Soksabike Tours is Kinyei International’s local culture and heritage tour, providing travelers with an insightful experience led by a knowledgeable local guide in the spirit of sound responsible tourism practices.
Soksabike is a play on the traditional Khmer greeting of ‘Soksabai’ which roughly translates to ‘Are you happy and healthy?’ or, more prosaically, ‘How are you?’ Along a shaded route lined with banana palms, fruit orchards, and traditional wooden houses, the Soksabike tour stops at several family-run cottage industries, such as rice paper, fish paste (prohoc), Khmer noodles, and rice wine. At each stop, the tourists are shown the traditional method of production, and have the opportunity to ask questions and sample the products.
The goals of Soksabike extend beyond simply running a tour of Battambang. The tour provides employment for Battambang’s underutilized but highly capable and motivated youths, contributes to the local families visited, and supports community-led social projects in the area. In addition, we offer visitors an insight into the realities of tourism and development work in Cambodia, trying to provide them with opportunities to make meaningful connections with the local Battambang community.
The Kinyei team that initially developed this project were Sarah, our bicycle and travel enthusiast, and Racky Thy, Kinyei’s local Renaissance man. The guide crew included five local guides from universities around Battambang and our local manager Sothea.
Since the tour launch in December 2010, Soksabike has been receiving more and more tourists each year. In 2014, we have received over 1,200 guests. We are recommended by Lonely Planet, the Rough Guide, le Retourd, and various other publications online and off-line. We also have over 140 five star reviews on TripAdvisor and won Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence every year since 2012. And most recently, we (kinyei) are selected as a finalist for Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Award 2015; it is great to be recognized for our effort in promoting sustainable tourism!