Globejotting Travel Show: Escaping Poverty in Siem Reap

By Dave Fox
Siem Reap, Cambodia
March 6, 2018

Nita Courtney (in the red shirt) was born in Siem Reap, Cambodia, into a life of severe poverty. As an adult, she became a professional tour guide. She now lives in the US state of Arizona with her husband, Casey. (Photo from the late 1980s courtesy of Nita Courtney.)

If you visit the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia, something you’ll see is young children selling souvenirs or begging for money. A lot of travelers are unsure about the best way to handle these encounters.

On the latest episode of the Globejotting Travel Show, our guest has a unique perspective. As a young child, Nita Courtney had to beg for money on the streets of Siem Reap to help feed her family.

Eventually, it was tourism that helped her break free from the cycle of poverty. She shares her story, as well as her thoughts on things travelers can do to help children in impoverished areas – and things we shouldn’t do.

Also on this episode: The world’s first “beer hotel” is about to open in Scotland. An American man falls asleep and takes a $1,635 Uber ride. And listeners ask questions about Vietnam tourist visas and best mobile phone options for a multi-continent travel adventure.

The Globejotting Travel Show streams on the first Tuesday of each month on Expat Radio, with a repeat on the third Tuesday. All episodes are also available on and will soon be available on iTunes and YouTube as well.

Published on Thursday, March 8, 2018

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