Hello! I am Soka Chin.
I was born in 1982 to a very poor family in a province of Siem Reap, close to the Thai border. When I was very young, I lost my parents and my brother and sister to the sickness and malnutrition of the Khmer Rouge atrocities. The people in my village were so poor they were unable to help my family, who all died without peace or happiness in their lives.
A relative took me in and cared for me. They provided me with food and education at a school in a nearby village but I also had to work most days in the rice fields, on the farm, and in the house.
When I turned ten, I had to leave my relative’s house. I made my way to Siem Reap city with no idea how I was going to find food or how long I would be able to stay alive. I remember feeling so happy when I found a market! I hoped it would be easy for me to find some food and somewhere to sleep.
This was a very difficult and terrible time for me; During the day, I would walk around looking food and at night, I would stay around the market. I just wanted my chance in the world but people would look down on me with “bad hearts.” But I learnt from these experiences and became a stronger person as a result.
After spending many years on the street with other orphans like myself, I found a monastery that took me in. I was very happy there; I finished high school and received a good education from the kind monks who gave me a new life.
When I turned 17, I had to leave the monastery. I worked in a restaurant for many years for very little money, but this was OK because I just wanted to learn English and meet people from all around the world. Once I became more experienced, I started earning $35.00 per month. I saved the money to study more English and to buy a secondhand motorbike. My goal was to work with a tour driver picking up tourists from the airport, taking them to their hotels and to the beautiful sights of Cambodia.
Once I got finally got this opportunity, I spent many years with the tour driver learning a great deal about the famous temples of Siam Reap City. Once I had lots of experience and was fully educated on the history and culture of Siam Reap, I sat an examination to become a tour guide.
In 2002, I became a fully qualified tour guide in Siem Reap! I was very proud of what I had achieved – I had come a long way from the orphaned boy walking the streets at night looking for food.
I set up Angkor Adventure Tour because I love showing people my beautiful country and because I want to help disadvantaged children have a better life than I did.
This is why 50% of all proceeds from Angkor Adventure Tour go towards helping the Sok Cambodia Children’s Orphanage and the Sok School Cambodia. These children are my family now and I want to create a different life for them from the one I experienced as a child.
The money helps pay for food and shelter for the orphaned children as well as providing an education centre for them and other disadvantaged children, with school and medical supplies.
About 200 children come to the Sok School Cambodia to receive free education every day. The Sok Cambodian Children’s Orphange is an orphanage here in Siam Reap which currently houses 47 children from three to sixteen years of age.
By booking your holiday with Angkor Tour, you will not only have an unforgettable holiday here in Cambodia, you will also be helping us make a difference to these children’s lives.
Volunteers at the Sok Cambodian Children’s Orphanage and the Sok School Cambodia are always welcome. Please click here if you would like to know more.