Taking pictures here could get you arrested


Photographers line their cameras outside Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Source: Shutterstock

THE Instagrammability of a destination is a key factor when booking a vacation, especially among the younger generation.

From Asia’s most Instagrammable beaches to the brunch dishes “breaking Instagram”, many people want to know their vacation snaps will give them bragging rights and at least 100-plus likes.

Scrolls and scrolls of beaches, cocktails, snowy mountain peaks, sunsets, tropical animals and cultural monuments line the Instagram-sphere.

But there are some places in the world where your snap-happy picture-taking addiction can get you in trouble.

Here are a few places in Asia we advise you to put your camera away and use your own peepers.

Taj Mahal

Ever wondered why the only view you see of India’s Taj Mahal is from the outside?

Photography is entirely banned inside the Unesco World Heritage site.

Some tourists to this New Seven Wonders of the World site have said guards check to make sure you’re not sneaking a snap.

Others, however, said the chaos and sheer tourist numbers mean guards can’t check everyone.

Jiangsu National Security Education Museum

On the east coast of China, in the bustling city of Nanjing, is the Jiangsu National Security Education Museum.

But don’t think about adding it to your itinerary, as only Chinese citizens are allowed in.

The museum contains spy information, equipment, papers and materials deemed too secretive for foreign eyes.

So it goes without saying, photography is a no-no.

Kumsusan Palace of the Sun

It wouldn’t be a list of forbidden photography locations if North Korea wasn’t on here.

Inside the Kumsusan Palace are relics of North Korea’s past, from old train carriages to cars and clothes to dead people.

Oh yes, the waxy preserved corpses of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, the current leader Kim Jong Un’s father and grandfather.

Palace guards will check you from head to toe and visitors must pass through a dust machine to ensure they don’t contaminate the area.

Golden Gai

In the Shinjuku area of Tokyo in Japan, a network of narrow alleyways is illuminated with bar signs at night.

As many as 290 are based in the area, some so small only half a dozen people can fit inside – at a push.

Technically, tourists aren’t supposed to take photos of the area. But many believe this was a leftover prohibition from when prostitutes lined the streets.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

In the Northern Territory of Australia is one of the nation’s most iconic landmarks, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Within the park is spectacular Uluru, also known as Ayers Rocks.

Many people know Uluru was recently closed to climbers, but not many people know photography is banned in the park it sits in.

The park is owned by Anangu people who believe some sites are sacred and photography downgrades their culture.

Tourists are technically allowed to photograph the park but can not use them for commercial purposes.

Presidential Palace, Abu Dhabi

Tourists can’t even get close to this place and it can only be viewed from afar.

The laws are so strict around photographing the Presidential Palace that an Iranian tourist was sentenced to four months in jail for snapping away.

They’re not joking around.