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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Moat Khla ovenight and Sky Burials

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Alison giving

Alison giving a mosquito net to a needy family

Middle of May 2010 I had a request for a family to go to several Tonle Sap villages including Kompong Phluk, Kompong Khleang and a homestay overnight in  Moat Khla.  Requests to visit this isolated lake community of Moat Khla are rare and overnight stays by tourists; unheard of.

Moat Khla is a floating village in Kompong Thom Province, two hours by boat from Kompong Khleang; where we base our Lake tours.  We ran this lake adventure on the 17th and 18th August. I had been here only a handful of times before.

Kompong Khleang

Kompong Khleang a wide view in flood season

The stilt village of Kompong Khleang is itself an unusual destination. Peace of Angkor has been operating tours there since the end of 2004. Over 20,000 people live here in a fishing community which until 2008 was virtually untouched by tourism.

In five years I have seen big changes due to the improving infrastructure, road links, power supply and cell phone network. In the last two years a modest number of tour boats have been organized as a co-operative by the villagers themselves.  From an eco tourism development point of view; the concept of the local people managing their resource is something to be applauded.  Money generated by this goes into the local community and not big corporations. The relatively small numbers of visitors that do come here have not yet caused the negative aspects of begging and scams which have plagued the Chong Khneas boat port.

Moat Khla is a very different place; being a floating village which has no road links. Its waterborne existence is totally dependent on fishing and the flow of the Tonle Sap Lake system. The 1500 population are relatively poor and forgotten.

grey haired woman

Grey haired woman at Moat Khla

Allison Allen, her partner John and family kindly donated blankets, mosquito nets; books pens and toys for over 30 needy families. Mt Hok arranged for some of the poorest villagers to come to his home and distribute these items.

Tom and Natasha giving

Tom and Natasha giving to poor villagers at Kompong Khleang

His home is transformed into a clinic when the Tonle Sap Lake Clinic boat (TLC) visits. Poor families in remote areas are unable to get to doctors; so the TLC boat which is run by the Norwegian charity IMPACT travels around the Tonle Sap to give free treatment to lake villagers.

On a previous visit by me in 2008 the TLC Boat staffed by two Norwegian Doctors Mette and Stein were here. They had been called out on the way to a family with a dying teenage boy. Tragically they were unable to save him. Sadly his illness could have been treated had it been diagnosed earlier.  There is no cremation site here; so the old practice of Sky Burials, where the bodies are placed in trees and letting nature take its course is carried out.

This time we were staying at the home of Mr Hok the Commune officer; so we were hopeful to  be able to get the chance to see one of the few places in Cambodia where sky burials area still carried out

Mr Hoks home is a large but simple floating house open on 3 sides with a sleeping room for the family at one end and a kitchen area at the other.

Mr Hok told us that n tourists have come to Moat Khla this year(and probably none since our last visit at the end of 2008).

I asked about Sky Burials. He told me they are still carried out. Families place the corpse in the trees in a wrap made from a rattan mat. Wealthier families have a wooden coffin covered in plastic sheet. These are left for at least 1 year and the remains are cremated, some of the poorer families wait up to three years before they can afford a decent cremation

The government wants to stop the procedure. This can only be achieved if a cremation platform is built.

Mr Hok accompanied us in the boat to the sky burials place.  The area was less than a kilometre from the main village. We could only get a short way into the mangroves as our boat was too big. We could clearly see a new coffin wrapped in plastic and a small rattan wrap of containing the remains of a child. There had been several more here until a few weeks ago, but these remains had been removed for cremation.

Sky coffin

A coffin of one of the wealthier families waiting for cremation when the water levels drop.

We returned to Mr Hoks home and then returned to Siem Reap via Kompong Khleang.

It was a rewarding two days and the generosity and kindness shown by Alison and her family was very touching.  Thanks very much. You are very special people; myself and the villagers remember your kindness for a long time!

A tour company with a difference!

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Well – many differences actually! But I’d just like to share the news about our new tour office here in Siem Reap.

Peace of Angkor Cafe Bar Siem Reap Cambodia

Travellers in Siem Reap enjoying refreshments and swapping tales!

Not only is it the admin hub for tour planning and operations, our forward-thinking owner Dave Perkes has created what must be Cambodia’s first travel office combined with a cafe bar!

Now travellers can just call in, find out about information on travelling in Cambodia, photography or maybe even book on one of our tours!

Here’s what the ‘Canby Publications’ Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide’ has to say:

Created by travellers for travellers, Peace of Angkor café bar is a cool and airy meeting place, where you can research, plan and select places to visit, while enjoying a hot or cold drink or a snack.

The café bar also has local and national tour and destination advice for solo travellers, couples or groups. The owner is a renowned location photographer, who is always ready for an exchange of ideas or discussion on any aspect of photography.

Open from 9am to 10pm every day, it’s an excellent venue – the photo gallery alone is well worth the visit. Situated on Street 20, off Wat Bo Road , next to the New Apsara Supermarket.


So, while you’re in Siem Reap – please call in and see us!


Video Trials

Saturday 24 April 2010

While we’re having a week of testing, analysis and feedback – I thought I’d try my hand at movie-making! I’ll be adding these into our main website www.peaceofangkor.com at some point in the future.

The movies have been shot on a small Cannon Ixus 70 photo camera and edited in Microsoft Moviemaker.

Movie editing isn’t really our scene (yet!!) – we’re best at still photography and operating tours .

So – please have a look at the movies and if you have time – we’d be really grateful for some feedback – good or bad.

I guess my concern is that a bad movie is worse than no movie on a website. Or do these ‘amateur’ movies really capture things in a more natural sense? Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!

Wozzer

Village Market:

Bamboo Train:

On the Tonle Sap:

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