We’re living in truly bizarre times. Whether through illness itself, or just through all sense of “normal” dissipating, the COVID-19 outbreak and resultant lockdown mentality has affected all of us in some way or another. We hope that wherever you are, you’re staying safe.
We’ve been hit particularly hard here in Cambodia, despite the virus seemingly not having the same effect it has in colder climates.
Siem Reap is a town that has come to depend heavily on tourism over the years. An unprecedented number of people are now out of work as hotels and other businesses struggle under the weight of their overheads without any access to customers, with the borders having been closed since March, and no real indication when they might open again. Travel of any kind now seems little more than a dream for the future.
We’re lucky enough at ATP not to have been crippled by overheads, but our business hasn’t fared any better in retaining any sense of normalcy, though we’re determined not be bogged down in negativity. That said, we have little choice but to try to adapt to these unprecedented times.
They do say that “Every cloud has a silver lining”, and while, of course, we’d much rather the world return to normal, these unusual times give us a unique opportunity to offer something different. First off, with the temples of Angkor truly deserted (recent statistics released from the Apsara Authority indicate that most days, approximately 20 tickets or less are sold), if ever there was a time to have Angkor to yourself, this is it. If you find yourself in Cambodia right now, we invite you to join us on a special, discounted version of our popular tours. Our half-day Hidden Angkor tour is now available, including transport by tuk tuk, at just USD 100 as a private workshop. The full-day version is reduced to just USD 160, also including transport. As announced recently, 3- and 6-month tickets to Angkor for long-term residents of Cambodia are now available at incredibly reasonable prices from the Angkor Enterprise Office (upstairs in the ticket office), and so there has never been a better time for expats to explore Angkor.
For our guests who find themselves further afield, don’t think we’re neglecting you. In the past few weeks, we’ve started up a new Facebook group called Friends of ATP. Here, we invite you to share and participate in a community of likeminded individuals; everyone in the group has embarked on the same journey as you, learning photography, and is a lover of international travel. The group is already active, and we’re lucky enough that some of our guests from the last few years have already begun sharing. We hope that the group will keep you inspired through these peculiar times. On top of that, we’re also offering one-on-one guidance via Google Hangouts, Skype etc. where we can teach a range of topics from post-processing, advanced composition, achieving consistent style in your images, and much more in a way that makes it feel as if you were sat here right next to us (only less humid!). Check out the link here for more details on our fantastic online offerings.
Finally, we’re making some plans for what we hope is the none-too-distant future. Once we’re given the green-light to begin gathering in groups again, we’ll start running some new Weekend Walks. Building community has long been at the core of what we want to achieve, as has being accessible to all, regardless of budget. Our weekend walks (schedule to be announced) will offer a fun social twist on our already established tours in a way that is incredibly budget friendly, too, as well as being timed in a such a way that locals and expats will also be able to join, rather than being something that only suits the schedule of holiday-makers. Each weekend, we’ll take in a new location or subject matter. Keep an eye out for more details in the coming weeks.