I stayed at the Funky Flashpacker when I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia and I feel a bit guilty for being such a “bad” tourist.
I never went on the floating village tour. I never saw the Angkor Wat temples. The only thing I did besides DJ pool parties and take on the responsibility of “VIP Concierge” at the Funky Flashpacker (which was awesome, and part of why I stayed two weeks) was to spend my afternoons at Mr. Ross’s Orphan School.
Every couple days I would go visit, usually bringing tourist friends with me to teach English, or help out around the school yard. The owner of the hotel was happy to send some of the staff with me. He even donated the money needed to repair one of the classroom walls before the rainy season.
The way I heard about Mr. Ross was from my old babysitter in Canada. She was giving me a haircut on the day I drove 24 hours from Los Angeles to Vancouver. I was about to go give a book reading at her dad’s art show opening and wanted to look less dishelveled.
“If you are going to Thailand, and think you might go through Cambodia, please go see Mr. Ross and his children for me” She said, after explaining that she had taught there ten years ago.
So I did, when I got to Thailand I didn’t have any plans and so I took a bus to Siem Reap. and every time I went back it made me happy. Which isn’t the emotion I expected would come from visiting an orphan school in Cambodia.