CAMBODIA ASSIGNMENT PREVIEW

My brief assignment of Cambodia after Vietnam for Wendy Wong Tours was largely concentrated on the Kingdom’s biggest drawcard – Angkor Wat – regarded as one of the 10 great wonders of the world (though I could only find it formally recognised as that by Trip Advisor).

And, for a photographer, what a pleasure it was to shoot  (despite the 38 degree heat, the 82% humidity and the seven million, billion other visitors).

While I managed to grab three monks for an hour to help me in the main temple of Angkor Wat, I most enjoyed Bayon Temple, with its serene faces that seemed to emerge from its sandstone towers.

Here’s a short selection from my three day visit:

Above and Below: I’d arranged with a nearby monastery the day before to have these three monks help me out with the shoot of Angkor Wat. Unfortunately I couldn’t take them to the other temples without permission from authorities.

At every turn, there was some unexpected display of creativity to see and photograph. I thought the hundreds of dancers carved into the sandstone walls (below) were made from a template but each of them was individually hand-carved.

Below: I loved this dappled light that shone through the trees onto the eastern entrance of Angkor Wat (sadly, it was to be the last time I got to see any more sunlight while I was there).

Below: More than two million people a year head down this ancient walkway towards Bayon Temple (you’re looking at the first couple to pass the barrier at 7am).

There were hundreds of these faces (below) carved into Bayon Temple – four on each tower facing in different directions – I guess to convey the message that the gods were all-seeing. There was a serenity to their expressions that made studying each one of them a pleasure.

…and here’s a few more captured along the way:

Footnote: As I have just written on my Instagram feed, I’m writing this post from the Cook Islands where I’m now on assignment just three days after my return from Cambodia – but it’s pouring so I thought I’d try and catchup. I’ll post a preview of my pics from the Vietnam trip I also did for Wendy Wu Tours shortly.