5 cities that surprised me as a photographer

I love to travel.

Through the luck of the lens I’ve visited many different countries across Europe and East Asia—gorgeous spots. But out of all those places to-date there were only a handful that really took me by surprise, and which I think are definitely worth visiting if you have a chance to go.

Here are five countries that really surprised me as a photographer.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is one city in Europe I find to be extremely under-rated as a destination, this city totally caught me off guard. Culturally the environment is a major priority for the people as its one of the most sustainable cities in the world. Their dedication to it was impressive. Two other details that surprised me were the sophisticated subway systems that reminded me of museums. The art presented during the commute around the city was the best I’ve seen anywhere. Also Gamla Stan (the old city) was beautiful with its 17th and 18th century architecture and colourful façades.


Angor Wat, Cambodia

I had to include the temple of Angor Wat which is situated just north of Siem Reap. To be honest it was an interesting yet mind twisting experience. I’m not sure how to describe it because there’s so much history and mystery behind the temple it got me thinking about how they designed it. I get really deep with architecture— clearly! Also I’m not familiar with Cambodian history at all so everything I experienced over there was fresh and new to me; the design, the grandeur, the people it was a unique experience and one of the places that surprised me.


Hong Kong, HK

Maybe it's the architect in me but the organized chaos and vertical arrangement of buildings in Hong Kong make it an interesting mix of space, motion and culture. Add the vibrant international scene, and Hong Kong definitely stands out as place to visit. As a photographer there are plenty of areas to explore.

The neighbourhood  of Wan Chai for example is a place of gathering and heavily condensed making it a good playground for street photography. Quarry Bay also has an interesting dynamic of residential and unusual design of buildings that make it a must-see spot to explore.


Paris, France

Ah Paris. Paris is beautifully complicated. I studied Paris for a long time, but even upon arriving I was still mesmerized by its design and beauty which is sometimes lost among the tourists. You would need to dig deeper to get passed the touristy surface and discover Paris as it is today. Yes you have time pick a few landmarks to visit but to better learn about the city you’ll need to branch outwards to other arrondissements and experience the vast cultural layers the city offers. Definitely more to see than what the city tourism offices put out to the world.

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Havana, Cuba

Havana is a magical place, especially if you have an appreciation for Latino and Afro culture. You can feel the history mixed in with the artistic energy here that’s about to explode. There are not many cities today that give off this feeling from past, and on the cusp of transitioning forward. It’s definitely a unique experience, and photographically speaking, a perfect time to visit.

Don’t let the crumbling facades deter you from exploring because you will be surprised by the architecture, the kindness of the people, and the strong culture.

So that sums up the five cities that surprised me as a photographer. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below, which countries have you been to that really took you by surprise?

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