Our guide mr san was the rudest, most unpleasant man you could wish for. I arrived in reception in long trousers and a tee shirt with a pashmina. He looked at me and said I couldnt wear that as pashminas werent acceptable and told me to go and put a tee shirt on with long sleeves. My sister stayed with him and before he had even given us his name he said I am an excellent guide and my customers give me 300 dollar tips not a good start.
He talked about money the whole time, commenting that as we were only a group of 3 and not a large tour he would miss out on tips.
He refused to take pictures of us even though at the start he said he showed the national geographic where to take their photos of the temple. Luckily we watched other guides and copied their best spots for photo opportunities. He was constantly in a rush and did not like us taking our time, as soon as we caught him up he was off again.
He told us that people from wales where we are from were very kind and had sponsored him through university and sent him money. He asked if I believed in karma and said I should try it and be nice to someone!
His knowledge of the temples was extremely poor and pointed out some carvings everywhere we went and told us they were a fish or elephant or whatever they were which was blatantly obvious. He did not give us any history and we had to listen to other guides as ours had walked off. I asked him if he had any pictures of how the temples looked and he said I could buy a book from him for 200 dollars. I replied I dont think so and he replied why you are rich!!
To top it all he wanted to drop us back to our hotel at 2.30. I pointed out that it was a sunset tour and he said so what is the plan then? I said to just drop us of at our hotel and we would get a Tuk tuk back to Angkor wat for sunset viewing. I think he heard us talking about trip adviser etc in the car and reluctantly offered to pick us up again for sunset viewing. I really didnt want to go back with him but we had already paid for this trip so did go with him.
Angkor wat and the temples were amazing but this guide totally ruined the day. Im sure he was not qualified Ive heard you can buy your guiding qualifications here
The trip could have been amazing, I would recommend you ask specifically not to have this guide.
This was an amazing tour! Our guide Sam was so knowledgable and spoke very good English so we could really converse. The van was big and comfortable. Our driver Sol was great and always there to pick up us promptly. I have walking issues and Sam was so patient and always helping me on the stairs and finding me shade as it was very hot! They supplied cold water whenever we got in the car and the air conditioning was a life saver! I highly recommend this tour. You see and learn so much about the temples, I was too tired and opted out of the sunset on the peak but had fantastic day and will never forget this amazing experience!
Our tour guide was Mr Se Vannsak and he was the best tour guide we've had in the 7 tours we booked on our SE Asian vacation. He was incredibly knowledgeable on Angkor and the entire Cambodian history from that period to the present.
What makes him exceptional is his ability to tell the history of Angkor in more of a story telling way instead of just a rehearsed set of facts from a brochure like other guides. His English was also very good and we had no problems understanding him at all.
Recommendation: While going over the day's itinerary at the beginning of the tour, make sure you will be getting the sunset viewing. Our tour ended before sunset but I was ok with that since it had already been a long and hot day with my elderly parents and very young kids. Also, the tour is very common there are two circuits for the main Angkor site and provided by a whole lot of tour companies so you will find many cheaper options with the exact same itinerary in Siem Reap. But ultimately I felt ok with paying more since I found out more about how Viator screens out bad tour companies through its reviews, so you have a much higher chance with Viator of getting an excellent tour guide as opposed to mediocre one.
Having a private guide to show me around the Angkor complex on my one full day in Siem Reap was awesome, and totally the best way to go for me. The complex is large and the distances between the temples are not quickly walkable, so it was perfect to have someone to drive me to the different locations and explain everything I was looking at. My guide was Som I'm probably misspelling that, sorry - maybe it's Sahm? and our driver was Mr. Le. They were both so friendly and kind. Som was very knowledgeable about the history of Cambodia and of the Angkor temples, and he was able to explain everything very well, and answer any question I had. Som coordinated all day with Mr. Le so that we entered each temple on one side, and Mr. Le was waiting with the car on another side. Mr. Le always had the cool air conditioning running in the car, and a new bottle of cold water. Midway through the day, they took me to a cute local restaurant for a Khmer lunch I think it was called Khmer Wooden House. Note the lunch is included with the tour, but you're responsible for your own drink. They had their own lunch elsewhere, so I met up with them when I was done and we continued sightseeing. Som and I walked a lot and he showed me everything I wanted to see, but since it was just me and not a slower group of people, we were able to see everything rather quickly. We still had time before the sunset, so they took me into a nearby village to show me how local silk scarves are made by hand, and how local silver is engraved. It was a nice detour, and I appreciated the thought and creative solution to fill time. We went back to the Angkor complex and Som walked me to the top of the hill to watch the sunset. He went back down the hill and was there waiting for me to take me back to my hotel afterward. Overall, this was an excellent tour and I highly recommend booking through this company.
Our tour guide was Ly. He was excellent. He recommended a different walking route to avoid the large tour bus crowds. He would also suggest where the best photos can be taken. Even when we had to queue 45 mins? to visit the top of Angkor Wat, he stood by and presented on other interesting facts regarding the park. Speaks excellent English. The tour was about 7 hrs long, and we were exhausted after all the climbing, hence the duration was just right. Water and wet towels were offered throughout. The included lunch was decent and not any worse than can be expected from such included meals.
I reduced the review by a star as our original trip the day before had to be postponed at the last minute due to scheduling issues. I had to call the agency Bravo Indochina to find this out only when the tour guide did not turn up at the appointed time, instead of the agency either calling the hotel or myself to inform us. This was my main issue. The tour agency is located in Vietnam, so calling the agency incurred overseas call charges. The tour agency provided a plausible explanation and offered to start the original trip at a later time 1 1/2 hrs later which I declined not wanting to wait, and instead asked for a postponement to the following day, which the company duly arranged for.
The voucher on Viator will also not list the hotel that you would have already stated when first signing up for the trip. That left me worried as to whether the tour agency had knowledge of my hotel or not. Viator could improve the layout of the voucher to included these details. Viator should also included a local number for all tour agencies, or at least demand that their operators do so.
Do note that the trip does not include entrance fees to the park which is at US37 per person.