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Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

singapore
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40 posts
29 reviews
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Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

I will be going to Siem Reap in May and frandly speaking I am getting very confused about getting a car, driver and tour guide.

Scenario 1: Getting a car and driver - So does that $20 I pay includes both the car AND the driver? Or the $20 is only for the cost of hiring the car?

Scenario 2: Getting a car, a driver and a guide - how much to pay just for the guide alone (presuming it is $20 already for the car and the guide).

Ultimate question: After reading all these posts it just crossed my mind - wouldn't it be best and cheapest to just get someone who drives his own car and also can be your tour guide and you only pay $20 for the package?

Many thanks in advance for any reply.

Shaun from Singapore

Sydney
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1. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

Although we only had a driver, not a guide, your "ultimate question" would sound like the best way to go. I can't imagine, if you offered someone $20 for the day, that you would have much problem finding a "taker" as a driver/guide; your only problem, really, is that EVERY driver will instantly offer to be your guide for that kind of money, and, therefore, you may just choose someone who doesn't really have much skill or knowledge in the all-important area. Maybe you could ask at your hotel, or see if tourists you run into on your first day can recommend someone.

If you do decide to get two separate people, then $20 per day might be a fair price for a guide -- I wouldn't know as, as I said, we didn't have one -- but certainly you shouldn't have to fork out another $20 for a driver. Our driver charged us $3 to take us out in the morning (to Angkor Wat), and $3 to come and collect us in the afternoon (from Angkor Thom). The next day we went further afield, to Ta Promh, so we gave him $5 per trip. On that occasion, he simply sat and waited for us -- for the whole day! -- as he decided it wasn't worth going all the way back to town; I'd imagine that if we had asked him to show us around, that wouldn't have added much of a burden to his day.

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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648 posts
23 reviews
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2. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

Guides and drivers are licensed by the state and their fees are set by the state.

Why travel all the way there and then not take full advantage of the knowledge of the professional guides available to share their knowledge about the temples?

$20 for a driver

$25 for a guide

It's the best money you'll ever spend in my opinion. Enriched the experience greatly.

Contact Ponheary@yahoo.com or ask your hotel to recommend someone.

Sydney
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3. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

The drivers' fares may, indeed, be regulated by the state, but that doesn't have the slightest effect on the haggling and undercutting that goes on every time you want to go somewhere.... at the bus station, the "standard fees" must have been forgotten by the 60-odd drivers who were scrabbling for our custom (the one we ended up choosing wasn't the cheapest, but at least he didn't try to grab our bags and stuff them in his tuk-tuk before we had even agreed to use him!)

The guide fees may well be regulated -- I really couldn't say about that. I did speak to some people who said that they found it hard to understand what their guide was saying, so that's a point to keep in mind, I expect -- just as important as his knowledge!

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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648 posts
23 reviews
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4. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

Yes Alan, that's why I thought a personal recommendation of a knowledgable, English-fluent guide would be appropriate.

And just to clarify I wasn't talking about tuk-tuk drivers when I said the guides (and their fees) are regulated by the state.

manila, philippines
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78 posts
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5. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

hi

was in siem reap in october and paid $20 total for both guide and driver.

these are easily arranged separately from your regular hotel/plane plans. we made our arrangemens with world express tours and they were very efficient with the whole thing.

Brunei
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73 posts
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6. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

Things change.I am just back from there and petrol has increased so thier own costs have to go up.We didnt have a guide.I wish we had at leats once.

We paid(perhaps a little to much but hey we are supporting the locals) 15 to 20 for a tuk tuk all day,everywhere.Temples markets,dinner the lake etc etc.A guide is 20- 25 seperate.You cant get one at the temples,you have to arrange on in town.If you get a guide his english is the most important thing.

A driver is a driver....a guide a guide...dont be skimpy.

Birmingham, uk
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883 posts
25 reviews
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7. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

A driver is not allowed to be a guide around the temples of angkor, although it doesn't stop him giving you info etc before you get out of the car!

We hired a car ($20 a day) for some trips, and a mini van ($25) for other trips, as there were 4 of us.

We didn't hire a guide, although we thought about it for one day. We did evesdrop on other peoples though!

Get a good guide book, some have good detail about the relief's etc

Vancouver
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72 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

I highly recomend hiring a driver (usually little English) but you have the huge advantage of doing most temples in a one way direction ie they meet you at a spot other than the dropoff spot. Think 30 degrees and humid! Our guide (very good English) not only planned our temple visits to avoid the crowds but also the direction we approached some temples, for example we entered Angkor Wat from the back and spent the first hour almost alone at the site. But what the guide really gave us, besides his excellent tour of the temples was his personal family stories of the Pol Pot era, current political comments (only when out of earshot of anyone else), his fears for the future, his hopes for his two sons etc etc. And whenever I think of Cambodia it is those stories I remember. Without our guide I would not have known which of the fields we drove by each day was Siem Reap's Killing Field.

singapore
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40 posts
29 reviews
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9. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

Hi alr837,

What do you mean by "a driver is not allowed to be a guide at the angkor temple"??????? Do you mean that someone has to be registered as an official tour guide with local authority before he can be with you around angkor temples to brief you on its history?

I have already engaged someone to be my tour guide as well as my driver as he drives his own car. I am not sure if he is an 'official tour guide' but certainly I do not think he is breaking the law or something if he walks with me side by side around temples explaining things to me, is he?

Thanks and rdgs,

Shaun from Singapore

England
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99 posts
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10. Re: Confused about Guide and Driver!!!!!

April005 - Your guide (and driver) seems like a real asset. Do you have anyway of contacting them? We are in SR in late May and would love to use their services - they really seem to be able to give such a good overview of the history and modern day life too. An email address/details/ph. number would be great.

What was the cost per day of your visit then - you pay the driver & guide separately yes? How much each? How did you find them in the first place - though your guesthouse/hotel?

Thanks for any info you may share.