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 is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 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. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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