Asia’s cities are so snap-tacular that they’re basically one big playground for photographers. The only difficulty? Deciding where to point your lens first. To help you on your quest for picture perfection, we put together a list of the most photogenic cities in all of Asia. From the futuristic to the bygone, here are the eight destinations that’ll instantly upgrade your Instagram.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, or Gyeongbok Palace, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty.

1. Snap the past (and future) in Seoul

Seoul’s booming. The South Korean capital has truly come of age in the past few years. It’s set all kinds of trends in everything — from fashion and food to cafes and music. And, while Seoul’s one of the world’s most futuristic places, the city’s past is still as photogenic as its present. The five royal palaces are an absolute must for any level of photographer, as are the Bongeunsa and Jogyesa temples. Once you’ve got your fill of history, step into the future at the spaceship-esque Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

2. Experience the best of the Philippines

El Nido is so beautiful that it almost seems built for photographers. Located on the island of Palawan in the west of the Philippines, it’s home to one of the world’s most spectacular stretches of white sand. Dreamy beaches like Nacpan, Las Cabanas, and 7 Commandos line the coast while secret lagoons are scattered across Bacuit Bay. For stunning shots, head to Small Lagoon and (that’s right) Big Lagoon. Once you’ve navigated the towering limestone cliffs, you’ll reach crystal clear waters that primed for snorkeling and underwater snaps.

Amer Fort, near Jaipur in Rajasthan, is one of the most well-known and most-visited forts in India.

3. Meet India’s rising star

It’s easy to see why Jaipur’s becoming one of Asia’s trendiest destinations to visit. The Pink City’s packed with the kind of age-old architecture that makes any photography enthusiast go weak at the knees. Add the heady culture of Rajasthan and one of India’s tastiest food scenes, and you have an ideal vacation destination. Buildings like the Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, and City Palace stun from every angle. Elsewhere, the intricate details of the Patrika Gate, the symmetry of Panna Meena ka Kund, and the floating Jal Mahal ensure you’re the happiest snapper around.

4. Fill your memory card in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang should be on every photographer’s wishlist. The former capital of Laos is a blend of French colonial buildings, Buddhist temples, and swarming markets. What’s more: the whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fact alone makes for some pretty impressive shots. While you’re there, don’t miss a visit to the Royal Palace and Wat Xieng Thong. If the architecture impresses, the scenery wows. And if you’re up for a quick trip outside the city, drive to Kuang Si Falls a spectacular network of cascading waterfalls. However, it’s the famous Mekong River that draws most visitors.

Taipei 101 is a landmark skyscraper in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan.

5. Wander Taiwan’s photogenic streets

Taipei may fly under the radar, but it more than holds its own against the famed cities of Asia. The Taiwanese capital’s mishmash of modern and traditional architecture creates some awesome street photography shots, especially in the trendy Ximending neighborhood. While the neon lights and steaming food stands are super snappable, the star of the show is the towering Taipei 101. Once the tallest building in the world, the noodle box skyscraper can be captured from practically anywhere in the city. However, the best shots are reserved for those who hike up or drive to Elephant Mountain.

6. Discover Bali’s ‘grammable scenery

Life’s just more chill in Ubud. Yoga studios and spas line the main street, while relaxed atmospheres greet you in every cafe and restaurant. For premium pics, leave the city center and head for the hills (literally) in Bali. Here, you’ll find some of Asia’s best photo ops. We’re talking gorgeous waterfalls, rice terraces, and volcanoes.

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet is a museum and World Heritage Site.

7. Shoot the beautiful sights of Tibet

Lhasa will take your breath away quite literally at times, as it’s one of the highest cities in the world. Once you’re acclimatized, explore one of the most beautiful religious cities in the world. As you’d expect from the home of Tibetan Buddhism, the city features some impressive monasteries and temples, like the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. Those who venture a little outside Lhasa can take a trip down the Yarlung Tsangpo River and visit the Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibetan history.

8. Capture Kyoto’s picture-perfect temples

It’s hard to know what to photograph first in Kyoto. The ancient city is littered with Instagram hotspots like the Golden Pavilion, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and Fushimi Inari-taisha. But Kyoto’s charm isn’t limited to these three as hundreds of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are dotted around the city. The Yasaka Pagoda, for example, is a long-established favorite with photographers. The area around the five-story pagoda is Kyoto at its most charming. You’ll find crowds of kimono-wearing locals, as well as bygone tea houses and cute boutiques.

Plan a snap-happy trip

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