Its Christmas eve and the sun is setting in Bangkok. We are not in Cambodia anymore, but that is what I will mostly write about, thus the title. One of the highlights of our trip is just behind us and I am eager to share some stories with you..and pictures. mainly pictures actually. Angkor Wat is the only tourist trap that is and has been on my bucket list for a long time. I am a sucker for temples, they are so picturesque.Angkor Wat is a large temple complex and largest religious monument in the world, located in Siam Reap, Cambodia. It was mostly unknown to international tourists until a blockbuster movie, Tomb Raider was filmed there in 2001. Today, the temples are crawling with tourists from all over the world, many of the from China and Korea.
The temple-site is very photogenic, with its detail rich architecture. The historic site is surprisingly well preserved, I was expecting something more deteriorated. Its not, but there is this great feel of nature claiming its own with large mangrove trees growing on top of the ruins. You can catch a lot of contrasts and color from rust and moss that have surrounded the temples. To get the most out of the trip, I hired a private photography guide to show me around. The company also rented tripods, so, I could capture the beautiful sunrise behind the temples. The company I used was called Angkor Wat Photography and my guide was named Elliot. My guide made a lot of very good improvements to my camera settings.
The tour started 4:30 am; we were at the sunrise spot an hour before the real deal. It was worth it as people started flocking behind me soon after we had set up. I had to shoo-away a few pushy Americans who tried to make their way in front of my camera. We stood there about an hour, capturing the different shades of blue that came with the slowly rising sun. It was not the best possible day as clouds crept up like a blanket behind the ruins. But I think I got some decent shots anyway. After the sunrise we had a cup of sweet Vietnamese coffee and headed towards other, more secluded temples. I had a fun five hours of early morning photography with my guide, and I was back at the hotel pool by eleven.
Below a few specimen from the catch of the day. More stories from Angkor Wat to come. But for now, merry Christmas! I am off to have some Bollinger.