Excellent Halloween party, followed last weekend by an equally impressive fireworks display, dinner and after party. Finally I have some time free to catch up with the plans - less than a hundred days to go... So had a meeting with Mum a couple of weeks ago to complete our application forms for criminial records check, and since then we have both received clean certificates back (phew) as well as our original ID docs which had to accompany the forms. So far so good, that at least means that we can visit the project as volunteers working with the children.
We also received the full itinery from Eric the fine art photographer which is now costing less for a personal guide than it would have to join a group tour - result!
The planned photographic part of the trip is below and is just what we were hoping for;
Day 1 - Introduction in the morning before we are going to explore Phnom Penh. We will be visiting local markets and Buddhist temple sites. The Royal Palace and Tuol Sleng are scheduled for a visit in the afternoon.
Day 2 - Phnom Penh / Oudong / Kompong Chhnang. We leave the capitol by car along rice fields and rural life towards Oudong, once the capital of ancient Cambodia. After being uphill for spectacular views we'll have a short workshop during lunchtime. In the late afternoon we continue our trip to Kompong Chhnang on the borders of Tonle Sap lake.
Day 3 - Kompong Chhnang / Battambang. In the early morning at sunrise we will take a boat to a floating village on Tonle Sap lake for a photo documentary on life on water. After lunch we will be heading for Battambang and will be visiting Phnom Sampeau Mountain, famous for its Killing Fields in the caves. On our way to our hotel in Battambang we will see large fields of lotus flowers.
Day 4 - Battambang / Siem Reap. During the rainy season we will take a boat ride to Siem Reap. And again lots of photo opportunities on our way. We'll end up at some floating villages on Tonle Sap before we will picked up by tuk tuk to drive us into Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat. In the late afternoon we will have a fine art photography workshop near the ancient temple site.
Day 5 - Siem Reap. A full day at the temples within the Angkor Archaeologic Park for photo shoots at Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and more
Day 6 - Siem Reap. A full day countryside tour. In the morning we will visit a very local market and meet the villagers. After lunch we'll take a boat to a floating village for some life-on-water shooting.
Day 7 - Travel back to Phonm Penh - This day, on our way to Phnom Penh, we will stop at a 'Buddha factory' just outside Kompong Thom for a photo shoot. After lunch in Skuon we pay a visit to the Cham muslims, a minority that lives north of Phnom Penh on the borders of the Mekong. We take our time for a photoshoot on Khmer Islam. We arrive at our hotel before the sun goes down.
I bought a new long lens recently too (Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSAM).
Very excited and immediately booked myself on another one-day workshop with David Plummer to go try it out. I went to Richmond Park to capture the rutting season and it was so worth the effort (and the very early start). I highly recommend it to anyone who's never been.
“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins