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Confused about drivers and guides

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Muscat, Oman
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18 posts
11 reviews
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Confused about drivers and guides

Hello,

My husband and I will be going to Siem Reap for five days in November. I've been reading through the forums and they've provided a lot of great information. However, I'm a little confused about the driver/guide situation.

I've gotten some great recommendations of guides and drivers from this forum, but I'm not sure if drivers also sometimes double as guides, or if you need both a guide as well as a driver. Maybe it depends on the specific driver? Any advice on this would be very appreciated. Also, I'm assuming that by corresponding with a guide beforehand, that they might be able to help me plan an itinerary that fits our needs - correct? There are so many options that I'm sure I'll need some help to sort them out!

Also, can you recommend if it's better to travel by tuk-tuk or car during November, or if it's simply a matter of personal preference. Personally, I like the idea of traveling by tuk-tuk, but I'm not sure if it will be terribly hot and bumpy; if so, the appeal of it might wear off after a day or two.

Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks in advance.

perth
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12 posts
1 review
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1. Re: Confused about drivers and guides

hi,,i have been to siem reap a few times and currently there now..i also prefer tuk tuk,,,i find you only need a driver as a good one will help you plan your trip,,,i find the guides take you where there commission is greater and not what is best for me,,the trick is to find a good driver that will look after you..there are plenty of them and there are mentioned on this site,,i have my own drivers i use and i think they are the best,if you need to go on longer trips,,ie the mountains and falls,,or far away temples than car is the go..i will still be in sr in november so if you need help give us a call,peter

Birmingham, uk
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881 posts
25 reviews
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2. Re: Confused about drivers and guides

essentially, guides are extra and are allowed to accompany you into the temples, and they have a uniform and are qualified.

Drivers can give you bits of info, help plan etc, but arne't allowed to come with you into the temples, and they'll just wait out the front for you

As to whether you need one, it is up to you. We loved exploring at our own pace, but would consider it for one day at the major sites

Muscat, Oman
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18 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Confused about drivers and guides

Thanks for your responses. We will probably go with a tuk tuk since there are a lot of good recommendations on this forum and most of them seem like they will be very helpful with planning our itinerary.

Thanks for your help. We are really looking forward to our trip!

Singapore
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20 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Confused about drivers and guides

hei

jus be informed that the tuk tuk ride can be bumpy and remember to hv ur sunglasses, face mask and shawl/scarf to cover ur face .

i was wearing my contact lens then and was irritated by the dust..so the contact lens eye drop is good to hv too..

per haps to be more comfy, car is a better choice...

our face is soiled with the dust after each ride..

and yes, wet tissues to clean ur face too!

Enjoy !!!

Boston...
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446 posts
43 reviews
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5. Re: Confused about drivers and guides

Here is my two cents:

1) Do not rely on any driver -to design your itinerary. They will design the itinerary that meets their needs - best locations to rest, chat with other drivers, shortest drive, etc. You develop the itinerary and you tell them where to go. I am speaking of having drivers in SR, as well as having drivers in other foreign countries (I've been an expat).

2) I was in SR in November and it's hot and humid. You will do a lot of walking in the hot sun - - and jumping into a car with air conditioning will be a relief vs. facing more heat and dust with the tuk/tuk. Not to mention, you can do quite a bit of driving to get to the temples, and the tuk/tuk would't hold in an accident.

Everyday, I got both a driver/car for temple excursions and had a different driver for tuk-tuk rides. Driver/car for temple trips. I used the tuk-tuk to drive around town to get to local restaurants and shop. This gives my car driver time to rest and this way, you also don't look so obvious driving up in your car all the time.

3) Please remember that a driver does not have the same skillset as a guide. And never allow your driver to recommend a guide. Get the guide yourself, and preferably one that has been trained and is "official." Mine had given tours for 7 years!

4) Approximate costs for driver/car & tour guide:

a) Driver/car for your temple excusions (air conditioning) - approx. $25/day - slightly more (add on $10 extra dollars) if you go out to the countryside/temples that are further out fro the circuit.

b) Get a tour guide with the Tourism Association - (next to Grand Hotel D'Angkor) - $20/day

Check out my To Go List for Siem Reap:

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i10799-Watt_to_…

Have a wonderful time!

Birmingham, uk
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881 posts
25 reviews
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6. Re: Confused about drivers and guides

I agree with not getting a driver to organise the order of things, most stick to the well publisiced 3 day tours as seen in lonely planet and the siem reap guide available in the town.

good to get a rough idea of things, but you should be able to change your mind!

Canon City, Colorado
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28 posts
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7. Re: Confused about drivers and guides

If you haven't already gotten a driver I can highly recommend Muon Sophanna. He will have a suggested itenerary as he is a very experienced guide. You can change anything you wish to change with no attitude from him. He very much wants to please you. His English is excellent and he comes with a wonderful sense of humor. You will spend quite a bit of time with your guide so it is important that you like him. Phanna was at our service from sunrise to whenever we went home from dinner. He provided the driver and an A/C Toyota. his email is sophann_muon@yahoo.com

I might add that he is licensed and wears his official shirt and license at all times.

8. Re: Confused about drivers and guides

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