Pheap founded Butterfly Tour in November 2012 after recognising the need to address the high unemployment rate among Battambang city’s youths. Armed with a desktop computer and a bicycle donated by his university professors, Pheap taught himself how to setup a website, and with that, began conducting tours around the Battambang countryside for curious visitors.
Today, Pheap’s humble start-up has grown to include a fleet of 50 bicycles and a team of 11 young Cambodians who are all co-owners of the company. Besides leading the Butterfly team, Pheap is also passionate about creating opportunities for local Cambodians to become employers and entrepreneurs themselves—an important avenue for Cambodian ownership and independence.
While you may not find Pheap leading as many tours these days (he’s mainly confined to the office, attending to day-to-day matters!), you might find his friendly face popping up at the Siem Reap or Battambang office. Be sure to say hi!
Sam Ath, General Manager
Hello, I’m Sam Ath! Prior to joining Butterfly Tour, I studied at the University of Battambang and secured a job as an assistant to the President of the university. In 2011, I switched positions, working closely with the US Embassy in Phnom Penh as an American Corner Coordinator.
Despite my job security, I harboured dreams of becoming a young entrepreneur. In 2014, I made the decision to leave my job to join Butterfly Tour, where I began working with like-minded young Cambodians as a tour guide and team member. I learned many things in my exciting new role, eventually becoming the general manager of Butterfly Tour’s Siem Reap branch. Although this role keeps me busy, I still lead tours from time to time (and if you’re lucky, you might even be entertained by my singing while on tour!).
Chenda, Tour Operator
I was born in the Battambang countryside. Since I was young, I have always loved buffaloes. I grew up in the village as a buffalo boy, and every day I would go to the rice field with the buffaloes to help my parents. I never thought that I would have the chance to go to school due to my family’s financial constraints. When I did end up going to school, however, I was always late!
Things have changed a lot since then. I am now studying at a city university and have learned a lot from the society and environment around me. Butterfly Tour continues to give me great opportunities to learn from others and to lead a better life.