Travel to Inspire
Take a day out of Angkor, explore the city of Siem Reap, get out on the Tonle Sap Lake, see the sunrise or the sunet, and whatever else you want to do! Here at Travel to Inspire, we have a few one-day tour itineraries for you to look at, but if you don’t find something you want, please contact us and we’ll happily create a unique one-day experience just for you!
We want to work hard today to provide a better future for many families living in some of the most isolated and rural areas in Cambodia. We want to help improve the lives of all Khmer citizens.
We are a group of professional English speaking tour guides who are dedicated to helping the local community and the people living in absolute poverty in remote areas of Siem Reap province.
Who are we?
We are a group of professionals who have grouped together to create Travel to Inspire with a purpose of helping our local community. We want to show you the wonderful temples of Angkor, explain their rich history, and invite you to learn about the culture of Cambodia. We also want to ensure that 50% of all our profits is dedicated to the development of rural communities which need help. The founders of Travel to Inspire come from poor and farming communities and know first hand the hardships of the Cambodian people living in remote villages as well as the unique value of education.
Travel to Inspire is a social enterprise that devotes 50% of its profits to support development programmes in education, clean water and sanitation, in several villages in the north of Siem Reap.
I am from the Korm Ping Pouy Village, Phnom Dey Commune, Phnom Srok District, Bantay Mean Chey Province. I was born on September 11, 1985. I was a big baby so my father gave me the name Thom, so everybody called me Thom until now (Thom is the Khmer word meaning BIG).
My father is a 63-year-old rice farmer; my mother is a 62-year-old housewife. We have a 2-hectare farm. It provides enough food for the nine members in my family. This includes my two brothers, two sisters, grandmother and a cousin according to the weather. My oldest brother, who is 37, is a teacher of primary School. He teaches general subjects in my village. My other brother is a tuk-tuk driver in Siem Reap. One sister has not got a job so she stays home with my parents. And the other is staying with me and she wishes to continue her studies to be a nurse.
When I was young, I attended school in my village: primary school for six years, secondary for three years and high school for another three years. In my secondary school, I had to walk 5 km to school so my mother bought me a used bicycle. Daily after school, I had to take care of the family cows and find the food for eating everyday from fish and vegetables in the fields. The high school I attended was 36km from home, so I had to stay with my relatives and I had to find the food for eating by myself on Sunday or public holiday. At that time, I studied Math, Khmer, English, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Art and Morality. In 2004, before I finished my 12th year of high school, my mother asked me to get a job to help support the family.
When I was 21 I went to Samot Peakan, Thailand, a fishing town on the Gulf of Thailand. My job was a fish handler transferring fish from a boat. The boat was large, weighing more than 1000 tons and had a crew of 25. After a little time the captain saw that I was responsible and intelligent, so he let me work on the bridge as a helmsman, steering the boat. During the 13 months that I worked on the boat, I spent my spare time studying English and Thai, so I can now speak both languages well.
In 2005, I returned to Siem Reap and finished my 12th year of high school. Later I attended High Q Centre International School and earned the basic, intermediate and advanced certificates. The subjects were English (speaking, writing, reading, and listening) and also we learnt by computer. I then got a job of dishwashing at Apsara hotel where I only earned $25 a month, so I had to live for a year at a pagoda.
I then got a job at the Angkor Century Resort & Spa as a swimming pool attendant. The management saw that I was a dedicated and responsible employee, so they promoted me to a bellboy and after that promoted me to receptionist, earning $55 a month. Because of daily living expenses, it was impossible for me to continue my education at university. That is why I tried to apply for a scholarship at Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) three times, but for the first time and second time I failed. Luckily, for the third time I passed the interview and I got a scholarship to study at university for two years. I was happy. I graduated in 2010 in Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. After I graduated I had a job at Build Bright University in the office of Audit and Quality Assurance from January 2011 to December 2012. The manager then changed me to work in the office of Academic Affairs. I was responsible for providing certificates, transcripts, and provisional certificates.
In 2014 I graduated with a Masters Degree in Education at Build Bright University in Siem Reap. I was also working as a part-time lecturer there. With my spare time I was a volunteer with JWOC from 2006 to 2016 as an English teacher, mentor, fund-raiser and on the local advisory board. I have been a volunteer for the National Federation of UNESCO Association for almost three years. I was a mentee in the first International Mentor Program in 2012 and been a volunteer facilitator, management team member and local mentor in the program since that time. I learned that a lot about poor students’ needs for support with their education. Thus I have talked with my friends to create this tour company to help support them. Our major focus in on the students in rural areas and we aim to provide them with school materials and to inspire them to build a good future.
I hope travellers who come to visit Cambodia will help support me and I believe visitors are important for the future as they help the poor students. I think only education can change people’s attitudes and their situation of living.
I am 32 years old and I graduated with a Bachelors degree of Computer Science Engineer and Communication at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC, Techno) and graduated as a Professional Tour Guide. I was trained by the Ministry of Tourism at Angkor University.
I look forward to assisting you in planning your trips to Angkor Siem Reap and sharing information about our region. I will be happy to be your tour guide for many exciting and comfortable trips. To help me focus on my work, I encourage you to ask me whatever you want know about Cambodia, its culture and civilization, Khmer temples, history etc. I will give you the answers to your questions.
Cambodian people are known for their friendly nature and their beautiful smiles. Our culture is very interesting, our food and drinks are delicious and the scenery is breathtaking! I love being a tour guide and I promise you that if you come along with me on a tour you’ll have a wonderful experience here in Cambodia. I can assist you in arranging very good accommodation, transport and an exciting tour in Siem Reap Angkor. In addition, please let me know if you have any information that you feel should be included. I would like to hear from you with any suggestions or recommendations.
Last but not least I have joined this team because I found this idea is really great to support students in remote areas who need school materials and financial support. I hope you will join us with this activity.
Chhaiya IM (Chaly)
“Chum-Reap-Sur” (the Cambodian poIite way of saying “HeIIo!”).
I was born 10 years after the Khmer Rouge feII. I grew up in a peasant famiIy, in a ruraI area of Cambodia where I was raised as a cowboy. In 2000 my famiIy decided to move to Siem Reap to seek a better standard of living and better education for the chiIdren. A lot of difficuIt times went by. I managed to successfully finish my degree in 2014 by working as a teacher of EngIish for an AustraIian charity. This is the onIy way that I couId continue my studies. These days on top of having been a tourist guide for 3 years, I aIso run my own viIlage schooI, giving access to under-priviIeged chiIdren in the viIIage. I enjoy sharing information about my country, its peopIe , cuIture, history and poIitics. I hope to inspire you whiIe you’re in Siem Reap!
My friend Thom and I have faced a lot of challenges for education and we developed this idea of a travel agency so we can get some financial support for poor young learners to grow and develop their own community. I hope everyone will support us.
My name is pronounced “Chak-Ri-Ya”. My hometown is in Siem Reap, so I know the difference between the past and the present in Siem Reap. I know many good places to eat that care about your health, especially the importance of having a good, quiet location, with sound hygiene.
I can be flexible and assist in any way that I can help. I am independent, so I will do anything to help guests and visitors. I will provide you with all the information I can share. I am open to learn new things and accept criticism in order to improve my general knowledge and skill. I am very comfortable with children because I used to work with children in the local school. People are satisfied with my knowledge and my help when we see different places and I will introduce you to some adventures for you to try.
Of course I don’t discriminate against any people and I always try to learn from your world when you come to share with me too. I believe that women are not the weaker sex but many societies have set it up that they are made to be weak. If we want to be strong, we can do what we want. So I am open to learn about how we can all become better, both men and women.
I was born in England from Mexican parents and lived in the road for many years. Perhaps as a consequence, it grew in me a keen interest for cultural diversity and I eventually became an Anthropologist and studied a further MPhil in Philosophy and an MA in Linguistics in England.
For over 10 years now I have been working in the fields of education and development, first in Mexico, mainly targeting access to education in linguistically diverse communities, and in the last several years for the Directorate for Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in Paris, working in international networks for the assessment of education policies, the management of resources within education systems, education and training programmes and the transitions from education to the labour market.
When I met Thom in Cambodia and learned about his imitative I decided to get involved with Travel to Inspire to support its development agenda with the rural communities, to improve infrastructure, access to an education of good quality and life-long learning.
Anais Le Bouffant
I was born in Paris, France, where I grew up and studied. After finishing my Masters in Political Science I decided to complete a specialised Masters in Business Management, convinced that social, human-sized, local and environmental friendly enterprises represent the future for fair, healthy and sustainable development.
After spending several years working in Parliament in France, I specialised in social policy – housing and access to education and health – and worked as an advocate for NGO`s, social enterprises and local communities.
I have witnessed first hand the immense value of organisations like Travel to Inspire that successfully combine local entrepreneurship with social and development actions, which is why, after meeting Thom in Siem Reap and learning about his project, I decided to get involved and participate in their development programmes on education, clean water and sanitation.