Siem Reap

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Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor are by far the most amazing place I've visited in SE Asia - it blows you away! Looking through my photos from our visit upsets me that I didn't do better justice of the place, but it means that I've got to go back (preferably leaving the wife in the hotel and spa while I hire a tuk tuk and explore for a few days!)

Here are a few from the temples in the area:

1 - Ta Prohm (Angelina unfortunately not in the shot, driving past in her Land Rover!)

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2 - Ta Prohm Trees

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3 - Bayon Temple

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4 - Angkor Wat

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5 - Angkor Wat at Sunrise

This will put the cat amongst the pigeons. My third attempt at a clear sky sunrise was met with horrible humidity, and constant misting of the lens. I shot a series over 30 minutes or so to take my chances. The place has an epic atmosphere at this time of day, with the light mist clearing over the pools and the sounds of the buddhist temples in the woods. I thought a virtual HDR from one RAW file would try to recover the detail and capture the atmosphere.

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JusPlainCrayzee

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Phil, you're killing me with your images!!!

These are stunning! Angkor has always been on my bucket list, and my 2012 travel plans were in place until you started posting. Now, everything is up in the air, thanks to you!!!

What time of year did you travel to Siem Reap?

BTW, that one of Bayon Temple is splendid!!
 

Butlerkid

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Extremely nice series!

I also found Ankor Wat to be fascinating - and very difficult to photograph due to extreme contrast, humidity and size (i.e. huge trees on top of buildings!). I agree, taking your time increases your chances of getting great photos.

You have done a very good job!
 
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Phil your killing me! Were these taken on the same trip as your Ha Long Bay shots? We spent a week banging around this area at the end of our 200 Viet Nam trip. Angkor is a must see for sure. Did you make it up to Bantay Sarai? Keep these pics coming!
 
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Phil your killing me! Were these taken on the same trip as your Ha Long Bay shots? We spent a week banging around this area at the end of our 200 Viet Nam trip. Angkor is a must see for sure. Did you make it up to Bantay Sarai? Keep these pics coming!

Thanks Rodney

We didn't make it up to Banteay Saray or whatever it's called, but we took in the floating village and other sights in the area. I've got to return as everywhere you go and look it's stunning.

East Mebon was good as we had the whole temple to ourselves, and there are other options which the day trippers never get to see. I was inspired by a National Geographic cover and story from around August 2009 which showed some other quieter areas to visit. The access and light painting that the NG photographer nailed are incredible. Here's a link:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/07/angkor/clark-photography

Top tip for anyone visiting. If you are staying for several days you can buy multiple day passes, either for consecutive days or a certain number of days in the month. This allows you to beat the queues each morning and pick and choose when you go into the temple areas if the weather's changeable.

We had 5 days in Hanoi, 8 days in Siem Reap and 2 days in Bangkok (and what felt like 2 days transferring in BKK airport!)

I'm definitely returning, potentially combining with Indonesia or Laos.
 
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Extremely nice series!

I also found Ankor Wat to be fascinating - and very difficult to photograph due to extreme contrast, humidity and size (i.e. huge trees on top of buildings!). I agree, taking your time increases your chances of getting great photos.

You have done a very good job!
Thanks Karen

I totally agree - the contrast and humididy is high, and I didn't have the experience to deal with it at the time. I'm feeling like I'd be able to do more justice to the place nowadays. The 18-105 was my travel (and only!) lens which was pretty versatile but not the best for IQ in those conditions.
 
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What time of year did you travel to Siem Reap?
There rainy season is over about end of October beginning of November. I spent a lot of time there with the UN just as they we getting into the beginning of the elections back in the early 90's. At that time land mines were a big issue around the temples. I looked at some pics recently taken of Siem Reap and could not believe how much it has become a tourist spot. When I was there I believe there was 4 or 5 decent places to eat and about 2 places that were ok to sleep at. I have a lot of pictures but those were from my Canon A1 days.
 
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Here are a few other assorted shots from the area of Angkor and Siem Reap. A definite recommendation for a hotel would be Le Meridien Angkor (I don't know the rack rate but at a travel industry rate of $50US a night room only I wasn't complaining!)

Le Meridien Angkor is one of the closest hotels to the south entrance to the temples, and 2km from town (a good walk, but maybe a bit sticky so a $3 return trip into Siem Reap's Pub Street for dinners)

Poolside at Le Meridien Angkor

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Sra Srang - opposite the entrance to Banteay Kdei

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Cambodian Family Transport (needs cropping, I know)

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Floating Village - mainly inhabited by Vietnamese

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When I was there the only pub was one operated by an ex Mercenary from New Zealand, he called it the "Landmine". It was a fitting name considering how many were still around there. I think there was 3 hotels that were liveable.

Le Meridien Angkor is one of the closest hotels to the south entrance to the temples, and 2km from town (a good walk, but maybe a bit sticky so a $3 return trip into Siem Reap's Pub Street for dinners)
 

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