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The Exquisite and Exotic Lands of the East: A Trip across Thailand and Cambodia

5th Aug 2013 Blog, SpotLiGHT 0

A melting pot of multi-national cultures as well as heritage, the countries of Thailand and Cambodia paint a colorful picture of Asian vacation/holiday destinations. While most popular tourist destinations in the countries have been featured to no end, the view is quite different when I embarked on a photo shoot. Cambodia on one hand is known for its ancient temples, lush greenery and unmatched wildlife, Thailand is equally popular for its colorful lifestyle, metropolitan crowds and proud history. Here’s what make Thailand and Cambodia one of the best vacation spots.

 

‘Thailand: Amalgamating the modern and the ancient

Great food, rich cultural heritage, thick jungles, cheap shopping, spotless beaches, vibrant nightlife – this is what makes Thailand truly great. Being one of the most popular holiday destinations in Asia, this country can accommodate any kind of tourist. Whether you are a cultural aficionado looking for a budget holiday or in the mood to splurge on luxury hotels, dining and shopping, Thailand is open to all. One of the most popular attractions in the country is its numerous natural parks and sanctuaries that attract attention from the inquisitive child, the nature enthusiast, and the wildlife photographer within you.

Thailand is most popularly known for its exotic islands with spotless beaches, exquisite seafood and live entertainment that proudly highlight its unique as well as vibrant culture. Two such islands include Koh Samui and Phuket. Koh Samui in particular is known for its diving spots, unmatched coral reefs, and spotless white sand as well as clear blue waters. In contrast to this pristine is the backdrop of thick green tropical forests that house exotic animals, birds and plant species.

A photographer’s paradise, Phuket is another must-see sight in Thailand as it encompasses everything a tropical vacation must be. Natural beauty, wildlife, adventure, romance, and a sense of enlightenment perfectly describe my experience in the island.

 

‘A trip back in time: Cambodia’s rustic and natural beauty

In stark contrast to the fast-paced excitement in Thailand, Cambodia is the perfect place to relax, introspect and discover the best compositions. Laden with thick green jungles, ancient temples and ruins, as well as a vibrant and unique culture, Cambodia is a shutterbug’s paradise. Being the single most popular attraction in the country, Angor Wat was naturally the first place to visit. While the temple itself is a testament to architecture and human artistry, the sunrise is indescribable. Everything about Cambodia is a stark contrast from your average concrete jungle and it is this difference that makes the country the best place to escape.

The Siem Reap region in Cambodia is one the most popular tourist regions, attracting eager travelers from all over the world. In fact, you can visit the very temple where the popular film Lara Croft was shot. Ta Prohm, the popular temple, is brimming with crumbling walls and intertwined tree roots to create an ancient and alien setting, much different from any other cultural spot. The oldest temple in the Siem Reap region is Wat Bo, a place known for its ancient structures as well as entertaining shadow puppet shows.

More popular spots in Cambodia include the Bayon temple, a 12th century Khmer temple that draws its art and architecture from Buddhism as well as Hinduism. Nestled in the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the Bayon temple is home to 51 small towers and over 11,000 carved figures spanning over a mile of surrounding walls. While at Angkor, you cannot afford to miss other smaller yet equally beautiful temples like Ta Som, Preah Khan, Banteay Samre, Bakong, and Phimeanakas. As for the royalty in Angkor Thom, a visit to the Terrace of the Leper King is worth a look as the 15th century structure depicts Yama, the Hindu god of death.

My trip to these two fascinating countries offered a great opportunity to see and capture some very unique and exotic images. You can expect new photos from this trip added to the Sentio Photography Facebook fan page and to this website over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy the Thailand & Cambodia Collection: Exotic Lands of Natural Beauty as much as I enjoy bringing my work to you.

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