Thailand is a paradise for photographers, but maybe even more for drone photographers. The beautiful islands, the crystal clear sea and the amazing limestone cliffs are the perfect combination of an amazing drone trip. I haven’t shot everything I wanted, but here are some of my favourite destinations where I got my drone content!
In This Post
Ao Nang, Krabi
If people say Krabi, they are most likely to talk about Ao Nang. It’s the town with the best views and the place to hop on a boat to the Railay beaches. This is also the place to hop on a boat to Koh Phi Phi if it fits in your schedule!
Some tips for shooting the sea with bright daylight:
Try to underexpose a bit, or use an ND + CPL filter. ND means Neutral-Density and will make your image a bit darker. CPL means Circular Polarizer/Linear. It reduces the reflections and gives a better colour range. All my Thailand drone shots are taken without a filter as I couldn’t get the good ones out there. Make sure you buy some before you go! Here are some links for decent filter sets for frequently used DJI drones on Amazon:
Start flying from a quiet place. I always try not to disturb other people as you’re visiting peaceful places in nature.
Practice in flying and landing with your hands. This way you don’t have to ascend or descend on the beach, so there’s no chance for getting sand in your drone.
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi is many peoples dream. It’s not that easy to fly a drone here tho. Getting a shot like mine requires taking off and landing from a boat, out on the open waters. When it’s wavy, it can be very dangerous to catch your drone, so make sure you know how to catch your drone in these conditions! What’s also worth to mention, is that not every boat operator will allow you to take off your drone. Your best bet is being on a private boat, leaving early or late on the day and having discussed flying your drone before agreeing on a price. If you want to read more about this shot, I wrote about it!
Chiang Mai is the only non-beach destination of this page, but surely one not to miss when you visit Thailand. The nature is astonishing and you’ll find some of the best waterfalls around! My favourite place was close to the Doi Inthanon peak, with the two pagoda’s reaching high above the trees. There are multiple waterfalls to capture as well. The one you see above is the Watchirathan waterfall, located just next to the road. Be careful here tho, as it’s also the first place where I crashed my drone. I was so lucky to get it back! Another waterfall I visited was the Mae Ya waterfall. It’s a bit of a detour, but an incredible waterfall for sure.
To get to these waterfalls you have to hire a driver from Chiang Mai, or rent a motorbike and go by yourself. That last option is what I did. There are multiple options to stay the night in the Doi Inthanon National Park.
This one is one of my favourites for sure, Phetchaburi. This town is located just a couple of hours out of Bangkok and will show you a real and authentic side of Thailand. One of the main attractions for drone photographers here: the salt flats. It takes about an hour by motorbike to get to the flats and that’s totally worth it. You’ll be surrounded by the most amazing colour palettes and it will look amazing from the sky.
The last destination is not a common one, but beautiful for sure! If you want to go to Koh Larn, you have to travel to Pattaya first and take a 20 minute speed boat, or 1hr ferry to get there. It’s a famous island for locals as well. Pattaya itself isn’t a place I would recommend, as you see a lot of old western men seeking their pleasure in younger Thai girls. This is something I won’t support and something that’s painful to see. On to the good stuff: Koh Larn. The island is perfectly visitable in a day and you can rent a motorbike to get around. The roads are small, it’s not that crowded and there are some nice beaches. It’s also a great spot to do some water sports!
Some locations I missed
Unfortunately I couldn’t fly everywhere I wanted yet. That’s why I’m here to give some extra recommendations, to give you some inspiration for your next trip. If I’m coming back to Thailand, I’m surely going to visit these places!
- Phang Nga Bay
- Khao Sok
- Koh Chang
- Koh Lipe
- Koh Kood
- Similan Islands