Founder of Happy Angkor Wat Tour and Siem Reap's top tour guide Horng Bunleat took the time to answer some of our questions.
How do you be come a tour guide?
To be an official tour guide here,
I needed to go through a training course arranged by Ministry of Tourism.
The course took only three months.
Why did you become a tour guide? How long have you been a tour guide?
I was studying English and Khmer literature at Royal university of Phnom Penh and my favourite subjects were history, culture and literature. After graduation, I become English teacher or translator. So this was a great asset for me to become a tour guide. Furthermore, I am an outdoor person and meet people. I got good eyes for photos. I like temples and want to learn why Khmer people spend time building these great temples. I have done these over 6 years now.
When did you put together Happy Angkor Wat Tour? Who are the members of your group?
Happy Angkor Wat Tour was created in 2010 and there are some tour guides working together with me. Veasna, Bunvat, Kamsan, Heng ( lucky), Votha, Vanny, Bunna, Chhaya, Bunhak and Borey.
Which tours are the most popular among tourists?
Can you tell us more about these tours?
I think all tourists like bicycle tour cos you can enjoy seeing some temples which other tourists never make it on foot.
So you have the temples for yourselves.
What is your favorite tour? What is your favorite temple?
I do like bicycle tour and this is to keep me very fit and enjoy best places and fresh air too. I like Beng Mealea and Bayon. Beng Mealea is an astonishing place which shows you how strong the nature is. You think you are big..perfect...and so on. However, this won't last forever and time will tell you all about this. Moreover, I can do some climbing and make me feel like a small child again. Bayon is so impressive with all faces looking down at us and seeming to tell us some secret about this temple. This is to tell about one great leader who is always there for his people and stay with them forever. Bayon smiles come to life and I never feel tired of looking at them.
The more you look, the more you wonder.
What is the best thing about being a tour guide?
The best thing of being a tour guide is to make friends with different people in the world and broaden my mind. This is a best university that I can take my whole life to study about this. Many people who come to me are not only to visit and study about the temples, but they also want to share something with me. Some of them make me feel that I meet my old friends and we are so close.