We had a looooong travel day on Sunday, February 21st. First we took a 4 hour bus ride to Phnom Penh, the highlight of which was me eating a fried spider and washing it down with a beer mom bought me cause I earned it They taste just like weird greasy french fries. Kind of good actually.
We had a 3 hour break in Phnom Penh and mom and I spent it at the FCC (Foreign Correspondents Club), an excellent but expensive place to hang out. We had a nice lunch of beers, rice, vegetable spring rolls, and free wifi. We were back on the bus for another 5 hours to Kampot.
On Monday, February 22nd, we went to nearby Blissful Guesthouse for breakfast. Finally, a big cup of coffee!
The rest of the morning and the afternoon was spent going on a tour of the Kampot countryside with an insufferable tour guide that could not stop repeating himself. First we saw some salt fields but there wasn’t much to see as they were flooded from the rain we had that morning.
Next we went to the Phnom Chhnork caves. Inside one of the caves is a well preserved brick temple that was built in the 7th century.
We had a herd of preteen schoolboys following us around during our hike to and from the caves. It was cute, but they were just following us around trying to be our tour guides so we’d pay them money. One picked me a flower, how sweet.
The view of the countryside from the cave was nice, but I’m sure it’s much better on a sunny day.
Next we went to a pepper plantation. Kampot is known for it’s pepper, and back when the French were in control every restaurant in France had to have Kampot pepper if the were to be consider of any quality. By this part of the tour some of us were getting fairly hot, hungry, and irritable. I tried to liven it up by eating a raw pepper seed off the plant. It tasted like pepper, surprise! Mom was so sick of the tour guide by this time she said “If I had a gun I’d shoot myself.”
Finally we went to Kep, a deserted old resort town that was quite the place for Cambodia’s rich back in the 50s. It has since been mostly abandoned and there are crumbling buildings everywhere. The beach isn’t very nice either, but apparently it never was. Back in its heyday white sand was shipped in from Sihanoukville to make its beaches nicer. We had a large included lunch here that was quite tasty. I spent the rest of our time in Kep reading in a hammock.
In the evening we went on a boat ride down the Kampot River and watched the lovely sunset.
Living on the river doesn’t mean you can’t have DirecTV!
Afterward I got a Seeing Hands massage for $5. Seeing Hands trains blind people to give massages and you can find one or two in almost every city. It was better than the massage I got in Siem Reap for sure.