A Travellerspoint blog

Kep & Kampot, Cambodia

Crumbling French villas and delicious crab

all seasons in one day 85 °F
View Southeast Asia & India on achamy's travel map.

We left Phnom Pehn reluctant. The town was not aesthetically the most pleasing or had the most fantastic of sights. But the placexcitement, and cosmopolitan charm unlike anywhere we had been thus far. Where Hanoi was a frenzy, a New York of the orient abuzz with motos and dizzy markets. Phnom Pehn was a smiling clamor moving forward against a delicate past. It was complicated. It was interesting.

We headed to Kep & Kampot, two twin French resort towns who hit their heydey in the 60s only to hbe depopulated during the Khemir Rouge and subsequent political instability. After a short bus ride to Kep we settled on nesting for the night on Rabbit Island. The place was primitive with only a few hours of generator electricity but stunning. Tropical forest mingled with blue beaches that looked at the coast of Cambodia at the distance. We really didn't do much of anything that day and a half. Floating on the sea, reading books, and eating their delicious barbequed crab... we managed to really just take it in and reflect on the past few weeks.

It was, however, the wet season and abruptly one afternoon a earth shattering storm blew threw - only lasting maybe an hour at most - but producing torrential rains and even a waterspout over the ocean!

Kampot - the sister town - was equally a lazy holiday. We spent two days there... Exploring spectacular ruins of French villas - including an old abandoned casino from the 1950s.... That without a doubt was a highlight. Just imagine: a ghost town where the wealthy drank whiskey and lounged vacant and eeriely covered in mist! The other day we rented motos on the search for elusive pepper plantations (we never found them!) but saw the rolling hills and rice paddies of the countryside.

Our guesthouse itself felt more like a resort than a backpackers place. It straddled the Mekong River just outside of Kampot city. And had a yoga house and even a music recording study. The place was equipped with a fully stocked bar and delicious food to boot! It had this awesome communal atomosphere and we spent hours just talking to other visitors - Canadians, Germans, and Australians.

The next day, we took a long bus ride to Siem Reap (the town nearest to Angkor Wat). It would have been long any day but this was a national holiday so instead of 6 hours it was more like 10. It wasn't too bad though. We seemed to have learned to read despite the shaking of buses, enjoy Thai and Cambodian music videos, and each others company. We arrived hungry for the dizzying 3 days of exploring the temples of Angkor!

Posted by achamy 20:35 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambodia kampot mekong crab kep

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Adam this sounds awsome......especially the french town with the abandoned casino from th 50's. This one I would love to see.............When I see you tell me all about it...you are lucky

by judy chamy

I never thought I had an interest in SE Asia till now......Your travelogue might just interest me in visiting Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam etc........Keep it up

by Joe

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