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Meet the Team

JWGO Management Team


Andrea Ross

Andrea Ross
CEO

With British parents, Andrea grew up in England listening to stories of colonial Africa and the Far East. At the age of eight she took her first solo trip to Australia to visit her aunt and she hasn’t stopped traveling since.

In 2003 Andrea moved with her business partner, Brandon, to Cambodia where they started Journeys Within Tour Company and Boutique Hotel. In the last eight years Andrea has also set up offices in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, as well as the lovely Truckee California office.

Andrea has been on the Conde Nast Traveler Experience Maker for Southeast Asia for the last eight years and was recently honored to be on the inaugural Wendy Perrin Wow list. Andrea splits her time between the US and Southeast Asia and travels extensively to make sure the guides, drivers and hotels used by Journeys Within are up to standard. She loves to find new and unique trips, hotels and experiences for her guests.

Since starting the tour company, Andrea has focused on philanthropic travel and the idea that travel can change the world.  She is on the board for Journeys Within Our Community, a non-profit organization that she and Brandon founded in 2005. She is also on the board of the Marine Megafauna Foundation, using her knowledge of travel and philanthropy to help their amazing mission.

Andrea has two children who are great travelers and go wherever Mom goes! When in the US Andrea continues to travel, speaking at clubs and schools, promoting Philanthropic Travel and fundraising for JWOC.


Anna Baldwin

Anna Baldwin
JWGO Business Development Director and Tour Consultant

With intrepid parents of her own, Anna has been lucky enough to travel from a young age. This love of travel has developed over the years as Anna has spent time working and traveling abroad in a number of different countries, from the desert cities in Jordan to the snow-capped mountains in Kyrgyzstan.

With a strong background in the travel industry, Anna has previously worked as an Operations Manager for a tour company based in London, running numerous tours throughout Southeast Asia and Central Asia. She lived in Siem Reap Cambodia and led the Journeys Within team as an Regional Director of Operations for three years. She is now based in London and continues to share her knowledge and love of this beautiful part of the world, working closely with the JWGO team on the ground and developing new partnerships worldwide.


Naida Dizdarevic

Naida Dizdarevic
JWGO Tours Manager and Tour Consultant

Most of Naida’s adult life she dreamed about traveling the world — a dream that came true when she got the opportunity to move to Argentina for 6 months in 2006. Returning to her home in Sweden after her time in South America, Naida realized that she wanted to experience more so she made a big move to Australia for her first job in the travel industry, consulting on country-wide tours.

Another one of Naida’s big dreams came true last year when she took the opportunity to work for an NGO in Siem Reap. Having fallen in love with Cambodia, she is now looking to help other people discover the region’s beauty. Naida manages all incoming JWGO tours and is our number one person on the ground to help design and book tours through the main office in Siem Reap.


JWGO Operations Team


Nicole Long

Nicole Long
Senior Regional Director of Operations

Nicole’s ultimate wish came true when she made the move to South East Asia in 2008 to work for Journeys Within Tour Company. Nicole fell in love with the region after traveling to Thailand a few years before and wanted to return to explore more while working for a socially responsible tour company. As fate would have it, she met Andrea through a journalist friend and found exactly what she was looking for with Journeys Within Tour Company and their sister organization, Journeys Within Our Community.

After spending several wonderful years in Luang Prabang, Laos, Nicole is now based in Bangkok, Thailand where she oversees the Journeys Within team as Regional Director of Operations. For Nicole, having the opportunity to share the beauty and culture of these countries to other travelers, while giving back to the community is a dream come true.


Narla Phay

Narla Phay
Assistant Regional Director of Operations

Narla grew up in Banteay Mean Chey province 150 km from Siem Reap. The oldest in his family, he came to study tourism and hospitality management at Build Bright University in Siem Reap.

When Brandon had to visit the tourism police to help some guests who had lost their tickets, he met Narla and invited him to come and work at Journeys Within. After coming to work at the Journeys Within Boutique Hotel as a front desk manager, Narla received a JWOC scholarship. His hard work and studying paid off and after graduating, he gained considerable experience as a Country Director for the tour company.

A tireless advocate for helping the Cambodian people, Narla is now a member of the JWOC Board of Directors and is currently serving as Journeys Within’s Assistant Regional Director of Operations. He reaches out to guests and coordinates with the hotels, country directors, and guides to ensure our guests have the trip of a lifetime. Any special requests? Narla is your man!


Makara Put

Makara Put
Country Director, Cambodia

Makara Put was born in Kok Chork village, right in front of Angkor Wat as the third child in a family of eight. He was the first of his siblings to finish high school and the first person in his village to finish university.

From a young age Makara, has worked very hard to support himself and his family, taking jobs as a construction worker, gardener and electrician in during school vacations. After high school, he spent three months studying English and then he secured a job as a waiter in a restaurant in downtown Siem Reap, eventually being promoted to manager. It was during that time that he saw an advertisement regarding scholarships from Journeys Within Our Community and decided to apply in hopes of one day attending university and was accepted.

During his fourth year at the South East Asia University he was hired at the Journeys Within Boutique Hotel as a Front Desk Manager, cementing his place in the Journeys Within family. Since then Makara has graduated with a degree in Business Management.

Most recently Makara brought his work ethic and dedication to work with the Journeys Tour Within Tour Company team as Country Director in Cambodia. In his free time he continues to volunteer, promoting education and fitness, and coaches a children’s basketball team.


Linda Chhay

Linda Chhay
Central Booking Manager

Linda grew up in Siem Reap. In 2004, she graduated from university in Phnom Penh with a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management. We like to joke that Linda can see the Matrix because she picks up computer programs so quickly! She tells us that the first time that she ever touched a computer was at university, which makes her skills that much more impressive.

Linda works closely with Leak and Sokunna, and every Journeys Within Tour passes through their capable hands as they request and double check every booking and reservation before assembling the final package.

Linda lives with her husband and three children in Siem Reap. Linda’s only flaw as far as we can tell is her driving — she has been known to take an hour just to back out of the Journeys Within driveway! Luckily she has a great sense of humor about it and never lets Brandon’s teasing get to her. In fact, she might have the quickest wit in the office!


Sreyleak Ouk

Sreyleak Ouk
Central Booking Manager

Having spent most of her younger years in Phnom Penh, Sreyleak eventually moved back to her birth place of Siem Reap to be nearer to her family and friends. She grew up with the dream of working in an office where she would get the opportunity to meet interesting people and work with different cultures. This led her to study Tourism and Hospitality Management at the Angkor City Institute, giving her the chance to share her passion for her country and help people to experience the wonders of Cambodia.

After university, Sreyleak began work at one of the top hotels in Siem Reap, the wonderful FCC, where she worked as Tour Coordinator, organizing interesting and exciting tours for the hotel’s guests. Sreyleak heard about Journeys Within through Linda and the two friends have worked together for years now.

Leak loves spending time with her husband and two adorable sons, Win Win and Leap. Leak is fun-loving and harbors a secret love of Karaoke.


Sokunna Chhe

Sokunna Chhe
Central Booking Assistant

Born and raised in Siem Reap, Sokunna has always had an interest in travel and tourism. A recent graduate of Pannasatra University’s English program, she is happy to contribute to our Cambodian office as Booking and Ticketing Assistant.

With an interest in expanding her knowledge of the travel industry, she lists learning about new guest experiences as her favorite part of the job. Having visited Thailand previously, Sokunna would like to see Australia next – it is her dream destination! Within Cambodia, her favourite place to relax is Rabbit Island in the south, for its clean air and fresh seafood.


Kanika Peou

Kanika Peou
Accounts Manager

Although she was born in Siem Reap, Kanika spent most of her younger years growing up with her two brothers in Battambang Province, where her father worked as a doctor.

With a mind for numbers, Kanika quickly moved back to Siem Reap where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Build Bright University, as well as brushing up her English language skills at the Australian Centre for Education (ACE) here in Siem Reap. These qualifications combined with Kanika’s wonderful smile make her a huge asset to the company.

When Kanika isn’t calmly trying to sort out our accounts, she likes to stay active and spend time with her friends in and around Siem Reap.


Joy Junglin

Kanchana “Joy” Junglin
Country Director, Thailand

Born and raised in Bangkok, Kanchana “Joy” Junglin believes that travel is an important part of leading a fulfilled life. According to her, exploring new places provides valuable learning opportunities, a connection to new cultures and people and offers a much needed break from the fast pace of everyday life. A graduate of Siam University, Joy was attracted to the challenges of the travel industry and eventually worked to become a travel agent.

Now as Country Director for the Journeys Within’s Thailand office, Joy is using her versatility to help make the most of every Thailand itinerary.

Married with one son, Joy likes to spend her free time with her family. She loves to recharge her own batteries at the beach – lounging on the sand with her eyes shut, listening to the sounds of the surf renews her mind and helps keep her fresh. Probably a good thing she hails from a country with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!


Onkeo.1

Onkeo “Keo” Phontasin
Director, Laos

Mr. Onkeo, who is a native of Luang Prabang, joins us with years of experience working in the tourism and hospitality industry. He is a graduate of Pasabandith College where he studied General English & Communication. After working at the city’s high end restaurants, hotels and the renowned textile company of Ock Pop Tok, he decided that a career in tourism was his dream as he loves meeting new people from around the world and sharing the sights and culture of his home country.

He and his wife have two boys and live on the outskirts of town with his parents, three cats and a little dog. He enjoys spending time with his family, helping his parents out with their farm, traveling, reading and meeting friends in his free time. He invites you all to come and join him and his family in their newly built farm Sala when you come to Luang Prabang!!


Sone Phonepaserth

Bouasone “Sone” Phonepaserth
Laos Booking Manager

Bouasone (Sone) Phonepaserth comes from a family of five children and has lived in several places in Laos including Luang Prabang, Nong Khiew, and near Vientiane. She attended high school in Luang Prabang where she took extra tutoring lessons in English. In the summers, she and her sister would travel to visit cousins in Xiengkhuang, Luangnamtha, and Xayyabouly, allowing her to become very familiar with different regions around Laos.After finishing high school, she went on to study at the Teacher Training College with a focus in English. During her third year, she participated in a three month field training at the Mekong River View Hotel during the day, and attended classes in the evenings. After graduating in 2012, Sone worked as a receptionist at the Mekong Riverivew Hotel, before joining Journeys Within in 2014.Sone is really proud of her country and can’t wait to show our guests “the real Laos”. She loves traveling, learning about different cultures, making new friends and she dreams of seeing new horizons.


Khoa and Michelle Nguyen

Khoa & Michelle Nguyen
Directors, Southern and Central Vietnam

Trained as an English teacher, Khoa was raised and educated in the south of Vietnam. Happiest when he is making those around him smile, Khoa left teaching to pursue a career in the travel industry and has been working with Journeys Within Tour Company since we moved into Vietnam.With a passion for local food – he ranks snails cooked in coconut milk and café sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee) among the areas must-tries – Khoa takes particular pride in showing off his old stomping ground of the Mekong Delta. He met his wife Michelle while she was roaming the world, and now the pair manage all of our tours in Central and Southern Vietnam. When not making incredible experiences for our guests or inspecting hotels and tours, they split their time between enjoying their friends and family and traveling together with their two small daughters.


Ms Tracy

Le Thi Thu Thuong (Ms. Tracy)
Director, Northern Vietnam

Born in the Year of Horse and raised in the 1000 year old village of Dong Ngac, in the Northwest Hanoi, Tracy has been a dynamic traveler since 1998. After graduating from the Faculty of Tourism Management at Hanoi Open University, Tracy has gained extensive experience in the industry as both a tour guide and tour operator.

Not only an expert on northern Vietnam, Tracy’s love of travel has taken her to numerous other countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Mumbai ,Hong Kong, and Australia. Knowing what the world has to offer, Tracy says she never plans to stop traveling.

Dar Le

Dar Le Khin
Country Director, Myanmar (Burma)

Born in central Burma into a public servants family in a difficult political and economic environment, Dar Le has overcome great struggles to be the successful and proud Burmese woman she is today. At a very young age she moved to Malaysia to get valuable work experience and earn money sorely needed by her family. Here she experienced foreign culture, learned the English language and discovered the opportunities available in the travel industry.When she went back to Burma, now known as Myanmar, she took the first opportunity to work within the tourism industry. Whilst working she managed to achieve her Bachelors degree and also helped her two younger sisters to attend university. Dar Le’s success in the travel industry has developed her passion to present Burma’s culture, history, nature and people to the world.

She is the reason Journeys Within offers tours to Burma as she convinced Andrea and Brandon to take their first trip to this amazing country, and has since become a friend. With her infectious smile and positive attitude, as well as her strong work ethic Dar Le is a wonderful example of what makes Myanmar so special.

Saw Thandar

Saw Thandar
Myanmar (Burma) Booking Manager

Saw Thandar was brought up in a village call Pwint Byu (Mgwe Division) in central Myanmar. Due to her father’s business, her family moved to Bagan in 1983 and settled down.In Bagan, Thandar joined the Bagan Thande Hotel as the Assistant Front Office Manager where she fell in love with the hospitality industry. She later moved to Yangon and joined SM Tours & Transports as an Operations Managers. She is thrilled to now be working with Dar Le at 7 Days Travels & Tours and partnering with Journeys Within.