Laos Kingdom of a Million Elephants


Laos Kingdom of a Million Elephants
Great Places, Great Adventures

Si Phon Don, also known as Four Thousand Islands was relaxing. Our home had many hammocks but only electricity from 7-10pm. When we arrived by boat, a water buffalo was in the water next to us. Southern Laos was HOT HOT HOT! so we enjoyed a few days of tubing and staying cool in the water. From Pakse, we went to the Boulevan Plateau and saw tea/coffee plantations and 2 amazing waterfalls, Tad Fane and Tad Nyenag. We also went tubing for one day in VANG VIENG. The karst formations that we could see from our balcony were INCREDIBLE but the restaurants full of tourists watching FRIENDS from am to pm was ODD!

What the WAT
Luang Prabang was the capital and is a World Heritage Site. We saw so many amazing Wats (Temples) all over Laos and so many monks in orange dress and MANY with Umbrellas. My favorite mosaic was the tree of life on the back wall. The Wats of Laos have stenciled art in silver and gold, very different and very beautiful.

We also went to Champassak where we went to Wat Phou, a World Heritage Site. This vast and Ancient Hindu temple complex dates back to the 5th-11th centuries. It was built next the Holy Mountain Phou Khao which is topped with a naturally formed Lingam dedicated to the god Shiva. There was a road connecting Cham Wat Phou with the Khmer Angkor Wat.
In Vientiane, we saw Pha That Luang, which is one of the main symbols of Laos. Covered in gold, it is really stunning. We also went to the Laos’ arc’ d triumph.

Helping the People
Check out the organization called “Stay Another Day” in Cambodia/Laos which has great information about how to help in both countries. One of our favorites was at the Tat Kuang Si Waterfall, the Bear Rescue Center, you can find more info at: You can volunteer there for a week and feed the bears! The waterfall was beautiful and the bears are AMAZING. They climb and eat and sit in a hammock!!

Other important organizations are Child Safe which works to stop sex tourism and Heifer International which gives animals to rural families to help them raise their standard of living. All of these organizations would welcome your donations and are really helping the people.

March 15-29, 2009
Loving Life in Laos

We crossed
the border from Cambodia into Laos with several Russians, it was interesting to learn that they do NOT need a visa to come into this country…every country has different rules!! We had our visas…and did have to pay the “extra” fee to cross of $2.00 each (we think it is the border guards drinking fund.)
75% pf people live on less than $2/day in Laos. The French who were in Viet Nam and Cambodia as well as Laos…said “the Vietnamese plant the rice, the Cambodians watch it grow and the Laos listen to it grow.” Laos is very mellow!!!
There are 49-143 ethnic groups in Laos depending on who is counting! They are all affected by the new hydro-electric dams built in China. We hope to learn more about it when we get to China on April 21st. There are many problems with water flow and fish but it is an energy source!

We are in Northern Thailand for SONGKRAN! We return to California from Mongolia on June 23rd. We look forward to catching up with everyone this summer!

For all Campers:
I hope to see you July 6-30, 2009 at FIREFLIES and ZEBRA STRIPES camp! details: email me or

Happy Spring Break and Spring Holidays!
Lisa and George

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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