2018 is our first venture into training ‘driver-guides’ to lead interested visitors to Kampot through some of the history that has dominated the region and the country over the troubled years of the mid twentieth century. We are taking experienced local drivers who speak good English and have a suitable personality and adding value to what they can deliver. They are already delivering a great experience – we wish to build on that, and invite you to be a small part of this process by taking one of the tours below.
The first meeting of the drivers with Jim and Sokun (early January, 2018) in The Columns hotel
We aim to add value by
- providing them with maps (US military mainly) which allow a much more sophisticated and informed view of the landscape, especially around the mountain edge, but also show the differences between earlier time periods and today
- educating them in the major historical events of the 1940 – 1980 period; before, during and after the Vietnam War (or as it is known in Indochina, the 'American War').
- involving them in the collection of stories from Khmer Rouge survivors from the Kampot district to add to their own personal stories which we encourage them to share
Help us build a group of Khmer 'barefoot historians' and have a memorable day out.
Sokun is our contact on the ground in Kampot and can be reached by either of the means below. Please contact him and you can negotiate the most suitable driver and transport mode - tuk-tuk or taxi - for what you want. Generally you can expect to pay about $25 for half a day up to $35 for a full day on a tuk-tuk. Taxis are more, especially if you go up Bokor mountain or travel a long way.
Jim and Ali at the old airport on the new dam road
As of early 2018, we are getting this off the ground and developing our first history 'experiences'. We are preparing two different 'packages':
- "Kampot town in the troubled years" - using a tuk-tuk, looking at the evolution of the town, from early French colonial times and visiting locations that have some connection to the Vietnam War - Khmer Rouge years.
- "Twentieth century Cambodia - through the eyes of Kampot" - taxi ride up Bokor mountain with stops along the way. The stunning views and macabre locations form a backdrop to a narrative that is told through this website. For the moment only available on the weekend with Sokun.
Phone: 012 432 201 OR 097 233 3319
Code of conduct for KOTE tuk-tuk drivers
- Drive carefully and safely
- Speak good English and ask for help in explaining something (most people are happy to help you improve)
- Explain what you know about the history of Kampot, and anything else the customers are interested in. If you don’t know it’s okay – just tell them you don’t know (maybe see the website)
- Talk about your family and their history if people ask and are interested (most people will be)
- Find out what they want to see or learn about (ask them), and try and be helpful about that.
- Know where you are going and where to stop and explain
- Suggest the customer sends KOTE an email to give feedback about your trip
- Talk to customers while driving (this is unsafe in a tuk-tuk)
- Talk about how hard it is to make ends meet in Cambodia – people know already
- Suggest people eat at a restaurant unless they tell you they want to eat (only suggest places you know are good)
We actively seek feedback on how you found the experience offered by the tuk-tuk driver. They don’t work for KOTE but we recommend driver-guides based on their suitability for our project.
The drivers' code of conduct in Khmer is here: