2010-07-04 -- Siem Reap

Wow, this was a full and long day. We got up early, early to start touring Angkor Wat at 7am (to beat the crowds and heat), had two hours off for lunch and resting, then fired up again for a visit to Artesians d'Angkor, and the floating village, either Chong Khneas (read more) or Kampong Phluk.

We took motorcycled powered tuk-tuk's to the temples, stopping at Angkor Wat first, then the Bayan Temple of Angkor Thom, and finally visiting Ta Prohm. Even as we arrived at Angkor Wat, at 7:30am, people were leaving and it was hot. By the time we got to the Bayan Temple, we were drenched in sweat, and there was little shade. Ta Prohm was much more comfortable, being buried in a shady forest. We were all ready for bathrooms, lunch and swimming after this.

The afternoon was much less strenuous; a bus ride to Artesians d'Angkor, maybe half an hour of learning about the artists, some shopping in the air conditioned gift shop (where they sell what they make), then a bus ride to the river/lake. I was a little disappointed in the tour of the floating city; it was a boat ride to the city, then we passed by it (moderately close) to go park in the lake when the boat driver fixed/cleaned the propellor, then we stopped for half an hour at the restaurant/store, and left the city. No actual tour of the city itself.

I took 431 pictures today, 51 of which were for panoramic stitches. Three hundred and eighty real exposures in about ten hours. That works out to one picture every (almost) 16 seconds, unbeleviable. This page is just too big to finish (captions, links) while on the trip, sorry.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 90.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
To the temples by tuk-tuk.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 70.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200
The front of Angkor Wat, backlight.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/5 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 50.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 40.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 90.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200
The gangs in front of Angkor Wat. The work crew is hauling a pile of stone up the stairs, to make a walkway. They're using a set of woven mats, a worker puts a shovel full of stone on the mat, another lifts and throws the mat up on the ledge, and others move and empty the mat.

Compare this to the American version, where we'd just shovel it directly from the bottom to the top, spilling huge amounts all over the place.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200
The Air Journey crew, up close and a little off center.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200
The work crew, not really working right now, but laughing at the crazy Americans taking pictures of them.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200
I was awed by the contrast here. Our first exploration inside the actual temple, and it was dark. Outside was a wooden staircase in direct sunlight.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 47.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200
Here's the staircase from the previous picture.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200
If you look back a few pictures -- the one with the workers and us -- this is a passageway just behind the pillars on the right side of the temple. Once you get used to it, direct sun and harsh shadows can be kind of fun to photograph.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/6.4, ISO 200
The left wall all along the passageway is covered in stone carvings. Some have been 'preserved' with lacquer, which also seems to be highlighting certain areas. Or, maybe, everyone touching them has left enough finger juice to darken the stone.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/160 sec, f/5.7, ISO 200
Still in the passageway...



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/10 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400
For Anais, a couple of iguanas hiding above an arch.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 40.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400
A different passageway, more carvings.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Angkor Wat, just barely in wide angle.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 35.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 17.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
From the corner, Angkor Wat fits beautifully into 16mm, and is impressive.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L at 24.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Using the tilt-shift, correctly for once, to straighten Angkor Wat. 24mm just wasn't quite enough to get the whole thing. I don't reliably remember if this was a 'shift' or a 'tilt'. I'm guessing it was a 'shift' since everything is mostly in focus (and also because I can't actually do a 'tilt' correctly).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 45.0 mm; 1/2500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Wow, I just can't pick the better of this and the next picture. They're so similar, yet so different.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 50.0 mm; 1/2500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Wow, I just can't pick the better of this and the previous picture. They're so similar, yet so different.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Sadly, they only posed with the expectation of getting money. The little one was having fun (peace, brother) the other two (especially the girl) were all about getting a dollar. I didn't ask for them to pose, they just did. I also didn't give them a buck for posing. Neither should you.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 65.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
This guy gave me a dirty look (the kids from before were on the wooden steps behind the guy, and the god in the previous picture is just to the right of this) but then didn't seem to care about the picture.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
There was a hot air balloon, tethered I think, floating above one of the other temples.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 98.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
On the way to Angkor Thom, we stopped before a bridge to take a picture of a temple gate -- the bridge was lined with Buddhas. I decided the road (with tourists and motorcycles and busses) was quite ugly, and instead went to the outside of the bridge to capture the gate -- buddha butts and all. Plus, it was backlit anyway. It kind of worked.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Here's the gate from the front-lit side. It is an impressive structure.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
Same gate, but from the side, from within the trees and roots.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Angkor Thom.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Angkor Thom, just a massive stone construction.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
It is hard to imagine just what the original structure was, and what they were trying to do. This looks almost like a natural rock formation.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 60.0 mm; 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 3200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
Sorry, Dad, but this does capture just how incredibly steep and massive Angkor Thom is.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/100 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/100 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/80 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/80 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
I think it was worth it. I waited for five whole minutes (FIVE MINUTES!) for tourists to get out of the way here. Finally, a break in the traffic...only to have the next group waiting for a pose to NOT GET OUT OF THE WAY. I had to wave them back a couple of times... eventually giving up -- the largest offender is still visible on the right.

Yes, I know I sound like a jerk.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
Possibly the best view of Angkor Thom, from the 'exit', loaded with people and trees in the way.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/5.7, ISO 100
Our tuk-tuks were waiting in the shade, along with hundreds of their friends selling everything for a dollar.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 82.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100
A monstrous "chieuteal" (Dipterocarpus alatus) tree in Angkor ....



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/100 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Steve, capturing a "sprung" (Tetrameles nudiflora) tree.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
My capture of the "sprung" (Tetrameles nudiflora) tree.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200
Wow! A little girl sleeping in the temple. Just after I started trying to take this picture a whole mess of tourists with cameras showed up. Excited murmurs, flashes, more flashes and more flashes. Fortunately, she never woke up, and I ran away.

I actually couldn't see a damn thing through the view finder, and I managed to cut off her foot a bit.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/30 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200
This is still with no flash, I can't imagine how terrible the picture looks with flash.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 17.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/6.4, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/6.4, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 80.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
Wood carving and painting in the Artesians Angkor.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 73.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 47.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
Metal working in the Artesians Angkor.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 50.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
Stone sculpting in the Artesians Angkor.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 70.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
More stone sculpting.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 75.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
Back to wood working.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/4000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800
These men are waterproofing a boat by covering it with tar or sap or some other sticky substance. At the end of the trip we saw the finished product.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/2000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800
Not just small boats are built here.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 142.0 mm; 1/4000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800
The boats we took out to the village (see the very bottom of this page) held 20 or so people, five rows of four chairs. Yes, chairs, not benches. Chairs like these.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/2500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800
Life on the river, selling the days catch.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 70.0 mm; 1/1600 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/1600 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/2500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
The large boat is similar to what we're on. Like in Krabi, the boats used automobile engines, but the prop shaft appeared to be fixed -- still long though. The smaller boats caused a bit of a problem for us too; we almost hit (and doesn't it look like they almost hit here too?); only a swerve and a blast of power from the smaller boat avoided a collision (and soaked us, thanks).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/4000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
Chong Khneas is on a massive lake.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Coming from a landlocked state, I'm amazed by how well the kids handle boats and water in general...



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
...and just how comfortable people are with the water. Not afraid at all of getting wet, then again, I don't see any pricey camera gear hanging off their necks.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Dang, I already switched from the 70-200mm back to the 24-105mm, so no details here. This little boy is floating around in a tub. The first one I saw in real life (pictures like this are all over the web) but only one of three I saw today.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 70.0 mm; 1/2000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
The clouds were impressive and big...



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 105.0 mm; 1/100 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
I guess our destination in the village was a store/restaurant. Attached to the place were a couple of cages of alligators and chickens. They weren't very active; this guy was waiting for dinner to show up in his mouth for several minutes.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 70.0 mm; 1/100 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 50.0 mm; 1/2000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
From the top of the restaurant, looking out at some of the village. I did a couple of panoramic views from here, but nothing is ready to be posted yet.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/4000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
We joked this guy had the Corvette, small and fast.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/4000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
ARGH! Camera was on maunal mode, not set for shadows. Maybe I can rescue it.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
Landscape...



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
...or portrait?



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/2000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 140.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
Repairing a boat.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
Kids running around on a hill.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
Perfect light here.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 200.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
But not perfect placement (look at the camera already!).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 170.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
The waterproofed boat.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 70.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
The river/lake swells by seven meters in the rainy season. Proof: the walkway to the river is on a giant hinge.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 145.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
Floating backhoe.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at 70.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
The dock on the end of the river.



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