Bangkok is the heart of Thailand but also the heart of traveling Southeast Asia. The city is truly beautiful and unlike anywhere else in the world, it’s such a unique place to be. Visiting Bangkok provides an amazing opportunity to take some great photos as the skyline is incredible.
This makes many people wonder “Can you fly a drone in Bangkok?” We asked Josh from A Backpacker’s World to create a guide to drone flying in the Thai capital.
So, can you fly a drone in Bangkok?
To sum everything up in one word, yes! Drones are legal in Thailand, as long as you follow the rules and have the correct permission.
Being able to capture Bangkok and the rest of Thailand on a drone is an unmissable opportunity. You can imagine how magnificent the footage comes out. Just watch the video above!
Getting your drone into Thailand
As per the Thai Embassy website, “tourists can bring their drones into Thailand. However, they are not able to fly their drones” until they are registered. This is a very simple process and thankfully Thailand has it this way, other countries are very strict and require registration documents to get a drone into the country, let alone fly it.
For Thailand, you only need a registration to fly a drone.
However, please still take some precautions when bringing a drone to Thailand. Make sure to check the policy of the airline you are flying with for their drone rules and how they are to be packaged.
Licenses for flying a drone in Thailand
To fly your drone in Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand, it must be registered with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
You must register all drones through the CAAT if they have a camera, or if they weigh more than 2 kg. This process takes up to 15 working days, but it often takes longer. It’s suggested you apply about 2 months before visiting Thailand. You can apply online by clicking here.
Additionally, all drones in Thailand must be registered with the NBTC. It’s easiest to do this in person. In Bangkok, there is an NBTC complex located at this address: 87 Phahonyothin Alley, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.
Simply ask for the drone registration forms and they will assist you. There are two forms to fill out, and require the following information:
- Dates you entered and are exiting Thailand
- Serial number, make and model of your drone
- Use of the drone (recreational/commercial)
The process is fairly straightforward and should only take 20 minutes or so. You should receive a Permit to Fly a Drone in Thailand document.
Once you have this and your digital CAAT registration, you are good to go and you can fly your drone in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand, as long as you follow the rules.
Rules for flying a drone in Bangkok
Like anywhere else in the world, there are rules for flying a drone in Bangkok. These rules should be strictly followed, as failure to do so can lead to fines of up to 100,000 THB (about 2.5k USD) and even imprisonment if the offense is severe enough.
The most important rules to remember are:
- All drones must be registered (see above).
- You must keep a direct line of sight with your drone.
- Drones cannot be flown above 90 meters.
- You must be at least 20 years old.
- Drones should avoid large crowds and respect others’ privacy.
- You can only fly between sunrise and sunset.
- Avoid palaces and parks.
- Drones should not be flown within 30 meters of buildings or vehicles.
Unfortunately, this last rule makes it impossible to fly a drone in the heart of Bangkok. But there are still plenty of great places to fly.
On top of these rules, you should avoid airports, prisons, and any other areas of sensitivity, but this should be pretty obvious.
You must acquire permission to fly in most parts of Chiang Mai, as it’s so small that nearly the whole city is within distance of the airport.
You are also required to have drone insurance for your CAAT registration. However, it’s also just a good thing to have as it gives you peace of mind, if anything were to go wrong with your drone or if you were to crash it.
Some parts of Thailand also have “no drone zone” signs and these should be obeyed. Additionally, a lot of National Parks are restricted air spaces and you cannot fly here without prior permission.
We recommend reaching out to either the national park directly and they can point you in the right direction, or contact the CAAT who should also be able to assist.
If you do get permission, you are in for some breathtaking content!
Can you fly a drone in Bangkok? Wrap Up
Well, there you have it. Hopefully you are satisfied with our answer to your question. Make sure to follow the rules and have the correct registrations. Once you do, you can create some amazing drone footage. So get out there and start exploring Thailand and Bangkok through a drone!
This article is based on the experience of the author and shouldn’t replace information from official websites. Please make sure to do your research before flying a drone in Bangkok.