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Thailand forum

Travel with DSLR camera?

Posted by fleet114 on 4/12/2017 at 11:53

Hi -

I'm about to leave from the US on a 3 week solo-backpacking trip to Thailand. My itinerary will look like this:

Bangkok>Krabi>Railay>Koh Lanta>Khao Sok>Chiang Mai>Bangkok

I plan to stay in flashpacker style hotels and guest houses for most of the trip. Should I plan to travel with my DSLR camera or should I live with taking pictures from my iPhone? I plan to do a good bit of hiking and adventuring on my trip.

I'm not concerned bringing the camera hiking with me as I have a day backpack I can use to stick it in if it rains or gets treacherous. I'm worried about leaving it in a hotel or in a bag on the beach on days when water activities will be involved since its not water proof and I don't want to spend every waking hour keeping an eye on it.

Would love any and all advice on the topic.


#1 fleet114 has been a member since 10/10/2017. Posts: 1

Posted by somtam2000 on 4/12/2017 at 13:34 admin

Ahh down to personal preference really. I always travel with one, though do find am using the iPhone more and more.

I wouldn't be fussed about leaving it in the room—I use a safe (if the room has one) else hide it so it can't be seen/reached from a window (in the case of beach bungalows) though I would be cautious about leaving it on the beach.

There isn't really much one can do—I'll sometimes ask other people on the beach if they can keep an eye on my bag when I take a quick swim, or if there is a beach bar or cafe or something, I'll buy a drink and ask if I can leave a small bag behind the bar, that kinda thing.


#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,901
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Posted by gecktrek on 4/12/2017 at 15:30

hey, alternatively you could just take a cheaper p&s camera, as i do, or ensure you have insurance to cover the cost of a stolen dslr... depends what you need to photos for?

#3 gecktrek has been a member since 24/3/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 141
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Posted by DavidBaggins on 11/12/2017 at 21:18


I am not a fan of spending hours on the beach so it was easy to answer the question for myself.

I have been traveling in Thailand for more than a year and I had a DSLR camera all that time. I have never had any problem with stealing things from my room including the cheapest ones. At hostels, I avoid leaving valuable things on the bed - things can disappear (due to some travelers, for example) - I keep valuables in safety boxes.

Where to keep the camera on the beach while swimming ... This is a problem... Sometimes, I just watch while swimming (if a beach is peaceful and not so crowded) ... Sometimes I just don't swim if I am having a camera with me (all crowded touristy beaches). I mean, you can swim on the nearest beach and, if you go far for exploring, don't swim over there (or just bathe few meters away from the sand). If I have a scooter, it is even easier to come back to the room for the camera (and shower, of course) after swimming. And sometimes I meet another traveler to go to a beach together.

If you are in Ao Nang (Krabi), you can go to Pai Plong (Centara) beach (at the end of Ao Nang Monkey trail). This is a private resort area and there was a booth with guards I asked them to keep my camera.

If you are on the small islands nearest to Ao Nang (Koh Poda, for example), then just watch the camera... The waters are deep there so you don't need to go 500 meters to swim. And nobody will pay for the boat trip to steal cameras on the tiny island without ways to disappear.

Railay is a small place ... Swim and, then, take the camera from the room for hiking... For example.

Of course, there are some micro risks... But hiking with or without a camera even in the safest places means taking risks like '127 Hours' movie stuff... (And avoiding risks connected to swimming, for example). So... This is your decision.

I talked about having DSLR in travel in Thailand... But I can't give advice about what to choose DSLR or Iphone ... Maybe, you should not bring the big camera... why ...

#4 DavidBaggins has been a member since 22/4/2017. Posts: 2

Posted by phuketrick on 13/12/2017 at 03:54

I live in Thailand ( 32+ years) and travel frequently around SE asia including; Burma, Cambodia,Lao, Nepal and Malaysia
always carry 2 dslr's with me;
Up to you if you want take urs or not but there is only so much a phone can do :-)
PS I NEVER stay in any hostel or share a room with anyone i dont know. Most thefts are from other backpackers not the locals or staff.
nor do i leave my camera on the beach an have a swim.If i do have it with me, i ask someone at a restaurant to watch it for me behind the counter.

#5 phuketrick has been a member since 18/3/2012. Posts: 2

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