Subscribe Search

Search form

A conspiracy against photographers

A conspiracy against photographers

1 frastrated photographer
A frustrated photographer vents his angst at Ta Prohm.​ Photograph: Dave Perkes

Having been a regular visitor to Angkor for well over a decade I have seen many changes here. When I first came here to live in 2003, Angkor had 250,000 visitors. Now in 2013 the projected visitor numbers are approaching 3 million – that is as many in one month than for the whole year 10 years ago.

The numbers of visitors and the important health and safety issues have meant that a lot of potentially dangerous structures at the temples have had to be stabilised by timber supports. Large scale restoration projects have been carried out to ensure the preservation of the temples for future generations. Rotten trees have had to be chopped down, walkways and steps have been added for both the comfort of the visitor and, more importantly, to preserve the fragile sandstone against the damage caused by millions of tourists’ feet.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The new fence that mars photographers views of the famous Tomb Raider temple tree.​ Photograph: Dave Perkes

All this has detracted from the visual impact of these fabulous monuments. Several years ago an Australian photographer friend described these restoration projects as a conspiracy against photographers. I tried to explain that these were necessary to preserve the temples.

But last week I have seen one of the most stunning and popular views obscured by insensitive placement of a wooden fence. The lower part of the so-called Tomb Raider tree in Ta Prohm has now been totally obscured by this fence, pictured here a few days after its construction.  I am asking myself the question. 

Why have they done such an insensitive thing, spoiling the views of millions of tourists?  I saw a number of tourists with cameras looking so disappointed to see such a dream view despoiled.

I do hope that the Apsara Authority reconsiders the position of this fence and its associated platform repositioned so that the original view is restored.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which