TGL Cambodia

Travel photography workshop with a humanitarian focus in Siem Reap, Cambodia with The Giving Lens

Bustling streets filled with tuk tuks, beautiful colors and delicious aromas from the local markets, with a backdrop of stunning temples and Khmer history. Considered one of the most sought after travel destinations in southeast Asia, Siem Reap offers a mix of new and old, progress and history. The ancient Khmer people were one of the most intuitive civilizations of their time, building colossal temples and waterways that are still considered wonders of the world. Our journey is based in the heart of Siem Reap, where we’ll be a short trip from most of the popular temples surrounding the city. TGL Cambodia this year will be a return to many of our favorite locations with some new surprises tossed into the adventure!

After we get acquainted with the sights and sounds of the city, we’ll visit our partner NGO, Anjali House. Anjali House has been working to offer opportunities to street youth that otherwise wouldn’t have access to basic healthcare, proper nutrition, and education. We’ve been partnering with Anjali House for a number of years to help develop a youth photography program, offering a means of creative expression and to aid in boosting their self esteem. This year is something different – we will be working exclusively with the older, more experience students to do more in-depth workshops and really grow their skills with documenting, storytelling, and fine art photography. This is a departure from our more accessible “101” workshops. As a participant you just need to be comfortable in a teaching position, one-on-one with a student, even though Team Leaders will be responsible for the actual lessons (and to help you in your role as a mentoring partner to a student). If you’re a novice photographer, you can still apply. In fact, you will learn a lot along the way as well!

After our time with our NGO we’ll explore the temple complexes surrounding the city including the renowned Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon and many others.

Trip Dates

Feb 23 – March 3 2019


$2900 USD

Group Size




This trip is physically moderate.  There is lots of walking with a mix of flat and stairs in certain temple areas in and around Siem Reap and the Angkor complexes. Times in which we have greater distances to travel, we’ll typically utilize tuk tuk (motorized taxis) to get to our destination. The heat can be cumbersome but we try to take afternoons easy, and offer lots of chances for shade and hydration. There will be several days we will be exploring temple complexes – but we provide ample time to do so. The drive to the Tonle Sap will take a little over an hour, and we will also visit some remote temples that will be an hour or so ride from Siem Reap – but so worth it!
The emotional demands of this trip are moderate You’ll be emotionally invested in the youths we work with, but much of the workshop will be fun, light-hearted, even a bit chaotic. You’ll be moved and impacted but also inspired. Poverty in Siem Reap is apparent in certain parts of the city. The impact of war and civil unrest over the years, although far removed, are still apparent in parts of the country.
The standards of accommodation, quality of meals, and access to amenities of this trip are very good.

Accommodation is fairly excellent! You can expect a simple room with two twin beds, an ensuite bathroom, and clean sheets, towels, and blankets. Hot water can be hit and miss, especially if we’re all trying to shower at once. However you will find that the accommodation will be elaborately decorated in the local fashion, with archways, open areas, silks, colors, and other ornate details.

Meals are of good quality. Lots of fish, chicken, beef, and vegetarian options. In parts of Siem Reap there are a mix of Khmer, Vietnamese, Thai, and even western style dishes.

Amenities such as bathrooms and convenience stores are available in most places. Toilets for the most part will be western style.

Level of safety in Cambodia is very good.

The most common issue for tourist is pickpocketing, but statistics are en par with almost anywhere well touristed in the world. TGL will offer tips and advice for your belongings and cash in team newsletters.

Travel photography workshop with a humanitarian focus in Siem Reap, Cambodia with The Giving Lens
Travel photography workshop with a humanitarian focus in Siem Reap, Cambodia with The Giving Lens

What is Included?

  • All Ground Transportation

    From the moment you arrive to when you depart, we have you covered. Taxis, buses, tours, you name it.

  • All Accommodation and Meals

    Rooms are double rooms with twin beds, paired by gender, and accommodation is always clean, comfortable, and safe. From dinner the arrival day, to breakfast the departure day, we will keep you well fed and hydrated.

  • All Location Entry Fees and Guides

    Entry fees, shooting permits, guides, passes, etc. If the team is going to shoot there, we’ll get you in. We’ll even be sure to tip any guides on behalf of the whole team.

  • All Photo Instruction

    You’ll have 2 leaders available all day long to field as many questions as you can muster, provide one-on-one help, and offer group topics and instruction as required by the scene at hand.

  • A Donation to the NGO

    While there are a lot of factors involved that determine the exact amount – which we’re happy to be completely transparent about – you can rest assured we make a substantial donation to our NGO partner post-trip.

What’s Not?

  • Flights

    We’re open to people from every corner of the world. This means we cannot possibly offer a flight that would suit everyone. If you can get yourself here, we’ll take care of the rest!

  • Insurance

    We require every participant to have adequate travel insurance, and to carry copies of this insurance at all times.

  • Passport and Visa

    Each participant is required to ensure their passport is valid for the time of travel, and to research, learn, and meet all the requirements of an entry visa specific to their country. If there are fees associated with the entry visa, they’re not included.

  • Alcohol and Souvenirs

    We do not provide alcohol for our participants, so that’s up to you. As well, as much as we really really like you, we can’t buy your gifts for you. Souvenirs are on you!

  • Internet

    Some hotels have WiFi, others do not, or sometimes it simply doesn’t work. When WiFi is available for purchase, it’s up to you if it’s worthwhile. Some participant opt to purchase a local SIM card and data plan – a great option that we don’t cover.

Behind the Scenes of TGL Cambodia

The NGO: Anjali House

Anjali House is a house of offerings for local children in need, aiming to provide basic healthcare, food, clean drinking water, and education opportunities. They have four values that guide their organization as they do this:

1) Education, which encourages independent and analytical thought, fosters self-confidence, and provides opportunities these kids would never have otherwise.

2) Expression, which fosters creativity, social-interaction, and therapy through outlets of art, dance, music, sport, and photography.

3) Health, though clean water, good food, and health care, which produces well-adjusted youth who are prepared physically and mentally to enter the workforce and find their own path.

4) Sustainability. Anjali House is locally run, with their director being Khmer as are all teachers and most of the key staff.

The ultimate goal for the children of Anjali House is to assist them in developing into healthy, well adjusted youth, equipped with a skill set and support needed to enter the workforce and be successful in their endeavors.

At Anjali, we will work with their photography club, which has seen students go on to win awards and have their work hung in hotels around the Siem Reap area. We will do workshops with them, photowalks, cultural activities, as well as editing classes for fundamental post-processing skills.

Travel photography workshop with a humanitarian focus in Siem Reap, Cambodia with The Giving LensTravel photography workshop with a humanitarian focus in Siem Reap, Cambodia with The Giving Lens and the NGO Anjali House

Who Are Your Leaders?

Andy Yee is a professional photographer who specializes in travel/tourism, architecture and commercial projects. He is the winner of the Sony Alpha Landscape Award – for an image taken on a TGL trip to Morocco! Andy has circled the globe searching for unique moments to photograph and write articles. From carnival in Cuba to lantern festivals in Thailand, the variety of cultures and landscapes is what motivates Andy to seek out more. Andy has worked with NGOs to support aged-care in third world countries, a cause close to his heart. Based in Sydney, Andy enjoys all things creative, as well as cycling, vinyl records, the Tennessee Titans, and hot springs filled with snow monkeys in Japan. Andy doesn’t enjoy selfies, but does love to be in the background of other peoples photos.

Paul Pichugin is a Landscape, Travel and Commercial Photographer based in Western Australia’s amazing South West. Paul loves to travel, experiencing other cultures, connecting with people and exploring new places. He has travelled extensively through out Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. His photography has been featured in publications internationally, been used in national and international tourism campaigns and also across several major TV networks.Paul enjoys volunteering and working with Non-Profit Organisations to help raise awareness for their causes and funds for their projects. He supports Ros Worthington’s Love Angel Foundation as well as Awareness Cambodia, a charity for children orphaned by HIV.

TGL Testimonials

Linda M.

The locations and experiences were absolutely amazing! What a great way to see Morocco. Fabulous insights working with knowledgeable guides. Open Doors Morocco went out of their way to see to our every need and whim. I can’t praise them enough. This rates right up there as one of my best trips ever!

Armando G.

TGL: Peru was a life changing experience. There is no doubt about that.  I now have first hand knowledge on how photography can change your life and become something very meaningful. I left home with the happy expectation that we would work mostly with the kids and whatever time we had left we would devote to photography. I figured that there would … Read More

Armando G.

Tim M.

Combining rewarding volunteering with cultural interaction and the experience of wildlife photography on the Serengeti all in one is just an amazing experience. TGL has opened my eyes to Tanzania and I want more. Well done.