A Photographer's Guide to Exploring Asia

March 13, 2024

Asia Photography Guide

With its vibrant cultures, art, and architecture, as well as its varied landscapes (from glittering metropolises to majestic mountains and untamed rural areas), Asia provides photographers with endless photographic opportunities.

For photographers looking to satisfy their wanderlust and take stunning images, Asia is a favorite location. The prices are low, the locals are friendly, and every place you go—from urban centers to rural areas—has surprises you won't find anywhere else. We have compiled the ultimate photography guide for Asia.

Asia Travel Photography Tips:

#1 Tourist attractions can be fantastic photo possibilities, but try going where no one else goes to find unique photos and places. Try all the little lanes no tourist ever goes into and go to some remote regions. Exploring new areas and bringing home unusual photos is wonderful. If you're unsure, ask a trusted local to show you around.

#2 For locals living in Asia, the markets are an integral part of their daily lives. The morning is when locals buy their groceries; therefore, markets are busiest. There may also be night markets, and both have much to offer photographers. Most merchants are happy to be photographed if you don't interfere with their work.

#3 Photographs taken on vacation should focus on the authentic local culture and daily life, rather than a tourist trap that displays just one side of a place. Going with a homestay instead of a hotel is a great way to see local culture, meet locals, and improve your photography skills. To begin, homestays are surprisingly affordable without sacrificing comfort. Homestay hosts are also a wealth of useful information and are incredibly kind. They may also extend invitations to festivals and other community gatherings, where you can meet fascinating new individuals.

#4 During the day, you will also see many people around the lakes. People enjoy socializing, fishing, playing board games, and sports. On weekends, several lakes also prohibit vehicular access. Water is a magnet for all forms of life, regardless of the time of day. Night markets will be set up, and you might even be able to see some performers to capture in your photographs. The nicest part is the easy-going vibe around lakes that is perfect for taking pictures.

#5 Instead of venturing out on your own, invite some local photographers to spend an afternoon with you. They can help you identify local spots and keep you safe during your trip. Asia is home to a burgeoning community of street photographers who are well-versed in the region's top picture spots. Almost everyone you meet in any of the larger cities there will be happy to give you their opinion on the place. By enlisting their assistance, you may immerse yourself in the city's culture, take stunning street photos, and feel like a native.

But having said this, which is the region’s most photogenic country?

Countries in Asia to photograph


Singapore is small but diversified, multicultural, and full of attractions. Little India, north of the city center, has vibrant buildings to shoot. You can also see details with a superzoom lens.

Small lanes in Kampong Glam, the city's Muslim enclave, are lined with hipster boutiques, fabric shops, and huge murals. These streets need a wide-angle lens to picture nicely.

Chinatown is worth visiting 24/7. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum gives visitors a break from the bustle and is attractive inside and out.

Gardens by the Bay is a famous site, but if you're on a budget, visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens.


Visit Thailand and bring your camera with you to see temples in huge towns, hike in the north, or relax on the beaches in the south. Wat Pho and the Grand Palace are Bangkok's most important temples to visit and photograph. The 46-meter-long reclining Buddha is flanked by pillars, making it difficult to photograph, but a long lens and good image stabilization will help you focus.

The Grand Palace is larger and has more to view, but it gets busy quickly, so be patient when photographing some of the structures.

Visit the city's marketplaces, but don't put your camera away at night. Visit one of the many rooftop bars instead. Bangkok is a vast, built-up metropolis, so these offer a great view.

Chiang Mai and Pai are popular northern destinations due to their laid-back vibes and lush scenery. At Thailand's tallest mountain, Doi Inthanon National Park, there are many photo opportunities.


Vietnam is a popular Southeast Asian tourism destination. If you're traveling from north to south, Hoi An may be one of the prettiest places you visit. The vividly yellow buildings contrast wonderfully with a clear blue sky, making it ideal for photography. Narrow streets are lit by colorful lanterns at night.

Hanoi, Sapa, and Halong Bay are in the north. Sapa's terraced farms and infinite terrain fascinate photographers on clear days, but fog and mist can be problematic. If the weather isn't good for expansive landscapes, explore the region's few waterfalls. Thác Tình Yêu, or Love Waterfall, is a short cab trip from the town core.


Multicultural Malaysia has strong colonial influences. Malaysia is divided into Peninsular and East. Many tourists visit East Malaysia for its rainforests, national parks, mountains, and animals. Kuala Lumpur is a treat for architecture lovers of various styles.

For greener areas, drive north to Cameron Highlands. Hiking and visiting tea plantations may appeal most to photographers, so use a wide-angle lens with a hood to block light. Butterfly farms are also nearby for close-up or macro photography.


Angkor Wat, near Siem Reap, is the most popular sight to photograph in Cambodia. Although you may not be the only one with the same idea, you can set up a tripod by the steps leading up to the main complex if you arrive early in the morning. You need to spend time walking about to see and shoot this, but don't miss the other temples. Ta Prohm, well known for being a significant filming site in the original Tomb Raider film, is one of the most interesting in the area, with trees growing around the remains and plenty of creative potential once you get there.

Cambodia has plenty of photo opportunities, but visiting local marketplaces is worth it. The organized art-deco Central Market in Phnom Penh and smaller coastal markets selling pepper from local plantations and fresh seafood offer many picture options.

The best Asian travel photography suggestion is to enjoy your trip. You don't need to take pictures constantly. Enjoy your days and interact with the people, and the intriguing stories will come spontaneously. Your best images will chronicle your new experiences because the journey will be so engaging. Travel photography lets you share your fresh experiences. Your photos will reveal undiscovered stories.

Don’t forget to purchase an eSim from KnowRoaming to stay connected to family and friends while you are traveling in Asia.

Commonly Asked Questions: