from my hotel room I had with a view over the terminal area and landings/departures.

have a look:
http://www.spotterswiki.com/index.php?title=Bangkok_International_Airport_%28BKK/VTBD%29

I don't remember the price I paid at the hotel, but it wasn't much.

Tommy Mogren



Flightdeck Action - Cockpit Videos on Blu-ray and DVD - Flights In The Cockpit- You're Invited!
User currently offlineB076 From Netherlands, joined May 2004, 140 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3337 times:

Phil

I can give you some info about the places you are looking for.

First of all the viewing deck is great for site-on shots and close up shots of parking aircraft.
Best time is afternoon  

About the approach spot.

BKK map


The spotting point at the petrol station is the place to be.
You can take photos of traffic approaching 21L and 21R.


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Photo © William van Wanrooy



If you have google earth I can send you the placemark of this spot.
There is a good and cheap coffee bar were you can sit down 
Any taxi driver can bring you over there.

Why not go to the new Suvarnabhumi Airport!
They give free tours for the coming month in the new terminal.
There is also a chance you can order a flight from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi with a low cost carrier like Orient thai or Nok air.

As I have thai tv at home,I noticed they are testing a lot with these flights between the two Airports.

Cheers
William

[Edited 2006-08-07 20:42:52]

User currently offlineEDDL From Germany, joined Dec 2002, 738 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3319 times:

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 1):
Phil,

You realize that the new airport should open soon?

I found a biker's map of the Don Muang area at:
http://www.geocities.com/bkkriders/routes/donmuang.png

Although I haven't been to the 21L spot myself:

The road along the eastern perimeter is Paholyolin? Phahon Yothin? Rd. At No 17 is the Thai AF Museum. I took a taxi there from the terminal (pretty cheap, be sure to have small money.) We drove anticlockwise, but the 21L spot should be a bit further north along this road, near where it makes a 30 degree turn to the left.
There are footbridges over this busy road, and I've heard one or two of these footbridges are used to shoot from. I can imagine they give you some cover too.

I've traveled alone a lot in SE Asia, and maybe I'm an optimist, but I generally feel very safe there.

Peter Smile

Thank you for this, Peter.  Smile

Quoting Tommy Mogren (Reply 2):
I added a section about BKK on SpottersWiki.com.

With photos from my hotel room I had with a view over the terminal area and landings/departures.

have a look:
http://www.spotterswiki.com/index.ph...ternational_Airport_%28BKK/VTBD%29

I don't remember the price I paid at the hotel, but it wasn't much.

Tommy Mogren

Will check that hotel, thank you Tommy.

Quoting B076 (Reply 3):

This is what I was looking for!  Smile A placemark would be awesome: eddl @ airliners.net

From the pictures I see this position is a little bit too close to the runway axis for my taste (the shooting angle is not that great). Is it possible to go further away? Focal length shouldn't be the problem.

I am aware of the new BKK airport. But I have actually no idea how the airport change affects the spotting situation in Bangkok. If the situation worsens, better visit the old airport when it is still operational.  Smile Any info?

Thank you all,
Phil / EDDL


User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3927 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Yes thanks William, I wish I had that information when I was in BKK.

On your map it looks like it might be possible to make touchdown shots from the AF Museum. Note that that is not the case - no view of the runway from the museum if I remember well.

I won't plug my pictures again but I do recommend the museum if you're into old planes at all.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineB076 From Netherlands, joined May 2004, 140 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3304 times:

Quoting EDDL (Reply 4):
A placemark would be awesome: eddl @ airliners.net

Check your mail Phil  

Quoting EDDL (Reply 4):
If the situation worsens, better visit the old airport when it is still operational.

Nope, Don Muang will be closed for all commercial airlines as soon the new Airport will open on September 28
Don Muang will be used for military and government flights only from that time.

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 5):
On your map it looks like it might be possible to make touchdown shots from the AF Museum. Note that that is not the case - no view of the runway from the museum if I remember well.

Yes you are right, no runway view from the museum.
This was only possible last January on children's day  

William

[Edited 2006-08-07 21:37:14]

User currently offlineEDDL From Germany, joined Dec 2002, 738 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3297 times:

Quoting B076 (Reply 6):
Check your mail Phil

Thanks for that, William! Hm ... are you sure the placemark is right? It's 2,5 km to the runway threshold from there and it's right in between 21L and 21R ...!?

Phil / EDDL


User currently offlineEDDL From Germany, joined Dec 2002, 738 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3291 times:

LINK: http://www.eddl-photography.de/misc/google.jpg

What about those spots I marked in the link above!? Does anybody know if you can shoot there (esp. 1-3)?

Phil / EDDL


User currently offlineB076 From Netherlands, joined May 2004, 140 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3291 times:

Quoting EDDL (Reply 7):
are you sure the placemark is right?

Yep  Wink

Just go there and you will see.
You can walk ahead and back on Pha-hon-yo-tin road if you don't like the angle at the petrol station.
The Gulf air shot was taken on that walking bridge just in front of the coffee bar.

William


User currently offlineB076 From Netherlands, joined May 2004, 140 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3285 times:

Quoting EDDL (Reply 8):
What about those spots I marked in the link above!? Does anybody know if you can shoot there (esp. 1-3)?

Nope not possible is thai airforce terrain.

William


User currently offlineJhribar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3280 times:

Hi Phil,

I've been shooting at the 21L spot near the crossover.
I used a spot next to a bus stop at the opposite side of the street (opposite = airport side).

The nice thing about this spot is that you can stand in the shade and are low profile....I heard about some guys getting busted by the local police at the same day I took my shots (Jan 12 '06)...I spoke to them on the RTAF open day on Jan 14.....

I'm not a fan of the terminal spot....you experience quite a lot of heat haze generated by aircraft APU's....If I were you I'd take my chances at the 21L spot!

good luck! BKK has a lot of nice traffic to offer

rgds,

Jeroen


User currently offlineEDDL From Germany, joined Dec 2002, 738 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3271 times:

Quoting B076 (Reply 9):
Yep Wink


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Photo © William van Wanrooy



Then it was definately on final for runway 21R ...  Confused

I am confused  Smile

Quoting B076 (Reply 10):
Nope not possible is thai airforce terrain.

Good to know ... thank you.

Quoting Jhribar (Reply 11):
I've been shooting at the 21L spot near the crossover.

Hi Jeroen,

thanks your your input. Where is this crossover? Could you please explain where I find it on my map above?  Smile

Phil / EDDL


User currently offlineB076 From Netherlands, joined May 2004, 140 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3262 times:

Phil

Sorry if I am not clear in my reply  Yeah sure

Quoting EDDL (Reply 12):
Then it was definately on final for runway 21R

Yes, correct.
And if you turn around on that walking bridge you have this kind of shots  Wink


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Photo © William van Wanrooy



Hope this answer your question.

William


User currently offlineEDDL From Germany, joined Dec 2002, 738 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3254 times:

Quoting B076 (Reply 13):
Sorry if I am not clear in my reply Yeah sure

Yes, correct.
And if you turn around on that walking bridge you have this kind of shots Wink

Hope this answer your question.

William

OK, now I am not confused anymore.  Smile Thanks a lot for your input William!


User currently offlineMinoeke From Belgium, joined Jan 2005, 32 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3210 times:

Hi Phil,
Taking pictures in the terminal is no problem (see my pictures). Just go to international departure and go to observation area (stairs up). You will come on a place with some chairs. Go 200 meters further, a place without chairs. That's the place to be. There are not many people there and you can turn out the lights yourself, so no window reflection. Best time is after noon untill evening, but even some of my pictures here on A.net are taken arround 10 AM. So the lighting is OK.
I think that the new airport will be open end of september, so if you want to go to Don Muang, you must hurry!
greetings,
Wim


User currently offlineThatplaneguy From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 82 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3195 times:

From inside the terminal 1 viewing area it is better in the afternoon, also more traffic. The local LCC carriers are in / out all day, so it's better to wait for the afternoon for good shots of these.

I don't know the areas outside of the airport, but thanks to those that replied above and for posting those maps I will try my luck there too.

BTW the new airport has an opening date of 28th September.

I will be in BKK between 11th to 24th Sep. If you will be there during that time, maybe we could meet up and enjoy a days shooting together.

If you stay in BKK itself around Sukhumvit rd you can take the airport bus for 100Thb or a meter taxi for about 200Thb plus toll fees.

Good luck and enjoy BKK. It's a nice place with interesting movements and friendly people. Feel free to contact me, and I can give you further tips about local taxis and transport.


Giovanni



Its about the airlines and the planes they fly
User currently offlineJhribar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3177 times:

Quoting EDDL (Reply 12):
Hi Jeroen,

thanks your your input. Where is this crossover? Could you please explain where I find it on my map above?

Phil / EDDL

Hi Phil,

on your google map it is on the left side of X5...next to the small green area...or actually in the small green area, but close to the pavement...

rgds,

Jeroen


User currently offlineEDDL From Germany, joined Dec 2002, 738 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3174 times:

Thank you all for your help!!!

Giovanni, I'll get in touch with you when I have set a date. I just hope it will stop raining over there ...  Smile

Phil / EDDL

[Edited 2006-08-08 19:41:19]

User currently offlineThatplaneguy From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 82 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3155 times:

Don't worry Phil, the rain just adds to the fun!

Hope to see you there!

Regards.

Giovanni



Its about the airlines and the planes they fly
User currently onlineCarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2953 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3133 times:

Being light skin helps.
I know of few Japanese photographers that have gone to the Runway 21 approach and getting haggled by the police/security and the need to keep a close watch of their rear, if photographing there.


User currently offlineSQPAX From Thailand, joined Dec 2003, 74 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3108 times:

Phil: I spent an entire morning shooting from the bridge on Pahonyathin Road, no hassles whatsover. Lots of locals using the bridge would stop and chat just curious as to what I was doing! The problem with the bridge is that more often than not, it is hazy (pollution) and post processing can be quite a challenge. It's great though for morning approach shots. The easiest way to find the bridge is to look for the Cal Tek petrol station on the airport side of the road and a 7-11 store and closed Isuzu Car Gallery on the opposite side of the road.

Personally though, I prefer the viewing terrace inside the terminal. I have shot there a few times now. I always use my lens cleaner and a cloth to clean the window first. Lots of handprints on it otherwise. Mornings are totally backlit there but afternoons, as noted by another post here, are just awesome. Can even capture the occasional touch down shot on 21R (most arrivals are on 21L.) One time that I was there they were departing off 03L and I scored some good rotation shots from the viewing area.

Good luck and I urge you to go to Don Muang in the next six weeks, it really is a wonderful old airport. I will miss it dearly but also look forward to shooting at "Su-wa-na-poom." (Golden Land in English)

Sawadee Kap!

Malcolm



"One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble, not much between despair and ecstasy" - Murray Head 1984
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