For the past seven years, Longdy Mom has skillfully guided guests around one of the world’s top tourist destinations. . . Siem Reap, Cambodia. Although best known for the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex, there is a much more to see throughout the mountains and beaches of Cambodia.
We sat down with Longdy to ask him about his country, his favorite destinations, and his advice for first time visitors. Here’s what he had to say:
How long have you been a guide?
I’ve been a guide for the past 7 years. I wanted to become a guide because a guide is a kind of spokesman for the country. I am able to tell the world about my country, our people and its unique culture.
What languages do you speak?
What is your favorite destination?
My favorite destinations are Kulen Mountain and the beach in Sihanoukville.
Kulen Mountain is not just a natural site, it is also a historical site. There are certain things you have to see there:
- a beautiful waterfall with cool and clean water which is excellent for swimming;
- its “river with a thousand lingas” is a sacred river in Hinduism;
- a big Buddha on a big rock which was built in the 16th Century;
- it is also highly recommended and well known – especially among locals – as a great place to have a picnic.
What I like about Sihankouville is that the beach is very peaceful. The sand is white, the water is clean and there are beautiful bays and islands. Diving is good there. It is simply a nice place to escape from the crowds.
What is your favorite thing about being a guide?
My favorite thing about being a guide is telling and showing everyone about my customs, culture and history.
For example, we have unique traditions for our weddings. Also, we share the history of Cambodia, especially what happened during the civil war and the Pol Pot regime.
What advice would you give to tourists who are coming to your country for the first time?
- Please respect our culture by following our dress code, especially at the ancient temples. (Shoulders and knees have to be covered).
- It is not necessary to change any money into the local currency, Cambodian Riel, because the US dollar is accepted almost everywhere.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Try to learn some words in the Cambodian language, Khmer, such as “Hello” and “Thank you” and people will be very happy. The word for ‘Hello’ is “Sour Sdey” and the word for ‘Thank you is “Orkun.”
Thank you, Longdy Mom! We appreciate having you on the ICS team!