Without a doubt, the most important part of any tour group is the guide: they can make or break your trip.
At Hands on Journeys we spent a long term hunting down the perfect locals to show you the sights, sounds and magic of their countries on our tours. But what do they think makes a great tour leader?
We asked Cham, our Cambodian tour leader to say hello…
Cham, what do you love about being a tour guide?
Being a tour guide for HOJs is my privilege and a dream come true. It’s about meeting new people who come from different countries and speaking different languages whilst joining the tour to do good for other people. To share with them about our culture, tradition and delivering a true smile and warmth to all travellers which they will never forget.
What’s the best thing about a HOJ tour?
Empowering while traveling is the best thing of a HOJs tour. It shows the traveller what they can do beyond visiting the sights, therefore they get the opportunity to bring smile and a change to people’s life which they never thought possible.
What’s your favourite Cambodian food and why?
I love AMOK Fish because it is made of spice and curry based with coconut oil. It’s our traditional dish which not many people know how to do it, so it’s my favorite food by far.
Where is your favourite place to explore or visit in Cambodia
My favorite place we visit is the village close to the capital where I feel like home. When you walk around people just greet you by smiling and it is a spectacular feeling. When there I feel that my shoulders are less heavy and I can enjoy the moment like home. Buy a drink from the local store or even coffee, having ice cream from the food cart, visiting the grand pagoda for praying and ten riding a bicycle around the village which I love.
Tell us a funny fact about you?
I’m so busy body, I like hearing all about people and I think it’s a good experience to learn about peoples stories either bad or good (so I can black mail them later hehe). Also, I like dancing of all time.
What do you think makes a great tour guide?
To be a great tour guide I would say:
>Be who you are with the all travellers so that can build a friendship with you. Then you can feel more comfortable and won’t hesitate to talk to you or ask questions.
>Being good at psychology. Experience will teach you to read peoples mind so you can be responsive to their needs.
>Be flexible in any circumstances, as many people like different thing, so always prepare a back up plan, and work smart by using your brain to deal with all the groups different needs.
>Personal character and behavior is the most essential part above all. Be a good tour guide, no matter how experiencing you are, how old you are, you gotta be humble and friendly to everyone from any status. Because of your politeness, friendliness, understanding you can build great bonds and have an amazing tour experience for everyone.
Why should I book a HOJ tour and explore Cambodia with Cham
Because Cham is Cham! I love to connect you with local people and always keep telling you everything there is to do so you don’t worry about having less free time. I’m helping you to enjoy the day though you have a long one, with Cham, your feet will not be allowed to touch the floor, unless you want them too!
One thing that Cham need to ask from the traveller is your mood. It’s is important to keep Cham energetic all the time because your smile mean everything to him. And I don’t want anything back in return beside your satisfaction!