Cambodia–Kingdom of Treasures


Cambodia–Kingdom of Treasures
The Temples of Angkor Wat
We were so lucky to view over 20 temples in Cambodia. My favorite is Bayon in Angkor Thom with the faces. George’s favorite is the detailed carvings of Bantay Srei. My mom liked Ta Prom with the tall trees growing out and in and around them. I think Dad remembers the stair climb up Ta Keo right after lunch in the HEAT of the day BEST! It was over 100 F and at high noon up the steep uneven small steep steps…but we made it and Dad and George did Tai Chi at the top. George and I were in Siem Reap for 7 days, and were able to see several temples many times. We saw Angkor Wat at sunrise, in the afternoon and evening….we walked through the temple BY OURSELVES. It was INCREDIBLE!

Khmer Rouge
The evidence of the Khmer Rouge is in every city, town and village of Cambodia. We spoke to many Tuk Tuk drivers who told us about being separated from their families and how most of them died in the genocide that killed 3 million people (HALF of the Cambodians from 1975-1979). We saw the detention and torture center of S-21 and the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh. In Battambang, we saw the Well of Shadows, a new and very moving monument to the many people killed in that area. We saw many temples that were used as jails and torture centers.

The People and Places
In Phnom Penh, we visited the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda which are very beautiful. We also went for a sunset boat ride on Tonle Sap River.
In Battambang, we saw (and heard) rice paper being made–two people have to work together to make the circle paper for spring rolls. We also saw mushrooms grown on rice straw and rubber–it was pretty incredible. We also saw the Bamboo Train, they travel both ways on a single track and take one train off the track when they meet up.
In Kompong Cham, we saw amazing fields of Lotus Blossoms, and went to the AMICA village where we saw a ceremony with 5 monks chanting for prosperity for the village. 10% of Cambodians live in this province.
In Kratie, we went for a sunset cruise to see the river dolpins. They were very cooperative and we saw over a dozen of them but they are a challenge to get on camera.

Feb 26-March 13
To learn more about CAMBODIAN HISTORY read Elizabeth Becker’s book, “When the War was over.” She was one of 3 journalists to enter Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge.
Most Cambodians live in the countryside (80% work in the rice fields). 96% are ethnic Khmers.
In Cambodia, we have often had dinner for $4.50 and stayed at a nice place for $12. It has been odd that we get United States Dollars out of the ATM!!
We loved the Angkor area temple East Mebon with 8 elephant sculptures and Phnom Bakeng with REAL elephants!!
Our Phnom Penh guide, Dara, told us that “his 6 year old is learning Mandarin in school. The Japanese government is paying school fees for all elementary school children in Cambodia. College costs $200/year. There are no pensions and there is a 10% salary tax. The 4000 pagadas all have schools. Government cars get FREE gas. “

It is amazing with the 10 or more countries in multi million dollar projects in Angkor area for restoration that there is no money. There is much corruption in Cambodia. Including that Hun Sen, the Cambodian premier, was a high level member of the Khmer Rouge but switched sides and came back with Viet Nam to oust the Khmer Rouge…

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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