Welcome to Angkor Wat! In this travel vlog, we take a guided weekend trip to the ancient temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and photograph the temple. Like most magnificent sights, we were not the only ones there. In fact, crowds can reach the thousands. So be sure to come prepared. Here is how to photograph the temple like a pro during a weekend trip.
Behind the scenes video:
When to go:
September or March, which are the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. At this time, the sun lines up directly above the central pinnacle of Angkor Wat, a estimate to the genius architecture.
First, we get up at 4:45 am to buy our ticket to the temple, which is $36 for a one day pass and $62 for a three day pass. At 5 am, we reach the temple. You can get to the temple via tuk tuk, taxi, or bike.
Here is the scene when we arrived:
Camera Set Up:
First, make sure your DSLR lens does not fog from the humidity. It took me about 15 minutes for the humidity on my lens to dissipate. I set up my tripod and filmed a time-lapse photo of the glorious sunrise. Be sure to get in the front row for optimal viewing.
Where to set up your camera:
Set your camera up on the west or north sides of the temple next to the outer moat (see pin drops below). You can also cross the moat and set up next to the "Libraries" where you will find an interior reflective pool. This area is much more crowded, so be sure to get there early.
View from the West side of the outer moat. The temple looks more distant, but I got an unobstructed view with no people or scaffolding in the shot.
View from the interior pool near the "Libraries". The temple is closer in view and the colors change every few minutes.
Here is what to bring:
Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia! This area is filled with majestic and ancient temples from the Khmer Empire built from the 9th to 13th Century. While Angkor Wat dominates the itinerary for most tourists, there are plenty of other temples that are unique and interesting. Here are the top five temples to see in Siem Reap.
Behind the scenes video
1. Angkor Thom and Bayon
The first stop is Angkor Thom and Bayon, built in the 12th Century by King Jayavarman VII. The temple of Bayon is one of the most recognizable for having the four sided-faces on the monument. It is flanked by a surrounding reflective moat. Our tour guide explains that the temple was modified from Buddhist to Hindu (by adding the third eye to the Buddha head) and back to Theravada Buddhist.
2. Ta Prohm
Next, we visit Ta Prohm which is the filming location for the movie Tomb Raider. It is notable for its atmospheric and jungle scenery, including giant tree roots from over 200-400 year old sacred fig trees engulfing the temple.
3. Pre Rup
Pre Rup is a Hindu temple made of brick and sandstone, notable for its cistern in the center, and towering staircase leading the towering prasats. It is most beautiful at sunset as the sandstone temple glows a pink color in the sun.
4. Ta Som
Ta Som was built in the later 12th Century. The entrance is through a gate with a face culture on top, and a central temple while contains a Buddha sculpture. .
5. Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is so massive and historic, that it needs its own blog post. Stay tuned for the next blog post where we will review the top places to photograph within Angkor Wat.
Comment below on your favorite temple to visit in Siem Reap?
Welcome to Macau! In this video, we take a day trip via turbo jet ferry from Hong Kong Island to Macau , the land where East meets West.
Getting To Macau from Hong Kong
We took the ferry from Hong Kong Island, which leaves about every 30 minutes. It cost $42 for a round trip ticket. Be sure to bring you passport as you are going to a different administrative region of China. Next, be sure to bring cash - cash is King in Macau and either Hong Kong or Macau dollars will do.
Macau was a former Portuguese colony from the 16th century until 1999 when China took it over. It is now a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China where Macau controls their own customs and currency, and China handles the rest. There is also an extravagant Las Vegas atmosphere in Macau that makes for an exciting destination to travel. It is also extremely easy to get to from Hong Kong.
First, we visit Largo Do Senado (Senado Square) which is the historic Portuguese center and UNESCO World Heritage Site. St. Dominic's Church is a main highlight of this square.
Fernando's - Chinese Portuguese Cuisine
Next, we venture to Fernando's to visit a Portuguese - Chinese fusion restaurant by the beach. We also visit the beach in Macau. Be sure to bring cash! Watch what happens when we try to get back to town without any cash left.
Ruins of St Paul
One of the most iconic sights in Macau is the Ruins of St Paul, which was the largest Catholic church in Asia. There is a grand staircase leading up to the facade that is still standing after being destroyed by a fire in 1835.
Vegas of the East
You cannot visit Macao without seeing the Casinos, including the Venetian, and Paris, and the Wynn. Did you know that Macao is the largest gambling epicenter in the world? It even beat out Vegas. It's the only region in China where you can legally gamble.
Macau is truly one of a kind, with East meets West fusion. It is definitely worth a visit!
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.