Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Wonderful guide for Angkor Wat Siem Reap - Personally recommended

Wonderful guide for Angkor Wat Siem Reap - Personally recommended

Aug 10th, 2010, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 282
You may not remember enough to pass the midterm, but it is interesting to hear about the generations of kings and the politics of Hindu verus Buddhist and foreign invasions. And it helps to have someone explain the iconography as well.
kuluk is offline  
Aug 11th, 2010, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,668
We each have our own ways of traveling. I opted not to have a guide. I'd been reading about Angkor for decades and we both studied Dawn Rooney's book and several others intensively before we went. So we had plenty of background which certainly enhanced our appreciation of the temples.

The most special moments were times of silence, alone at a ruined temples or doing a walking meditation at Angkor Wat just after sunrise - alone in the temples.
Kathie is online now  
Aug 11th, 2010, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,306

I have done it both ways, and while I appreciate the amount of information, both current and historical, a guide can impart, honestly, "know thyself" -- I'm interested in the brief outline, not the PhD. With the background in mind, I like to wander, explore, and just "be" without the oral history lesson. Obviously, guides are right for some, and not for others. And even for those who go without guides (Kathie and me, for example), we do it differently.
sf7307 is online now  
Sep 20th, 2010, 08:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3
I am going to Siem Reap in Oct 2010. I am traveling alone and I live in New York. Who wants to join me?
Saravan is offline  
Oct 25th, 2010, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3
We had a wonderful time in Cambodia. Thanks for recommending some people here. The tour guide took care of me. He spoke good English.
Saravan is offline  
Dec 9th, 2010, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1
I had booked Vireak as my guide, but did not show up. His friend helped me walk around, but he is not good and i did not like him. Vireak told me a lie. I DO NOT recommend him anyone who travel to Cambodia.
Travelers should know.
Solotravel is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,668
The advertising thread that will not die...

Solo's first and only post. Did she have a bad experience booking a guide or is she a rival guide?
Kathie is online now  
Dec 10th, 2010, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
I would not want to be a guide. Determining whether the client wanted me to 1) babble, 2) babble then shut up, 3) shut up then babble when commanded ... could be a challenge.

We had a guide at the pyramids. I thought he did a great job but three of our group suggested I tell the fellow to quit yapping.
colduphere is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 465
Kathie, this didn't begin as an "advertising thread," whatever might have crept in along the way. I agree that this renewal of the topic looks suspicious. Maybe Fodor's needs a six-month expiration rule.
WillJame is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,668
Will, you are quite right it didn't begin that way. While there are several notes that a post has been removed, I remember at least a half a dozen more advertising posts that have been removed from this thread.
Kathie is online now  
Dec 10th, 2010, 10:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 704
Solotravel, i wil be in Angkor Wat in January. Who should i use as a guide?
krgystn is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 11:03 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
We were all first time posters once.....

All first time posters are just that, first time posters who are either trustworthy or not, no way to tell with just one post. Since there is no way to tell or trust what a first time poster says is true we all take whatever a first time poster writes with a grain of salt.

First time posters who are for real should realize that fact and post more often to gain the trust and respect of the larger fodors audience. Sermon over

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2
Do not trust "David" Sovann Eath.

"David" Sovann Eath is now sending impostors. There's a good chance you won't get the real Sovann Eath as your guide.

I had hired Sovann Eath to be my guide because of good reviews. His website claimed he was an English teacher for 9 years and a guide for 10. Instead, after numerous confirmations, Sovann Eath sent a 25 year old pervert whose English was very difficult to understand. This impostor spoke more about his sexual escapades with female clients than architecture or history. For lunch, I told him I wanted to go to restaurants where locals ate. Instead, this liar said there are no local places near the temples (even though we passed many) and repeatedly took me to tourist restaurants where he & the driver could eat for free (probably in addition to commission.) He crammed 2 days of sites into 1 so he could try to make more money taking me to additional temples. He was also often on his cell phone talking and texting. His dishonesty practically ruined my trip. There are numerous guides around. You'd be better off just hiring a driver or finding a legitimate guide on site.
AvidGlobetrotter is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,668
Avid, you just joined Fodors and your only 2 posts are to complain about a guide.

I'm surprised you didn't know that much-advertised guides do sub-contract out many visitors as they can't guide them all. You have to ask explicitly if you are getting the advertised guide or another guide. I'm also surprised that you didn't give you guide feedback ("I'm not interested in your sexual exploits" "I'd prefer that you not talk or text while you are guiding me." etc). And I'm surprised that you used him a second day if you didn't like him the first day.
Kathie is online now  
Dec 15th, 2010, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,502
Avid, you are seriously expecting us to believe there are (many) local restaurants near the temples? Locals (other than guides) drive out to the temples to eat lunch? What a laugh. Clearly those places are only there for tourists. Your post lacks a lot of thought. Sorry.

And Kathie has it right. If he was that bad, you must be a complete idiot to have spent a second day with him. Somehow your post shows you to be at fault as much as he was.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6

That statement couldn't be any further from the reality of how Cambodia operate.
Well i thought that'd be my first contribution to this forum.

I have been travelling to Cambodia for 6 years and I have some insider information aout booking guides, cars, massages and just about anything.
the worst you can do is trust the reception to chose a quality guide for you.
I usually stay at the La Paix hotel which is one the best in town, and they don't even have tour desk so that you have to ask the concierge for a guide. The guides they recommend have turned out to be awful and after som
e detective work I found out that they only recommend the guides based on how much commission they can earn . Friends and relatives is what you get when you order guides from the concierge. They will even share the tip money with whoever booked them.
The experienced guides are independant and the reason you should book them in advance is that they are completely busy during the peak season. But even then you have to insist you want them personally and that you won't accept any substitute, because these independant guides accept double bookings and they will recommend...you guessed it friends and family.
emilryser is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 01:18 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
and the imposters go on and on and on......emily are you avid or is avid traveler the globe today

Merry Christmas everyone!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6
I noticed that Fodor's themselves recommend to book a guide from your hotel's front desk. What a laugh that's just plain ignorance. Hawaiian you seem to be a respected traveller, so of course I'll bow in admiration to the sheer quantity of tourist reports you submitted...but then
I happen to have insider info about the best guides in Angkor and that's my christmas present to fodor's ; they're easy to spot; because they sometimes wear a unique scarf very similar to the keffiyeh which has been uniquely designed by the Amansara resort available only to the exceptional guides that have received extra training. Unfortunately they usually become so successful that they distance themselves from the hotel to become independant guides, but they still retain the keffiyeh and wear it now and then...

Merry Christmas
emilryser is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,668
emil, I wonder what kind of "inside information" you have. Perhaps you work for the Amansara?

In my experience there are plenty of good guides available. People have preferences for different styles of guiding, people have different skills in understanding unfamiliar accents. IMO, one of the best ways to find a guide you like is to interview that guide in person... in Siem Reap.

To assert that there are only a few good guides, all of whom received extra training from the Amansara and sometimes wear a keffiyeh... I'm not sure if that is ignorance or arrogance.

One of our esteemed Fodorites makes her home in Siem Reap. I wonder what her perspective would be on your comments.
Kathie is online now  
Dec 17th, 2010, 11:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6
Kathie, You have no concrete info on topic to submit right? Is that what you call Ignorance ?
Also read my post carefully before summarizing it your own way and leaving out half the details because some of us still value details and I would consider distorting the original meaning as arrogance. Yes I'm arrogant but I got provoked right away after my first(!) contribution to this forum by a kneejerk tourist named hawaiian...

Anyway because fodors is about information let's jump back to our topic. The best guide that I had in my many trips to Angkor is a guide's trainer. Yes he has "Amansara" extra education but he didn't have it in the first place , he had to earn it and now he's an independant guide and trainer and he's just one of the ex-Aman "elite" guides. That's all. Everybody that lives here knows that plus that if you order a guide from your hotel you'll get the receptionist's "brother"( The exception maybe being if the hotel is western-owned and the owner closely monitors the tour desk, so that's hit and miss. )

If you need concrete guide names I have them, but don't insult me when I'm posting info, because we should value info over polemics. Merry Christmas
emilryser is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:22 PM.