To my dearest friends, family and fellow culture cravers,
This week we’ve been exploring Kampot and Kep in the very South of Cambodia.
Once we’d left our flour-soft sandy beach haven of Koh Rong, we caught a boat and bus to a cute colonial seaside town called Kampot, which is renowned for its pungent pepper plantations.
Situated on the South coast of Cambodia around an hour from the Vietnamese border, this peaceful town is sprinkled in rustic sand-coloured colonial buildings, cosy corner cafes and most prominently, a laid-back promenade overlooking the Kampot River.
We spent a lazy couple of days mooching and eating our way around the town before enjoying the mesmerising sunset with a beer in hand each night.
Although there isn’t a hugeeee amount to do in this charming town other than visit the surrounding pepper plantations, National Park and salt farms, it’s a wonderful place to just wander around, witness the local way of life, sample the street food delicacies, soak up the arty inspirational quotes dotted around and go on a sunset boat cruise to see the fireflies.
Yes, that’s a giant durian!!
Next up, we ventured half an hour down the road to Kep – the land of seafood.
Most travellers are drawn to this small seaside town by its bustling crab market. By day, the market is an epicentre for locals catching, cooking and selling fresh crab, prawns, squid, fish etc. whilst in the evening, the restaurants take centre stage preparing delicious seafood dishes to be enjoyed overlooking the waterfront.
Lizzie and I decided to push the boat out and treat ourselves to a bottle of Sav to ‘compliment’ our meal – any excuse, eh! If you know me well, you’ll know that wine is a big part of my life and, much to my dismay, I have been severely deprived of its fruity goodness since travelling in Asia.
So, whilst waiting for our bottle to cool I was like a kid in a candy shop!
For our meal we opted for juicy shrimps in the local peppercorn sauce and teamed it with succulent squid in a tangy curry to scoop onto the rice.
It. Was. Outstanding.
Washed down with wine, I was on cloud nine.
The next day we decided to go for a walk through Kep’s National Park. A luscious park with a selection of easy tracks to enjoy a scenic stroll, we wandered around soaking up the striking views across Kep, the ocean and the surrounding islands (one of them being part of Vietnam!) before hitting the hay for our early start to Vietnam the next day.
After a long days travel to Vinh Long in the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam (think no food or toilet break for 6 hours) we checked into our home for the next couple of nights – a homestay on An Binh island, a peaceful oasis across the water from the city.
Made up of narrow, higgledy piggledy walkways, which maze their way around the Mekong river, locals crouched over strong mugs of coffee and fragrant bowls of Pho and colourful fruit orchards, it was the perfect introduction to Vietnam and its wonderful people.
We spent a relaxing afternoon cycling our way around the peaceful alleyways of the island before hopping in a boat to see the island from the water.
Where of course, the traditional Vietnamese hats had to come out…
We are now making our way up through Vietnam stopping off at as many spots as we possibly can – it’s going to be a busy few weeks.
Until next week…