During our stay in Siem Reap we met Mr. Sophara – a dedicated tuktuk and Angkor driver. In 2010 he decided to stop working as a barkeeper and started his own tuktuk business. Today he takes tourists around the ancient ruins of Angkor and other points of interest in and around Siem Reap. Since the turn of the millennium Siem Reap underwent a fast growth in tourism, making it a vast, lucrative industry. Mr. Sophara also benefits from this development and we wish him all the best for the future. We will keep our fingers crossed that his business will grow and we hopefully see each other again some day.
Want to explore Siem Reap too? We summed up our experiences and recommendations for you.
What comes to your mind when you think of “home”?
On the one hand I have to think of Phnom Penh as this is the city where I was born and where I come from. On the other hand I found a second home in Siem Reap and this is where I currently live with my wife and two kids. In general I think it is hard to find a place to call home. Having a home or even an own house equals a lot of good luck in my opinion.
What does "tourism" mean to you?
For me tourism and traveling represents freedom. Not everyone can travel and cross borders without any problems. The tourism itself gives me a job and helps to support my family. It gives me a home, food and money. Tourism helps a lot of people in my country and therefore I think it is very important. I always try to be very polite and friendly to the tourists. I want them to feel good in my country and that they want to come back one day. They are important to me.
Which place or destination blows your mind?
My favorite place is the floating village at Kompong Phluk. It is a great place to visit during sunset. I also like the sunrise at Angkor Wat and the many temples of Siem Reap. Sihanoukville is one of my favorites too.
Is there anyone you met who deeply impressed you?
I guess this would be my family and also my customers. My family always stands behind me and my customers help me to be strong and work hard. Most customers appreciate my hard work and try to help me with good reviews and recommendations. This really impresses me.
What does food mean to you?
Of course food is important to me. I have to eat every day like all people around the world. A proper meal and good food is substantial. It gives me enough energy to work all day and everyday. It also keeps me healthy.
What is your favorite dish?
My favorite food is delicious traditional Khmer food like Amok or fried vegetables. I really like the famous Cambodian food.
What is special about your service?
In my opinion I offer a very good service. I offer good and fair prices and I always have fresh cool water available in my tuktuk. I like to give it to my customers for free so they do not have to buy the overpriced water at Angkor. I also try to fulfill all the wishes of my customers and therefore I also offer tours outside of Siem Reap. Maybe we can also come back to my home after a tour and enjoy some nice food and a beer together?
Want to get to know more about Angkor Driver Sophara? Go ahead and book a tour with him.