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Inquiry Submission By Martinmjgh

Apologies in advance for the long message!

So I’ve been doing a little research on the guiding situation but still have some questions, which I am hoping the helpful folks on here can assist with.

My understanding is that there are a set of qualified guides – whose names you can find here:

cambodiatouristguide site/guide-name-list.html

Out of preference I would prefer that we use someone who has invested in their profession, and has what I would hope would have a suitable level of knowledge, plus being backed by an official organisation in the unlikely event that something went wrong.

I’ve gone through quite a lot of posts on here where guides are recommended – but none of their names match with those on the official list. I’ve also gone to several websites for guides on the internet – and again, the names don’t seem to match. So presumably the ones people have used or who advertise are all “just” independent private guides? Are they allowed to do the same things as the official guides?

I would like to understand how the official guides work though, and how we can contact them. Preferably I would like to book someone in advance. We would be staying for 7 days, with the plan to take things quite easy – early morning touring, back to the hotel for lunch/afternoon rest and then head out again for a few hours in the late afternoon. And then also a couple of longer day trips to the lake and one of the more distant temple sites.

Obviously we would look to pay for the guide for the whole day (regardless of the fact that we were not using their services for part of the day).

So my questions, if anyone can assist:

Would one official guide operate in this way? – i.e. touring to several sites, including more distant ones and the lake – or is each guide sort of tied to one site, having the “knowledge” about just that area – and then you would go on to a different site and hire someone else?

Also would an official guide from the tourist guide association be able to assist with e.g. a lake tour and a tour to a more distant site, or are they “fixed” at Angkor?

I have randomly googled the names of several of the official guides, and come back with nearly nothing. I have also emailed the contact address on the tourist guide information site to ask how I could contact the guides – but no response yest (after a week or so). So how do you go about hiring the official guides? Has anyone else done it in advance? It would obviously be nice to communicate with a couple in advance, to at least make some rough plans and get ideas – but I am a little reluctant/shy to just cold call the phone numbers given for the guides on the site.

Am I massively overthinking this? This is a “once in a lifetime” holiday for my wife and I, and as a bit of a planner, I sort of want to know what will happen – and I do enjoy the planning experience. But would I just be better to leave it in the hands of my hotel and get them to organise it for me?