Cambodia Classic

1 - 10 Jul, 2017
Group Size: to 8 people
Photo leader:
10 days, from 2900 USD

Applications closed

  • 2 Travel Photography Workshops
  • Post production workshop in Lightroom
  • Picture review
  • Royal Palace
  • Riverside
  • Wat Phnom
  • Kandal Market
  • Silk Island
  • Udong
  • Floating Village at Kampong Chnnang
  • Bamboo train at Battambang
  • Phnom Sampeau
  • Kompong Phluk (Floating Village)
  • Ta Phrom
  • Angkor Wat (With privileged access to resident monks)
  • Angkor Thom (The Big City)
  • Bayon
  • Roluos Group (Pre-Angkorian temples)
  • Beng Mealea (Off the beaten track)
After 10 years of calling Cambodia 'home', Nathan has developed highly praised tours that show you this very unique country from an insider’s perspective. His aim is to encourage participants to see Cambodia with a deeper insight than the usual tourist experience and to help them go home with great photographs to prove it. These tours not only take in the key photographic highlights but also include privileged access to Nathan's many Cambodian friends in Phnom Penh, the rural provinces and Angkor temples. He takes great pride in going beyond the usual guidebook suggestions which allows keen photographers to get involved at ground level with the real Cambodia.


This tour is focused on improving an in-depth understanding of good travel photography. Nathan is especially keen to promote three aspects of travel photography; technical competence, creative observation and ethical responsibility. Introductory workshops cover all three and although they don't leave the novice out of their depth there's usually enough in these workshops to keep the most seasoned practitioner interested. After the workshops most of the teaching is done on location. Constantly unearthing interesting scenarios, Nathan will work alongside the group to help you understand particular technical challenges, give you artistic inspiration and most importantly, lead by example in approaching local people. This approach will both open doors and help you take better pictures. Time is also put aside to help develop your post-production skills so that you can 'up the wow factor' of your pictures and go home with a portfolio of the tour that anyone would be proud of. In fact many of our past participants have gone on to win awards or competitions.
First and foremost this is a photography tour and rest assured Cambodia is an exciting mix of photo opportunities. Our in-depth seasonal knowledge and good organization means you get the most out of a relatively short trip by constantly being in the right place at the right time.
Angkor Wat is justifiably on most people's bucket list of places to visit before they die but Cambodia is much, much more than that in terms of cultural interest. Nearly every one leaves our tours agreeing it is the local people who are the real gem in the crown of this ' Kingdom of Wonder'.

The tour will start in Phnom Penh. Nathan will reveal the charm of this ever-changing city with walking tours around the acknowledged highlights and the river quarter. The itinerary could not possibly miss out the aforementioned majestic splendor of Angkor Wat and the many ancient temples that surround it, but this tour will introduce you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in a way no other tour can offer you. Nathan not only knows the temples inside-out after 100’s of visits but is also good friends with many of the residents, including the head monk at Angkor Wat, charismatic nuns and local families who will make your experience all the more richer.
In between the two big cities we spend four days making scheduled stops in rural provinces that show you the everyday lives of everyday people. We encounter locals who grow rice, catch fish, pluck coconuts, shape clay pots, weave silk and even build trains, by hand with little or no recourse to modern technology. Beyond that we make many un-scheduled random stops whenever we see something interesting along the way.

On this tour you will practice photography in one stimulating environment after another. Novice photographers go away with photographs that look like they have been taking shots for years, and seasoned photographers are always happy as there are new challenges around every corner. Time is also put aside for post-production advice and we highly recommend that you bring a laptop with you because you will be too excited to wait until you get home. The tour will start in Phnom Penh and end in Siem Reap so please book your flights accordingly. If you want to fly out of Phnom Penh we can transfer you back to Phnom Penh for free on the last day. The tour contains 10 full days on tour and 11 nights’ accommodation.

Day 1: Phnom Penh
Arrive in Phnom Penh. You will be picked up from the airport

Day 2: Phnom Penh
We offer two highly praised workshops, which will give you a very firm foundation to work from in improving your ‘travel’ photography. In the first workshop Nathan starts with the basics and then systematically describes his technical approach to getting the best out of your camera for the variety of conditions that you will encounter in travel photography. The second workshop will cover the aesthetics of travel photography and again Nathan’s very personal approach how to engage with the people you meet and how to see the picture opportunities that present themselves. These workshops take place on the first morning of the tour.

In the afternoon we take a walking tour around the River Quarter of Phnom Penh. Wat Phnom is one of the capital cities main tourist sites and the starting point for our leisurely stroll through old colonial buildings, bustling street markets and interesting temples before making our way to the entertaining riverside quay for sunset. As soon as we lose the light we are well placed to take a well-deserved drink at the legendary Foreign Correspondence Club.

Day 3: Phnom Penh
Early morning we kick off with a visit to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. Still the principal residence of the King of Cambodia, these highly decorative buildings and gardens date back to the 1860s and offer a wealth of photo (teaching) opportunity. After the palace we explore an alley community where you will see local craftsmen making Buddha statues and a local pagoda where we may see monks taking their lunch. We then mix photography and shopping opportunities with a visit to the landmark building that houses Central Market.
After lunch we set out on a visit to Silk Island in the nearby Mekong River. Despite being only a short ferry ride you will find yourself stepping back in time to see a charming rural Cambodian community set amongst orchards, paddy fields and pagodas. Nathan once had a small house on the island and has built up many friends over the years. If you hadn't guessed the island gets in name from its primary form of income. Nearly every house hold owns at least one loom and will get many opportunities to photograph locals as they spin and weave there highly praised handmade silk products.

Day 4: Phnom Penh to Udong/Kompong Chhnang
Today we depart Phnom Penh to visit the ancient capital of Udong. We will visit a large monastery with plenty of time to enjoy the great photo opportunity of hundreds monks and nuns taking their lunch preceded with much ritual and ceremony. In the afternoon we continue to the town of Kompong Chhnang and visit families making clay pots amongst sugar palm studded paddy fields. These vistas also make great pictures, either in the dry season with farmers climbing the trees to collect their sugar sap, or in the rainy season with local families planting lush green paddy fields. Late afternoon we take small boats out on the river to get up close and personal with the largest floating village in Cambodia.

Day 5: Kompong Chhnang to Battambang
Early in the morning we travel further up the river to visit another floating village. Although mostly residential this village has a more commercial feel to it with just about every village necessity you can think about; floating petrol stations, floating bread shops, floating telephone shops, even a floating church. We will then drive to Battambang. After lunch we will hold a post production workshop in our very pleasant hotel where we introduce you to Lightroom. In the late afternoon we will take a trip on the famous Bamboo train to typical country village.

Day 6: Battambang
A leisurely morning is put aside to explore downtown Battambang which is a perfectly place for short strolls. Blessed with colonial buildings, an impressive central market and endless monk processions doing there 'alms' with no less than 5 local temples just along the riverside you won't be short of photo opportunities. After lunch we head out of town to more interesting modern and ancient temples set amongst some of Cambodia's largest paddy fields.

Day 7: Battambang to Siem Reap

Today we head for Siem Reap travelling through endless paddy fields. We always stop in a market town for coffee and as usual we stop on the road when we see something of interest in the fields and waterways we pass. We arrive in Siem Reap in time for lunch after which we take a boat to the stilted village of Kompong Phluk. This village is on the edge of the Tonle Sap lake and highly unusual in the fact that a lot of houses are built on 8 meters stilts above lowest water level - towards the end of the rainy season you find out why as the water laps their doorstep. Interesting in all seasons, we try to finish with a sunset on the lake.

Day 8: Siem Reap
Today you have free morning to do what you want. Chill out by the pool or do a spot of shopping or sort out your downloads. In the afternoon we start our Angkorian adventures and travel through the countryside to visit the beautifully carved temple at Banteay Srei. On the way back we will stop off at Pre Rup temple. Perfect for sunset pictures and a chance to practice setting up your tripod for the big day tomorrow.

Day 9: Siem Reap
We begin the day with an unforgettable sunrise over Angkor Wat. We follow this stunning introduction with several hours exploring the largest religious building on the planet, often with the help of a few monks known to Nathan. Later in the day we visit awesome Angkor Thom – the ancient city capital of Angkor. Its three square kilometers of walls still contain many treasures such as decorative gates and parade areas. These are stunning enough, but are mere appetizers for the jewel within that is Bayon. This temple, originally constructed as an official state temple around the early 13th Century, shows over a hundred serenely smiling Buddha faces which will keep any photographer happy for hours. We end the days shoot with sunset shots around the South Gate and city moat or an optional trip on a tethered balloon over the temple of Angkor Wat. This balloon trip runs seasonally.

Day 10: Siem Reap
Before the sun rises we will be at Sra Sang (ancient Khmer name for a bathing pool) to view the beginning of the day. A friend of Nathans volunteers to make a great silhouette as she collects sufficient water for her mother's orchid garden from the pool with the sun rising behind. Nearby is Ta Phrom, the famous temple with amazing trees growing out of it and on the back of sunrise we generally get there early enough to avoid the crowds. The next site is one of the less busy temples, where, if we are in luck, we plan to meet another great friend of Nathan: the most charismatic nun in Angkor. The last visit of the day is to the Rolous Group, a set of temples pre-dating the Angkor style. It is very photographically rewarding with befriended monks and good sunset vantage points.

Day 11: Siem Reap
Today we go off the beaten track to Beng Melea, an as yet unrestored temple. At this temple you will scrabble over the piles of stones and see the trees which are winning the battle to take over the temple. There will be a picture review session either before or after the trip to Beng Melea depending on the season.

Please Note: Itinerary days may be subject to changes or variations.
Always Cambodian owned, we have gone out our way to research the best, clean and comfortable 'boutique' hotels available, with a little bit of local character whenever possible. Unusually we include a full 11 nights’ accommodation in the price of this 10 day tour and we do not charge a single supplement. Single travelers will get their own room. Although we are confident you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of accommodation we have contracted at good rates for these tours you can always choose your own accommodation in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap and we will adjust the tour price accordingly. We are also happy to book you any additional hotel nights either side of the tour. Please indicate any such requests on the Tour Request Form which can be found under Contact page.
$2900 10 days including 11 nights’ accommodation

$220  individual days without accommodation

As a fully licensed Cambodian tour operator we are required to charge 10% sales tax on all invoices.

Please note: All prices are quoted in US$.

We do not charge a single supplement. Single travelers will get their own room.

Payment and Cancellations:
25% deposit must be made at the time of confirmation. Full payment of the remaining 75% is due 45 days before the tour starts. Cancellation of services less than 60 days prior to the start date will result in the deposit being retained. However this may be transferred to another tour date (minus any costs incurred in arranging the changeover)
  • All teaching (including 2 optional workshops)
  • Photography guidance
  • All transport (A/C car or minibus)
  • All entrance fees
  • 11 nights accommodation (unless otherwise requested)
  • Free water
  • International travel to and from Cambodia (see itinerary for meeting point)
  • Any kind of insurance
  • Drinks and meals other than breakfast
  • Other personal expenses, e.g. laundry phone calls, gifts etc
  • Tips at your discretion
The Group:
On most of our tours we set a limit at 8 photographers. A group of this size is ideal for us and our regular local guides to give everyone the attention they may need. This intimate group size forms a stimulating dynamic where participants can share their experiences with like-minded people, and more often than not leave with new friends. Whether you are a single traveler, or you come with a partner you will find being in a small group who share a common interest a great way to get something extra out of your trip. No more worrying about keeping people waiting whilst you get your shot. There may be some occasions where we allow a non-photographer on tour which will raise the tour numbers. This is only possible where the transport size is appropriate. We reserve the right, in exceptional circumstances, to increase the group size.

Private Tours:
Nathan does not run private tours as he has a full calendar set up to two years in advance.
However we can run private tours in Cambodia on request. Cambodia is well covered with three photographers potentially available to run tours in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and other areas of the country. We welcome enquiries and will do our best to work with you to set up a tour to suit your needs.
We also have the potential to run private tours in Rajasthan, Bali and Vietnam. Subject to the availability of a photographic tour leader.

All our tours are suitable for all levels of photographer. We focus on giving you an in-depth understanding of good travel photography.  We are especially keen to promote three aspects of travel photography; technical competence, creative observation and ethical responsibility.  Nathan’s introductory workshops cover all three and although they don't leave the novice out of their depth there's usually enough there to keep even the most seasoned practitioner interested. After the workshops on the first day of the tour most of the teaching is done on location. Constantly unearthing interesting scenarios, we will work alongside the group to help you understand particular technical challenges, give you artistic inspiration and most importantly, lead by example in approaching local people. This approach will both open doors and help you take better pictures. Time is also put aside to help develop your post-production skills so that you can 'up the wow factor' of your pictures and go home with a portfolio of the tour that anyone would be proud of. In fact many of our past participants have gone on to win awards or competitions.

Running photography tours in S.E Asia for over 10 years now Nathan has always believed that his field trips should open up a country by presenting opportunities to engage with local people. One of our principal aims, going far beyond teaching good camera technique, is to show participants that instead of being a barrier between the photographer and subject, the camera could be used as the key to open doors. We aim to show how, when used sympathetically, the camera can help to establish a vital connection between the traveler and the locals they meet.

What to Bring
Your best camera, be it a DSLR, mirrorless or an advanced compact with some manual controls. Your lens(es) should cover at least a medium zoom range. If you have them, a wide-angle lens (useful in temples and pagodas) and a longer telephoto lens (good on boat trips) would be useful but not essential. A fast standard lens with aperture of f1.8 or f1.4 is another good option.
  • A torch
  • A polarising filter
  • A tripod
  • Plenty of memory cards and a spare battery
  • A laptop is not essential but is very useful for backing up the day’s shoot, and also for reviewing what you have taken and the post production wokshop. We also recommend a portable external hard drive - just in case!
  • A rain cover for your camera and one for yourself are recommended, and are essential during the rainy season
Nathan Horton Photography Tours cannot be held responsible for your entry/exit arrangements. Getting the required documentation is solely your responsibility. No refunds will be made in the event of you being refused entry into the country where travel is to take place.

As visa rules can vary according to your country of origin we strongly advise that you research the visa rules for the country before you travel. Please refer to the visa information in Essential Information Sheet given for each country. The PDF can be downloaded below.

Travel Insurance:
Travel insurance is compulsory for all Nathan Horton Photography travelers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US $200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on or before the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it.

“Wow! The best thing I have ever done!”
5 out of 5 stars. Trip Advisor, Reviewed August 13, 2014
'Wow, amazing, fantastic, brilliant, fabulous....there are just not enough superlatives to describe what I have just experienced on one of Nathan's tours.
Having got very excited upon reading the itinerary and reviews before I left, I guess I had set my expectations pretty high but what Nathan delivered exceeded those by miles. He has endless energy and enthusiasm and his connection and affinity with people and the country in which he resides is obvious right from the start of the tour. What made it for me were the spontaneous stops along the way whenever a photo opportunity was spotted and the fact that Nathan knows exactly where to go & when to avoid crowds, to get the best light and to get off the beaten track. One of the best things was that I never felt like a tourist!
10 day tours in Cambodia (Jul/Aug 2014)'.

“I would never go to Cambodia without Nathan!”
5 out of 5 stars. Trip Advisor Reviewed July 31, 2014
"I am a fine art photographer & I just returned from the full 10 day trip with Nathan from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap & let me tell you, that is the only way to see Cambodia! The images I got are amazing. I have been on photo tours all over the world & I have never been with someone who comes close to him on any level."

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