🛖 Project Airbnb Cabin 🛏️ Hunting For Nature Pics With @Sreypov 📸 Steung Kach, Cambodia 🏞️
We are getting closer and closer to finishing our Airbnb cabin, even though it will be furniture-less minus the bed in the early stages.
Getting Back To Nature 🧘♀️
I still am not sure what kind of foreign tourists will want to rent our future Airbnb cabin but I suspect it will be foreign residents of Cambodia, not foreign tourists here with a tight schedule. It takes two days of traveling within the country just to get here, and there aren't really any famous sites or tourist attractions anywhere near us. That was my intention though, to provide an "get-back-to-nature" escape for those urban folks with busy lives.
There are many things to do here, number one being the whitewater river headwaters and the 8+ mountain creeks across from it. This is all in our backyard, and also there are some mountain summits that take 2-3 days to make a roundtrip hike, everything more or less revolving around nature. The Cardamom Mountains are already becoming a popular tourist destination, but the most of the development in this industry is nowhere near our place.
Photo Lovers Too 🕵️♀️
Our place also provides nature photographers with many opportunities, whether it be flora, fauna, or fungi. Because the cabin is not yet finished due to a lack of funds, I decided we should go for a swim with the excuse that this little venture would be for collecting Airbnb nature shots in order to demonstrate the surrounding area.
I really should bring my handheld camera across the river for some shots, but at the moment it's still raging a bit, and not a fun place to swim or be. With a careful wade across the main river though, the creeks are all still flowing pretty clear. I will first use some of these shots to make a pre-Airbnb offer for former Khmer language students and restaurant customers of ours back in Kampot. This group of folks will be okay with the fact that our place isn't completely ready for guests yet.
Frame The House 🖼️
As we went further up the creek, I kept entering the water to get the best angles of the cabin. Our neighbor's house looks extremely close to the cabin from certain perspectives, and I must say it's a bit of an eyesore in this natural environment. It's to the left of the cabin, but hidden by the trees, so this is a nice shot I may reproduce with a better camera.
You'll eventually see a pic I took of our neighbor's house visible behind the cabin, and then you'll understand why I have to stand in raging water to get some of the shots.
I'm no photographer, nor do I claim to be one, I am just a guy that likes to take pictures, but I am pretty proud of the above shot, got some symmetry with the reflection.
The View 🪟
From the balcony of the cabin and also the window on that side of the house, the view across the river looks right up the path of the most beautiful creek, and these are the views you get, it's really incredible here. I like the fact that families could let their children play in the creek and keep an eye on them from the porch.
The Neighbor's House 🏠
In the above shot you can see the kind of pic I am not trying to take. Without those trees on the left shielding the neighbor's house from view, it looks as those we are inches away, but in reality we are far enough away to not directly have to directly inhale their almost daily plastic garbage fire smoke.
It's All About The Water 🏊♂️
We know that as good cooks our aim will be to make this a "bed and breakfast meets base camp for mountain climbers" kind of place, and I think our chefery skills will be another great income provider because there are no restaurants or markets nearby. I would imagine guests will just play in the water all day and need some very hot and spicy food to battle all the cold water play.
I'm already used to the water now, but my wife still lets out an audible scream when she climbs in. To feel water this chilly in Cambodia is a welcome surprise, and I finally get to wear all my fleece clothing here that's been collecting dust for 12+ years.
The creeks are better than the river because they are totally private, no people, no houses. I enjoy just laying on my back and floating with the current, and also changing swimming locales every 10 or 15 minutes.
This leaf presented itself to me in the water, so I threw it on a rock, took a picture and called it "art." It's obviously been attacked by some kind of Cambodian laser gun, and I have to imagine it's those gosh-darned time traveling Khmer space pirates just doing some target practice.
Bokeh Anyone 🗾
When I've run out of photography ideas, I usually play with my phone and try to blur the background behind an image like in the above the flower pic. The results are pleasing, and it only takes a steady hand with very little skill. In English we use the Japanee loanword "bokeh" for this effect.
Here is the same technique again with some little ferns and moss growing on a river boulder.
🤿 New Favorite Swimming Hole 🕳️
This little spot has become my new favorite swimming hole. It takes about 10 minutes of navigating water and boulders to get here from our house, but the effort is well worth it.
Once you go upcreek far enough the window to the world outside the forest gets smaller and smaller, and you get totally engulfed by nature. It's nice being able to be this deep in nature but yet still located on a national highway. If there were any major medical problems, we can be on the highway in seconds and heading towards the Thai border for an emergency crossing and modern medical care.
My wife rarely swims because of her cold water aversion that I mentioned earlier, so she used this excursion mostly for flower harvesting and photography. I usually have to beg her to join me in the water, and on this day she lasted a full 30 seconds before climbing out and shivering until we arrived back home.
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