2019 New Year’s chat with Lise, our Product Manager in Cambodia

1. What were you doing before coming to Cambodia? What is your professional background? 
As a student, I assisted a home-based travel agent company in organizing and even leading their company seminars.
I moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to pursue MICE and GIT business development for DMC, with a special focus on assisting the MICE and Francophone market in Malaysia and Singapore. This was no small feat, entailing the complete creation of a program, products, the organization of the inspections, bookings, and even welcoming clients and processing their feedback.

2. Why did you choose to come to Cambodia? Why Easia Travel? 
Back in 2013 was my first time traveling to Cambodia – as soon as I got off the plane, setting foot right on Cambodian soil, something “clicked” in me. At that time, at the Phnom Penh airport, most of the planes were dropping off the guests on the tarmac, then driving directly to the terminal by bus. There was a certain smell, a sensation like I had been here before – and that I would be staying.

Over the years, I’ve come to love and be loved by Cambodia; unlike in Kuala Lumpur, fitting myself into Cambodian culture was more natural – adopting the food, weather, and interacting with locals with ease. They say good things happen at the right times, and Easia Travel, specifically our Cambodia Country Manager Clémence, approached me during my time in Kuala Lumpur – so I took my opportunity and since then, I always look forward to my time in Cambodia; it’s truly become home for me!

3. What are your hobbies? and how do they help you in your position at Easia travel? 
My hobbies here are quite simple; first, I like to search for the best Khmer cuisine. Second, I like forming meetups with friends in new places and meet with new people! Third, my curiosity pushes me to discover more and more in this amazing country by running or motorbiking wherever and whenever I can. My constant energy, motivated by my curiosity, helps me improve my writing, reading, and speaking Khmer, which means a lot to me, given that I truly want to immerse myself and ‘become Cambodian.

All this helps me to produce the creativity and the local, yet European touch, that makes Easia Travel special. Just imagine: wouldn’t it be amazing to get your next product idea just by speaking like a local to an auntie next door?

4. What is your role as a Product Manager in Cambodia, at Easia Travel? 
Out of all the responsibilities I could cover, to me, my main role at Easia Travel is to research and compile the trends and needs of our market, coupled with collaboration with and the celebration of Khmer culture.

5. What is your favorite place in Cambodia? 
My favorite place in Cambodia is definitely Siem Reap.

In terms of lifestyle, Siem Reap and its surrounding province have so much to offer; the rhythm of life and sheer number of things to do always keep me busy on my downtime. This country has a certain authenticity and spirit – and most of all, Siem Reap. It’s hard to leave Cambodia now; I sometimes go back to Europe for a few weeks, and with a touch of sadness, I can only write and call back to the country I now call “ផ្ទះរបស់ខ្ញុំ” – home.

6. Where would you recommend to go, and what to do in 2019 in Cambodia?
In 2019, I would recommend visiting Kep, Kampot, and Cardamom. There are more and more curiosities coming to light – waiting to be explored – in those provinces. This opening of previously remote and relatively unknown makes Cambodia great again and reminds us of why we never want to lose those parts of the Khmer country and heritage. Out of the customary tourism path, those regions are perfect for driving, riding, hiking, and simply exploring for all their beauty.

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