Built in the 12th century and abandoned in the 15th century this temple is one of the oldest ruins in the area. It really shows the power of Mother Nature as some of the trees growing out of the walls are hundreds of feet high. This is to be expected as the area around the temple is a jungle and the place has been left unattended for over 500 years. Still I wasn’t expecting the trees to be quite so huge. The above photograph is a section of the roots of one of these massive trees. In 2010 the Archaeological Survey of India started to restore the temple as you can see by the modern intrusion of the metal support in this small doorway or window.
Walking back from the incredible Angkor Wat temple you across a large moat. Just after the sunrise the light is in a perfect place to highlight the bright pink water lilies that break up the reflections on the water. Zooming the camera and focusing on two of the flowers I was able to isolate these water lilies from the rest. Using the reflection of the trees behind to outline the plant.
There are many forms of transport in Cambodia. An elephant is a popular choice for tourists. This was taken just near to the Terrace of Elephants in Angkor Thom. Even after the best part of a month traveling around Asia this was the only area I came across elephants. They don’t take people very far, just around the four sides of the temple. The main way to travel around the local town of Siem Reap and the temples at Angkor is using Tuk Tuk. If you haven’t already, check out my video that I captured on my phone whilst being driven around the national park on a Tuk Tuk.
Walking around the ancient ruins of Angkor Thom (translated literally means “Great City”) its easy to forget that this is a religious site. That is until you walk through a dark, dimly lit passage and turn the corner to see these three children in the Shrine. They seemed very happy (as the majority of Cambodian people I came across did) as they lit incense.
Technically this was one of the more difficult photographs to take where I found myself longing for a more modern camera. It was so dark my camera needed to be set to ISO 1600 which for new digital SLRs would produce a grain free image. However my camera just couldn’t cope (to the point where I nearly deleted this photograph). Lightroom 4 has done a good job removing some of the noise or grain but sadly, it could never be good enough for a large print.