Angkor Thom Gate in Cambodia

Angkor Thom Gate in Cambodia

Travel Channel executive producer Daniel A. Schwartz traveled to Cambodia with the Expedition Unknown production crew and host and explorer Josh Gates. It was Daniel’s first time in Cambodia and we thought it was the perfect time to get a “newbies” perspective on the country.

Here’s what Daniel had to say:

What brought you to Cambodia?

I went to Cambodia to film Expedition Unknown, a new Travel Channel show coming in 2015, with host and explorer Josh Gates. We traveled through the country, from the capital Phnom Penh all the way to the northernmost mountain border. Josh was on a mission and we were there to document the adventure. Using breakthrough Lidar technology , the city of the founding Khmer ruler had just been found. Locating a place that was once believed to be mythological was a huge find for many reasons. One reason in particular: a belief that the king kept a sacred, magical object with him. Cambodians believed the king’s power to vanquish his enemies lay in an object called a lingum. Josh was determined to get to the mountain before looters arrived and sacked the place.

Josh Gates and Daniel A. Schwartz

Josh Gates and Daniel A. Schwartz

What were you expecting to find on this mission?

Before the visit, I had read of Cambodia’s troubled history from 1975 to 1979, when the Khmer Rouge killed 2 million of their people. I was prepared to experience a nation affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), frightened by foreigners. This was the opposite of my experience. I found Cambodians to be kind, generous and thoughtful.

What were some unforgettable moments?

During our week in Cambodia many places left indelible impressions. There was the floating village on Tonlé Sap Lake, which we visited on the way to Siem Reap, by boat. Four thousand people lived on barges, boats and rafts in the middle of the lake with churches, stores and even a school. It’s a village that has been there for hundreds of years, and that moves several times a year depending on the water level.

Tonle Sap

Tonle Sap

Angkor Wat (pictured above) is so impressive, it’s hard to describe. It’s part of a complex that comprises thousands of temples. Imagine walking through a stone artwork that is inscribed with carved, granite and limestone tapestries telling epic tales that are still gripping. These temples and the geometric irrigation systems around them supported a city of over a million people a thousand years ago—making it the largest and most advanced of its era.

Also, the food! During our journey through Cambodia, we had the freshest food, from mango shakes to fresh watermelon juice and delicious French and Cambodian cuisine.

Do you have recommendations on where to stay?

The food varied, but like the hotels, were both consistently wonderful. In Phnom Penh we stayed at the Plantation Hotel, which had a fresh breakfast buffet, and an extremely large pool. Though it’s right in the center of town, the ambiance in the courtyards of the hotel was quiet, relaxed and lush.

In Battambang, the rest of the (film) crew stayed in the Bambu Hotel, but I stayed at a 19th Century French Villa called The French Villa. It had soaring ceilings and rooms that looked untouched since the turn of the century.

In Siem Reap, we stayed at the Hanuman Alaya Villa, (River Road, Phoum Trang). This was a particularly elegant hotel with a lovely waterfall and pool.

 Any tips for planning a trip to Cambodia?

I am not sure if the end of April is the best time to visit Cambodia as it is the hottest time of year, with daytime temperatures averaging 95-99 degrees and nighttime lows of 80 degrees.

- Daniel A. Schwartz, Executive Producer for Expedition Unknown


On Location, TV, TV Shows

61 Responses

  1. DBCoop says:

    How lucky to be on location in Cambodia. I look forward to Travel Channel's "Expedition Unknown" episode to this exotic Southeast Asian destination.

    Now I'll have to put the French Villa in Battambang and the Plantation Hotel in Phnom Penh on my ever-growing bucket list.

  2. Amy Leopold says:

    We are watching Destination Truth Season 2 Episode 1, as I'm typing, with my seven year old son. It's wonderful to vicariously visit Nepal with you and the crew! We can't wait to see you all back on the air!

    Amy L.
    New Port Richey, Florida

  3. Kalisto says:

    Can't wait for 2015 release date of Expedition Unknown.Really jonesing for more Josh Gates adventures.

  4. Todd says:

    Can't wait for Josh Gates new adventures! I wish I was by his side!!!

  5. "Jay" Jeff Stewart says:

    Investigating, once again on my TV, with Josh Gates; I can't believe it! Although I'll need to wait until 2015. It's good to have something to look forward to in the coming year. Josh Gates's mix of rugged adventurer and off-beat good humor makes for entertaining TV. Being a pretty man doesn't hurt either. I just hope the Travel Channel gives him a larger rental car budget. Airplanes should have a roof and cars should have a solid floor. Ever need a sidekick? I'm available.

  6. ESs says:

    Miss josh and the gang! Can't wait to see them again!!

  7. Susan says:

    Can't wait for your show! I have seen all of the destination truth episodes and I can't get enough of the adventures you take! You do what so many wish they could! And you make it light hearted as you are very funny as well! A job well done!

  8. Can't wait for Josh Gates new adventures! I wish I was by his side!!!

  9. CJP says:

    Destination Truth was my favorite show on TV. So looking forward to Expedition Unknown.

  10. Cindy says:

    So missing josh and the crew wish it was already on

  11. Katherine says:

    FANTASTIC!!! Can't wait. Really missed Destination Truth and the gang. Expedition Unknown loving it. Congrats to Josh on his marriage.

  12. Lorie says:

    I knew it was only a matter of time! Can't keep a good man down!! Excellent!!

  13. Kim &Tristan says:

    I give Josh gates partial credit for my wonderful relationship with my teenage son. We love sharing his adventures together and can't wait to see him again!
    Looking forward to Expedition Unknown!!!

  14. Peggy herring says:

    Love destination truth can't wait to see it again on the travel channel. Syfy show to worst program now, but I'm so happy Josh Gate and his screw are coming back and on my favorite the travel channel.

  15. Merisha says:

    Watching Destination Truth right now and was wondering where my favorite adventurer went to and lo and behold! He will be back on my favorite channel! Really looking forward to seeing Josh's new adventures!

  16. Fan#25 says:

    I lov josh n his adventures…..cannot wait for the new series..miss you

  17. alyse says:

    I am s oooo happy someone has picked up this show! Josh gates rules!

  18. Gee Turner says:

    O-M-G! 2015????? What???? Ok, Im seriously whining out loud right now! I thought we'd be seeing Josh and his new show this Fall….oh man, that sucks! I hate waiting – its all we've done FOREVER, is wait wait wait! Oh well, at least he IS coming back so I'll suck it up for now, but if he doesn't….someone's gonna get hurt! LOL

  19. Pearl says:

    I am so happy Josh and the crew are coming back. DT was such a great show and I can't wait to go on more adventures with y'all!

  20. swade says:

    Noooo…2015? Don't want to wait that long. Booo. One of my favorite shows was Destination Truth and I just loved Josh and team – so comical and courageous. Loved following their research and adventures to find the truth. Can't believe they termed that show, but was extremely excited to hear about the new show. People missed out on the last show…. Hope record numbers tune in to keep this one going.

    • Chris says:

      I hope so! I hate when they take a great show off and leave the stupid, ones on. Destination Truth was the best show on that channel.

  21. Thanks, it's very helpful post.

    • Chris says:

      Expedition unknown will be on the, travel channel or the history channel? Which ever I can't wait….loved destination truth and can't believe that the syfy channel let it go…bad move.

  22. nancy C says:

    I am so pleased to know that Josh Gates is returning to TV. I am looking forward to the show.

  23. Vikki says:

    So thrilled to hear Josh has a new show! I am really starting to tire of my 8 hour marathons of watching Destination Truth reruns:) Can't come soon enough!

  24. Rechizar says:

    I love Josh Gates. I was just in Asia and visited Siem Reap in Cambodia. Angkor Wat is one of the most amazing places I've been. It was just so hot and humid (went there in June.) But definitely had a great time there. The Night Market and Pub Street were awesome. I can't wait to watch Josh in his new show. Finally, Travel Channel has a new show that actually pertains to travel. I'm seriously sick and tired of watching all their food shows. I miss Samantha Brown too.

  25. TAM says:

    Thank you Travel Channel for bringing Josh Gates, his team, and his wonderful adventures back to tv. He has been greatly missed. Hope his new show is a great success and will be on tv for a very long time.

  26. Lorraine Avalos says:

    I'm a full on fan of DT. Can't wait for new show to begin. Been missin josh n his comical ways.

  27. Katy says:

    Am so glad Josh will be back on with new adventures. Loved destination truth..and was sad to see it taken off air..atleast there's reruns.

  28. paulette pray says:

    Syfy was really stupid for canceling this show it's great I love it!! Thank you travel channel. I've been watching your channel more and more, syfy less and less.

  29. Amanda L. says:

    Thank you travel channel for bringing one of the best paranormal and psychologically thrilling shows I've ever seen! Josh Gates is awesome!

  30. James says:

    Josh Gates is a funny good guy. I think the travel channel is a good place for him he sure knows have to travel .I think he will help the channels ratings

  31. Shariece says:

    Don't think I can wait till 2015

  32. Rod Millicardi says:

    The best show on cable hands down. Welcome back!!!!!!!

  33. Rcarter says:

    Actually now is the best time to go to Cambodia (October/November). You will have to put up with the afternoon rain, but it is much cooler this time of year. April through September it's like standing on the sun(exaggerated a little). But if you go check out the places tourist don't go like the rubbish heaps in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap where people live. It will make you appreciate what you have.

  34. Jimmie says:

    Destination Truth was my families favorite show. Can't wait for the new show!!

  35. Judith cress says:

    Kudos to travel channel for bringing the best and most entertaining person on TV back to his adoring fans!! SYFY lost a big time viewer without Destination Truth!! Can not wait to see him again!! Travel channel will get back a viewer they had lost due to all the food shows!! Good Move!!!

  36. I am s oooo happy someone has picked up this show! Josh gates rules!

  37. Denise Satterfield says:

    As I'm typing I'm watching a marathon of DT. The Hanging Coffins. And yes I remember ALL of them. Gotta love Josh. Just wish he was coming on sooner. 2015. Well, at least, it's not 2016. Love ya Josh and cant wait!!

  38. jeremiah says:

    I cant wait Destination truth is my favorite show ever and iv seen all episodes atleast 5 times over,im shur the new show will be a favorite asweell

  39. Leo says:

    Can't wait for this show to
    Premiere! I was just checking the old shows website and could not find any info. Glad I googled it and found out about the show returning under a new name! It would be awesome to investigate once Josh Gates and his crew!

  40. Katie says:

    I love destination truth josh is my hero. He's not afraid of trying new things even if he has to ride a llama to king tuts tomb. (the llama is Josh's least favorite animal.) can't wait to see more episodes of destination truth.

  41. Very useful information and thank you for sharing it with us Best Regards

  42. Allen says:

    Josh is one of the funniest HOST out there can't wait to see you're new show I hope rider with you she's great to.

  43. Karen says:

    I'm happy to see the return of Josh & the gang. Looking forwrard to his new explorations.

  44. hguf says:

    i do love gates so much a very helpful topic

  45. phunk says:

    I just hope this show is not set up or phony like a lot of tv reality shows that are aired these days.

  46. Sopheak says:

    There's nothing like a helicopter flight over Angkor to provide insight into how vast the ancient city really is.

  47. vanna says:

    I love expedition unknown I can't Wait to see more about the lost city in Cambodia. It's interesting place. I wish I was there with josh and the crew.

  48. tlynn says:

    My husband and I are huge fans of the new show Expedition Unknown. We love Josh Gates!!!!!!!!!

  49. New evidence says:

    worst show ever with all due respect. I love the fact that the shows start with "going to get answers…. or solving this…. or unraveling …." let me see… NO. Each of the shows may inspire those who never paid attention in history class and are learning about these "mysteries" for the first time. But for the masses, I do believe there will be a lot of disappointment once you figure out that there are NO answers. Just a lot of expenses to travel to the "sites" and talk with "local experts" and some creative narration to keep you on your toes expecting Josh to find some sort of treasure after the commercial break. Pretty much an insulting show. No offense Josh.

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  51. alab says:

    Congrats to Josh on his marriage and we Can't wait for Josh Gates new adventures .

  52. i think Travel Channel has a new show that actually pertains to travel and thanks for this info

  53. hguhf says:

    thanks so mush for haring this great informations

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Rani Craft Robinson-KigandaRani Craft Robinson-Kiganda is managing producer of A Washingtonian, Floridian and wannabe Charlestonian, Rani’s passion for writing, travel, photography and food brought her to Africa, Singapore and Italy. Not...


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