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Thread: We're going to Cambodia!!!

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    We're going to Cambodia!!!

    Well,

    My Wife suprised the hell out of me and booked 2 tickets to Siem Reap (that's right next to the massive temple complex known as Angkor Wat!!) yesterday!!

    I thought I'd start a thread and ask for advice or travel tips, places that are must sees, and all the other bits of advice available around this wonderful community!

    I figure I should put a list of gear here and ask reccommendations on what to take too!

    so, here's what I gots!

    1x k10 Pentax body
    1x k5 Pentax body
    1x Sigma 10-20 - this is coming regardless of what anyone says!!
    1x Tamron 17-50 2.8
    1x Sigma 50 mm 1.4
    1x Sigma 70 x 200 2.8

    1x Light Manfrotto cheapie tripod (I can't remember the model atm but it only just holds the weight of my dslr)
    1x heavy Seagul (photocontinental cheapie ripoff of a manfrotto tripod) that is much more stable then the manfrotto)
    1x very heavy Manfrotto tripod with a panosauraus panohead on it

    1x Lowpro flipside 200 (small backpack)
    1x Lowpro computrekker (big backpack)

    3x Cokin GND Filters - All of these are coming
    1x Cokin Polarising filter - Coming
    1x Singhray Vari ND - Coming
    1x Cokin Infared filter - not coming

    2x external flashes and remote triggers.

    assorted cable releases bits of microfibre cloth, lens pens, and all the other assorted crap.

    Thoughts?
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
    Pentax K5
    Sigma 10-20 | Tamron 17-50 F:2.8 | Sigma 50 F:1.4 | Sigma 70-200 F:2.8 Plus a bunch of Ye Olde lenses


    Would you like to see more?
    http://flickr.com/photosbygreg

  2. #2
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    Four years now I have worked in Siem Reap in developmental/charity work - still loving the place and the people there.

    I am not a fan of Angkor Wat compared to the other ruins close by, due to the high number of tourists and pristine reconstruction efforts by UNESCO and other groups etc. But its still good to visit the place and appreciate its beauty and architecture.

    Down the road is the Angkor Thom city ruins and Baphuon complex, less tourists, less restored, nice stroll around to visit a few sites. The Ta Prohm temple - where the original Tomb Raider movie was shot - is also worth a visit, such as the ancient 1000 year old tree growing over the ruins, amazing.

    When you book the tuk tuk ride/tour to the Angkor ruins, everyone always starts off at Angkor Wat for the sunrise shots, but after that rush to Ta Prohm 15 mins away, as its further out and less tourists will be arriving there - tends to get very busy there from lunch time onwards as ppl work there way from Angkor Wat to Angkor Thom and then over to Ta Prohm.

    Of course, there are also other temples too but those were the ones that stood out for me for photography.

    You will notice an unusually large amount of South Koreans and restaurants in the city, due to the deal struck by the Cambodian government (based on a lot of corruption and lack of foresight) and the South Korean tourism - but thats another story in itself.

    Very, very safe city to walk around with camera gear.

    Please make sure to visit the Landmine Museum 30 mins outside of Siem Reap, where the Landmine Reilef Fund and Orphanage is for victims of landmines. Ask to see Bill Morse - hes an American friend who lives there and runs the school and demining program alongside Aki Ra - one of the true heroes of post-war Cambodia - Aki Ra won the CNN Person of the Year in 2010 and has individually deactivated over 50,000 mines alone. He is always out in the field working with the others so you will be lucky to see him at the museum. The place is an eye opener for the sad history of Cambodia.

    One thing you will come to realize in Siem Reap, and Cambodia - is that the country is a very 'young' country. There are not that many elderly people around - as the genocide by the Khmer Rouge drastically lessened the population in the 70s.

    Anyway, you will have a ball - make sure to interact with the lovely locals as much as possible - they are very keen to practice their English with you
    Commercial/Editorial/Wedding work - www.jackietranphoto.com
    Travel Photography - www.wanderingasianguy.com

    Broncolor lights up my world.

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    that's excelent! thank you for the information, I was going to ask about sunrises too!

    I'd read about the landmine meuseum and planned to visit it too. I will make sure to ask about your mate and shake his hand (assuming he's there)

    I'm really starting to get excited now!

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    No worries mate, here are some other tips for you:

    1) about 10 mins from the Landmine Museum is an army base - where its popular for tourists to go shoot military weapons on the indoor and outdoor range, roughly around $45USD for a 30 round mag of an AK or M16, cheaper for weapons such as MP5 and M1 and older carbines etc. You can also shoot a live chicken too for 15 bucks but I have never done it

    2) You can pay in both USD and Cambodian Riels. 1USD is 2000 Riels. So if something is 2USD, you can pay with 1000 Riel note and a 1USD note and its fine.

    3) Tuk Tuk drivers are very friendly and honest - you can negotiate rides easily, even day trips before you board. A 2 person transport for the Angkor ruins from 6AM to 6PM you can negotiate around 25-30USD - he will wait for you at every destination - pay him half then pay the other half at the end of the day.

    4) If you plan on exploring most of the ruins its better to get the other multi passes or weekly pass, as it works out to be cheaper than the Day Pass of 20USD per person.

    5) There is a departure tax at Siem Reap international airport - I think around 20 or 25USD - so make sure you have cash on you.

    6) Tonle Sap - the huge inland lake - is worth a visit for a day trip to see the floating villages. I prefer climbing onto the roof of the boats for photos and sightseeing instead of sitting below in the noisy cabin where the engine is.

    7) There are a plethora of charity organizations and orphanages operating in the area, they are worth the visit to see the ongoing efforts of locals and foreigners alike.

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    I agree with JM about some of the other temples being better, especially Banteay Srey (my favourite by far, smaller but a lot of detail).

    The only other thing I would suggest is the (tethered) balloon ride to give you a very good view of the city, or if the budget permits - helicopter ride. I did both and were well worth it.

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    Thanks guys this is real gold medal info!!

    Should i take the 70 - 200?

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    Also, please comfirm this and dont take my words for granted.
    3 years ago when i was visiting cambodia, I exchanged some us currency in Perth airport and the lady at the counter was taking really long going through each note.
    So, i asked her why and she told me she got to give me US note that is 2005 and/or newer or else I cant use it in Cambodia. Same apply to Malaysia too when I was at the dutyfree store, there was a sign saying 'Only receive 2004 (cant remember exact year) or newer US notes'

    And, when we arrived in Cambodia, a few guys wanted to exchange some money at the Money Exchange in Cambodia airport, (thank God I was there and was told by the lady in Perth) when we go through the US notes received, there were at least USD20.00 older notes amongst it. We have to keep checking and telling the cashier we want newer notes.

    So please make sure you get the right US notes and not the old ones.

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    Thanks Monster.

    I make it a point that when I'm travelling overseas to only use the ATM machines. I will only use the major ones, and have security cameras. I always check for skimmers and always cover and wipe when I put my pin in.

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    We're going to Cambodia!!!

    Pack an alarm clock and the wide angle lenses are essential.
    Angkor wat isn't the best spot and the other temples mentioned by the others are much better
    Ta prohm gets my tick as favourite but I was there 15 years ago now and there were still a few no go areas due to landmines and possible kr activity.
    Do you really need 2 bodies and 3 tripods? I'd take the medium tripod only unless your wife is also using one of the bodies.
    The long lens will be useful especially at Baphoun to compress perspectives
    Have fun
    Last edited by wolffman; 04-11-2012 at 1:38pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular bobt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    I'd read about the landmine meuseum and planned to visit it too.
    Not sure if you're interested, but I just made an audio visual about this general issue - it's at http://tinyurl.com/b37clda it might be of background interest.

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    Thanks Bob. I will check that link out as soon as I'm on a pc that has sound.

    Wolffman: I hadn't planned on taking all 3 pods. Not by a long shot. I figured on leaving the Panohead and taking my hiking pod and possibly the seagul.
    My Wife will be using the second body, she's a bit of a happy snapper, but when you give her a tripod and some time to slow down and think she can come up with some spectacular images.

    I think more often then not, she'll have the 17-50 on and I'll have either the 10-20 or the 70-200 doing street stuff

    Either way, I'm super excited to be going!

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    5 days until we fly out ... Starting to get excited now!

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    And I can understand you being excited.. Have a Wonderful time and Take Care..

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    Going Cold Blooded outstar79's Avatar
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    Have a blast Greg, you'll love it - hope you love the heat and humidity! Take care mate - looking forward to the photos!
    Canon 7D Mark II


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    Well, I just got back home, and I have to say; What a beautiful crazy place Cambodia is! Temples galore, tuk Turks by the score, more cruiser pushes them you could poke a dozen sticks at a d the people are super nice!

    So many great photos to come!
    But first coffee, I haven't had a decent coffee in 10 days now!

    Thank you all for the suggestions. Firing an AK47 was a real highlight for me. Thankfully I was not selected for an explosives test on the way back in!

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    Going Cold Blooded outstar79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    Well, I just got back home, and I have to say; What a beautiful crazy place Cambodia is! Temples galore, tuk Turks by the score, more cruiser pushes them you could poke a dozen sticks at a d the people are super nice!

    So many great photos to come!
    But first coffee, I haven't had a decent coffee in 10 days now!

    Thank you all for the suggestions. Firing an AK47 was a real highlight for me. Thankfully I was not selected for an explosives test on the way back in!
    Glad to hear you had a great trip, the Flickr updates have been great - any footage of you and the AK?

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    The wife lasted in the range for the first 3 rounds and buggered off. I have about 4 oof shots that are terrible.

    I even handed her my phone and asked her for video.... fail!!

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