Meet The Team
Co-Founder & Tour Guide
I was born in Outaput Village in Kompong Khleang. Actually, my mother went into labor while fishing, so I was actually born on a boat on the lake. It was not easy for her. My parents divorced when I was young so I moved to Banteay Srey with my younger siblings. This changed my life because I was able to complete high school and learn English at Bridge of Life's school in Banteay Srey. Later I worked at a hotel, an international NGO (PLAN), and Bridge of Life School where I started as a beginner English teacher and was eventually promoted to manager. I helped grow Bridge of LIfe to two more sites including Kompong Khleang to provide opportunities for students I did not have when I was young. I also co-founded the tour company as a way to make projects more sustainable and also promote floating village tours. I currently live in Siem Reap city. I am married and I have two children. My favorite pastime is fishing.
Tour Guide in Training
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My name's Ko Phalis (but just call me Phalis...it sound like Policeman). I was born on the flooded plains of Tonle Sap Lake in Kampong Khleang. I attended primary school and secondary school in my hometown. In 2007, I moved to Siem Reap to carry on the high school because there was no high school in my hometown at that time. I stayed at Dom Nak pagoda where I learned English and Computers. In 2011, I finished my high school and, luckily, I got a scholarship to go on to Angkor University. My major was Teaching English As a Second Language. I am now a licensed tour guide and love to share my hometown with others. In my free time, I like hanging out with friends and chatting with my family members. I am married and have one beautiful child.
I was born in Kompong Khleang. Like my brother, Paren, I was fortunate to move to Banteay Srey when I was young. Unlike my older siblings, I was afforded the opportunity to study at primary, secondary and the local high school (even if it meant bicycling 20 kilometers in each direction every day!). In addition, I learned English at Bridge of Life School in Banteay Srey. After I finished high school, I worked for several government high schools. I also studied IT at the University of Southeast Asia, although I chose not to finish my degree. I was hired as a tour guide in training by Community First so I would be able to share my birthplace with tourists throughout the world. I am married to Vanida, another tour guide who is from a different village in Kompong Khleang. Together we have two beautiful children.
Co-Founder & Coordinator
I am originally from Los Angeles in the United States. I co-founded Bridge of Life School with Sok Prin after a university volunteer experience in Siem Reap and grew it from one to three sites now led by an entirely Cambodian team. I currently serve as President of the organization. In addition, I co-founded Community First tours to develop a more sustainable organization. I assist as needed with booking coordination, partnerships, tour guide training, website development or any other items that may come up on a given day. I'm very passionate about traveling and encouraging people to see lower-income countries, even if it makes them feel uncomfortable at times, as residents stand to benefit most from tourism. I believe with planning it can be done in a responsible way that minimizes the potential for harm. I share my time between Siem Reap and Los Angeles.