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Romana, your Destination Expert

Phnom Penh Destination Expert Romana Yin came to find his roots in Cambodia, but would he ever have thought he’d move from mountain biking to working on setting up an elephant sanctuary?

“My parents are Cambodian, but I was born in France. I didn’t grow up there though—the Ivory Coast was my playground. I only went back to France when I went to university and to start my career. I finally came to Cambodia in 2010 to go back to my roots and see my ancestors’ country, and take the opportunity to work in the tourism industry, which was booming.

Living in Phnom Penh is intense. The city has gone through—and is still going through—dramatic changes, which is all pretty exciting. Options for eating out have multiplied in the last 5 years. It’s easy to get a coffee and a croissant in a French café now, and enjoy high speed internet! There are so many fancy bars and great restaurants it would take months to try them all! We have great movie theaters too, and you can go out to a different event every night.

Phnom Penh has turned into a vibrant capital city, but sometimes you need to get away to slow down, and it’s easy to take short breaks. Koh Dach (or the Silk Island) is just a few kilometers away on a bicycle or a scooter. Kep, a quiet city by the sea that was the Cambodian Riviera before the war, is only a 2-hour drive.

I’ve made numerous trips across South East Asia since I’ve been here, and have explored Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Northern Thailand and Central Luzon in the Philippines. I still have to explore Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam though! I’ve started capturing my travels on film, and really enjoy traveling with a camera, to create memories and collect great moments.

My next big trip would be to New Zealand and/or Australia, and my dream trip would be to explore America from North to South, or to go back to Africa on a motorcycle.

My favorite trips here usually involve friends and mountain biking. That’s a great way mix with the locals, and doing things with them is the most interesting and authentic way to discover a new destination. It was an opportunity to work in the mountain biking industry that took me travelling in France and Europe. And I’ve gone from that to working on setting up an elephant sanctuary in Northeast Cambodia!

Traveling is not only for discovering new environments, great food, new cultures; it’s also about sharing the experience with the people you meet along the way. I’ll be happy to share my knowledge with fellow travelers and people who share an interest with my city and my country. I look forward to talking to you!”

Romana speaks French, English, Khmer & Spanish

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