Do you know that for a price, you can actually rent out any of the temples of Angkor and relive the golden age of the empire? Well, with the modern conveniences of course- like a generator set, mist sprays and luxurious portable toilets. So if you are probably someone who has some scandalously big cash to burn and have a couple of nights in Cambodia, try these out for a change... real value-for-money dinners at the world heritage temples of Angkor!
(I shot these from different catering photography assignments from various hotels and events)
The experience begins with a symphony of lights...
Then the intricate set-up is laid: from candle-lit tables, wine bars, Michelin-star chefs at your beck and call and all that jazz... this is a full dinner setting at the Prasat Kravan temple
A courtyard dinner at the Thommanon temple where you are blanketed by the jungle...
A lounge set-up at the Banteay Samre temple by Amansara
A dinner set-up at the Terrace of the Leper King
Ice sculptures guard the gates to the inner sanctum of Wat Attwiya
The dinner set-up inside Wat Attwiya with classical performances on the temple's causeway
Cocktails and wine by the Bayon temple, Angkor Thom
Classical Cambodian dance performances or music can be arranged... or if you fancy to be serenaded by U2 or Madonna, it's your call.
...or perhaps float a thousand candles on coconut on the temple's moats?
Rental prices for temples range from $2,500 for smaller, far flung temples while Angkor Wat can cost as much as $20,000 for a 3-hour dinner schedule! And that doesn't even include your dinner yet! Dinners usually start at around $300 per person. For most Cambodians earning an average of $2 a day, dinner alone is equivalent to their life savings. Rental price in Angkor Wat can actually build you a house here...
A couple of years ago, a year before I came to Cambodia, Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor held a dinner at Angkor Wat with performances by tenor Jose Careras, a full philharmonic orchestra and the Cambodian Royal Ballet. Dinner cost a measly $2,000 per person. Not bad for a two-hour spectacle. Very very affordable indeed.
So what are you waiting for?
Live it like the kings!