Siem Reap Photo Explorer
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Pick-up servicePick-up from airport or any other location in Siem Reap
- Visit the main temples of the Angkor Kingdom including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Preah Khan
- Explore the jungle temples of Ta Prohm an the amazing Beng Mealea.
- Experience life on the Tone Sap Lake including a visit to the stilt Villages of Kompomg Khleang
- Experience real-life village visits with a countryside tour.
- Superb photo opportunities - tour is led by an experienced photographer who will give tuition and advice
- Special Bonus - Phare Ponleu Sepak circus, Apsara dance show or Khmer Kick boxing included
- Photo review/image editing session.
Day 1: Arrival
Transfer to hotel from Airport/ bus station. Free time (unguided) we can arrange for car /tuk tuk for those arriving during the day (additional charge)
Day 2: Guided orientation tour of Siem Reap with an introduction to country and culture. We visit an active Buddhist pagoda and local market. We take a look at countryside with option of a buffalo cart ride. We shoot sunset over the rice fields and sugar palms.
Day 3: A guided tour of the main temples of Angkor Thom, we include the impressive gateways, multi-faced Bayon, Elephants and Leper king terraces; with a visit to active Buddhist pagoda. We visit Angkor Wat in the afternoon with time to shoot at sunset.
Day 4: Jungle Temples tour with sunrise at Angkor. We go to Ta Prohm early and its neigbour Banteay Kdei. The afternoon is taken up by Preah Kahn, the second largest and most complex of all the Angkor temples.
Day 5: Lake and Jungle Temples. We drive to Kampong Khleang the amazing stilt village on the Tonle Sap Lake. Lunch is taken at a village house and a drive to the incredible jungle temple of Beng Mealea.
Departure Day: Tour concludes after check-out from hotel. Option to join any of our follow-on remote temple tours.
Day 1: Arrival
Transfer to hotel from Airport/ bus station. Free time (unguided) we can arrange for car /tuk tuk for those arriving during the day (additional charge).
Day 2 Siem Reap Orientation and countryside tour.
We start with briefing at 07:30 and drive to Wat Bo one of the oldest of the local pagodas. We can view and photograph some the Buddhist monks here. You will find a 24-70 mm lens ideal for the photography of the monks and artisans. There is a small museum here and you can often see musicians practicing and monks praying before their lunch. We cross the river to the old French Colonial part of Siem Reap Town. We visit the local Psah Leu (upper Market) There is plenty of chance for atmospheric photos here. Bring a fast lens for the dark interior if you have one! (if you have Nikon or Canon I have a fast 50mm lens for you to use).
We enjoy a lunch at a Khmer restaurant and drive to one of the unseen wonders of Angkor: Baray Teuk Thla. The Western Baray is an immense reservoir over 8kms long and over 2 kms wide. It was the most important part of the vast irrigation system that formed the basis of the Agriculture that the Khmer Empire economy was based on. You will see the massive earth banks of the reservoir, the small beach resort on the sandy shore. You will have the opportunity to take a boat ride out to the small island temple in the middle; used as a Khmer style picnic spot.
We continue to Me Chreay a nearby village known for the use of traditional style buffalo carts. A short cart ride is a fun way to see the villagers, farmers and fishermen; who are often casting nets into the canals that run through the village. We usually see the farmers with livestock returning to the village at sundown. This can give stunning images of the dusty farmers and cattle backlit by the setting sun with a backdrop of sugar palms.
Day 3 Temple Introduction
We start at 7am, to look at some of the less well known sites near the South gate of Angkor Thom and take you to unusual viewpoints of the moat and gateway. We proceed to The Bayon; with its stone faces which have become some of the defining images of Khmer Kingdom. We visit the spectacular Baphoun temple, which was re-opened in mid 2011 after 50+ years of restoration. The views from the upper galleries are impressive. To the rear of this temple is an incomplete but impressive reclining Buddha 70 metres long. We continue through the forest to the Royal Palace complex, Phimineakas pyramid and the Royal Pools Sras Srei. We take a look at a small pagoda where Buddhists blessed by water. We finish up the morning at the Elephants and Leper King terraces, to see hidden reliefs unearthed during 20th Century restorations.We break off for lunch and optional image editing session. or you can relax and enjoy the pool at our hotel.
We return in the mid afternoon for Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th Century was the masterpiece of the Hindu King Suryavarman II. It’s the largest Religious monument in the World. It is surrounded a vast moat 1600m x 1200m representing the celestial oceans. It has magnificent architecture, vast open spaces; reflecting pools, astounding bas reliefs and fine sculpture. The 5 lotus flower towers at its centre symbolize the 5 peaks of the mythical Mount Meru.
Day 4: Angkor Jungle Temples Tour
5am pick up for Sunrise; at Angkor before moving to the atmospheric temple of Ta Prohm early to avoid the crowds. We take you to see spectacular and sinister root systems growing through the ruins. We visit areas which are unseen by most of the visitors here. We continue to nearby Banteay Kdei a smaller and less visited temple, which is a delight to explore and photograph.
After Lunch we visit Preah Khan. It’s the second largest temple in the Angkor Group. We take in the little visited South Gate and atmospheric parts of this huge temple complex that relatively few people visit. Preah Khan and has a maze of passages and courtyards leading to the Halls of the dancers and the north east quadrant; one of my favourite areas with naga balustrades and a unique 2 story round columned building. The East Gopura has the most spectacular tree in temple shots at Angkor. We will be working in some confined dark places, so a fast wide-angle lens will be useful. We may be lucky and catch a dramatic sunset over the Angkor Thom South Gate on the way back to Siem Reap.
Day 5: Tonle Sap Lake and Beng Mealea
We have a 7am departure to the lake villages of Kompong Khleang. It is a fabulous place to practice portraiture of people in their environment. We drive to the small town of Dam Dek and drive via a local market to the Villages of Kompong Khleang. We take a boat cruise past the impressive stilt houses that line the riverbanks along ancient causeways, which flood in the rainy season. A highlight is the floating fish market. We have lunch in a typical stilt house village home of our boat owner. It’s a working home son you will see life as it is and not something put on for general tourists.
Then, with just a pleasant one-hour drive through local countryside - we'll arrive at what many people say is the highlight of the tour; the incredible jungle temple of Beng Mealea. This largely un-restored temple is in much the same condition when it was re-discovered. It is a wonderfully atmospheric temple with ample shade, vegetation and individual opportunity to explore it's hidden treasures.
Back to Siem Reap late afternoon
Tour concludes after breakfast. Depending on your departure time from Siem Reap, there are many places to bag some souvenirs at one of the local markets. There is also the opportunity to take a follow-on tour to other destinations in Cambodia.
3* City River Hotel or Angkoriana in Siem Reap. Facilities include: Deluxe A/C rooms, free wifi and internet; restaurant and bar with pool.
Additional entertainments bonus
We have 3 exciting entertainments to choose from, on one of your evenings on the tour:
Phare Ponleu Sepak This is a circus show in a new a big top, unlike anything you have ever likely to have seen before! The themed shows have: contemporary storylines, humour, pathos and thrilling acrobatics. New for 2013, the shows are highly entertaining and innovative. You will come away from the event with a huge grin on your face after an exhilarating action packed hour.
There are reasonably priced meals and drinks available before the show.
Traditional Khmer Dance. This show takes you through the musical tradition of dance, which originated from the Hindu dances of South India and Sri Lanka. The costumes and themes are similar; but the dance style is slower and a delight to watch and relatively easy to photograph.
A buffet dinner is included.
Khmer Kick Boxing. This new Siem Reap entertainment is commonly known as Thai boxing, something of a misnomer as its origins date from the Khmer Empire. Its raw and exciting to watch these athletic boxers in the floodlit ring with the rhythmic drum beats and exciting chanting and participation from the mainly Khmer audience. One cannot help but get caught up in excitement in the sometimes raucous atmosphere. There are good photo opportunities here too.
Shows are on Mondays and Wednesdays; there is a bar here too.
Please note: you can choose one only of these events on any day on while on this tour.
You can of course do more than one; but there is a supplementary charge of $15 per person for each additional event.
- Transfer from Airport to hotel
- Photo Tour Leader - photographer Dave Perkes or Elliot Leuthold
- Breakfast x 5 (at the hotel or takeaway)
- Lunch x 2 days 2 and 5
- Photo editing/review session
- Bottled water on tour days
- All entrance fees, except Angkor passes
- Tonle Sap Lake cruise
- Circus, dance show or Khmer Boxing included
- Qualified English speaking Temple Tour Guide
- A/C transport by car or minivan during the tour
- Accommodation at quality 3* hotel in town based on Double/Twin shared room
- International air fare
- Visa fees
- Meals / drinks other than above
- Angkor temple pass: 40 USD per person
- Personal items
- Trips / excursions not listed in itinerary
Tour is based at City River Hotel. (Open in Google Maps)
- Comprehensive personal travel insurance is mandatory.
- Good footwear / sunscreen and bug spray are recommended on tour days.
Product ID: 5367