Cambodia's little charmer
06.12.2013 - 09.12.2013 32 °C
A five-hour bumpy bus ride from the bustling capital of Phnom Penh took us to the sleepy town of Kampot. Situated by the river and full of old world charm, the three of us were instantly smitten. It’s just so damn lovely, you have to wonder why the developers haven’t barged in yet.
If the town’s location and French colonial buildings don’t draw you in, check out the surrounding national parks, salt fields and pepper plantations or take a day trip to the little seaside town of Kep. So, whether you come for the activities or just to relax, just come – before the developers do.
...and yes, I do realise I sound like I work for the Kampot Tourist Bureau.
Here is our visit in pictures:
--- The Kampot Traditional Music School supports disadvantaged children, training them in traditional Cambodian arts.
--- Most forms of artistic expression were banned under the Khmer Rouge (in fact the regime murdered most of the country's artists) so it's really special to catch one of the weekly performances. The coconut dance was our favourite.
--- Town centre is full of French colonial architecture in various states of decay.
--- This is Teuk Chhouu, a nice place for swimming.
--- We hired a tuk tuk driver for the day who took us through the villages.
--- Countryside outside of Kampot.
--- There are a number of caves in the area but the Phnom Chhngok Cave Temple is a must for its 7th century shrine to Shiva.
--- An impressive temple guards yet another impressive cave.
--- The one hour ride to Kep is so dusty our tuk tuk driver gave us face masks.
--- Quaint Kep.
--- The town is famous for crab.
--- Walking along the main street. We struck it lucky and arrived for the once a year Kep Festival.
--- After enjoying the food and entertainment on offer, we napped to get ready for the festival's night time program.
--- A Cambodian sunset over the Gulf of Thailand.
--- How spectacular is this! ?
--- For a sleepy fishing town, organisers went all out with the entertainment.
--- The perfect way to end our day in Kep.
--- The area around Kampot is home to Cham Muslim communities.
--- A guide showed us around the village. He told us it was rice harvest time and villagers were flat out.
--- Fishing is central to the lives of Cambodia's Muslims.
--- The village is self sufficient.
--- After the village tour, we paddled a canoe up the river (but soon switched on the motor when we tired).
--- Passing magnificent mangroves.
--- Like always, Brayden sees an opportunity for a nap.
--- Local women hanging out.
--- We paddled pass a couple of these peaceful fishing villages.
--- Flooding is no drama for the residents of these stilted houses.
--- Our paddle turns into a sunset cruise.
--- In addition to pepper, Kampot is also famous for salt! We recommend visiting the salt fields at sunset.
--- And this is where our adventures in Kampot ground to a salt....
Next stop a place that's been on the bucket list since I first heard about it in school, Angkor Wat.