11 November 2012


To travel to Angkor during the rainy season was never my choice, but after consulting with my tour guide first, I decided to do it anyway. The information I got beforehand was that it will rain sometimes, but that everything will be so much nicer. More quiet and the colours will be so intensive. Yes, we might run the risk of flooding like in September 2011 or continuous rain for days, but the possibility of an even more beautiful Angkor Wat temple was too tempting to let it go. 

Ko Ker site during dry and rainy season
Even flying into Siem Reap showed us an amazing landscape below. Tonle Sap lake was huge and to the unknown eye it looked like the airport was close to the ocean. We also got our first "hands-on" experience and got wet to the bone within the first 30 minutes after our arrival, when it rained cats and dogs. 

The Kampong villages during dry and rainy season

We did have to cut short one trip to Ta Prohm temple because it rained so much, that it became unmanageable to walk through the ruined temple. We had a few showers here and there and some of the roads were too flooded to continue driving. Mud was another issue. But most of the rain came at night we we were all comfortably tugged into our beds. On the other side, we had days with really nice and blue skies and on most days the air was crisp and clear. No comparison to the dust I had experienced during the first two trips to Angkor, both during the dry season. 

Beng Mealea site during dry and rainy season
Besides more water in the ponds and lakes, the colours of the temples were more intense and the landscape was unbelievably green. The combination of the lush nature, the saturated sand stone and the (at times) deep blue sky was just what I wanted to experience. 

Besides the difference at the temple sights, I also loved seeing the difference to villages like Kampong Pluk or Kampong Klaeng, where the houses sit on huge stilts. During the dry season it looks surrealistic, almost like a scene out of the movie "water world", while it looked more like a floating village during the rainy season. Both seasons have their charm for the photographer, but the villages seem far more lively during the wet season. 
Ta Prohm during dry and rainy season

If I had to chose what season I would rather go back to Angkor, my vote would now be during the rainy season.