Thursday, 19 May 2011

How will you be recognised as one Tour Guide Extraordinaire?

                       A long walk to enter the gateway of Angkor Wat

I wrote this short note to Malaysia Tour Guides Council's forum, highlighting the superb service rendered to tourists by a distinguished tour guide of Cambodia.

My fellow guides,

You will be recognised as one Tour Guide Extraordinaire if your customer (tourist) without reservation posted a generous compliment on Yahoo!Travels with regards to your service. Ms Sarah (Sorry, her nationality unknown) who visited Cambodia in 2009, was so satisfied with her tour guide a Mr Ratanak
from Siem Reap that she stayed on in Cambodia for one and half year. Read her mail she sent to Yahoo!Travels in which she extolled her guide to an unusual high. With his committed ethics and dedication Mr Ratanak surely deserved to be amongst the elite tour guides group of Cambodia. Shouldn't we emulate him?

Alan CY Kok

                           Diligent Tour Guide of Cambodia Mr Ratanak

Angkor Wat Tour Guide
By Sarah, 7/30/10
I ended up staying in Siem Reap for a year and a half after coming to town and seeing the temples. I don't think I would have been moved to do so if it weren't for the mystery I felt when my tour guide took me to some of the out-of-the-way temples. I lucked into meeting Ratanak when the original guide I had contacted flaked out, and in retrospect I'm so glad the guy did. Ratanak is a consummate gentleman and his English is fantastic. More importantly, though, when he shares the current and ancient history of the temples, I felt like he was very invested in them as a creation of his fellow Khmer. So many locals I knew in Cambodia cared about the temples as a necessary economic engine, but few seemed to dwell on the fact that their own ancestors built them. Chhen does focus on that and it makes the experience of seeing them much more engrossing. And he took us off the path to other temples; I couldn't begin to spell the names of most of them, but there were fantastic nonetheless. Sunset at Pre Rup is an excellent alternative to the mass tourist freak out that is sunset at the temple most tour companies use for sunset. We managed to visit a lot of temples during our 3 days stay... exactly the ones we wanted, and at the best times (He knows the hours to see every temple, so we are always able to visit when there are fewer people there - we have lots of photos in which you see no one...). Also, he knows how to take pictures with great photography skills with all the best places and poses to take photographs. It is also good to mention that he carries, in his car, lots of refrigerated water, that is kept fresh throughout the day, with missive amounts of ice, and that he is always offering to you - included on the price. As it is too hot, Mr. Ratanak is always making sure that you catch the cold air from the car's A/C. With him, our experience was the best of all. Just enough words, just enough temples, just enough explanations, and we honestly believe our journey would not have been the same if we had other guide. Ratanak is awesome because he doesn't treat his customers like means to an end. He likes people and that made me like him. Do yourself a favor and check out his site: And, believe me, although we are experienced travelers, we did not know what we were going to find.
Posted by Sarah
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                    A serene lake adorned the frontal view of Angkor Wat

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