Makara Travels

Makara Travels
Makara Travels has been the slumbering dream of Ara Makara Bres, a striving business woman in Siem Reap. With over 20 years of experience on all levels in the local tourist business, this dream is coming out in the open.


      • Planning

    Makara Travels will help you plan YOUR trip. From your very first inquiry, you can count on our experience. We’ll be working with you to make your visit to the Angkor area a personal experience. ‘Boutique service’ is what we offer. No two visits are alike.

      • Arrangements

    In general, we expect you to take care of your own international flight arrangements. We can pick you up from the airport, or if you come overland from Thailand, in Poipet.

    • We can make all necessary local arrangements for you:

      • hotel bookings (but feel free to make your own bookings)
      • excursions in Angkor(car/tuktuk, driver, licensed guide in your preferred language)
      • excursions to other parts of the country (Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Battambang, …
      • domestic flight/bus/taxi travel
    • Tickets

We’ll arrange for entry tickets (Cultural Village, Apsara shows, boat trips on Tonle Sap), even your visa extensions.

    • Advice and support

Whether you need solid advice on restaurants, massage and spa arrangements, shopping, local charities, or any personalised service, you can count on our knowledge and support. If you need language support, we’ll make sure it’s there when you need it.

  • Prices
  • We don’t have fixed price lists. We apply the local going rates for our services. Some typical prices are:
  • Half day tuktuk with licensed driver: $10-12
  • Full day tuktuk with licensed driver: $15-20, depending on the distance covered
  • Full day taxi excursion: $25-50 depending on the distance
  • Service of a local non-licensed guide: $20
  • Services of a licensed temple guide: $25-45, depending on the language. Guides in ‘rare’ languages charge higher rates, up to $60 per day.
  • It is custom to invite (and pay for) your guide for meals and refreshments during the excursion; a driver is supposed to make his own arrangements.


Contact us by phone +855 097 2356 554 


Ara Makara Bres

Born a few years of the terror of the Khmer Rouge ended, she didn’t had a glorious start. She was left an orphin in the hospital where she was born. She is still looking for her parents once in a while.

When she was three, the hospital gently kicked her out, and she survived on the streets, among the legions of orphins, surviving with begging, selling postcards and books, and occasionally stealing some food. When she turned ten, a group of six Buddhist nuns took her up and raised her until she was sixteen. During that period she got a mininum of formal education.

Most of the other girls in similar circumstances ended up dead or infected with HIV by drug abuse or prostituition. Ara managed to stay out of that circuit, working in restaurants, and making occasionally some money from tourists, providing them with travel tickets, a tuk-tuk or a licensed guide to the temples. Slowly but surely she learned what it takes to be a travel agent, improved her English and caught up with essential knowledge as a tour guide.

In recent years she has been more and more working as a free tourist guide and travel agent, while maintaining an evening/night job as nanny for a local business family. Teaming up with a ‘tourist who fell in love with the country’, she now owns a regular travel agency which is growing steadily.

Alfons Van Hoof – Deceased

A retired teacher from Belgium, who has been living in Sri Lanka since 2000. He has worked there many years as a manager, but started a part-time travel business, offering guided motorcycle tours, filling up the gaps as a freelance translator and language consultant. While staying in Siem Reap for an extended holiday, he met Ara and helped her to start her travel business. He returns regularly to Cambodia to offer her language and management support to Ara, and takes care of most of the mailbox work also. Looking in the future, he is probably going to spend equal time in Sri Lanka and Cambodia.