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Founder Background

Hello, my Name is Vireak Soung. Everyone calls me Mr V.

I am going to tell you about myself, my country and my business. I was born during Cambodia's most violent time, when the Khmer Rouge overran our country and when Pol Pot managed mass genocide and killed at least one third of the population. I lost my many family members but luckily my parents and I survived. As a ten year old I was taught to carry an AK47 and be a soldier. At night my family lived in tunnels and bombs would explode above us. I have seen my friends killed and injured. I wanted to be a lawyer and I dedicated myself to studying English during 1993, when no one else did. Before 1993, we were not allowed to learn English. I can now speak and write English as well as anyone.

After I finished high school at 10 January 1979 (the date that Siem Reap was liberated from Khmer Rouge) I continued to study university in Phnom Penh however this ended prematurely due to financial reasons. I come from a poor family and had no way to finish university. I decided to return to my hometown and start working in various jobs but the most interesting job to me at that time was tourism, which is still a very small industry and not so popular for the country. I started as a motor taxi driver at a small guesthouse, taking tourists to visit temples almost everyday but the most difficult thing for me was getting customers; I had to go to the boat pier, airport, and the Thailand-Cambodia border. Every time we went to the boat pier and airport we went with a different team from the guesthouse and each time we tried to negotiate with tourists to stay at our guesthouse by saying that we wanted to be their driver and that we can take them to the guesthouse for free.

Each time I have to organised a pickup truck to transfer tourist from Thailand border to Siem Reap. From the border to Siem Reap in that time it was difficult road and sometimes took us two days to travel just 150km. I sometimes slept half way to Siem Reap with 15 travellers under heavy rain with no food at all. After doing this job for awhile I became a taxi driver at the airport and then show tourists around the Angkor Complex, through this I earn enough money to pay for Tourist Guide school, after which, I finally became a Tour Guide in 1999, in the year Cambodia opened our beautiful country to tourists since before 1975. I have led hundreds of successful trips and I am pleased to say I have many friends in every part of the world, Europe, Asia, America, Africa and the Pacific.

I’ve been working with many international travel companies operating in Indochina such as Intrepid, World Expeditions, Country Holidays, Kouni, Imaginative travellers, Gap adventure, and others. I have done a lot of special trips with Oxfam challenger, Free the bears, Journalist, reporter, editor, Government VIP trips. i have experience with Tom Raider making filmed in Angkor. Many travel companies have put my picture on their travel magazine, brochure, television show, website, as well as I have been mentioned in the newspaper in Australia and Canada.

As a seasoned Tour Operator/Guide, I started Spirit Asia Travel in 2007 to run the trips that i wanted to operate, in many different Spirit Styles of travel. I lives for travel. Taking on most responsibilities at Spirit Asia Travel (SAT), sees i spending half of my time in the office arranging Trips, and the other half - on Tour!

If you come on a trip with me. I will show you the real Indochina. It's a beautiful country. We have incredible foods, all the westerners are amazed by our French influenced no additive food. It's pure and amazing. Angkor Beer is an award winning beer too, so for those of you who like to play, we have some very fun places to play as well.

I have a good team around me and you will have an amazing time here.

Contact us today for incredible trip!


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