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Sustainable Travel Tip # 4 Photo taking etiquette

Be considerate and respectful when taking photos

When I was in Laos, courtesy of Teamworkz Asia (you can see my blogging of that trip of their site), I witnessed some awful tourist behaviour. Everyone now has a camera and travel photography has become very popular. With the cost of a good digital camera being so affordable, everywhere I go I see travellers with semi-professional cameras. But that doesn’t mean they are professional or have the right to be disrespectful to the local customs and people.

Tak Bat ceremony, Luang Prabang, Laos

Tourists were sticking their cameras in the monk’s faces and using a flash to take photos during a religious ceremony (Tak Bat, in Luang Praband, Laos).

It is common sense to me that if one is to watch a religious ceremony that appropriate distance should be taken, as well as common decency not to stick your camera in someone’s face and flash them without asking permission first. Or do either during a religious ceremony!

There was plenty of information available regarding correct etiquette during this daily ritual, but it seemed more tourists than not were blatantly ignoring common sense and the information.

Being courteous and respectful of other people’s cultures, especially when you’re visiting their country, is paramount to sustainable travel and being a responsible traveller.

I took this picture after these monks passed me in the street, they cannot be identified, nor did I disturb them when I snapped this photo.

Monks walking in Vientiane, Laos

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