Who was I kidding? Angkor Archaeological Park has got to be one of the most photographed sites in the world. My camera is a cheap, tepid, point and shoot that I impulsively bought when I couldn’t find the cameras I wanted back in Hawaii. What could I do to make my pictures stand out? What could I do differently?

Take pictures of people taking pictures, of course!

This isn’t to say I didn’t snap away at the temples, I did – a plenty. The crowds were light because it’s the rainy season. I went for 3 days and I’m looking forward to going again. I understand why Lonely Planet named Angkor Wat, the #1 place to visit in their Ultimate Travelist of 2015. I had so much fun. #nerd

I’ll probably write a couple more posts on Angkor Wat, but I wanted to start off with photos of people taking pictures. It felt a little naughty, sometimes. Other times, I was amazed by the jarring narcissism. One woman in particular took so many selfies that it became abundant she was more interested in taking pictures of herself than the ruins.

Yoga poses were also popular. As was copying what other people did, monkey see monkey do what other people are doing. I’m a big fan of people-watching, but this was my first time recording it. And I must say, it helped me to accept the crowds and have fun, as they are inevitably part of the experience and the landscape.

And no, I didn’t see any naked tourists.


Angkor Wat tourists
Everybody tries to get to Angkor early for that sunrise shot. I wasn’t that keen on it, but look how many still continued to patiently wait for some sort of magic to happen. Can you imagine how many would be here if it was the high season?


I thought this was worthy of sharing because we've got three taking the same shot :)
I thought this was worthy of sharing because we’ve got three taking the same pic πŸ™‚


At Bayon, I was surprised by how many enjoyed taking their picture with Buddha like he was a celebrity.
At Bayon, where Buddha is like a celebrity.


We managed to avoid the crowds most of the time we were there, but Bayon is a popular temple so there were TONS of tourists. Fun for me!
We managed to avoid the crowds most of the time we were there, but Bayon is a popular temple so there were TONS of tourists. Fun for me!


My favorite. It feels very Heather from 2Summers.
My favorite. It feels very Heather from 2Summers.


We heard many different languages which my b/f could mostly understand. He was being cheeky when he told these girls to hurry up in Chinese.
We heard many different languages. My b/f’s Chinese was starting to come back so he decided to be a little cheeky when he told these girls to hurry up in Chinese.


At Neak Pean, I couldn't resist taking snaps at this leggy blond and her hapa boyfriend.
At Neak Pean, I couldn’t resist taking snaps at this leggy blond, her many poses, and her hapa boyfriend.


You know what they say, two selfie sticks are better than one.
You know what they say, two selfie sticks are better than one.


Ta Prohm is where Tomb Raider was filmed. The trees were magical everywhere in the park though.
Ta Prohm is where Tomb Raider was filmed. This temple is particularly famous for its trees. (The trees were magical everywhere in the park though.)


I really love her commitment. She's modeling from head to toe.
I really love her commitment. She’s modeling from head to toe, as Tyra would say. H to T.


At Banteay Srey, pretty in pink.
At Banteay Srey, looking vogue.


Who visits Cambodia
My first Piktochart!


Do you take pictures of strangers? Do you ask before clicking? And finally, do you have a stalker lens? πŸ˜‰

48 replies on “Pictures of people taking pictures at Angkor Wat

  1. hahahhaha I loved your post!!! You were very original by posting pics of people taking pics :)))!!! It is really terrible when a place gets too popular – like Angkor Wat… I actually don’t like crowds of people like that. I was on Bali this summer and there is a temple on the water and it’s famous for its sunset – so I didn’t go there to see the sunset – you can imagine the crowds of Chinese people with their selfie sticks in high season – not bearable at all for me ahahhahah

    I invite you to check out my VIDEO REPORT from my short visit in TOKYO


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pati. I don’t think anyone likes crowds. It’s kind of amusing how angry we get at crowds, but we are part of the problem, too πŸ˜› It’s a clash of cultures, languages and dress! Luckily, it really wasn’t too bad when we went.


  2. I had never seen any selfie stick until I went to watch a performance in the ancient city of langzhong in China. Not only many people were there but also tons of people using their selfiesticks equips with phone to block of any view towards the performance….all I could see where phone and some times tablet screens

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahha. Oh, I’m so sorry. I think I first saw them from a student. I’m not sure. But, yeah, I didn’t think they would take off the way that they did. Absurd, right?

      But it’s a selfie world and we need selfie equipment. What’s next?


  3. What a great idea! You really embraced the crowds. I have to admit I’ve taken pictures of strangers, if they were doing something interesting or if they just blended organically with the scene (especially kids). I haven’t asked permission for myself, although in Japan I asked permission for my friend who didn’t speak Japanese who wanted to take portrait pictures in Harajuku and Shibuya. I think rolling with the crowds is the best way to let that anger at the seething masses go… if I can remember to be patient!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks πŸ™‚ I’ve done the same thing, taking a quick snap at something interesting, but I’ve never had the lens or the nerve to take a picture of someone from far away. I have, of course, asked for to take a photo when I’ve wanted to get close. Some folks get really offended if you take a pic of them without their permission. It can be a tricky thing.


    1. ‘Tis true. I wanted to find two of them to hold in each hand and take a picture of me holding them in all my selfie glory.


  4. Nice idea, so meta! Really is an amazing place, good to get an original take on pictures.

    Haha, too bad no naked people… Thanks for the link, I didn’t even know that was a thing there πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh you make me laugh! I have to confess that I have a new camera with an amazing zoom, so these days it is far easier for me to take pictures of people without them knowing it. And, no, I don’t ask. One of my favourite stalker moments was at Angkor Wat at sunrise. I found a spot on the northern (or was that southern?) side of the temple, on the edge of the forest, to experience the sunrise in this magnificent setting alone. A young Asian couple came by, and disappeared behind the trees, before she emerged again in a beautiful white Cinderella dress. She posed, he snapped away happily, and I smiled at the free entertainment. I love people watching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahhahaa. I would have never guessed. I thought, hmmm, maybe they are going to make out behind the bushes? Some Asians are obsessed with taking her photos like supermodels. Graduation around these parts are pretty insane with so many vying for park-setting shots with their gowns or jumping in the air. Lots of staged photos near flowers, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a little tricky, isn’t it? I felt like there were so many times I wanted to take the pic, but no one else was around and so it would have been SOOOO obvious that I was photographing them. A couple of folks caught me, so to speak, but most were oblivious!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great perspective! People taking pictures pictures. The temple is BEAUTIFUL. My favorite is the two selfie sticks are better than one. LOL. But first, lemme take a selfie… πŸ˜‰ I was reading through your about page and saw Barstow. I’m also from the IE, now live in LA, so I’ve driven through many a time on the way to Vegas. What an interesting (?) place to grow up as an Asian-American. I’d love to hear more about your experiences there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I also loved Angkor! Spent 3 days there in 2009. It must have been high season (it was in January, around Chinese New Year) but I don’t remember it was as crowded as in your pictures! I guess it is getting more famous! I would love to take my bf there as he also loves “old stones”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I love rocks, too. So, I can totally relate. *California valley girl accent*

      On the Wiki, I saw that tourism continues to grow each year for Cambodia. I’m sure in ’09 it was still quite tame despite it being “high” season. Thanks!


  8. Absolutely love these shots, Lani. Very well done and the people didn’t seem to notice you taking shots of them taking shots…or so it may seem πŸ˜‰ I’m sure many of them didn’t just take one photo but rather took multiple photos of what they were taking and more than a handful of selfies in a bid to get that “perfect shot”.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if many people stopped to take photos of that blonde lady. After all, with blonde hair like that some locals might think she is a celebrity πŸ˜€

    Really, that many people there watching the sunrise? That is certainly a lot of people and they all seem to be the very patient kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some reason Angkor at sunrise and sunset are very popular times to go. I read a few blog posts before I went just to get some general ideas and everyone talked about getting up at 4am to see the sunrise.

      I suppose if I did a search I’d find countless photos of sunrises and sunsets at Angkor. πŸ˜›

      Most people were in their own little world. I guess they blocked out other people or were really into taking their pictures. It’s amusing, really. I mean, I was really close to people in some of the shots!

      Glad you enjoyed it, Mabel πŸ™‚


      1. I’ve also heard Angkor has spectacular sunsets. In fact, I’m lead to believe it has amazing sunsets every day. I’m sure this is not always the case…

        You take really great photos with that point and shoot of yours. Very clear and well composed πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I cannot accept your compliment. Your photos and camera are amazing, so I cannot compare and that’s okay. I’m not a photographer, but it’s fun to play. You’re too kind, Mabel πŸ™‚


      3. Taking photos of people isn’t my forte. More often than not people end up looking awkward in my shots. Lol, I use a point and shoot for practically all of my shots on my blog. Okay, I use it in manual mode πŸ˜›


  9. Great photos, no matter what you say about your camera.

    The ruins are cool, but those crowds are my version of hell. (Have I mentioned how much I HATE Disneyland?)

    I like how you stayed upbeat and got into it, though.

    I await an exhibition of photographs and entitled “Narcissism!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone has thought about it already, I’m sure. And maybe ironically the exhibition is about them.

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like crowds either. I don’t think anyone likes crowds, but since I told myself I’m taking pictures of them, they were hardly around. Not sure if this would work at Disneyland πŸ˜›


      1. We went on “homeschooling day” – they shut down the park just for homeschooled kids and their families. It was awesome. NO LINES.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I laughed so hard at this. sometimes it’s hard to keep your travel photos realistic and artistically appealing at the same time, but I really love some of your shots of people taking pictures. I haven’t done that before- I’m typically trying to make a game of how to shoot around everyone else. my husband, however, like to take “photos of Jamie taking photos” when he’s tired of waiting πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really fun to try to take sneaky pictures and of course, once you start paying attention you’re like, “Wow. Those are some interesting poses.” πŸ˜›

      Glad you liked it, Jamie. Thanks ^^


  11. Lani, what a brilliant idea for a post. The Tyra pose was the one that had me laughing. However, I am not sure if she is ‘smizing.’ πŸ˜‰ lol

    I often take pictures of my husband taking pictures. It is crazy the stuff he does to get the perfect shot – climbing up big rocks, standing on one foot, lying on the ground, etc. Oh, and I always document his little power naps while hiking because I have nothing better to do.


  12. The selfie sticks! omg, hahahahaha. Do people really travel around with those? Apparently yes. I love this post. So great. I’m sure I am guilty of a few of these things, too, but never a selfie stick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. If there is a crime scene and I’m found with a selfie stick, something is seiriously amiss. They are the strangest things…Thanks!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Just last month. It wasn’t that bad, just that concentrated moment and then everyone went on their way (some stayed). I can’t complain.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is a great post! I love the infographic at the end… i guess it makes sense that Vietnamese would go to Angkor Wat (it’s right next door!). But no Australians? Come on!

    It looks really, really crowded in those photos. Does Angkor Wat always get packed like that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only did the top ten visitors, so the Aussies and Brits are further down the list, which surprised me b/c they LOVE Thailand.

      Apparently Angkor can get really crazy and crowded. I delibertly went this month b/c I didn’t want to go during the high season (end of the year). Over 2 mil come to see it, so I yes, I guess it does! Thanks.


  14. Great idea, Lani. I notice that these are all of people taking photos of themselves at Angkor Wat. Did you see many people photographing the ruins without themselves in the picture?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahhahaa. Great question. Yes, there were folks taking pics of the ruins and not themselves – a rather mixed bag.


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