Anita and I instantly knew we liked Kampot when we arrived. It’s much less touristy than other places we have visited in Cambodia so far. No annoying tuk tuk drivers, no pushy vendors, fewer foreigners and generally friendlier locals. It’s also placed on a quiet river surrounded by mountains, so just a truly peaceful place.
We woke up early the next day, hired a motorbike and hit the road, travelling 30 minutes down along the coast to Kep. We first checked out the Kep Crab Market as the area is known for it’s blue crab. In fact, they even have a massive blue crab statue erected in town. After a bit of time walking around, inspecting all that was on offer, we decided to ride a little further into town.
We were amazed by how beautiful Kep is. It’s ultra quiet, so we agreed that it was more suited to a day trip than a stay, but just beautiful. We then took a turn off to the national park and headed up a rocky trail to the top of a mountain for an incredible view out to sea, all before heading back to home base.
The following day we jumped back on the bike and rode into town to visit the Kampot market for breakfast. While at the market, we managed to find some Nom Pao; Cambodia’s version of the pork bun. I’ve fallen in love with these since we’ve been in Cambodia. They’re basically just seasoned pork mince, onion and a boiled egg, encased in a light, fluffy steamed bun. Ultra cheap too, usually around 0.75USD. After some Nom Pao and an iced coffee, we made our way out to the Preah Monivong National Park.
Anita and I were really taken back by the beauty of the park as soon as we rode through the gates. We were staring ahead at large, lush, green mountains, and what looked like a recently sealed road with colourful flower bushes either side leading up into the mountains. We rode for 45 minutes before reaching Bokor Hill Station, a collection of abandoned, mostly French colonial buildings from the 1920s which sit atop Bokor Mountain. You can still enter these buildings which are quite eerie yet beautiful in their own way. Following Bokor Hill Station, we spun past Popokvil Waterfall before making the long journey back down the mountain and back to town.
We wrapped up our day with a cold beer as we watched the sunset over the river, before grabbing a bite and prepping ourselves for Senmonorom, a place we’re sure will be far different to anywhere we’ve visited so far.