Our Top 5 Most Photogenic Destinations in Southeast Asia

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Southeast Asia: the dream holiday location for backpackers, flash-packers, package tourists, retirees and… photographers. 

Travelling through Southeast Asia, you soon realise how epically diverse this part of the world is. From bustling metropolis’ to the quaint towns, glittering coastlines to rugged mountains, dense jungles to desert like plains, and the incredibly large ethnic diversity of its peoples, it’s no wonder why everyone wants to visit here. And that's why we loved travelling through this amazing part of the world, camera in hand and our eyes ready. 

For these reasons, if you’re a photography enthusiast or even just keen for that killer Instagram shot, Southeast Asia is your place. We’ve put together our list of our top five most photogenic destinations to visit in Southeast Asia so you can get the shot that will have all the peeps frothing.


our TOP 5 MOST PHOTOGENIC DESTINATIONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA


#1 ANKOR WAT AND SURROUNDS

The first of our photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia is completely obvious, yet this ancient wonder is surely one of the world's most photogenic (and photographed) places. You can spend hours and hours getting lost in the labyrinth of beauty that is Angkor Wat, and then visit the equally beautiful Bayon, Ta Prohm and Preah Khan and do the same.

This ancient city is as grand as it is delicate meaning you can get your macro or wide lense fix! To fully comprehend and enjoy the individuality of each, make sure you spend enough time at each temple. They are all special in their own way, and your trip nor images won’t be complete until you become well acquainted with their uniqueness.

We recommend spending three days or more exploring, camera in hand, focusing on the morning and afternoons during golden hour. Make sure you get there early 3am to secure your spot for the Angkor Wat sunrise as the crowds are intense!



South east asia photogenic locations - Angkor Wat
South east asia photogenic locations - Angkor Wat
South east asia photogenic locations - Angkor Wat

#2 SINGAPORE

Singapore might be a surprising choice on a list of most photogenic places in Southeast Asia but take our word for it, it’s the perfect location to get your camera out and go snap crazy; whether you’re after key attractions, cool back streets, markets and hawker halls, or even some sneaky people shots, you can get it all here!

Singapore is basically designed for two things - business and tourism. Ditch the boring business side of things and you’re left with a million and one tourism attractions to admire, explore, and take photos of. We’re talking Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer, the Merlion, Gardens by the Bay, Clarke Quay and event Changi Airport.

There is also Chinatown, the Arab quarter and Indian quarter which exude colour and life, especially at night! Oh, and the food halls!



photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia - Chinatown Singapore

#3 INLE LAKE, MYANMAR

Inle Lake might be unknown to the masses due to it’s position in central Myanmar, a country closed off from tourists for many years, but now it is getting the attention it deserves.

Tourists flock here to witness the vast reflective lake, stilted houses, island bound buddhist temples and floating gardens. Rise early to get the best light and photograph the supremely talented fisherman practicing their ancient Intha art of leg-rowing. You can then spend the rest of the day zooming around the lake via speedboat visiting various sites including the local markets, blacksmiths, weavers and cigar makers

If you’ve got an extra day, make your way to the village of Inthein and explore Shwe Inn Thein Paya and the over 1000 stupas on the hill. It’s insanely beautiful.

The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Inle Lake
The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Inle Lake
The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Inle Lake


#4 BAGAN, MYANMAR

Bagan was made for photography and is one of the most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia, hands down. Built over 900 years ago but the rulers of the Kingdom of Pagan area, we know their first thought was to build structures that please photographers and instagrammers from around the world.

Okay, we joke but right now, nowhere excites the insta-likers more than Bagan. And it’s not hard to see why. The 2200+ temples of the Bagan Archaeological Zone span the plains in every direction as far as they eye can see. You can climb most temples, allowing you to get a birds eye view of sunrise, when hot air balloons rise or sunset, the best time to photograph this ancient wonder. You can also hire e-bikes or bicycles and make your own way around allowing you to find your own secret temple perfect for photographing at any time of day.  

The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Bagan Myanmar
The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Bagan Myanmar

#5 LUANG PRABANG, LAOS

Luang Prabang is photogenic at any time of day. A UNESCO-protected city and for good reason, Luang Prabang has brilliantly preserved French colonial architecture downtown which includes 33 active gold covered temples. Weaving your way through the quiet grounds and intricate deep burgundy and golds of the monasteries really is soothing for the soul.

Probably the most iconic image of Luang Prabang is that of the saffron-robed barefoot monk on the daily morning alms collection rounds. You’ll have to get up early to photograph this but it’s well worth it. 

Luang Prabang also puts on an epic sunset and there’s no better place to take it all in than 100 metres above the town centre at Phu Si Hill. Offering up 360-degree views of the town, temples, and the fog rolling in across the distant mountains, it’s the perfect place to snap a sunset. Then there are the colourful night markets.

There are many day tours to the surrounding areas, including the absolutely stunning Kuang Si Waterfall. How many waterfalls have you seen that boast a 50-metre cascading drop into three-tiered azure swimming holes? Make sure you get there early to avoid the crowds and sunlight, and make those long exposures work.

The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Luang Prabang Kuang Si Falls
The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Luang Prabang sunset from Phousi Hill Laos
The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Luang Prabang golden hour on the streets
The Common Wanderer top 5 most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia Luang Prabang sunsets Laos

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

These are the photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia we just couldn't fit in; they're still all amazingly photogenic and you should still totally visit - The city of Bangkok, Thailand's Ko Tao Island, Cambodia's Koh Rong Island, Vietnam's Ha Long Bay, Vietnam's Hoi An, Hanoi, Malaysia's George Town, Vietnam's Sa Pa.


We're keen to know where you think the most photogenic destinations in Southeast Asia are? Let us know down below!



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