Photo Expedition and Workshops
This 8-day photography tour with Siem Reap-based photographer Eric de Vries is a unique opportunity to explore Cambodia while learning the tricks and techniques of travel photography at the same time. You will uncover lesser known sites and aspects of Cambodia, learn how to get the best out of your camera and, with the personal instruction by Eric de Vries, improve your photo skills. Much time will therefore be spent on various aspects of photography, such as composition and light, and the tour also includes 2 post-production workshops.
Eric de Vries is specialised in documentary and fine art photography. He has been living and working in Cambodia since 2007. His clients come from the US, Europe and Hong Kong and all of them experienced a photo-tour and workshop with Eric. Besides leading tours, he is the founder of a Cambodia-based photo agency, named SEA/collectiv.
Overview8 Days (7 Nights from/to Phnom Penh)
- Day 1 Phnom Penh; Introduction workshop, markets and architecture in Phnom Penh
- Day 2 Stupas of Udong and floating village on the way to Battambang
- Day 3 Battambang: Phmom Sampeou and photo shoot in town
- Day 4 Scenic boat journey across the Tonle Sap to Siem Reap
- Day 5 Temples of Angkor
- Day 6 Sunrise at Angkor
- Day 7 Khmer country life
- Day 8 Check out and transfer or onward programme
Day 1: Introduction workshop in the morning before we explore Phnom Penh. We visit local markets and Buddhist temples. We also take time to explore the typical Khmer architecture from the sixties.
Day 2: We leave early today to explore some of the places of interest on our way to Battambang. The first stop is Udong, once Cambodia’s capital. There are a number of stupas on the top of nearby Phnom Udong, where former kings and queens are buried. We enjoy the panoramic views over the plains below, before we have a small production workshop and continue to Kampong Chhnang for lunch. Later we visit a traditional pottery village in the area before we reach the village of Kompong Luong, one of the largest floating settlements on the Tonle Sap Lake. We take a boat to capture some interesting scenes in this bustling community. We continue to the provincial capital of Pursat and arrive in Battambang towards the evening.
Day 3:Today we visit Phnom Sampeu, a sacred mountain which hosts a number of interesting pagodas and stupas as well as a moving memorial to the Khmer Rouge victims that were murdered in one of the killing caves in the mountain. In the afternoon we visit a disused factory where we capture the special atmosphere and are introduced to the techniques of object photography. In the evening we have a small postproduction workshop.
Day 4:After an early breakfast we are transferred to the pier where we board a boat for one of the most scenic boat journeys in Cambodia. Following the Sanker River and crossing the Tonle Sap Lake we pass floating villages, glide through protected wetlands, catching a glimpse of the spectacular wilderness and getting an insight into the lives of the local fisherman while capturing some of the scenes on camera. We arrive in Siem Reap, the gateway to the temples of Angkor, in the afternoon. We transfer to our hotel to have a rest. In the late afternoon we will have a fine art photography workshop near an ancient temple site.
Day 5: We spend a full day in the Angkor Archaeologic Park for photo shoots at Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and other temples.
Day 6: We rise early to catch the sunrise over Angkor before breakfast. The rest of the day is free at your own leisure. You may want to explore more temples or just relax at the pool of your hotel.
Day 7: On our way to Phnom Penh, we will stop at a sculpture workshop just outside Kompong Thom for a photo documentary. After lunch in Skuon we pay a visit to the Cham muslims, an ethnic minority that lives north of Phnom Penh on the riverbanks of the Mekong. We take our time for a photo shoot on Khmer Islam. We arrive at our hotel in the late afternoon. We will end our tour with a presentation of our best work, shot during the expedition, while having our farewell-dinner.
Day 8:Time free at leisure until your check out and transfer or the beginning of your onward programme
The above tours are therefore sample itineraries.
Cambodia’s bustling capital is situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers. Legend has it that Phnom Penh was founded when a woman by the name of Penh found Buddha images washed up on the bank of the Mekong River. In 1373, a temple, Wat Phnom, was built on a hill to house them. With Phnom in Khmer meaning hill, Phnom Penh literally translates as Hill of Penh. Officially the city was founded in 1434 by King Ponhea Yat, following the fall of Angkor.
Today, Phnom Penh is a city of more than 1.5 million people. With continuing urban development it is fast developing into an economic hub of the region, at the same time retaining its distinct atmosphere with its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial buildings and an abundance of chic bistros dotted along the riverfront, bustling markets, intriguing boutiques and stylish hotels.
Places of interest include the royal palace including the Silver Pagoda with its spectacular floor made up of 5,000 silver tiles, the National Museum housing treasures from the world’s finest collection of sculptures from the Angkor period, Wat Phnom, the city’s landmark and the notorious Toul Sleng Genocide Museum.
Phnom Penh is also ideal gateway for daytrips to the surrounding countryside. Particularly attractive are boat trips on the Mekong and Tonle Sap combined with a visit to the picturesque Silk Island or a visit of Udong, once the Capital of Cambodia, and the floating villages of Kampong Chhnang.
Tourist hub of Cambodia
As gateway to the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap is clearly the tourist hub of Cambodia. Accordingly, the town offers a vast array of accommodation options, ranging from boutique guest houses to some of the best hotels in the region.
The picturesque town centre hosts many speciality restaurants, lively bars, designer boutiques and a bustling night market.
Apart from temple visits, there are plenty activities that warrant a longer stay than just a couple of days, ranging from photography courses to cycling adventures to excursions to nearby bird sanctuaries or a homestay in a floating village on the nearby Tonle Sap Lake.
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