Saturday, 3 November 2007

WP: Rain in Angkor

Image Copyright © Stephen Brookes-All Rights Reserved

The Washington Post brings us an 'aimed at tourists' slide show feature on Angkor and Siem Reap.

Stephen Brookes went to Cambodia to see the famous temples of Angkor in July at the peak of monsoon season. Seasoned travelers warned him that going during the monsoon rains would be madness and that he would face more than 50 inches of rain, waste his time being stranded in your hotel, and swatting at mosquitoes.

He shares my contrarian idea that the monsoon is the best time to see Cambodia because there are few tourists (comparatively), and the rain rarely lasts more than an hour or two. The rain is usually refreshing, and the landscape turns lush, and colors take on richer hues. During my photo-expedition to Angkor Wat, we avoided the crush of tourists by photographing at the temples and ruins at the break of light, benefiting from cool mornings, and excellent light.

I think that Stephen's assertion that the monsoon season is the only time to go to Cambodia for photographers is somewhat of an exaggeration, however it's certainly a great time to go. I traveled to Laos in August and my experience was similar to his...excellent light, saturated colors and rain that lasted 2-3 hours at most.

The Washington Post insists in prefacing its multimedia shows with hideous advertisements...I bet many people just refuse to watch them, and either miss out on the features altogether, or go catatonic while they play until the feature starts. I just turn off the sound and look elsewhere for 30 seconds.

WP's Gallery: Pray For Rain in Angkor

WP's Article: When It Rains, You Score