Cambodia Photography Tips - How to take the best shots of Cambodia

Cambodia, a beautiful agricultural country located in Southeast Asia, is well known as one of the most attractive destinations of the region.

Speaking about Cambodia, the first thing you might think about is the majestic Angkor temples, which has become a symbol of this country, and also one of the great heritage of the world.

Apart from Angkor Temples, coming to Cambodia, we have a lot of things to explore: Tonle Sap Lake with its famous floating villages; authentic rural life dotted with small villages surrounded by verdant rice fields, where locals are mainly farmers and remain their traditional lifestyle; relaxing beaches in the southwestern part of the country, along the shores of the Gulf of Thailand.

In addition to the natural beauty, Cambodia is also a friendly and hospitable destination, with peaceful, gentle and smiling people. The leading religion in the country - Buddhist, probably attributes to the openness of the locals. And thanks to the simple way of life that keeps the country approximately happy even though the history of war and genocide under the Khmer Rouge period occurred about three decades ago.

This article, it is to help you make a perfect plan, to help you better understand all aspects of the Cambodian image treasure - temples, rural landscapes, people, lifestyles and traditions.

Join us to get the best shoots through your camera while travelling to beautiful Cambodia.

The first and common question is

What is the best season for a photography tour?

Right after the rainy season and before the peak season (end of December till March next year), is the best time to enjoy the lush green landscape, rivers and lakes in full of life, comfortable weather with average temperatures of 25-30 Celsius. Then, the time between November and December is our recommendation for your trip.

Importance of a professional tour guide

Before every photo tour, our guide will first need to determine your photography ambitions, wishes, and level of competence.

If you are a professional one, he can give you some advice about the best time and the best corner for your best shots.

If you are an amateur and only want to have great moments in the trip, with his competence in photography, he can give you some professional tips and inspires you to use your camera with confidence.

Getting a detailed plan

Based on the purpose of your trip, what objects you would like to take photos and the total time you have, we can make an accurate plan for this photo hunt.

Discover Angkor civilization and more

Siem Reap has many things to see so you cannot visit it in only one day. You might need at least three days to discover the Angkor temples and other surrounding attractions. As a photographer, you may need to spend more time in this city.

The first, and must-go is Angkor Wat Temple, where you can enjoy a memorable sunrise or sunset with a spectacular view. The best is to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat and soak up the early morning atmosphere and take a shoot.

Besides fantastic Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom is another mysterious and attractive destination. It is the last great citadel of the Khmer Empire, which is one of the most beautiful places, and also the pride of Cambodia people. Angkor Thom is considered as a miniature universe, divided into four parts, with Bayon temple in the centre as the gate connects heaven and earth. The highlight is the city gate with a tower-shaped architecture and four portraits like the face of Buddha on the roof. You can surely take a great picture with its famous Buddha statues, with four faces looking into four different directions.

Located in the East of Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm is one of the largest monuments of the Angkor complex. Being shrouded in dense jungle and under the impacts of wars and nature over years, the temple gets old and ruinous covered with green moss, which creates a mysterious space. Especially, the trees growing out of the ruins are perhaps the most distinctive feature of Ta Prohm. The trees out of the ruins and the dense forest around make Ta Prohm one of Angkor's most attractive temples.

A beautiful and cannot miss in your photo hunt, this is Banteay Srei temple. The temple is close to Phnom Dei hill, just about 32km from Siem Reap town and about 20km from the Angkor Wat. It was built largely of hard red sandstone. The artisans carved the sandstone subtly, and all the carvings are still observable today. It makes Banteay Srei, although being one of the smallest temples at Angkor Wat, but different from other Angkorian temples, become a must-see in Siem Reap.

Located 140 km from Angkor Wat, Preah Vihear is a 9th-century temple complex on the top of Dângrêk Mountain range, in Preah Vihear, Cambodia, near the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Meaning “sacred sanctuary”, Preah Vihear Temple is also an impressive Hindu temple where many people stop or stay in the city of Preah Vihear access and visit. Preah Vihear highlights include its unique architectural style, adapted to the natural setting of the monument and many statues and reliefs on the walls forming religious figures.

Go further to the South-East about 160km of Siem Reap, Phnom Sampeau, a famous Buddhist temple, locates on limestone in Battambang province, is a highly recommended tourist attraction in Battambang. Situated on the top is beautiful Phnom Sampeau pagoda that gives visitors a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside. From the top, you can enjoy the spectacular panorama of Battambang and the surrounding areas. The best time to visit Phnom Sampeau is in the early morning or the late afternoon when the light makes everything stunning and give you the best view.

Rural life & human activities


If you want to take photos of the art and artists, you can not miss the performance of the Apsara dancers. Apsara Dance is a classical style of Khmer dance played by women (also called is Apsara fairies), sewn into the tight-fitting traditional dress, whose graceful, sinuous gestures are codified to narrate classical myths or religious stories. The Apsara dance is famous not only for its beauty but also for its invisible charm and undeniable appeal. It is easy to find out a restaurant in Siem Reap, where you can have a delicious meal, enjoying the performance and taking a picture.

Well-known as a specialty of Battambang, you can take a great picture while seeing a fantastic Phare Circus show. Phare Ponleu Selpak is a local organization that gives disadvantaged youth a chance to learn about art and circuit. The youth can learn how to perform acrobatics, gymnastics, and tumbling, and build up an international-level show.

Local works: Salt making - Farming – Fishing

Locates in the Southwest of the country, Kampot province shares an eighty kilometres coast with the Gulf of Thailand. Kampot is prominent for its salt fields. In there, you can see the manual Kampot’s salt process, which is rarely existing now, make salt's quality so good in comparison with the industrial process. The best to visit these salt fields is in the later afternoon when you can observe the mounds of salt increasing. It is a truly fascinating stop and where you can hut your best shots.

You shouldn’t go to Kampot without checking out a pepper plantation. Geographical location, climatic conditions and soil create an ideal environment for pepper plants to thrive. One favourite site of travellers is “La Plantation”, which offers free guided tours. The roads are a bit dusty and bumpy, crossing rice paddies, local villages. The journey out to the pepper farm will give you a glimpse of rural Cambodian life. A great picture of pepper plantation is waiting for you.
As an agricultural country and having the majestic Mekong flows through, just going out of the cities centre, you can easily meet farmers or fishermen at their work. However, there are some more famous and scenic places where you can have great pictures.

Being an island in the Mekong River, located close to Kratie, thanks to the alluvial of the Mekong River from years to years, the lush soil on Koh Trong Island, make various local fruits growing. The island is a famous and must-see destination once you are in Kratie, for its authentic Cambodian rural life.

Active travel

You can try some more actives days, dotted with your leisure and cultural trip. May some funniest and most unforgettable pictures are taken in these days.

Jungle Jet tour on Kampot River: Strap yourself into a high-speed water jet tour boat that speeds along the river. You will get a chance to immerse yourself in the ecosystem of the Kampot river and get a glance into the life of local... When it reaches speeds up to 80 kilometres per hour, the driver performs a somersault and making you scream like a child... How exciting and memorable!

Kayaking on the Kampot River: Your guide will help you map out the ideal kayaking route to include mangroves, rapids, bird watching and peaceful views. Up to your desire, you can hike a kayak in some hours or take a full day along the river and see the sunset on the river, stop for swimming, for taking picture…

Nature life

Bokor National Park in Kampot Province: The park locates at the more than 1,000m high from water lever, covering an area of about 140,000 hectares, make this national park a breathtaking natural landscape and an amazing refuge of wildlife. There are various wildlife ranges from foxes to tigers, snakes and this is also home of one of the biggest herds of elephant in Cambodia. Waterfalls, exotic flora and hiking trails to explore between the jungles are adding to the attraction of Bokor National Park. The drive to the Park, itself, is worth your visit, with well-maintained roads and scenery along the route.

Classed on the critically endangered list of species, the Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin is a vanishing sub-species of dolphin. Once arrived in Kratie, you can see them at their natural habitat, on the Mekong River.
Beside Irrawady Dolphin, Kratie is also well-known with its Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle. Located near the city, Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre (MTCC) is an establishment for the conservation of the endangered Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle. There, people can join Turtle conservation tours to see the hatchlings grow.


Tonle Sap Lake

You shouldn’t miss a trip to Tonle Sap lake and its famous floating villages (Chong Kneas Floating Village or Kompong Phluk Floating Village). The best moment to visit here is in the early morning and late afternoon because at that time it is very scenic in the warm light.

Beach – Sea - Islands

Sihanoukville beaches: Surrounded by almost nonstop continuous of beaches along its entire coastline and coastal marshlands bordering the Ream National Park in the east, make Sihanoukville one of the most famous beaches stop of Cambodia.

The most popular island destinations off the coast of Sihanoukville are Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem Islands: two very different islands but close to each other. There are plenty of companies organizing aquamarine sports activities like diving, snorkelling, and kayaking there if you would not go there only to relax and sunbathe.

Kep Beach and untouched Rabbit Island: Kep (30km far from Kampot, 35 minutes driving) was Cambodia's top seaside destination. The idyllic Koh Tonsay (local name of Rabbit Island, about 20-40minutes transfer by boat), is still the main and favourite beach in the region.


If you would like to take some breathtaking pictures of nature, you can not miss visiting waterfalls.

Some nominees are Ka Choung Waterfall (7 km from Ban Lung district - Ratnakiri), Kbal Spean in Siem Reap or Phnom Kulen (40km far from Siem Reap). While the first one is quite difficult to reach, the second is a little easier. You can combine visiting them with your days in Siem Reap.

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