TheSmartLocal – Singapore’s Leading Travel and Lifestyle Portal

Skip to content
exotic photoshoot destinations cover image

10 Exotic Photoshoot Destinations With Direct Flights From Singapore That Can Double Up As Pre-Honeymoons

Unique wedding shoot destinations

exotic photoshoot destinations cover imageImages adapted from: @twosometravellers@diwashpaudel

High on a couple’s wedding to-do list is the pre-wedding photo shoot. And if you’re looking for something beyond our urban landscapes and greenery but want to break out of the typical sights of Bali and Australia at the same time, we’ve got you covered.

For a lesser known destination that’ll make your friends wonder where in the world you are, choose one of these exotic West Asian and African cities. With scenic deserts and majestic grand palace vibes, you’ll soon find yourself swooning at the beauty of these hidden gems.

P.S. Singapore Airlines and SilkAir offer direct flights to ALL these locations!

1. Dubai: Desert Safari Dubai

7h 40min from Singapore

desert safari dubai photoshootImage credit: @sunnydhimanphotography

With unspoiled views of golden brown sand stretching into infinity, the Desert Safari Dubai’s landscapes will look stunning in your photos. Get a shot of the both of you atop the sand dunes to capture the desert’s textured beauty in full glory.

dubai sand duneYou’ll be able to let loose with your Aladdin and Jasmine fantasies here! 
Image credit: Cristiano Ostinelli Studio

The easiest way to get to the desert is by booking a desert safari tour with a tour operator in Dubai. They’ll zip you to the desert on a thrilling 4-wheel vehicle, where you can pose away. Some operators even include camel rides in their package!

Find out more about Dubai’s Safari Tours here.

Read our full guide on things to do in Dubai here

2. Colombo: Japanese Peace Pagoda, Unawatuna

3h 50min from Singapore

japanese peace pagodaImage credit: @twosometravellers

Take a ~2h drive south of Colombo to the coastal town of Unawatuna to reach the Japanese Peace Pagoda. Built by Japanese Buddhist monks in 2005, this place boasts pristine white backdrops and symmetrical structures for photo taking.

galle fortImage credit: Creative Travel

And while you’re in Colombo, be sure to set foot on the famed Galle Fort too. This site houses a quaint fortified city with several historical buildings, restaurants, and museums within its walls!

Address: Galle Fort, Church Street, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka

3. Delhi: Humayun’s Tomb

6h from Singapore

humayun's tombImage credit: Studio Finesse via ShaadiSaga

Film-loving couples in search of a Wes Anderson-styled photo location, look no further. You’ll find what you’re looking for at New Delhi’s Humayun’s Tomb.

Dating back to the 1500s, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is built in a Mughal Persian architectural style, meaning arched alcoves and high ceilings for you to get creative with all sorts of photo angles.

salaam baalak trust city walkImage credit: Tour My India

When all the photo taking is done and dusted, join the Salaam Baalak Trust City Walk to explore the streets of Delhi in an uber authentic way.

Taken in and trained by the Salaam Baalak Trust, former street children will be your tour guides of the day. They’ll be giving you a walking tour around the city of Paharganj and the area near New Delhi railway station to show you a unique glimpse into the sights and sounds of the capital of India.


Humayun’s Tomb
Address: Humayun’s Tomb, Bharat Scouts and Guides Marg, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi 110013, India
Entrance Fee: 500 rupees (Foreigners, ~S$10)

4. Johannesburg: Savannah Game & River Retreat

10h 40min from Singapore

savannah game & river retreatImage credit: Ebontu

Wildlife buffs, you’ll want to put Savannah Game & River Retreat on your list. Its grassy plains and bushveld settings make for an idyllic, natural charm that only South Africa can offer.

savannah wedding shoot with ostrichesImage credit: @ann6bad

And to really get in on the action, head on a game drive to catch some of the retreat’s 25 wild animals, like cheetah and giraffe, in your shots!

forest strollImage credit: Savannah Game & River Retreat – Parys

Address: Savannah Game & River Retreat, 65 Woolridge, Parys 9585, South Africa (1h 30min drive from Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport)

5. Male, Maldives: Velassaru Maldives Resort

4h 35min from Singapore

velassaru maldives resort boardwalkImage credit: Amazing Group and Seeler Photography, via The Wedding Scoop

Maldives is best known for its turquoise waters and tranquil beaches. And Velassaru Maldives Resort promises you these picturesque backdrops, dotted with waterfront villas and bungalows you won’t find anywhere near the shores of Singapore.

Unlike the touristy beaches of Bali and Phuket, this resort is located on a private island – so you’re guaranteed an escape from the usual hustle and bustle.

maldivian boatImage credit: De Mémoire Bridal Gallery via The Wedding Scoop

For more stunning shots, go on the resort’s complimentary sunset cruise on a traditional Maldivian boat. Then nibble on some canapés and clink your champagne glasses against the beautiful hues of the evening sky.

Address: Velassaru Maldives Resort, 39 Orchid Magu, Malé 20-02, Republic of Maldives (25min from Male International Airport via speedboat)

6. Kochi: Kumarakom Lake Resort

4h 15min from Singapore

kochi kumarakom lake resortImage credit: @sephibergersonweddings

When one talks about the Indian state of Kerala, lush, scenic backwaters come to mind. And one of the best places to get to them is the Kumarakom Lake Resort, a 2h drive from Kochi.

vembanad lakeImage credit: @tamarindweddings

Nestled by the serene Vembanad Lake, you can opt for a backwater cruise to shoot among the area’s greenery, or just make full use of the surrounding waterbeds for interesting mirror shots, like the one above!

If you and your S/O are fans of Indian food, don’t miss out on authentic Keralan cuisine in the foodie paradise that is Kochi. On top of that, Kerala is one state that’s known for its amazing seafood – so get ready to put on a few kilos once you’re done taking all the snaps you need.

Kumarakom Lake Resort
Address: Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kumarakom North Post, Kottayam 686563, Kerala, India (2h drive from Cochin International Airport)

7. Mumbai: Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

5h 20min from Singapore

taj mahal palace hotelImage credit: @pranavpujare

Dating back to 1903, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel brings together various Indian and European architectural styles in one grand building. Plus, the beautiful crystal chandeliers and onyx pillars inside will give your shots that extra touch of opulence.

Tip: Shoot outside the hotel in the early morning to avoid photobombers!

gateway of indiaImage credit: Lonely Planet

Once you’re done, don’t forget to pay the Gateway of India, Mumbai’s most iconic historical landmark, a visit. Just opposite the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, it was built to welcome the King and Queen of England over a century ago.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Address: The Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai, Maharastra 400001, India

Gateway of India
Address: Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India

8. Kathmandu: Boudhanath

5h 10min from Singapore

boudhanathTo nail a shot like this, head to the third level of the stupa and find yourself a secluded corner.
Image credit: @diwashpaudel

Asia’s largest Buddhist stupa dating back to the 5th century, the Boudhanath’s rows of colourful prayer flags and whitewashed walls make it a top choice for photos.

boudhanath cooliosImage credit: @david_thiodorus

Head there at the crack of dawn, rather than golden hour, ‘cause that’s when it’s less packed with monks and tourists.

Address: Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu 44600
Entrance Fee: 400 Nepalese Rupees

*Bonus* Annapurna Base Camp (Himalayas)

annapurna base campImage credit: Olga Saliy Photography

Nepal is home to the Himalayas, and Kathmandu marks a main entry point into the beautiful mountainous region. If you’re game enough, check off an item on the bucket list by conquering Nepal’s 10th highest mountain, Mount Annapurna, via the Annapurna Base Camp!

A round trip will take you 8-14 days, with 6-7 hours of being on your feet per day. Even if you’re no athlete, don’t fret. The trek’s suitable for hikers of moderate fitness too!

It’s best to hire a porter to lead the way and carry your luggage, or go with an established tour company. Himalayan Glacier’s one such company – find out more about their packages here.

9. Cape Town: Chapman’s Peak Drive & Rhodes Memorial

13h 55min from Singapore, including 1h layover at Johannesburg

Chapman’s Peak Drive

chapman's peak driveImage credit: @dmetroman

BBC called this place “the world’s most beautiful road”. And they couldn’t be more correct – for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful cliff views, Chapman’s Peak Drive is the place to be.

This is a meandering coastal road you’ll have to drive along, so be sure to hire a driver if you’d rather have both eyes on the landscape for location scouting!

chapman's peak drive cliffsImage credit: Dear Heart Photos

Chapman’s Peak Drive
Address: Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay Road, Between Noordhoek and Hout Bay, 7872, South Africa
Entrance Tariffs: varies based on the type of vehicle driven

Rhodes Memorial

rhodes memorialImage credit: John Lim Photography via Singapore Brides

Then for some architecturally awe-inspiring shots, head over to Rhodes Memorial, built in remembrance of South African politician Cecil John Rhodes.

Rhodes Memorial
Address: Rhodes Memorial, Rhodes Ave, Devil’s Peak, Cape Town Central 7700, South Africa
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm daily

table mountainImage credit:

If you’re ready to set foot on another of Cape Town’s natural beauties after your shoot, a trip up Table Mountain will be just your thing. Take the cableway up or put your legs to the test with a hike from the upper cableway station.

Your reward: scenic cliff views, fresh air, and a panoramic view of the city from 1089m up.

Table Mountain
Address: Table Mountain National Park, Tafelberg Road, Gardens, Table Mountain National Park 8001, South Africa
Charges apply for cableway rides – find out more here.

10. Hyderabad: Taj Falaknuma Palace & Chowmahalla Palace

4h 40min from Singapore

Taj Falaknuma Palace

taj falaknuma palaceImage credit: Plush Affairs via Wedding Sutra

If you’re looking for a lavish shoot location that channels grand palace vibes, Hyderabad, India is your best bet. Check yourself into the elegant Taj Falaknuma Palace and be wowed by its marble settings and plush furniture all around.

taj fulaknuma palace frontBook yourself a spectacular arrival experience for a royal horse carriage welcome from the hotel’s gates!
Image credit: Plush Affairs via Wedding Sutra

The Taj Falaknuma Palace also used to be the home of Hyderabad’s former monarch – and the world’s richest man. So when you’re there, head on a butler-led sunset Heritage Walk to check out all the nooks and crannies of his luxurious residence up close!

Taj Falaknuma Palace
Address: Taj Falaknuma Palace, Engine Bowli, Falaknuma Hyderabad Telangana India 500053

Chowmahalla Palace

chowmahalla palace proposalImage credit: Sutra Snapperz via Wed Me Good

Top it off with a visit to the Chowmahalla Palace, where Hyderabad’s rulers used to stay. Its imposing marble pillars, arches and chandeliers will frame you and your S/O in beautiful photos of fairytale fantasies come true.

chowmahalla palace

The palace’s interior looks uncannily like a scene out of Beauty and The Beast. For some extra romantic shots, imitate the classic ballroom scene between Belle and the Beast here!

Chowmahalla Palace
Address: Chowmahalla Palace, 20-4-236, Motigalli, Khilwat, Hyderabad, Telangana 500002, India
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (closed on Friday)
Entry Fee: 220 Indian Rupees, 50 Indian Rupees for photography, tripods not allowed

Fly direct to your next exotic destination with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir

singapore airlines craftImage courtesy of Singapore Airlines, 2018

These locations in West Asia and Africa may be off the beaten path when it comes to travelling from our little red dot, but that doesn’t mean getting there is a hassle – Singapore Airlines and SilkAir offer direct flights from Singapore to all 10 of these cities!

If you’re worried that such overseas wedding shoots will cost an arm and a leg, fret not. Have a go at Singapore Airlines’ SingaporeAir Games, where you can play games to score exclusive promo codes to the destinations in the region of the month – January’s being West Asia and Africa.

singapore airlines gameSolving this puzzle might be your ticket to a juicy promo!

And it pays to play more, ‘cuz the top player of the monthly leaderboard will win an economy class air ticket to a destination of his/her choice within the region of the month!

maps of the worldImage courtesy of Singapore Airlines, 2018

If you’re among the first 3 to complete all achievements across 6 regions, you’ll also be awarded 80,000 KrisFlyer Miles.

Win promo codes for West Asia and Africa with SingaporeAir Games!

Check out our other guides with Singapore Airlines here:

This post was brought to you by Singapore Airlines.