Opportunity to Learn
Traveling is a great chance to learn and explore new experiences. For example, if you visit Cambodia, you will learn about livelihood, culture, economic history and some other current issue that are happening in Cambodia right now. What is the best way to get to learn all this? I am sure that people can travel and learn by observing. They can learn by seeing or reading. But it is also so interesting to learn from local who has personal experience and knowledge about these situations. Hiring a local guide is a great chance to get real insights into and stories of the place. It is a chance for travelers to understand and interact with local people directly. They can show you places only locals know while helping you learn about the unique culture and history of each place you visit while having an amazing, meaningful trip.
As a foreigner in any country, you might feel a bit lost, not understanding the new culture you’ve been thrown into. Misunderstanding could make you unintentionally rude in the local culture. If you’ve been to Cambodia, I know you sometimes get some weird or seemingly impolite questions from Cambodian people. For example, “What’s your religion?” Many westerns respond that they don’t have a religion, this would be fine in the West but in Cambodia, people without a religion are considered bad people or T’moel people. T’moel is a word that references the Khmer Rouge or Pol Pot who destroyed all religions in Cambodia. Some people want to talk to the monks, but they don’t know how to start or what is appropriate. It is easy to make a wrong assumption if you don’t understand the local culture. These are the types of situations that a local guide can help you navigate and provide context for cultural differences you encounter in your travels.
Having a local guide with you will not only keep you from making these mistakes but they will help you understand the cultural rationale for different practices. They know not only the area, but also the people and regional culture and customs. They can give you information about the culture and the history of the country and answer to all your questions. Learning more information about culture and daily life of the local people will help you understand the politest way to engage with them and minimize cultural misunderstanding. You can enjoy with your holiday with no any concern about acting wrong in the new culture. A critical aspect of traveling responsibly is to understand and be aware of the customs and norms wherever you travel. Hiring a local guide is a great way to ensure you respect and learn about the culture you came to visit and experience.
Clearly there is value for the traveler in working with a local guide – opportunities to personally connect with locals and hear their stories and better understand cultural differences but hiring a local guide is also a great way for travelers to support the communities that drew them to the country in the first place. Working with a local guide ensures that money you are spending on your trip is going to the local community, so it can prosper and thrive from the tourism market. Exploring on your own is great as well but if you’re craving the extra connection to the places you visit working with a guide not only helps you gain knowledge and a local perspective but also the sense of giving back and supporting the unique and amazing places and communities you visit on your travels. Be sure to support companies and guides that hire locals, pay well, and offer support to their employees. Your impact is bigger than you realize just by hiring someone to help you have an amazing trip.
Guests’ Reviews about Our Tours and Guides
My wife and I absolutely loved our tour with Soksabike. Phalla was the most wonderful tour guide, showing us around the villages on the other side of the river, and telling us stories about the history of the area and more. He was so friendly and easy to talk to. The tour was well-planned; we met three local families, and had a drink at a local cafe. Then we took a long (although circuitous) journey to a temple a short distance away and learned about monkhood and Buddhism in Cambodia. Last but not least, a delicious lunch and delightful conversation to end our tour and our time in Battambang.
—LDfreedomTB, December 2018
We spent two weeks in Cambodia and this was our favourite activity. Our guides, Phalla and Hemka were really funny and informative and the small businesses and families we got to meet were fantastic.
Riding around the back roads we go to see some lovely countryside. We also got to taste some delicious food!
The terrain was flat and although it was hot we had plenty of breaks, with water provided by Soksabike.
—BlueWren77, December 2018
Thank you to all the staff at Soksabike. My wife and I had a great half day bike trip around Battambang. Despite the heat we coped well with the ride and found the whole experience very rewarding. Very authentic and expertly guided. Recommend++++
—Tony M, December 2018