Gabriele Stoia

Owner of In Asia Travel

“My mission is to give all people traveling with us unique emotions and life-changing experiences.”

Originally from Brescia, Gabriele has lived in Siem Reap, Cambodia, since 2012. Following a passion for travel, he founded the tour business In Asia Travel, specializing in organising trips throughout Cambodia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. Before Cambodia, he worked in Italy in the mechanical sector, following university studies in electronic engineering.

Today we meet with him to hear his story and experience in Cambodia.

Today we meet with him to hear his story and experience in Cambodia.

Gabriele, why did you decide to leave Italy?

At 23 years old, I discovered a love of travel. However, after a decade of exploring the world and much reflection, I realised I felt suffocated and alienated in the Western world. So I took a leap of faith and left in 2011. 

Why did you choose to live in Cambodia?

I left Italy for Asia without a specific destination. I followed the Silk Road to Cambodia, arriving seven months after departure. I didn’t settle at first but soon developed a special affection for the Country because of the people, its authenticity, and its rurality. Some practicalities were also factored in, such as the simple legislation for obtaining visas or the low cost of living.

Before starting your tour business, you’ll have visited many places in Cambodia?

I initially visited Cambodia in 2005, returning to explore in 2006, 2008, and again in 2010.

On my “final visit” in 2012, I helped a Cambodian start his own tour business when I studied the local archaeology, culture, and religion and worked as a tour guide for four years. At the same time, I became an independent photographer. The following year, I created “Photo Ethnography Film” and produced ethnographic reportages published in several international magazines. At the time, I traveled to very remote areas of Cambodia, looking for human interest stories to tell.

In 2015, I founded my tour operator, “In Asia Travel” following a passion for sharing my travel experiences with my customers.

What do you love about Cambodia?

I love the Cambodian people, their art, and nature. The Country hosts unique archaeological sites that I’m lucky enough to visit whenever I’d like. I appreciate the relaxed lifestyle and the ease of starting a new business. Creating a new business in Italy would have been much more difficult.

What did you struggle to adapt to in Cambodia?

The driving style and noisy events, such as weddings, funerals, and private parties. Recent tradition has locals using large, loud amplifiers at formal events playing noisy music, often from dawn to dusk.

Despite living in Cambodia for so long, do you keep an Italian habit?

The Italian cuisine and good coffee to start the day, naturally. Although I enjoy the local food, I cook Italian dishes at home. We’re lucky to find many imported products at local supermarkets easily.

Is there a place that you particularly love in Cambodia?

I love Mondulkiri. I have a backpacker’s soul, and this is the perfect place for adventurers. It’s a pathless land with unspoiled nature and a milder climate than other parts of the Country. It’s the mountain location. I would choose to build a wooden house with a fireplace. I also like the remote province of Ratanakiri and the Southeast of the Country and the stunning tropical islands.

Professionally speaking, what is the uniqueness of this Country?

In my opinion, Cambodia is unique both in its richness of artistic heritage and people’s authenticity.

How did you manage your time during the pandemic?  
I took advantage of the situation, reorganized my website, and created new connections with foreigners and other Italian tour operators. Now that it is possible to travel again, I am just looking forward to welcoming new customers and offering them new, fabulous itineraries in Cambodia’s remote areas.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Here in Cambogia. It is home for me!

? To connect with Gabriele Stoia, visit his profile on our Professional Directory here.

✍️ Giada Sciascia

? Gabriele Stoia

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Experience

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Experience FeaturedAngkor Wat- in asia travel

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Discover Angkor

A full-day classic itinerary to the most significant temples at Angkor archaeological in Siem Reap.

In Asia Travel

Siem Reap