What is the most famous image, picture, or photo of Thailand? When you think of Thailand, what do you see? What image or picture appears in your mind? If you have spent some time in Thailand, you will more than likely have a personal image that you associate with Thailand.
Prior to your first visit to Thailand, and for anyone who has not visited Thailand, the image will more than likely be one thrust at you through advertising, idyllic photos of Thailand in a glossy guidebook, TV news broadcasts, or even through a travel agent’s window.
The purpose of this poll is not to find the single most famous picture or photo of Thailand. Think of it as a word association game but form a picture rather than a word. Nonetheless, I have included some famous landmarks and iconic photos of Thailand commonly used in glossy tourism campaigns by organizations such as the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Over the years, many images of Thailand have been broadcast on global news networks; images of the tsunami and the floods of 2011, and even Thailand’s ladyboys (kathoeys) have become modern-day iconic Thai images.
Some of the classic images of Thailand, such as Phang Nga Bay, the floating markets, the long neck tribes, and the Buddha head in the tree roots at Ayutthaya, are instantly recognizable as “Thai images”. Beautiful women and Lady-boys are probably best described as “Thai by association”.
Example: Think of France, and you might picture the Eiffel Tower; here are a few more, Scotland = castles and men wearing kilts, Australia = kangaroos, the U.S.A = Statue of Liberty, India = Taj Mahal, Mexico = sombreros.
Famous Images of Thailand Poll
Obviously, I cannot include every image which you might associate with Thailand, but the selection below represents some of the most commonly used and publicized pictures and photos of Thailand; take a look and vote for the one you think represents your own image of Thailand.
Thai Long Neck People
Thailand’s Long Neck tribe’s unique appearance and customs have made them some of the most photographed people in Thailand.
Rustic Boat on the Beach
How many times have you seen these rustic images of boats on the beach, idyllic scenes like this one are very common, and every Thailand tourist guidebook or brochure seems to feature them.
Also known as The Temple of Dawn, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Thailand.
Grand Palace Bangkok
Home of the King of Thailand, which probably makes it the most photographed home in Thailand.
Tuk Tuks are not native or unique to Thailand, but these three-wheeled motorcycle variants are what you might call “very Thai”.
Thailand Floating Markets
Photos of Thailand’s floating markets, especially the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, have become some of the most iconic and distinctive images of Thailand. Ask anyone where a photo of a floating market was taken they will reply, “Thailand.”
Buddha Head in Tree Roots
The Buddha’s Head resting in the roots of a Sacred Fig Tree at Ayutthaya Historical Park is an image of significant importance to Thailand. Buddha’s head sits at the base of the tree, perfectly framed by the roots of the old tree. Maybe it’s just ironic that it was a Sacred Fig Tree under which Buddha found enlightenment.
Phang Nga Bay.
Thailand is famed for its idyllic beaches, but show someone a typical beach photo, and they could only guess the location. This is definitely not the case with Phang Nga Bay, show someone a photo of Phang Nga Bay with the column of rock climbing steeply as a tower block from the pristine sea, and they will tell you that photo was taken in Thailand.
Beautiful Thai Women
Thailand is also famous for its beautiful women, and I have no doubt that many of you will associate Thailand with an image of almond-eyed, honey-skinned Thai girls just like the ones pictured below.
Photos of Thailand’s ladyboys are becoming very popular collector’s items for tourists; it seems a photo with a Thai ladyboy is just as sought after as a photo with an elephant or a long-neck person. Maybe the ultimate photo of Thailand would be you sitting with a long neck lady-boy in a tuk-tuk on the back of an elephant on a pristine beach, and you can proudly proclaim, “This is a photo of me in Thailand”.
The poll finished due to lack of interest, but ladyboys are officially “the image” of Thailand; they got three votes, lol.