Kampot

Peppers and charm

If I thought the pace in Battambang was slow, in Kampot it was glacial. I’d recommend this little southern town to anyone wanting to escape the noise of Phnom Penh. And it is little. There’s one street beside the river with most of the restaurants and bars. I spent most of my evenings on this street, talking to locals who were happy to indulge my curiosity.

I’d met a few ladies earlier in Cambodia who were also travelling alone. We were in Kampot around the same days so we visited the popular sights together.

Over the next 4 nights, we took the Sunset Firefly Cruise, hired a tuktuk to visit the surrounding caves and pepper farms, and cycled around the market streets.

We didn’t see any fireflies but, well… who would complain?

I learnt that I shouldn’t go caving wearing hippie pants. Especially with a policy of, ‘When in doubt, go bum down’.

The rain wouldn’t let up the day we visited the nearby beach town of Kep. No fun there but I did get to eat the famous Crab n Pepper dish by the oceanfront restaurants. Worth the ride.

The best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had was at Rikitikitavi in Kampot. They make their own version of it using Kep’s peppers. I still dream about it.

The only downside of Kampot were the dogs. For such a charming little town, its street dogs are aggressive. And everywhere.

I was here for 4 nights and loved it. It is one of my favourite places in Cambodia, along with Battambang.

A quick stopover in Phnom Penh a day later, and I was flying to Ho Chi Minh to spend 3 weeks in Vietnam.

Nitty Gritty

HOW TO GET THERE
Giant iBus runs a mini-bus from Phnom Penh to Kampot for $9. Their office is next to the night market in Phnom Penh. Buses have comfortable chairs (unless you get the seat that’s over the wheel).

WHERE I STAYED
Sebana Guesthouse for 4 nights. Cheap, clean hotel away from the noise. Close to the Durian roundabout (also where the Giant iBis office is). The riverside and the restaurants are within walking distance.

FOOD SITUATION
Most of the supermarkets are located around the roundabouts. Lots of restaurants at the riverfront.

EASE OF GETTING AROUND
Tuktuk drivers are everywhere.

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