Friday, November 12, 2010

Chhen took us to his home village and it was amazing

Chhen took us to Palm Tree Village, his home town, and it was the perfect supplement to our visit to the temples. Chhen has obviously put a lot of time and energy into creating a day trip that vastly broadens the experience of the tourist who takes the time to break away from the pack, and one that also helps his fellow villagers immensely, I am sure. Everyone was so friendly, just really psyched to see us and demonstrate their talents in relation to their culture. We were lucky to be there at rice planting season, and got to spend an hour or so in the shallows of the baray – one of the huge reservoirs of ancient Angkor – planting “baby rice” with some teenage girls. We also had the opportunity to talk with some very old women who showed us how they prepare and chew betel nut. I tried some myself, and though it was a bit like crunching on twigs and bark (I guess that’s what it is, actually, now that I think about it) I’m glad I got to experience it. There’s a whole ritual, a kind of white paste smeared on leaves that are then wrapped up around the betel in little pouches. Super, super cool. Chhen also arranged for us to listen to two different village bands play, and that experience was the high point. We first were able to watch a performance of a trio of older men play wedding music, and then a band of maybe eight teenage boys play funeral music. The difference between the two is profound, and talking to the musicians really gave me insight into a part of Khmer culture that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I enjoyed the Khmer pop music we heard at the discos in Siem Reap, but this felt much older and organic. The wedding music was twangy and zipped along and the funeral music was lush and absolutely beautiful. These folks have made serious sacrifices to spend their lives restoring and preserving the music traditions almost lost, and watching them play felt like an opportunity to experience a part of the human tradition that is still very much endangered. Chhen said something about hoping to create a way for his tourists to learn to play the instruments. I don’t know if he has yet or not, but you should definitely ask if that’s something you’d like.
Reviews on Tripadvisor.

Monday, July 12, 2010

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Cambodian Angkor Tour
Welcome to My Personal Guide Website,
Welcome Ladies and Gentlmen,
I am Mr.Kol Chhen. I was born in Kouktnot Village in 1980. Since 2002 I have worked as a driver for Cambodia's visitors and in 2006 became an official Tour Guide accredited by the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism. I worked very hard for this honor.I am also an excellent English speaker.
I love that I have the opportunity to reveal to my guests the out-of-the-way sights, cultural riches, and uniquely Khmer experiences that make my country such a rewarding experience for tourists. I also appreciate the opportunity to meet so many interesting and adventurous people from so many countries. Working with my clients not only helps me support my family, but broadens my own understanding of the world. I would be honored to assist with trip planning and help guide your stay in Cambodia.
You and your family can count on a safe Angkorian adventure with me. I will negotiate your purchases at the temples and local handicraft villages so that you will get the best deal possible.
Your Guide Kol Chhen
English Speaking-Tour Guide
Tel :(+855 )12406929

About Us

Cambodian Angkor Tour
Welcome to My Personal Guide Website,
This is not the website of a large tour company. In Cambodia, there are many, many tour companies and many people who are competing to take tourists to the temples. Cambodia Angkor Tours is different. It is a one man operation.
I worked very hard at different jobs to get to where I am today, and I take care of tourists visiting Cambodia because I love the opportunity and because I want a fulfilling job that can support my family. Visiting Cambodia with Angkor Cambodia Tours is a way for you to enjoy a hands-on and individualized experience. I pride myself on being hardworking and honest.Since Cambodia Angkor Tours is a reflection of me, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I grew up farming rice with my parents, five brothers, and two sisters, but I wanted an education. My school was very far away and my parents had no money to send me there. So every day I woke up at five a.m., watered the crops, and rode a bicycle one hour to school. When I returned in the afternoon, I took care of our cows and helped my parents with the farm. I wanted to escape from these jobs.
So when I was twenty I went to live in a Buddhist monastery that is near the high school. The monks gave me food and a place to sleep while I studied and worked as a driver for tourists. After I graduated, I fell in love with one of my closest friends from school, and we married in 2007.We now have one wonderful son, Sovechea. My siblings did not have the opportunity to go to school, so I visit them often at my family farm.
I have many beautiful nieces and nephews now and I sponsor them so that they too may go to school and build good lives for themselves. I often take many of my guests to my home village to meet my family and experience real Khmer village life. My guests can help us tend the rice paddies and care for the cows and oxen. We have many traditional Khmer musicians in my village, and guests can spend time with them learning traditional Khmer instruments. Village families are large and the children always get excited when foreigners come to visit. Many of my clients have enjoyed an afternoon playing games with our local kids. I hope we can share our culture with you.
Your guide to Cambodia,
Mr. Kol Chhen
Cambodian Angkor Tour
My Services:
I am a licensed Angkor tour guide who is fluent in English. I have been leading tourists through the Angkor temple sights and explaining to them the rich history of the ancient Khmer Empire for the past seven years.
Becoming a licensed tour guide is a long and expensive process. Only certified guides are allowed to accompany tourists into the temples. If you wish to enjoy a thorough and informed explanation of the history, art, and architecture of ancient Angkor as you explorer the Temples step-by-step, you must be accompanied by a licensed guide. Unlicensed guides are not allowed into the premises with tour groups.
For only US $25 a day I will be your reliable and informed guide to the mysteries of my ancestors' culture and empire.

Hotel and Guesthouse Services:
Siem Reap is full of hotels and guesthouses; there is an option for all tastes and budgets.

We have lavish, five-star hotels that provide excellent comfort and service as well as cozy, family-run guesthouses where you can stay for just a few dollars a night.
Having worked and lived in Siem Reap for many years, I have built a network of friends and colleagues and can secure for you rooms at prices far below the usual rate. Looking for a hotel with a spa and room service?
I know just the place. Prefer simpler comforts and the chance to meet a local Khmer family while they prepare your breakfast? I know the perfect place to find that as well. Let me know you preferences when you email and I will take care of everything.


There are many modes of transportation for your exploration of Angkor. Whether you prefer the comfort of an air-conditioned car, the excitement of a motorbike, or the pleasure of group ride in a motorized tuk-tuk taxi, I can find the safest and most comfortable option for you.
If you prefer to ride in a car, we can take my own Camry. This is a very popular car in Cambodia, and I have made sure to keep it beautiful and in strong working condition. The cost is US $25 for a full day in the Angkor temple complex, all petrol included. If you are part of a larger group, we can take a van, which can seat eight to fifteen people, for US $35. Half-day rentals are available as well. I operate all of the vehicles myself.
Pick-up and deposit to the Siem Reap Airport, Siem Reap bus station, and the Tonle Sap boat landing is free.
Exploring by tuk-tuk is one of the best and most popular ways of exploring the temples.

Each tuk-tuk can carry four passengers and your drive into the jungle will be in the open air, the breeze and the smells of Khmer cooking in roadside stands wafting around you. If the day includes rain, you are covered under the tuk-tuk's canopy,and if the rain becomes a downpour, protective flaps are easily unfurled to create a private carriage for you.
Tuk-tuks cost US $15 per day and covers the entire Angkor complex.
Tourists who want to experience the Khmer motobike, the main mode of transportation in Cambodia's cities, Can hop on back and listen to me point out the secrets of Ancient Angkor as we whizz down the road. Cambodian motos are very comfortable and the ideal mode of transportation for the solo traveler. Motos cost US $10 per person, per moto.
Helmets are provided free of charge.
I can also arrange transportation to various border crossings, including the Poipet crossing into Thailand and multiple crossings into Vietnam, as well as intra-Cambodian trips to Phnom Penh, Siahnoukville, Battambang, and other popular and less-visited locations.

Testimonial about Kol Chhen Tour guide

Cambodian Angkor Tour

My husband and I just returned from an Asian trip, including 3-1/2 days visiting Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples in the Siem Reap area. Prior to leaving, I read some great reviews of a licensed tour guide named Chhen Kol, so I decided to e-mail him. He responded immediately, and after a series of e-mail exchanges, I had hired him to be our tour guide. That turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made! Chhen picked us up at the airport in his air-conditioned Camry, and from the moment we met him, we knew he was perfect for us. His knowledge of the temples and the history of the whole area is outstanding, but that would be expected in any licensed tour guide. What made him so special was his personality. He was very patient, never making us feel rushed. He knew all the best spots for photos, and also knew when each temple would have the best light for photos. And he had a cooler in his trunk stocked with cold water and cold towels, which were invaluable in the oppressive heat. But he also made many impromptu stops along the way to show us different aspects of life in the villages, which was amazing! He was so much fun to be with! We loved hearing his stories about his life in Cambodia. When he took us to the airport, it was like saying good-bye to an old friend. I would highly recommend Chhen to anyone who wants an informative but fun visit to Angkor Wat - he is simply the best!

Testimonial by Mr Ross and Erich From USA

My brother and I had just a few days to spend in Cambodia and couldn't pass up the opportunity to see some of the temples. I didn't want to get to Siem Reap and hop on a tour bus hoping I'd see what was important, so I looked on line for a personal guide through Tripadvisor and found Chhen Kol. I liked the reviews he' d received and asked my brother to set up an itinerary (since I did all the work for Vietnam!). We had a great time visiting Angkor Wat and the surrounding Buddhist and Hindu temples, but we also took an overnight trip to Preah Vihear (highly recommend), visiting three other temples on the way. Chhen made everything happen in a relaxed stress free manner. He is very calm, patient, and resourceful. He is also very knowledgeable about temple history (he explained the process of becoming licensed as guide and it's not a joke!) . I was impressed with his knowledge of even the most obscure, overgrown sites. At Preah Vihear, where all the tension between Cambodia and Thailand has been, soldiers on both sides are within a couple of hundred yards of each other, yes, AT THE TEMPLE. Fortunately, there had been no actual shooting in a few years and the Cambodian soldiers at the temple were friendly and relaxed. Chhen was also relaxed and even introduced us to the Cambodian General and the Thai liasion. But the temple...What a view! Go there if you can. Chhen could work on his English a little more, but I say this mostly just to bug him about it because it really is okay. There never was any misunderstanding and we were able to talk intelligently about almost anything. Chhen is an excellent guide and his price was very fair. More importantly, he is also an excellent person - friendly, honest, easy-going, funny, very observant, and, of course, professional. I would enjoy without hesitation traveling with him again.
Testimonial by Jason Peter From UK
I totally agree with the reviewer of Chhen Kol. He is an excellent guide and very knowledgeable and helpful. Chhen Kol understnds your needs and takes you along at your speed. Since I told him that I am a practicing Hindu, he asked me a lot of intelligent questions and sought many clarifications on his doubts about the Hindu Mythology. He understood everything that I passed on to him.Any tourist who goes with him will definitely derive the benefit of his thirst for knowledge. He has also got the language ability to pass on the information to his customers.Chhen Kol takes you to the right places and gets you the things you want at the right prices. So Chhen Kol is always on your side so that you can never be shortchanged in a foreign land. He took me to the right book shop to buy the books on Cambodia at the right price and also took me to the eating joints which were relatively clean and the food very tasty.I am recommending Chhen Kol to all my friends so that they also will enjoy his expert services( )
For me Chhen Kol is the BEST GUIDE OF CAMBODIA