Jasmine Valley Announcements
Travelers' Choice Award for Jasmine Valley Eco-Resort.
Thanks so much to our wonderful guests for your support and feedback.
Jasmine Valley Mellow Moonshine :) Yes, we've perfected our brewed lime-aid and our first batch of pineapple cider is bottle-brewing as I write. Both available as of the 12th of May. Next comes the banana mead and the pepper mead.
We've just finished land-scaping a new nibbling-fish-pool with lawned area. The September rain has made a lovely waterfall :)
WiFi is Working!
It took a while after the satelite company went down, but we've finally got good WiFi again. It even reaches some rooms, for those who need it :)
The Second Annual Skate Competition
On the first of June, our best skater, Dit, will start skating full-time. This coincides with the second annual JV - Skateistan Skateboarding Competition. Jasmine Valley will be providing food, a place to stay and the bowl, and Skateistan will organise the competition and entertainment for afterwards in the JV amphitheater. It promises to be a great day!
Dit's Going Pro!
Our best staff-skater want to skate for a living. He's getting really good and has shown real commitment to it, so we've decided to support him in a fundraiser. He's trying to raise $1200 to fund his employment for a year - skateboarding. His commitment is 4 to 5 hrs a day skating, watching skate videos for 2 hrs, plus learning to read and write in Khmer as well as having English classes. As part of his skating commitment he'll be available to teach your kids, and in the late afternoons his skating becomes your entertainment :)
Dit's fundraiser is here.
Great Hornbill Video
Early 2013 saw a nice feed of insects for our resident Great Hornbill.
It's April, and after a very dry year, we've finally had some rain! The jungle animals are very excited, and we've suddenly seen, and heard, the place spring to life. It's just wonderful!
English Classes have begun in earnest.
Our staff's well-being is a real priority to us, and as part of their personal and professional development we've decided to take on live-in English teachers on one-month stints. February was a great success, and March is looking good too.
WiFi in Jasmine Valley
Just a quick heads-up for those who need internet communication. Our satelite service has finally come to an end, but there is no cable available to us as yet, due to our location. We do have a 3G iPad that JV staff use for checking reservations etc. and they'll be happy for you to use it to do quick email checks etc. There are a couple of places around town with reasonable WiFi if you need to head out for an 'internet session' - it'll cost you the price of a coffee and cake or something like that :)
If you're really needing to access internet frequently while you're in Cambodia, you can buy a USB dongle from any Metfone store while you're here. They're not expensive, and it means you always have internet.For those smarphone or iPad carriers they also have sim cards with internet access for very reasonable rates.
The Springs and the Pool? in February 2013.
If you're coming just for the pool, we just want you to know that we've having to do some tweaking at the moment after a very dry 'wet season'. It's pretty green, but swimmable depending on how comfortable you are with it, and there are still nibbling fish for you to enjoy.
Being so dry has also meant the springs are very low :(
If we get some unseasonal rain, all that will change - we'll keep you informed.
On the Boxing Day 2012 we had a lovely performance from Agnes La Minotte who sang old French songs in the Jasmine Valley Amphitheater under a beautiful full-moon.
Christmas Dinner was a hoot, with a home-made spit and a 20kg pig, a couple of big Barramundi in the pizza oven as well as a boulliabaise and a stack of huge prawns in butter, garlic and honey. Rather than charging for the meal, we asked our guests to tip what they wanted to pay for Christmas Dinner as a gift to our staff.
Monkey Trail Complete
A lovely new addition, the Monkey Trail is a 5 to 10 minute stroll through dense jungle complete with a spectacular 'hugging tree' and hammocks for those who feel like a secluded 'swing'. There are often families of monkeys, so walk quietly :)
Reading Nook Complete
This is a little bit late, but for those familiar with the games room, you'll notice a nice extension down the back. It's a reading nook that helps keep the rain out of the games area, while providing a lovely space for reading and relaxing.
Butterfly Farm Next Door
Our new neighbours. The Kep Butterfly Farm. Opening late 2012. Another nice thing to do in the Valley.
Here's a little video shot in July 2012. Just to give you an idea of how things have progressed since you were last here :)
The First Bowl Competition in the History of Cambodia.
An important weekend for some of us :) Skateistan uses Skateboarding to build self-esteem, confidence and community. Jasmine Valley does too. Besides being lots of fun!
The Wet Season. Yaay!
It's raining again, which is lovely. It cools things down, brings out different animals and everything starts growing like crazy!
Dit and Mom's Wedding
It all went off without a hitch. A beautiful day in the rice-farming village that Mom calls home. Read their story here.
Skateboard Competition 19th May 2012
Jasmine Valley and Skateistan will host a skateboarding demo and competition on the 19th of May 2012. There will be a number of ex-pro skaters as well as a dozen of the best skaters Cambodia has to offer. It'll start in the after noon and will extend into the evening with live music, food and skate videos. If you're thinking about staying with us at this time, please be prepared for some noise! It's not usually noisy here at all, but for 24hrs there's likely to be some excited Cambodian kids skating a concrete bowl for the first time and a general sense of celebration, as (what we're told is) the first concrete bowl in SE Asia is initiated. I hope you'll find it really exciting!
Wedding Bells in Jasmine Valley!
Two of our dear staff are getting married on the 8th of May, so we'll be closed for the 8th and 9th. Read about Dit and Srey Mom here.
Two New Pools
We've just dug two Jasmine Valley springs to about 3m deep, and widened them quite a lot. Now we're landscaping, and hope to have them ready for swimming by the end of May. Rooms 3, 4 and 5 will have best access.
The Frog Season's Approaching!
Yes, with the first rains will come the symphony of sounds, mostly from frogs in the evenings. It really is magical. Thanks to Anna Todd, we've got some nice pictures and identification of a number of the local amphibians.
Syse' Swing Christen the Amphitheater
On the 29th of December, a wonderful French swing duo, called Syse' Swing, will play in the Cambodian jungle to an intimate audience.
The Amphitheater is ready!
We've been working on an amphitheater, which is now complete. It's a gorgeous spot for performances and screenings, and will have a white-lit screen to attract interesting Jungle Life when there's nothign else happening. We look forward to Khmer performances, local bands, great films and Atlas Moths!
Jasmine Valley Skateboard Bowl
Yes! we've actually built a really nice little skateboard bowl, for those of you who miss it :) It's been a real challenge, being my first and working with guys who have no concept of what skateboarding even is! Having said that, it's pretty sweet. We promise there will be no punk music by the bowl, just the gentle whirring of wheels and the occasional clack as they land on the concrete.
Jasmine Valley Organic Pepper Farm
Today we planted pepper. It's growing up trees, all planted out like posts, except alive. The trees will provide the natural shade the pepper needs to grow well. We've planted in the crook of the valley in order to take advantage of the nutrient catchment. We expect to be able to use it in the kitchen in a couple of years and you should be able to take some home the year after that!
Breakfast Menu Online
Jasmine Valley room prices include a hearty breakfast. We've just put a copy of the menu online, so you know what to look forward to :)
Water Water Water!
It's been the wettest year we've had, so the road's taken a bit of a hammering. Most of the time it's still ok, but if it's raining really heavily, you might want to tip your tuktuk driver an extra dollar or two. On the flipside, the creek's been flowing and swimming has been a real treat!
Flora and Fauna
It's been really nice to have the jungle growing around us. The plants have been amazing, as have the animals they harbour. We recently had a gorgeous display from one of our night-blossoming plants. It only flowers a few nights each year, so this was a special occasion. Oh! and the Whipsnake in these pictures is completely harmless - you can play with him if you meet him :)
Some Changes in Lineup
Folks who have been to Jasmine Valley before, will notice a change in our room numbers - down from 12 to 10. We had previously been working with our neighbour, Scott, as something of a seamless collaboration, but have decided that we probably have slightly different directions. Just so you know, there's no hard feelings, just a new chapter. Hopefully Scott will be open for business before the end of the year.
It's Raining! We're Swimming!
It's been unusually wet, which has been lovely. The pool's a great place to hang out, when you're wet :)
We spent time in June working on new recipes and training staff. The menu's just gone to print, and we hope to have staff up to speed by the end of July - leaning relevant English, and fine tuning the dishes. You can see what's in store here. Oh! and special thanks to our guests who test-ate and offered feedback!
We recently uploaded a video about Kep. It's a bit JV-centric, but I think it does give a good, unbiased introduction to some things you can do, see, eat around Kep. You can see it here.
Please Help Keep Cambodia Beautiful
We've just printed our first tuktuk advertising, and thought we'd take the opportunity to encourage folks to help Cambodia 'tidy up'.
June is a pretty quiet month, so we're going to take the opportunity to spend a lot of time in training with our staff. We'd love to have you involved! So, here's the idea; we'll call it 'food for tips', where you pay what you want to pay for your food, from time to time during the month of June. We'll be working on new recipes, English training (so please speak a lot with our staff), menus and presentation, etc etc.
It should be a lot of fun!
The pool is natural - not California Blue. It has wonderful fish that love to nibble on you if you sit still, and does have a bit of algae at the moment - so is pretty green. We're building a natural filter and introducing more plants and animals, but it'll still take a while to go really clear. Having said all that, it's still very swimmable, and it's lovely to sit in swinging chairs over the water and under shade and read a book.
We've just put together a three minute video of Jasmine Valley. It should give you a good idea of what we're about. See it here!
Well, we had the Australian International School of Saigon come with 86 people for a couple of days education in the jungle. A very busy few weeks had the pool ready! Yaaay!
Found a Piano!
We finally found a really nice piano with a great sound - more of a honkitonk than a concert piano - just the way we like it. If you play, please play when you come to Jasmine Valley.
We're gradually moving a lot of the meals up to the new restaurant. It's got a pizza and bbq focus, with a piano and guitars for folks to jam on. Of course, the Khmer and Western food previously available is still on the menu, and Khmer waffles are a welcome addition to breakfast.
Piano Bar and Pizzeria
The new restaurant was ready for Christmas! Phew! It was a really exciting month, seeing the Mad Max of pizza ovens being built, the gorgeous tile mozaics created and finally celebrating a wonderful feast - complete with 7.5 Kg Barramundi! We'll be serving lots of pizza and Khmer barbecues in the new restaurant, as well as our regular menu items.
We will be looking for an upright piano to install in the next couple of weeks and look forward to wonderful evenings of spontaneous entertainment.
Jasmine Valley has just implemented a new system to assist you in the booking process. You can now see which rooms are available at any time and make your reservation online.
Games Room Complete
The games room is finished!
New Kitchen and Dining Area
As we're only a year old, we're still expanding and developing Jasmine Valley to provide better service and facilities for our guests. Jasmine Valley pizza has been a real hit, so we've decided to build a new kitchen and dining area that has a pizza focus. It'll take a bit of pressure off the existing kitchen and create new spaces for guests to enjoy each other's company. It'll also mean we have three wood-fire ovens available for times like Christmas and New Year's Eve, when we might want to be cooking up a real feast.
We hope to have this area complete before Christmas.
The Jasmine Valley games room is being expanded, and should be complete before the end of November. The pool table is now back in service, a beautiful, antique, coin operated foosball table is set up, and table tennis is a few days away.
Jasmine Valley Trail
Good news! The trail has been graded (ish) and it's an easy drive/ride/tuktuk to Jasmine Valley, after a few months of pretty full-on rain damage.
Sunny Tinsley Beck
3rd of November 2010. Well, it was a harrowing drive to Saigon with contractions beginning in the first hour or so. Fortunately they subsided after about an hour and a half, and we made it to Saigon in time to deliver a beautiful bouncing baby boy :) He was 3.5kg at birth (via C-section) and looks like Owen with Jasmine's hair and eyes.
Delivery of Sunny
Jasmine and Owen are expecting their first baby on November 10 so it can be expected that they'll be out of action for a few days. Of course, delivery could be any time within a couple of weeks either side of the expected date.
During this time, our staff will do their best to take care of you. Please bear in mind, you might have tricky moments in communicating what you need, but our receptionist, Srey May, speaks English well, so should be able to sort things out for you.
We look forward to introducing Sunny (they tell us it's a boy) to you upon return.
Swimming in the Rain
We finally had a wet-season, for a couple of weeks. The pool was up and made for some really nice swimming. The mountain water is really soft, and the fish don't bite!
Jasmine Valley Starfruit Cyder
Tomorrow, the 16th of October, we bottle our first brew of Jasmine Valley Starfruit Cyder. It's been a fun process juicing from our very prolific trees, and our staff have enjoyed learning about the science behind brewing. Of course, we're looking forward to sampling the finished product in a few weeks!
Motorbikes for Hire
We've just picked up some brand new motorbikes as well as a couple of second-handies, as rentals for your convenience.
We're currently working on some new menu items. Fresh, local Barramundi - cooked a variety of ways, Black Panther (Cambodia's answer to Guinness) Pie to name a couple.
We're also in the process of changing our breakfast menu to a 'what would you like for breakfast', when we're a bit quiet, and a full buffet when we're busy.
Papaya (Pawpaw) Season
It's October, and Jasmine Valley papaya trees are in full fruit at the moment, so there's plenty of delicious fresh papaya available for breakfast buffets and fresh fruit drinks straight from the valley.
The rainy season wreaks a degree of havoc with our road, but it's still very doable if you take a sensible approach to navigating it. So, don't panic too much when you see the first part of the road - which is the worst - even tuktuks are still making it up, no problem, and we do it daily in a 2 wheel drive car.
Construction Work 2010.
From time to time, as Jasmine Valley develops, there will be periods of construction. This is a really extiting time for those interested in the building process. Of course, this can mean noise at times. We will be making an effort to keep excessive noise down to times when most guests are already up and about.
During August, construction will begin on some bungalows. This will happen on the opposite side of the valley from where the current buildings are. We have given our builders limited times for noisy activities. Outside of these hours, they may be working, but it will be quiet work.
August until the end of October 2010.
9.00 AM until 5.00 PM - hand tools, including hammers and hand saws.
Check out these pictures of Room 9.
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