A Day in Siem Reap – The Time Lapse Film // Cambodia // May 2014

For 9 months, starting at the end of 2013, I was lucky enough to be able to call the beautiful town of Siem Reap, Cambodia, my home. The sheer medley of colours, smells and sounds that contributed to magnificence of this town, as well as the wonderfully happy vibe provided by both the locals and tourists, inspired me to try and capture all of this in a single time lapse film, entitled “A Day in Siem Reap”.

For more information about my time in Cambodia, and my thoughts & experiences in the beautiful South East Asian country, please check out the two articles I have written below:

Counting my Blessings: 10 Things I Love About Cambodia

Goodbye Siem Reap!

South East Asia Adventures // 2013-2014

After graduating, and recovering from our results day party on Bournemouth Beach in June 2013, I left England and soon after landed in Beijing, China. After spending 6 weeks traveling down through Laos and Thailand, I ended up in Cambodia, where I had the opportunity to use the footage I had filmed to edit 13 music videos for Etherwood’s debut album on Med School Music.


After this, I ended up living in Siem Reap for 9 months, where I worked at a wonderful hotel called Lotus Lodge. During my time there I had the pleasure of creating a handful more videos, some of which were to help promote the tours that the hotel offered to guests (and were played on plasma TVs in the reception and bar area), some of which were to help promote community events, and some were just for my own gratification. Making these videos was a magnificent experience – not only did I get to travel graceful lands and witness fascinating and inspiring cultures first had, but the satisfaction continued afterwards when I got to re-live the events while creating videos to share with others.

Please find these videos below, and all of their soundtracks are up for free download, so be sure to check the full article for each video! Also please subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new videos as they come!


Skateistan & The Skateshop Phnom Penh visit Siem Reap Skatepark

A video to help promote the launch of the Siem Reap skatepark, and an excuse to film skateboarding again! Click here for the full article.


Sihanoukville Boat Trip – Snorkelling South Cambodia 

A lovely few days in December spent down on the seaside. Click here for the full article.


Sok San Street Festival 2014

I volunteered at the first ever Sok San Street Festival in Siem Reap to help document the wonderful day, and to help promote future communal events. Click here for the full article.


Life on Water: The Kampong Phluk Flooded Forest & Floating Village Tour

One of the many tours offered by Lotus Lodge to their guests. I was asked to go along to document the tour, in order to capture the beautiful experience to help promote the tour to guests. Click here for the full article.


Sabai Jeep Adventures

One of the many friends I made during my stay in Cambodia bought a Jeep, in order to sell tours of the beautiful Cambodian countryside to tourists. He asked me if I would be so kind as to make a promotional video for him, and of course I was happy to oblige. Click here for the full article.


China & SE Asia Time Lapses

A compilation of the best time lapses I shot during my time travelling South East Asia, before settling down in Siem Reap. Click here for the full article, and soundtrack download.


New Years on Otres Beach

So this was the first new years I’ve ever celebrated somewhere warm! We were lucky enough to be sipping cold beers down on Otres Beach, on the south coast of Cambodia. This is more or less what it felt like. Click here for the full article, and soundtrack download.


The Siem Reap Countryside & Mechrey Floating Village Tour

Another beautiful tour offered by Lotus Lodge. Again I went along to capture the experience, in order to encourage guests to enjoy the tour themselves.

13th May 2014

Goodbye Siem Reap!

Woah, the time has finally arrived for me to leave this awesome place!

9 months ago I arrived in Cambodia just after receiving confirmation from Med School that they wanted me to do 13 music videos for Etherwood’s new album. Prior to this I had been travelling for 6 weeks with my now ex-girlfriend Violet, who had just flown back to the UK to complete her last 2 years at uni. Now on my own, with this big job at hand, I wanted to find somewhere to stay for a couple of months so that I could complete it. I had just left Thailand hearing that Cambodia was a lot more relaxed about letting people stay long term – in Thailand you have to do a border run when your visa expires, which only gives you an extra 7 days, where as in Cambodia you just pop to a travel agent with $75, and you get an extra 3 months with no questions asked! I landed in the country’s capital, Phnom Penh, and within 15 minutes of getting out of a Tuk Tuk in the city centre, I was at a bar sipping on a nice cold beer (which cost me 30p), and within minutes someone handed me a spliff with a big grin on his face – “Welcome to Cambodia!” Right then I knew this was the place I wanted to stay.

I met an old uni friend who I hadn’t seen for about 3 years, who had a flat just down the road and had spent the last 2 years living here. We chilled in the hustle and bustle for a week or so before heading up to Siem Reap – she was about to leave Cambodia and wanted to pay one last visit to the town to say goodbye to some old friends, and to stock up on some cheap Cambodian market items to sell back in the UK.

Alex, Citi, Me

My friend Alex, her boyfriend Citi and me in Phnom Penh

My first impressions of Siem Reap were amazing. We arrived at this beautiful, sunny little town with a river running through it, people having picnics on the grassy river bank under the shade of palm trees, locals selling coconuts and mangos for 30p, travellers enjoying cold beers in funky little guesthouses, and Angkor Wat, arguably the 8th wonder of the world, just a stone’s throw away – the prospect of calling this place my home, even for just 2 months, made me wanna run around naked in excitement.

Siem Reap Wheel

The sun setting behind the wheel of The Siem Reap River

I wanted to volunteer in a hotel or guesthouse in exchange for free accommodation, so that I had a place to edit these music videos. Then after a couple of days of walking around loads of different places, my dreams started to crumble. It was the beginning of low season, so most places were getting rid of staff, not taking on new ones! And it appeared that only Western owned resorts would hire Westerners, all the local Khmers didn’t seem to understand what the word ‘volunteer’ or ‘free’ even meant! As I began to lose hope, I saw an ad on Trip Advisor for a hotel called Lotus Lodge, which had a 3 storey tall watch tower, where you had panoramic views and could see Angkor Wat. “That sounds pretty cool” I thought, so I sent one last email to them before closing my laptop for the day.

A few days later I received an email reply, saying that it was low season and they wouldn’t normally hire anyone, but it turned out that the co-owner of the hotel was also into film-making, and was just working on a project which he needed an editor for. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! So then the following week I was getting cosy in a beautiful air conditioned room, which made a nice change from the scabby, stuffy $2 room I was previously in!

So months passed, I finished the music videos for Etherwood and I finished the initial work for the hotel owner (Mitch), but the urge to leave just never came! I had a great group of friends in town, who were also here working long-term, and helped show me that the party scene here is ridiculous too – 30p beers, the ability to smoke weed in bars, great live music and the lack of a closing time in most venues meant that days flew by in a hazy blur. I never planned to stay this long, and I never made the decision to, it just happened! I continued to earn my keep at the hotel by creating a load of videos to help sell the tours that they offered to guests (floating village tour, countryside tour, jeep tours etc.), which are all now being displayed on two lovely plasma TVs in the hotel foyer and bar, as well as doing a few general maintenance tasks around the hotel. I’ve also done a few other videos around town and down at the beach, which can be seen on my YouTube channel at the moment, while I work on a new travel page for this site :)

So now here we are, 9 months later, and I’m finally packing my bag back up and leaving this beautiful country. I wrote a post the other day “10 things I love about Cambodia” which explains some of the other reasons I’ve enjoyed my time here so much. I’m not going home though, oh no, I’ve acquired myself a skateboard (thank you Carlo @ X Bar!), and am heading to Colorado in The States to meet one of my best mates from home and spend the summer skateboarding and road-tripping! Skateboarding was what originally got me into film-making, and doing all these travel videos here has made me realise that I miss it, so as much as I love Cambodia and it saddens me to leave, I’m so excited to get back on a skateboard and get back into making skate-videos. (On a related note, this article is a great read about the state of skate videos these days – with 1000′s of 5 second phone clips being uploaded to Instagram every second, people are slacking on good old fashioned, well edited 3 minute skate clips on YouTube, and I’m excited to try and fill that void – stay tuned!).

Anyway, I will leave you with this; a project I have been working on and off for the majority of my stay here. A timelapse film, documenting this beautiful town I’ve been lucky enough to be able to call my home for the last 9 months. I believe that this is the first timelapse film of Siem Reap as well, so I hope that you enjoy, and that it provides a nice picture of the diversity and unique vibe of the town. Thanks for the good times Siem Reap, and an extra huge thanks to Mitch, Veronica and all the wonderful staff at Lotus Lodge for having me for so long, you will always have a place in my heart :)

YouTube Preview Image

Also a big thanks to Phally and Nnareth for the Khmer translations! And as usual the soundtrack to this video is up for free download! It’s called 1st Dimension and is a collaboration between two produces called Fracx & Aura. It can be downloaded from Fracx’s Soundcloud page, and if you like it, give him a follow! Thanks for the amazing tune man!

8th Apr 2014

Counting My Blessings: 10 Things I Love About Cambodia

Just stumbled across this post on Khmer440.com, “10 Things I Will Miss About Cambodia”, written by a man returning to the UK after 12 months living in Cambodia. Pretty much outlines everything I love about living here, although I could add the following points to the list:


The lack of laws regarding anything. If you wanna drive a motorbike, fine. Don’t worry about having a licence, insurance, tax, an MOT, a helmet, lights, indicators, don’t worry about being old enough to have pubes, driving on the right side of the road, running red lights, having five people on your bike or even being sober, if you hurt yourself it’s your own problem! You like smoking weed? Fine! Just don’t be overly obvious about it, and if you run out, just pop to the local ‘happy pizza’ shop and get a quarter ounce bag for $15. Or get a weed pizza delivered! How many times have I seen local kids looking sketchy smoking a joint on a street corner? Never. You want to buy or sell counterfeit DVDs, software and hard-drives filled with the latest TV shows, music and films? Go for it, there are these shops everywhere! If you want to drink all night and all day, crack on! There are no laws regarding the sale of alcohol whatsoever, and no laws regarding the age of people allowed into nightclubs. And how many times have I seen someone who’s blatantly underage drinking or causing trouble while drunk? Never. Obviously it’s liberating to have so much freedom, and it’s nice to not be constantly nannied by the government like in the UK – When I was 19 I once got ID’ed for party-poppers. I also got ID’ed for a packet of plastic cutlery at a similar age. How many times have I been ID’ed here? Once, at the airport when I landed. “It’s your life, go and do what you like, just don’t hurt anyone!” appears to be the message from the government here. Fantastic.

In regards to the point about the Christmas season and advertising in that blog post I’m referring to – I fully agree with what the author said, and I’ve only seen about 5 big adverts (of course there are small flyers and stuff knocking around) on the street here in Siem Reap , and they haven’t changed once in 7 months. One’s for Samsung Air-Conditioners, one’s for cement, one’s about the new Costa (yes it’s happened, there’s a Hard Rock opening here soon too, and I’m not really enthused about that), and that’s about it really. You don’t get the latest ‘must have’ items rammed down your throat till you throw up, no film adverts, none of the latest iPhone 8 marketing campaigns; all you know about here is simply what you want to know about –  if you want to found out about the latest things you’re actually interested in, theres free WiFi everywhere! I don’t watch TV either and it’s heaven just living your life without subliminal interference from multi-national corporations.

Another reason I love it here is that no-one is ever in a rush. There’s no battle to get on the underground to rush to get to your desk before 8:59am, no pushing or shoving or any sense of urgency whatsoever, everyone is just cool calm and collected. 45 minutes late? Don’t worry about it! The roads appear frightening at first, but then you realise everyone is going 20mph, and if you need to get to the other side everyone will do their best to make a path for you – there’s no “I was in this lane first!!”. Also when you’re in a busy shop there’s no sense of panic in the air around the tills like I feel in England – no pressure to hurry to put your change in your pocket so the next person in the queue can be served. Everyone does everything with a smile on their face, and not a care in the world. Even if they’re working for $3 a day.

Siem reap Route 6

Video still [ungraded] from a timelapse video I’m currently working on entitled “A Day in Siem Reap”. This is Route 6, the busiest road in Siem Reap and the road that leads to the country’s capital, Phnom Penh. This is the road with the most advertisements on in the whole city, and I’ve seen more adverts on disused bus stops in the middle of nowhere back in the UK. You can also see 4 people on a bike, a man chilling in the back of a trailer and a dude on the wrong side of the road. A normal morning unfolding in Siem Reap.

Typical Bamboo Scaffolding

Some typical Cambodian bamboo scaffolding. In England you have to be lectured, trained and paperwork must be signed in order to even climb a ladder to change a lightbulb at work.

Typical Cambodian Shops

A cluster of shops on a typical Cambodian road.

Reading that article made me realise all the things that I love about this place but am starting to somewhat take for granted, and most of them are reasons why I left the UK in the first place. I can imagine going back to the UK now and realising “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”.

It’s beautiful here, and I love it. Count your blessings, I know I’m counting mine :)