Soskabike provides visitors with the opportunity to spend time in Cambodian homes and local business to gain an insight into the daily lives of Cambodians in the countryside. You will be sure to experience all this and more as Soksabike’s charismatic, totally unique and most of all fun guides take you on a bicycle adventure around Battambang.
Soksabike is a play on the traditional Khmer greeting of ‘Soksabai’ which roughly translates to ‘How are you?’ Along a shaded route lined with banana palms, fruit orchards, and traditional wooden houses, Soksabike tours stop at several family-run cottage industries, such as rice paper for spring roles, dried bananas, bamboo sticky rice cakes, and rice wine. At each stop, a guide explains to the guests about the background of each family and the detailed production processes of each product. The guests learn how and why the families started their businesses, ingredients, costs, distribution processes, as well as the impact of Khmer Rouge regime on the families and their properties. They of course sample all the delicious traditional snacks at each stop. The group also enjoys lunch at a family home and visits a memorial site for Khmer Rouge victims and a Buddhist temple to learn about monastic life and the functions of temple buildings and their statues. We currently work with eight families and share profits with them each time the tour visits them. Through our tours, travelers come away with a personal insight into life in rural Cambodia, and the local communities a feeling of pride in the culture as well as economic stimulus that allows them to continue their way of life.
Soksabike takes the following measures to engage the community: 1) we place a high value on maintaining good relationships with them; we make sure all parties are satisfied by conducting an annual social impact survey and interviewing the community members residing near our businesses and the families we visit during the tour, 2) when the families experience unexpected sufferings, such as major illnesses, Soksabike extends support.
In an effort to leverage our resource and experience as an educational tour operator and to further engage the local community, we do the following: 1) organize educational tours for local groups such as NGOs at a low cost; for example, we have organized an educational fun ride for the under-privileged children supported by a local NGO and visited Killing Field and a Buddhist temple, 2) offer custom bike tours at a low cost for some high schools in Cambodia, so that more students, Cambodian and foreign, have a chance to better understand.
On our tour we currently work with eight families and share profits with them each time the tour visits them. We currently have 8 permanent staff, 7 of which are locals. In 2013, the founders, who now act as the board, transitioned out of the management since Soksabike has been co-managed by a foreign and local manager, based on the team’s request, so that the team benefits from having both foreign and local views
Soksabike values diversity within the workforce. We encourage women to apply and hire women whenever possible as a tour guide, as the team tends to be male dominated otherwise. Currently, the Cambodian manager is female and we facilitate conversations about women’s rights and gender equality among staff. Further, we have one female contractor who is a Khmer Muslim minority, who helps develop a tour which visits a Muslim community.number and quality of local jobs created and supported by tourism, including the level of pay, conditions of service and availability to all without discrimination by gender, race, disability or in other ways.We seek a widespread and fair distribution of economic and social benefits from tourism throughout the local community, including improving opportunities, income and services available to the poorest.
Soksabike, is located in a colonial era townhouse. We kept the renovation at minimum and maintained the original construction and style in order to preserve its historical and cultural value. We run our tours by bicycle, which is carbon emission free. We provide water in reusable bottles for guests on tours. We use bio degradable de-greaser when cleaning bikes.
At Soksabike, our tours do not contain stops at properties that deal with captive wild animals or endangered species. Our bike tours follow routes on pre-existing roads and tracks and our tours are of small groups (generally up to seven persons, with the exception of up to fifteen persons twice a month) in order to minimize the impact on the landscape and ecosystem. The guides educate the guests about local environment issues