Its taken longer than expected to arrange and finalise, but my Cambodia Ancient Temples Photo Workshop is finally up and ready for booking. I’ve totally re-engineered the workshop this year, so it’s completely different to last years Vietnam and Cambodia Tour. I found trying to see all of Vietnam and Cambodia in two weeks was too much and we couldn’t spend enough time in any location. Plus there was lots of flying and changing hotels which eats up valuable time and is very tiring. So this year I’ve focused (excuse the pun) on the part of last years tour that was my favourite, the few days we spent in Siem Reap and the Angkor ruins in Cambodia.
Angkor Temple Complex.
On last year’s tour we only spent a few days in this amazing place, and I found it was not enough. So much so that after the completion of the tour I returned by myself to spend another two full weeks exploring Siem Reap and particularly the Angkor Temple complex and I loved it! Angkor is over 400 square kilometres of ancient cities and temples buried under the jungles of tropical Cambodia and is the most amazing lost city I have ever seen. I love ancient ruins and lost civilisations and I have explored quite a few, from the jungles of Central and South America, and the desert plains of the Maya in Mexico to ancient Roman, Greek and Byzantine ruins in Europe. Angkor beats them all! Read the rest of this entry »
Another image from my favourite temple in the Angkor complex… Angkor is often misnamed Angkor Wat, when in fact Angkor Wat refers to the largest single temple within the Angkor temple complex (Wat means temple in Khmer). As impressive as Angkor Wat is, due to sheer size and grandeur, it’s often hard to appreciate it due to the vast number of tourists pouring through it, often it feels more like Disney Land, with screaming and yelling and total chaos.
Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm
When I go to places like Angkor, I like to wander quietly through the incredible ruins and wonder at the long dead builders of such a vast and elaborate work of art, and the culture that created it. The temples of Angkor really are beyond compare, certainly to anything I have ever seen. Every square centimetre is covered with detailed and intricate carvings, it’s almost impossible to comprehend the size and complexity of it all.
So the last thing I want is to be there with a bunch of screaming disrespectful idiots, that really breaks the spell and makes me want to leave. Fortunately most of those idiots are on large organised tours that all follow the same itinerary, and they all arrive around the same time… 9.30 in the morning when it’s stinking hot and so humid you almost need to be a fish to breath! Since I have been at the temples since 5am, thats a perfect time for me to head back to the air conditioned comfort of my hotel room in Siem Reap to download images and have a sleep until about 3pm Then I head back to the temples just as those same dehydrated and exhausted tour groups are leaving… strangely quiet now.
The Temple of Ta Prohm doesn’t get anywhere near the numbers of Angkor Wat, but it is still a popular spot for the Disneyland tour groups, so you do have to get there early or late. Fortunately that’s the best time to be there in every sense, light, temperature, humidity and quiet! This image was shot early in the morning on my last Photographic tour to Cambodia and Vietnam on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with a 28mm f4 lens.
I’ve been planning a photographic Workshop in Cambodia since returning in 2013, those plans have come to fruition and the page is up, you can view all the details here>>
Of all the ruins in the amazing Angkor complex, the ancient monastery of Ta Prohm would have to be my favourite. Ta Prohm has been left in a semi ruined state with giant fig trees growing out of temples and huge roots clambering over roof tops and slowly pulling the buildings apart. It is the most atmospheric of all the temples in the main Angkor complex of Cambodia, and I would guess thats why it featured so heavily in the film Tomb Raider…
Photographic Tour Dates for 2014
I took this image on my last photographic tour to Cambodia and Vietnam in May this year, but I’ve only now got around to playing with it a bit. We only spent 3 days in Cambodia on the last tour, something I regretted at the time and something I will be correcting on the Cambodia Photo workshop for 2015. Then we will be spending more than a week in Cambodia, with a lot of it around the unique temple ruins of Angkor and beyond, including a couple of early mornings at Ta Prohm! Details will be going up shortly for the 2014 dates for this tour, and also my 2014 Photography tour to Bhutan.
Image was shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with a 28mm f4 lens.
Travelling through Vietnam right now on my Photographic tour of Cambodia and Vietnam. We left Cambodia a few days ago and I have just a few minutes to put up a couple of images from some of the temples of Angkor.
Ta Prohm, The original Tomb Raider Temple. Angelina was unavailable
We spent 3 days in Siem Reap exploring some of the ancient site of Angkor which is over 400 square km, so we didn’t get to see all of it.
Angkor Wat wall carvings
Some of the temples in the complex are over 1500 years old and the amount and complexity of the carving is outrageous, the Khmer builders decorated nearly every square cm with intricate bas relief carvings, so while the sheer size is impressive, its the level of detail that really captures my imagination.
Angkor was also a great place to play with the Hasselblad H4D-60, and here I finally put it on a tripod!
Even Monks can be tourists!