Cambodia: A Photo Essay

Author: 

Mytri Reddy, Director, Planetwildlife

Mytri Reddy recalls her visit to Cambodia through this photo essay. Read about some of the highlights of her tour including Angkor Wat at sunrise and a sunset river cruise at Kep.

 

Angkor Wat at dawn

 

Angkor Wat is absolutely stunning and a photographer's dream! I was there by 4 AM and had just set up my tripod and camera and what started as a drizzle ended up becoming a full-fledged downpour. The rising sun disappeared behind the dark clouds and I got this shot of the Angkor with the trees swaying against the gentle breeze.

 

One of the many beautiful temples in the Angkor Complex

 

Dancers at Angkor

Amitav Ghosh, in his book “Dancing in Cambodia and At Large in Burma”, touchingly describes the art of traditional dance and its significance to the people of Cambodia. I had read this book years ago and when I was in Siem Reap, attending a classical dance performance was definitely on my list of things to do. Khmer Classical Dancing is Cambodia's most famous art form and it is something all Cambodian's are proud of. These dance ballets usually borrow the plot from the Hindu epic, Ramayana, and the dancers use stylized movements and delicate gestures to convey meaning and tell a story. While we were walking around exploring Angkor Wat, we saw these beautiful dancers in all their finery passing by. Later that evening we attended a dance ballet and it was beautiful!

 

Faces of Bayon

The Temple of Bayon completely swept me off my feet! The giant faces with their gentle smiles are so enigmatic. This is definitely a photographer's paradise and is as photographed as the Angkor Wat if not more.

A young girl sits at Banteay Srei

 

We arrived at the Temple of Banteay Srei about an hour before sun set. The temple was bathed in sunlight and it had a pinkish hue to it. The exquisite carvings on pink and yellow sandstone definitely make this temple stand out from the others in Siem Reap. I had taken a few pictures of this little girl near one of the entrances of the Banteay Srei temple and she seemed to be occupied playing a game and lost in her own thoughts. It was a while before she noticed me but she willingly posed and then ran up to me to take a peek at the digital display of my camera.

 

Entrance to the Temple of Banteay Srei

 

Ta Prohm temple

 

An ancient face peeks out through a tree trunk at Ta Prohm

 

Ta Prohm is fascinating and has an air of mystery to it. Nature has taken over this temple and giant trees have grown through its floor, walls and the roof. The restoration work undertaken on this temple is minimal and trees destroy and support the structure at the same time.

 

Exploring Ta Prohm

 

Sunset at Kep with the Cardamom Mountains in the distance

 

We are driving south of Phnom Penh to the coast when we stopped at the small town of Kep for lunch, and decided to take a short cruise on the river. The mountains you see in the pictures are the Cardamom Mountains, which are home to several species of endangered wildlife. The coastal town of Kep is quiet and unhurried and very unlike the busy beach resort towns in Thailand or Vietnam. You can sit back and enjoy a drink while watching the sunset, visit nearby villages and their markets, and enjoy local restaurants here.

Inspired to travel to Cambodia? Check out these tours:

Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more travel conversations. Sign up to our bi-monthly newsletter for latest travel offers!