Kampot at Night

Our trip to date has focused on daytime events. We go to bed early and we wake up early. In the evenings, we usually have dinner until 6:30 pm at a table on the river. By the time we’ve finished eating it’s already dark. The sun sets so quickly here it’s like someone turns off the lights.  After supper, we ride our bikes (in the dark) over to our little house, greet the lizard that catches flies at the porchlight, and settle in for the night.

Alot happens here at night. The soundscape is rich. The rice paddies all around us are filled with the chorus of frogs and other critters. Here’s a recording from a few days ago: the critters were so loud they practically knocked me off my bike as I rode by. [I’m using a cumbersome app called SoundCloud: Fingers crossed that it works for you].

The other night we went for a magical boat trip on the Kampot River to look for fireflies. Our Captain took us upstream slowly in the dark for about 20 minutes. As we rode along we could see flickers of light in the tops of the trees on the shore. The fireflies were up high and disappeared so quickly that we wondered if they could have been stars peeking through the trees or if our eyes were playing tricks on us!

The Captain stopped the boat several times so that we could get a closer look at the fireflies; these stops brought more of the Kampot’s nocturnal soundscape to the fore. At our first stop, we floated gently into the riverbank. The sound of the reeds against the boat made us wonder what beasts were waiting for us in the water. The sound of the call to prayer from the local Cham community’s mosque drifted across the water and lapped up against our boat. At our next stop, on the other side of the river, there was a gentle chorus of tinkling bells that seemed far off in the distance.

Earlier posts have had shots of the girls’ classroom along the banks of the Kampot River. We have been able to see the river in different stages during our days. In the mornings, the river is a sheet of glass, as the fisherboats return home. In the afternoons, the wind typically picks up and the surface gets very choppy.  And in the evenings, our dinners feature beautiful sunsets and golden skies reflected in the waters.

I wondered what the river looks like at night and I’ve been wanting to try my camera for night photography. I like this shot. Even though it was pitch black, a minute-long exposure picks up enough ambient  light to capture this [ss: 58″; F2.0; ISO 1600]:

And finally, here is the sound of the boats that stream by as they head home in the morning after a long night of fishing.

4 thoughts on “Kampot at Night

  1. Picture is phenomenal!!! I can’t get into sounds. Perhaps on my laptop when I get home. We took a hot air ballon ride this am, getting up before 4:30 am. Beautiful to see the sun coming up and the colour changes of this unique geography. Hugs, Mp

    Mary Pat Armstrong Sent from my iPhone



  2. Wow, it sounds like it continues to be a truly amazing experience… And your description genuinely reads like a guided meditation exercise 😉 I continue to enjoy the mental excursions from Toronto!


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