Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New moto tours fuelled by girl power



New moto tours fuelled by girl power

MotogirlTour customers get their own helmet, raincoat and personal guide.
MotogirlTour customers get their own helmet, raincoat and personal guide. Hong Menea

New moto tours fuelled by girl power

Aiming to ease the gender imbalance among Phnom Penh guides, a new all-female tour company is offering to take visitors to see the sights and pick up some bargains at the markets

With their bright red T-shirts and high-powered motos, the MotogirlTour guides stand out like speeding cherry tomatoes on the streets of Phnom Penh – their foreign customers sitting behind them like sacks of groceries.

Launched in December by 25-year-old Chea Renou, the all-female tour company offers guided trips around the city, stopping off at attractions such as the National Museum, Independence Monument and markets.

Renou quit her desk job as an accountant to start the business and now leads a team of six: all university students or young professionals – and all women (except for their web designer).

Renou saw that while there were plenty of tuk-tuk and moto drivers who offered tours to tourists, almost all were men. She liked to speak English and felt comfortable talking to foreigners, and she had heard from some friends about similar business models in neighbouring Thailand.

“They told me that students in Thailand run motorbike tours to earn money after university,” she said.

MotogirlTour had its first customers this month and offers five different tour options.

“Our packages have a day tour of the city, a night time tour, an adventure tour, a shopping paradise tour and a custom tour – such as the Mekong islands,” Renou said. Each package comes with a helmet, raincoat, GPS system and a guide. Prices start at $12.

The tour guides share their lifestyles and lives in Phnom Penh with the customers, but the tours don't yet incorporate much historical information.

MotogirlTour has a website and advertises on social media, but Renou's first customers – from the US, England and France – found out about it from the brochures she left in their hotels. They took the day tour package: a visit to the National Museum, the Royal Palace and markets.

“I was so happy and a bit nervous to meet the first customers at their hotel,” she said. “But they said to me that, coming to Cambodia, they thought it was a great idea to use a local tour like us.”

Not all attention has been as positive, however. Renou said that sometimes male motodops or tuk-tuk drivers have harassed them or mistaken their services for “entertainment” work. She brushes this aside.

“It is not just about the money. This is a nice job where we can improve our English and share Cambodian culture and heritage. It’s a new – and legal – business in Cambodia,” she said.

While she was working on the idea, Renou initially helped out with her family’s wholesale business, delivering food and beverages. They found her idea a little strange, but supported her.

“I am strong enough to drive heavy stuff for delivery,” she said. “So I can also drive people on a tour around Phnom Penh.”

To book a tour with MotogirlTour, contact [email protected], or call 015 292 952 with the date, group size and a pickup address.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro