Friday, July 5, 2013

Phnom Penh Morning

A woman does her morning Tai-Chi exercises with red fans on the Phnom Penh riverfront

I am back from another trip to Cambodia. This was as a co-leader for a travel photography workshop. Gavin Gough and I traveled from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap with nine very eager photographers seeing parts of Cambodia few get to see. It was a terrific experience and we had a fantastic group of low maintenance travelers. Low maintenance when you're in a group of 11 (nine workshoppers, Gavin and I) is a good thing. Gavin was the entrepreneurial and organizational brains behind the trip, I was there as an instructor and assistant. 

Cambodia is a beguiling country and I like it more every time I visit. Aside from a rash of pickpockets hitting me in January, each trip has been a huge success. 

This picture was made during the few hours we had in Phnom Penh. 

We arrived Friday afternoon and left for Battambang Saturday morning. We got up at 04:30 Saturday morning and went to the riverfront for a couple of hours before heading upcountry. 

There were hundreds of people lining the riverfront, doing their morning exercises. It's a ritual that lasts about 90 minutes. Sunrise at these latitudes at this time of year is around is around 5:50AM. By 7:30AM people were wrapping up their exercises and heading home or to work. This is a scene that repeats itself throughout Asia. I've photographed morning exercisers in Lumpini Park in Bangkok, at lakesides in Hanoi and public parks in Hong Kong. What makes the Phnom Penh scene so nice is that sunrises here are spectacular. The sun comes up over the Tonle Sap river and lights up the riverfront in a way that I haven't seen anywhere else. 

I will post more blog entries from the trip in the next couple of days. 


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