16 Jan 2019
Two Cambodian brothers broke new ground and found a creative way to earn a living after teaching themselves to build an airboat, now using the vehicle to provide tours of Tonle Sap lake.
In 2012, Som Samnorp and his younger brother Som Samnang – both engineers from Arey Ksat Village near Phnom Penh – came up with the idea of modifying an airboat to use on Tonle Sap lake. Their vision was to provide a safe and effective way for tourists to explore the area.
Following three years of rigorous self-taught study in 2015, the brothers became the first people in Cambodia to build an airboat.
Soon after, they launched Komnob Airboat Tours. Today, the tours are proving a hit with visitors, both Cambodian and foreign alike.
“My goal is to use this airboat to serve the tourism industry in our country, providing tours around amazing ancient temples, the Tonle Sap lake, and other potential tourism destinations,” Samnorp tells The Post.
The brothers also have charitable aspirations, as they use a percentage of their profits to help children living in Tonle Sap’s floating villages receive a better education by donating books and study materials.
Airboats are a giant fan propelled means of transporta used in shallow waters where submerged propellers are impractical.
They became popularised by their use in the southern US’ alligator infested wetlands, swamps and marshes.
The brothers (not in picture) also have charitable aspirations, as they use a percentage of profits from the airboat tours to help children living in the Tonle Sap’s floating villages receive a better education by donating books and study materials. Photo supplied