Management & Office
Daniel Fraser - Co-founder & Director
One smile from Daniel and most people are hooked. With an appetite for fun and the energy to match, when something is happening, he's there and soon at the center of it. Daniel first came to Thailand in 1995 to work on consulting and teaching projects under the Thai Royal Family. The quintessential host, it was a natural step for Dan to get into the travel business. A well-recognized figure in Thailand, he has appeared in a heap of print, billboard and television commercials across Asia and co-starred in Thailand's first digital feature film The Garuda in 2004. He's worked as a TV presenter in Japan, business advisor in Singapore, team-building facilitator for such companies as Nokia, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, IBM and a Tourism Ambassador for the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Daniel is also the host of a popular national TV show in Thailand called Long Krung, a Thai-language series investigating unique sides of Thailand and its culture through the eyes of a resident Canadian.
Kornwika (Kae) Urai - Senior Trip Coordinator
With a strong background in community development and volunteer tourism, Kae brings a wealth of creativity and planning skills to our Team. She helps design, price and propose trips to guests, making sure your adventure with us is perfect. Kae is also currently working on a master's degree in Tourism on weekends, leaving her little time to travel, one of her passions.
Vanna Sek - Operations (Cambodia)
Vanna's blessed with a heart of gold, great smile, infectious laugh and passion for travel. Born and raised around Siem Reap township, he got into tourism as an opportunity to raise his standard of living and meet people from around the world. One of eight children, he's incredibly well organized and has a unique ability to form a strong bond with his team. He loves that tourism is generally a non-polluting industry, looks forward to exposing visitors to new areas like Ratanakiri in Cambodia's northeast and one day hopes to go on an Amazon River cruise. One thing's for sure, your trip will be seamless with Vanna at the helm.
Haruthai (Naeng) Prasitthikrai - Administration
Born at Tha Chalom, a fishing village near the top of the Gulf of Thailand, Naeng is the second last of five children. She has a passion for study and completed her MBA a number of years ago just outside Bangkok. She's spent most of her adult life working in professional Administration and Book Keeping and that's exactly what she does at Smiling Albino - keeping our office running smoothly.
Naeng was very impressed with how clean Singapore was when she visited a few years back and really wants to go to Switzerland to see the quiet countryside and mountains.
Onnicha (Mali) Piladee - Operations Manager
A born and bred Bangkok girl, Mali is a very focused person who loves detail and having fun. Prior to joining Smiling Albino she led a sales/production team at one of the city's leading printing agencies, honing her skills for ensuring no details are missed - key to a smooth trip. She's traveled to America, Singapore, Malaysia and hopes to make it to the Maldives before they're under water (so she says!). A true lover of family, when not working she can be found cooking seafood for her parents, tending to her two cute pugs or hitting the town with friends.
Rochana (Yuiz) Bomprommaraj - Trip Coordinator
Born and raised in NE Thailand's province of Korat, Yuiz has a ton of skills, great smile and a wonderful attitude that makes her a favorite in our office. The youngest of three sisters she grew up farming rice with her parents before heading to Bangkok to study Grade 10. She stayed on in the City of Angels completing a degree in Hotel and Tourism Management, graduating in 2010 and joining Smiling Albino in 2011. Her eye for detail and research skills makes her an asset. While she hasn't been outside of Thailand yet New Zealand is top of her list and she soon hopes to hit the beaches of southern Thailand and swim in the Andaman Sea.
Kijja (Champ) Srinakklum - Senior Trip Coordinator
Champ's a ton of fun to be around and adds a lot of life and spirit to our Bangkok office. A Bangkok native she's a huge fan of all things Korean and has visited there a number of times. After graduating from the faculty of Communications Arts with a major in Advertising she decided to pursue her passion for travel and started working with a tour company in sales. Over the years she's made trips throughout Thailand, her favorite destination so far being the island of Ko Phi Phi. She wants to travel all of Krabi province's islands and one day hopes to make it to Prague to see its amazing architecture herself. Champ's eye for detail and ability to brainstorm makes her a wonderful person to help design and manage your Smiling Albino adventure.
Thamrong Munkarn - Trip Coordinator
An asset to our team, Thamrong does a ton of things: from ensuring all arrangements for your trip are ready to go, to preparing by hand, your personalized travel book, he's a master of fine details. Bangkok born and raised, he loves the islands, swimming in the ocean and hiking in the jungle. He hopes to soon travel Thailand's northeastern mountains and one day wants to see and experience Holland's windmills and tulip fields.
Kanlaya (Ploy) Samartsueb - Trip Coordinator
Ploy is great at noting details and ensuring everything's set for your trip. Born opposite Bangkok, across the Chao Phraya River in Nonthaburi province, she thrives on working in travel. She enjoys taking on new challenges every day and enjoys not knowing what she'll have to manage each day at work. An outdoor enthusiast she hopes to one day go diving at the Similan Islands in southwestern Thailand and go very far abroad to experience Bora Bora in French Polynesia.
Stephanie Rowe - Product Design and Innovation
Born in Canada, but currently living on her third continent, Stephanie has embraced life in the Big Mango (Bangkok) in stride. No stranger to travel she believes there's no limit to adventures that can be had. Her understanding of what's important when travelling is paramount to furthering the experiences of others. From trekking the Great Wall of China to enjoying a local meal at a street-side cafe, Stephanie's sure to create amazing treasured memories, and is continually pushing travel possibilities further.
Mads Mathiasen - Lead Adventure Host (Nepal)
Born in Denmark with an unbroken lineage to the Vikings, Mads wasn't the most likely person to become a mountain man of the Himalayas. After high school he spent a year traveling South Africa, then continued to Asia and fell in love with Nepal. What was to be a one-year trip turned into a new life and adopted home. He began his career as a mountain bike and hiking guide in the Kathmandu valley and the years flew by. Soon he found himself guiding and arranging trips across the Himalayas from Ladakh to Bhutan reveling in meeting local people and learning about their cultures. A veteran in the adventure travel business he has organized and led trips in Turkey, Morocco, Tibet, India, Cambodia and Sri Lanka but Nepal remains his true love, where he spends his time trekking, biking and guiding people through Kathmandu's narrow alleys.
Reakmey (Barang) Chin - Adventure Host (Cambodia)
The son of farmers, Barang looks more like a foreigner than a Cambodian, always has a funky hairstyle and seems more suited to entertaining on stage than guiding. But a great guide he is, having hosted travelers from around the world since 1999. Extremely passionate about his country's history, especially Angkor Wat's temples, he can answer almost anything you could want to know about this fascinating area and then some. An accomplished singer, having competed nationally on Cambodian television several times, winning numerous titles, he attributes these victories to having the total package: voice, looks and moves. He is indeed the total package as you will quickly learn during your time exploring with him.
Rajesh Dharel - Adventure Host (Nepal)
Born in the Ganesh Himal region of Nepal, Rajesh moved to Kathmandu to attend secondary school. Upon graduation he worked as a porter, hauling heavy loads for tourists during treks to earn money and gain experience in tourism. After a few years he graduated to porter manager and then to the position of guide on mountain treks. A natural with people and popular among his peers, he quickly ascended through the ranks and soon was leading treks in the Annapurna, Everest and Langtang regions. After gaining experience in this arena he moved on to leading more sophisticated camping trips to lesser-visited regions of the country. His smile, wonderful sense of hospitality and love of singing Nepali folk songs during treks is sure to quickly make you a fan.
Diep To Le - Lead Adventure Host (Vietnam)
A native of northern Vietnam, Diep is Ms. Tourism. She started her career as a translator for World University Services of Canada, honing her language skills, which led her to become a guide, hosting international guests across Vietnam. Her passion for food took over and she specialized in cuisine and cooking classes, sharing her nation's amazing dishes with foreign visitors. Wanting to help students, Diep moved on to working as a professor teaching Sustainable Tourism in Hanoi, imparting her view of tourism on a new generation. A global traveler, Diep has been around the world several times, loves sharing her encyclopaedic knowledge of her homeland and now calls Edmonton, AB home where she lives with her husband. A senior consultant on all Smiling Albino adventures in Vietnam, Diep ensures true authenticity and maximum fun on each and every trip.
Le Lam - Adventure Host (Vietnam)
Lam loves traveling at street-level, sharing secret nooks and crannies with his guests and introducing them to what he calls, the real Vietnam. Originally from north-central Vietnam, he started as a guide in 1999 and has gone on to become one of the country's premier hosts. A cycling fanatic, Lam is the proud father of two children, and relishes in the memories of his trip to America. After all his travels and in-depth knowledge of his nation, he still loves the simple things. One of his favourite activities is watching it all go by while drinking Bia Hoi (draft beer) and nibbling on authentic dishes at small street-side restaurants. Be sure to join him!
Trevor Ranges - Adventure Host (Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam)
What do you get when you blend surfing with writing and travel? A top-notch Adventure Host named Trevor. Raised in Hawaii, mostly on waves, he originally headed to the Far East to teach high-level university entrance exam techniques with the Princeton Review. After doing multiple stints in South Korea and Thailand he pursued writing more seriously contributing for many years to the Fodor's Thailand and Laos guidebooks. Here and there he stepped back into education, most recently as a professor at Bangkok's prestigious Thammasat University. His love for travel saw him work on the third edition of the National Geographic Traveler Thailand book and head-up the first edition of their Cambodia guidebook - one of his proudest achievements. A regular contributor to publications abroad, consultant to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, accomplished tennis player and rock climber, Trevor's always up for a good time, diving into the unknown and is sure to bring a ton of fun and insight to your travels.
Van (Sophoan) Sopheat - Transportation (Cambodia)
Sophoan's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Born and raised in Siem Reap province, he's had an interesting life. In the 1990s he moved to Thailand to avoid the war in his country and worked in construction, picking up Thai language along the way. We met him in 2006 while exploring the temples of Angkor, chatted in Thai, and have been fast-friends since. Happily married with three daughters, Sophoan drives his ramork (Cambodian tuk-tuk) with pride, and lends much more to a trip than just driving, often checking out temples with guests, and offering tasty drinks and snacks along the way. He's also the main driver for our Angkor Hospital for Children Tuk-Tuk Program, shuttling sick kids to/from the hospital 10 days-per-month. We're sure you'll agree he's an all-around star!
Pech Vuthy - Adventure Host (Cambodia)
A native of Cambodia's Siem Reap province, home to the temples of Angkor, Vuthy is one of the country's top hosts. With great English skills, a witty sense of humor and the talent to share history in a comprehensive yet digestible manner, seeing Angkor Wat with him is a top experience. A proud father of two children, loving husband and cycling enthusiast, Vuthy is one of our top Cambodian hosts.
Thach (Kim) Thikimlieng - Adventure Host (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
A true Cambodia through and through with many lifetimes of experience, Kim has seen and done it all in her country. From surviving the Khmer Rouge's bloody reign, to living and working for many years in a refugee camp along the border with Vietnam, Kim's worked very hard to get where she is. A proud mother, she's a wealth of information and extremely passionate about sharing all sides of her country with visitors. You'll be richer for having spent time traveling with her.
Pissanu (Tu) Dangthongdee - Adventure Host (Thailand)
A master host, Tu's been a guide almost longer than he can remember. Originally from Pichit province (about five hours north of Bangkok) he's been living in the Big Mango for many years and is a seasoned expert in all its nooks, crannies and sites. He loves hidden gems and in Bangkok one of his favorites is an interesting Hindu temple on Silom Road which he likes taking guests to when they're in the area. Stonehenge in Great Britain is his dream destination, but for now he's very happy to host guests, showing them the magic of his incredible kingdom.
Vaikoon (Tee) Kamchana - Adventure Host (Thailand)
A true athlete, Tee is one of Thailand's top amateur cyclists and an all around gentlemen. He grew up in Chonburi province near the Gulf of Thailand, then came to Bangkok in 2001 to study at the Hotel and Tourism Training Institute. Since graduating he's regularly been recognized by guests and peers as one of the country's top guides, winning a Tourism Guide Award in 2008 from the Tourism Authority of Thailand. When not hosting guests he can be found winning cycling races like the King of the Mountains race and is currently training for his first marathon which he not only hopes to complete, but win.
Saksit (Chang) Nonsrimuang - Transportation (Thailand)
Truly one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, anywhere, Chang has a captivating smile, incredible sense of humor and is the consummate host. The youngest of eight children, he grew up in Thailand's northeastern province of Korat, moved to Chiang Mai after Grade 6, then his life took an interesting turn; he became a novice monk for five years, during which time he learned to read/write Pali, an ancient Sanskrit text. During his early adult years he spent eight years leading jungle treks, then drove large tour buses for five years, purchased his own minivan in 2001 and has been his own one-man-show ever since. If you're fortunate enough to spend time with Chang you're bound to be talking about him for years to come. He's truly one of a kind.
Doan Phong - Adventure Host (Vietnam)
Known amongst his friends as Mr. Outdoors, Phong loves being outside and has cycled most of Vietnam's central coast and highlands. A graduate of Danang University, he's been a guide since 1996 and specializes in the hard-to-find places and small villages around Hoi An and Hue, focusing on visiting by motorbike and bicycle. A married man and father of two children, when not working you can usually find Phong enjoying a bowl of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) at a street-side stall.
Sayan (Lek) Prapapak - Adventure Host (Thailand)
Born at the UNESCO World Heritage City of Ayutthaya, Lek moved to Bangkok when he was nine-years-old to be close to his mother who sold goods on the sidewalk in front of Wat Pho, famous for its giant reclining Buddha. He moved into residence, calling it home for 10 years and went on to become the temple's most senior guide. He became a licensed guide in 2007, venturing beyond the walls of his longtime home and now leads trips across the country. Without a doubt the city's funniest host, his name means small, but there's nothing small about him or his personality.
Thawisong (Song) Sitthiwong - Transportation (Thailand)
Born in Chiang Rai province, Song has spent his life driving the northern part of Thailand and knows every nook and cranny of its far reaches. The father of two children, he has been married since 1992 and lives at Chiang Saen, a small city in Chiang Rai province. Known as Mr. Reliable, he's always early, ready for the job and goes above and beyond to make every trip perfect. Not only a driver, Song often joins guests for hikes, dinner, rafting and whatever else is on offer.
Clare Smith - Adventure Host (Nepal)
A self-described simple farm girl from rural Australia, Clare was the last person you'd expect to end up working in an international capacity. She grew up riding horses, chasing sheep and cattle and living the outback life. After tripping over a few careers she took a huge leap and accepted a community development job in Nepal in 2002 for a taste of something truly different. It was during this time she met a young Danish man who was firmly attached to the country and stole her heart, making returning home tough. After a couple years back in her native land she finagled a way to move back to Nepal and is firming planted in her adopted home. Clare loves sharing this fascinating country with guests, devotes a good portion of her time to community work and is the consummate host - sure to leave you smiling!
Vireak Soung - Adventure Host (Cambodia)
Vireak saw tourism as a way to a better life and grabbed hold of it. Since 2000 he's been working hard, developing his language skills, learning about foreigners, studying his country's history and is now one of Cambodia's premier hosts. His flawless English, cool wit and ability to explain complicated history is truly remarkable. He's sure to bring a special shine to your trip and provide rare insight into Cambodian culture.
Ratthapoom (Noom) Worasutpisan - Adventure Host (Thailand)
The son of a Thai history teacher, Noom grew up surrounded by history books and colorful tales of ancient Siamese culture and traditions. A man of many talents, he spent several years managing air traffic control for the Royal Thai Navy, has trained in Sea and Land Survival and was on the Navy volleyball and tennis teams for 10 years! His interest in guiding came about while working as a liaison officer for US personnel visiting Thailand. A devout Buddhist, Noom speaks to the heart of his guests and tries to help them see the finer, subtler elements of Thailand often missed by visitors. His enthusiasm and knowledge for all things Thai enables him to bring a fresh wealth of knowledge and experiences to every trip.
Thanongsak (Sam) Dechasungnuen - Adventure Host (Northern Thailand)
Hailing from Thailand's far northeast, Sam settled in Chiang Mai in the mid-80s in search of work. His tourism career started at a guesthouse where he became friends with several guides who introduced him to the trade. He began leading treks for backpackers and gradually climbed the guiding chain, now holding the title of one of the north's top hosts'. An expert of all things Thai, Sam still enjoys spending time in the jungle as much as he does visiting key sites and being in the city. An avid gardener, farmer and outdoor enthusiast, your time with Sam will be rich beyond belief.
Charrun (Berm) Sommano - Adventure Host (Northern Thailand)
A native of Chiang Mai province, Berm was born and raised in the small town of Mae Ai right along the Thai-Myanmar border. While growing up he saw backpackers come through his town, sometimes spend the night and got curious about these travelers. Over the years he got to know guides leading trips, tried to help out where he could then made the plunge himself, enrolling in a guide course. With a beaming smile, great sense of humor and fantastic English skills Berm will add a ton of depth to your Thai experience. Enjoy a trip with him before he opens his dream Thai restaurant.
Chanakarn (Eak) Akkarapakorn - Adventure Host (Northern Thailand)
Easily one of Thailand's top guides, Eak's English is impeccable, knowledge rich and sense of adventure tops. Born in Mae Ai, a small town along the Thai-Myanmar border in Chiang Mai province, he began his career in tourism as a porter on treks. He worked his way up to guide, took a guide course and the rest as they say is history. He lived in Australia for a couple years, is a dedicated father of two and loves nothing more than showing visitors hidden corners of his country. Be sure to ask him to show you how to make things from natural items found in the jungle.
Bang-on (Kob) Kachonsiitinoppakun - Adventure Host (Thailand)
Kob's a veteran host and one of Central Thailand's best. Born and bred in Chonburi province, just south of Bangkok, she was first attracted to guiding while visiting the famed Grand Palace when very young. She overheard a guide explaining a portion of the Ramayana to some tourists, a Thai epic her grandmother had told her at bedtime when she was a kid, and decided this was the career for her. She loves Thai locations that have yet to be changed too much by technology like Nan and Trang provinces. Her dream trip is to Europe with her daughter, being particularly interested in Rome and Florence.
Chan Maokwang - Adventure Host (Northern Thailand)
Born in Doi Tao, a small village in Chiang Mai province, Chan's loved the outdoors as long as he can remember. As a child, with four older brothers, he played in the countryside and soaked in as much fresh air as he could. As he became older he met some guides and realized this job was a great way to learn English, meet people from around the world and try a career far from what is offered in the countryside. He's never looked back and has become a top host, sharing his intimate knowledge of all things Thai and special elements of northern culture and life with visitors. This boy from the country one day hopes to visit the United States.
Directors & Advisors
Kultawat Sindhuseka - Advisor
Born and raised in Bangkok, Kultawat Sindhuseka has been a supporter of Smiling Albino since the beginning. With a keen eye for style and space, he graduated in 1996 from Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok) with a degree in architecture then completed graduate studies at Cornell University (USA) in 1999. He continued to live in the US, enjoying tenures with Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers in New York City, before resettling in Bangkok in 2003. Smiling Albino is thrilled to have Kultawat on board as a business advisor and liaison for all things Thai.
Susanna Kuipers - Advisor
Never one to take a day off, if Sue isn't planning where to go and what to do next she's probably already there doing it. Her love of travel stemmed from the stories her father told about his adventures behind the Iron Curtain and SE Asia in the 60s. After 12 years in commercial and personal insurance, she moved to Thailand for one year with her husband Todd. They traveled a ton in the region and helped Smiling Albino grow. Following her return to Canada she had two children, who now keep her constantly moving and increase the challenge of maintaining a regular travel and vacation agenda. She also consults as an Implementation Manager for insurance industry software (Policy Works Inc.) and helps to support Smiling Albino as we grow and aim to be the best adventure travel option out there!
Derek van Pelt - Director/Advisor
Adventurous from birth, Derek has always had a degree of wanderlust, which led him to come to Thailand in 1997 to work for the Thai Royal Family at Chitralada palace as an English Teacher. He was soon hooked on all things Thai and decided the country would be his new permanent home. A stalwart supporter of Smiling Albino from the first day, he's honored to be part of the experience, consistently offering advice and out-of-the-box ideas to make our adventures the best out there. Derek enjoys running, mountain biking, riding his motorcycle throughout the region and piloting light aircraft.
David Long - Director/Advisor
Having traveled to almost every province in Thailand during his 20+ years living in the kingdom, David has done what most other foreigners haven't... lived in Thailand for more than 20 years! An expert in the field of education, he operates a well-known Thai language program for foreigners, has directed volunteer programs and schools and consulted on a myriad of other projects. Among his many interests is Smiling Albino - always on call for Board meetings, golf and meetings at local pubs to explore the many interesting ideas we didn't quite get to during the last meeting. A truly balanced individual, David brings an international and local perspective to the table and is an invaluable source on all things Thai.
Todd Kuipers - Director/Advisor
A closet traveler, Todd believes in traveling globally and visiting locally - going most anywhere in the world to see what happens at street-level. His many past jaunts were stuffed, sometimes too illiberally, in between stints as founder of technology companies, beer journalist, software designer, petroleum economist, tactical problem solver, researcher and habitual manipulator of the English language. He provides Smiling Albino with direction, support, design and is the token curmudgeonly chap that asks the tough questions and constantly suggests moving the work to the bar. He currently spends his free time with his kids Gus and Marijka.