New Photo Club to launch in Siem Reap.

Saturday 18 December 2010

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Photo Club to launch in Siem Reap.

Local photographers will soon benefit from the formation of a new camera and photo society, located in Siem Reap.Angkor Photo Club logo

The brainchild of Siem Reap-based British Photographer Dave Perkes, Angkor Photo Club has been formed to provide local and international photo enthusiasts an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and technique.

Angkor Photo Club members will enjoy a club that is free from joining fees and in addition to regular club meetings and social activities; they will also have free access to website, forum and online photo galleries in which to showcase their work.

Mr Perkes said today: “Photography is all around us with millions of people who carry cameras and take photos in this special place of Angkor.  We want to encourage photography to be an enjoyable positive experience and non elitist.”

He added “We will give support to those who want to learn more and give impartial advice on equipment where needed.”

There are no restrictions on membership. The Angkor Photo Club is open for amateurs who want to know more and professionals who have a commitment to helping others enjoy this creative activity. Local Khmer photographers are positively encouraged to join.

Mr Perkes went on to say: “We aim to meet here in Siem Reap on regular schedule each month. The meetings will be informal and a social occasion. The members decide the content and theme of each meeting in advance there will be opportunities for slideshows and guest presenters. Support and encouragement to Khmer photographers is a core activity and the interaction between Khmer and Foreign amateur photographers is an important part of this”.

The inaugural meeting for the club is scheduled for Tuesday 18 January 2011 at a location to be advised, in Siem Reap. Further details of the meeting and club membership is available on their website www.angkorphotoclub.com

Ends.

PR Contact: Warren Garber admin@angkorphotoclub.com

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A Tragedy Beyond Comprehension

Thursday 25 November 2010

The past few days have been so dreadful for all of us here in Cambodia. There was a feeling of numbness on Tuesday morning as many of us awoke to the terrible news of over 300 people perished at the end of the annual ‘Bon Om Thook’ (Water Festival), in our capital city of Phnom Penh.

As I write this during a national day of mourning here, the death toll has risen to over 450 and is likely to rise further.

What has made this tragedy so much more difficult to accept, is the knowledge that so many people from the villages and provinces, look forward to this event as the highlight of their year. They save a little money each month, so that they can travel to the cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, and take in the sights and sounds of this wonderful festival. For many, it’s their only visit of the year.

For some, it was their first – and only visit to Phnom Penh. I read an article of a 53 years-old mother who lost both daughters – aged 15 and 23 along with her son-in-law. It was their first time in the capital. I’m sure there are many more heart-rending similarities. As a parent with children of similar ages, I can and yet at the same time, can’t imagine what that lady is going through.

I did intend to write an article and post photo’s of the festival here in Siem Reap, but today doesn’t feel the right time.

So, I’ll finish by expressing on behalf of Peace of Angkor Tours and our staff and friends, our sincere condolences to families affected, wherever they are in Cambodia.

 

Warren

Latest news about The Bamboo Train

Tuesday 2 November 2010

I’d been hearing rumours that Cambodia’s famed and unique Bamboo Railway at Battambang had ceased operating at the end of September. This was to make way for the new and upgraded railway line being laid between Phnom Penh and the Thai border near Poipet in N W Cambodia.

Well, Battambang is a favourite place of mine and I hadn’t been there in almost a year – so decided on a weekend away with some friends – purely in the interests of research, of course!

Cambodia’s railway network is a broken shambles. Years of war, neglect and indifference have resulted in no passenger trains operating at all. The last weekly service between Phnom Penh and Battambang finished almost two years ago.

Of course Cambodia’s immensely resourceful people are undeterred. Over the years they have developed their own transport system on the disused railway. Frequently termed the ‘Bamboo Railway’ or Bamboo Train’, they have created a simple, but effective and speedy way to transport locals, goods and now an increasing number of tourists.

So, take two axles, weld on some small flanged wheels – fashion a raft made from bamboo, ‘acquire’ a small petrol engine from UN supplied generators and water-pumps, attach a simple drive belt – and you’re good to go!

And ‘go’ they certainly do! They’ll whizz along at around 40kph (25mph), and certainly clatter along the warped, twisted and often broken tracks.

The wonderful part of the journey is when meeting another train (nori or norry) coming in the opposite direction. The nori with the least people or goods is dismantled, the other goes past and then the dismantled one is re-assembled on the tracks. This whole procedure takes less than two minutes!
It’s an absolutely exhilarating ride of around 14km round-trip.  It’ll cost tourists around US10 for ride – that’s per nori, not per person – and it has to be up there with the other Great Railway Journeys of The World.
Oh, and I did check with some locals about the state of affairs regarding when it’ll stop running. They tell me ‘one year more’. Given that a Cambodian ‘please wait five minute more’ can be any length of time – it’s difficult to say exactly how long ‘one year’ is.

But I would advise visiting it sooner rather than later. Once it’s gone – it’s gone!

Safe travels!

Warren

Ps. here’s a link to the world famous magazine ‘Railway Gazette International’ which has more on developments.

I’ll admit I read the mag – go on, click the link, you know you want to…

Me - ready to ride

Dengue Fever in Phnom Penh

Sunday 16 May 2010

Before you get concerned about my state of health; Dengue Fever are an American rock band who play Khmer style rock, harking back to the innovative music that came out of the country in the 1960s. The band stopped off in Cambodia in the middle of a world tour. Steve and I had the onerous 🙂 task of shooting the band for week from Monday 10th May.

The first gig at the Parkway theater included the Legendary Kung Nai the octogenarian master of the Chapai (2 stringed guitar)

Chapai master Kung Nai

Kung Nai and his 2 stringed Chapai guitar

Senon making a trunk call

I went out with the Band on Weds 12th May to Ta Kmau zoo south of Phnom Penh .  Dengue Fever are helping support the organization which conserves and rehabilitates animals that have been captured and neglected .

Dngue fFever and elephant

Dngue Fever and elephant

Animals at the park   include:  tigers, elephant apes, bears and rare birds in a 250 hectare site. It’s an interesting place which is likely to be featured in our custom southern Cambodia tours.

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever at Wat Botum LA Times shot

The Concert at Wat Botum was attended by over 3000 people. This image was published in the Los Angeles Times 19th May 2010

Dengue Fever lead singer Nimol

Nimol of Dengue Fever at Wat Botum

Dave Perkes on action at Dengue fever gig

Dave Perkes in action at Dengue Fever gig

photo by Andy Brouwer of Dave in action

Images by  Dave Perkes 15th May 2010

Su’sday Ch’nam Tamai

Thursday 15 April 2010

…which is ‘Happy New Year’ here in Cambodia!

Peace of Angkor staff Siem Reap Cambodia

Savy - preparing the traditional New Year offering to the gods. (Didn't realise he drank Sprite though!)

And the Khmers don’t do things by half – it’s a three-days event during this week. Officially 14 – 16 April, many people take the week off – to go back to their ‘homeland’. I love that term – it really means the town, village or province in Cambodia that they come from.

So a bit like Xmas for us westerners. They get together with their families to eat, drink and party! It’s made things a bit quieter here in Siem Reap, as many people have left for their homeland. Not so for us foreigners though – I  have to work. Still I’m glad to cover for our Khmer staff here at Peace of Angkor.

So it’s Susdey Ch’nam Tamai to our staff here, Khmer friends in Cambodia and our readers everywhere!

By Wozzer

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