When did you open Bamboo Jam and what inspired you to do so?
We came to Cambodia in 2018, saw this beautiful piece of land at the beach of Saracen Bay at Koh Rong Samloem Island, decided to go for it and create a natural eco resort. We were already thinking about it after my 16 years of experience in the hotelier and gastronomy industry, and we wanted to follow nature and create something that breathes with spirit and organic materials.
What do you love most about Bamboo Jam?
It's the harmony. We love what we have created here, using wood and bamboo in 90% of all buildings and surroundings, we love our home grown fruit and vegetable from our bamboo garden, we want to become fully sustainable by the end of the year. We love our one-of-a-kind yoga platform made from wood right on the beach, where we practise yoga and meditation in the morning at sunrise.
What has been the most rewarding part of opening Bamboo Jam?
It would be the way of life, the simplicity, waking up with the sunrise and sound of waves and jungle all around us, being able to go directly from your bed to the ocean. That is the biggest reward. Also the chance to clean this island and inspire others to make our planet safe and without plastic.
What has been your biggest challenge and how have you overcome this?
Our biggest challenge was to come here at first. Learn the Khmer way of living, language. Leave behind families. Adapt to the local 95% humidity and also local bacterias that are different than where we come from, so we have to fight with some stomach problems and infections, but we all got used to it and now we are proper island people, healthy and beautiful. We overcame this with eating healthier and exercising more, it brought peace into our lives.
Tell us about your team (how you built the team/what you love most)...
First of all we chose our Khmer staff from the Porrat part of Cambodia so we can directly help their families and improve their life. It was the best choice ever - they are wonderful people. We have 13 Khmer workers here. Our reception and restaurant team is a rainbow. I am from Slovakia, we have Claudia from Portugal born in Mozambique, Indre from Latvia, Emma from Sweden, Hitomi from Japan and Paddy from the UK. They all came here because they love the vibe of this place and also they have a good life here, eating nice healthy food, having days off to enjoy the island and nice accommodation as well. We do team buildings all the time and now we are a big family.
How has Tab helped Bamboo Jam?
We were wondering how we can manage our online payments. My friend introduced me to Tab Travel. To be honest, we couldn't do better. Tab is an amazing platform that makes life easier for us and our customers. Simple and transparent payments, safe online gateway, payouts every week, lower fees than other providers. Our customers love it.
What is your favourite feature that Tab offers? Why?
Our favourite Tab feature would be the Bills option. For every customer that received our service we can easily create the Bill and he can pay with his card. Perfect, easy, accurate.
Why would you recommend Tab to another business?
I would recommend Tab to everyone who doesn't want to get card readers from their banks and pay higher fees. In some countries this is difficult so Tab is awesome in a way that you set everything up online and then you are ready to go. No trouble.
Why is Koh Rong Samloem a great place to visit?
Koh Rong Samloem is an amazing place, this island is still very remote and virgin. Untouched by big resorts or hotels, no roads, no cars and motorbikes... You can enjoy wandering in the jungle, white sands on the beach, crystal clear waters. Beautiful sunrise and sunset. At night you can watch glowing plankton in the water - that's amazing. There are whale sharks around and monkeys in the forest. The vibe of this island is unique.
What would your advice be for anyone thinking about starting their own tourism business?
Do what you love. This was my dream, I spent all my life in this industry before I opened Bamboo Jam. If it's not a dream for you, don't go into the deep water of tourism business. You need patience and a great amount of politeness, you need to give 150% of you inside. Then you can be successful, but that comes from love and passion. Not from just making money.