Kampot

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Kampot is a great little town. It’s an ideal location if you’re travelling on to or from the South of Vietnam, as the border isn’t too far away. It’s a relatively easy boarder to cross. Our journey over, however wasn’t plain sailing. That is a long tale that will follow in the next Blog.
Out of all the places we have stayed we spent the most time in Kampot. Not because there is a great deal to do there, but because we had overestimated our time in Cambodia when we applied for our Visas. That and thefact we somehow missed visiting Battambang during time there. We spent a total of 10 nights in Kampot. Which seems like a great deal, especially if you’re on a strict time frame, but as we had time on our side, it didn’t seem to bother us. It actually flew by.
After leaving Koh Rong Samlong we got the short transfer of about 2 hours over to Kampot. The journey went really fast as we played a game where we recalled all the meals we had eaten so far. We definitely couldn’t play that now. I can’t even remember what we ate yesterday let alone a few weeks’ worth of meals.
As we had awhile before we could enter Vietnam we decided to have a few days just out of the town centre in a place called Bohiemez. We had seen it online and had been desperate to stay ever since. We were pretty lucky they even had availability. Bohiemez is made up of a few family bungalows, double rooms and even hobbit huts. It’s set within the Cambodian countryside with views of the nearby mountains. It was absolutely stunning. Also once of the main sellers for us was that it had a fresh water pool. So it meant we could spend the next 3 days lying in a hammock and swimming when it got a too hot.
We got a lot of reading done whilst we were there. One of the good things about the time difference between us as home was that I got to listen to my Friend Alex’s Radio show. Normally I’m still asleep when it’s on, but I’ve been able to hear it while we have been out here. I felt pretty Jammy knowing I was probably his only listener, listening lying in the sun in a hammock.
After 3 days of doing nothing but reading, eating and sleeping we were ready to head back into Kampot’s town centre. We had booked a guest house close by to the Salt workers roundabout. So pretty central and very close to the river. It’s not a huge town. So any accommodation near the river or one of the 3 roundabouts would be ideal.
One of our favourite things about Kampot was a tiny restaurant by the river called Ecran. They made hand pulled noodles and dumplings. During our time in Kampot we went there 3 times. We managed 36 dumplings, 3 plates of noodles and 1 bowl of noodle dumpling soup. I still crave the fried dumplings from there.
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The best thing we did whilst in Kampot was hire a bike and visited Bokor mountain, where there is a collection of abandoned buildings. A grand hotel and casino were built there, but abandoned in 1972 when the Khmer Rouge took over the area. The wealthy and the royal family used to visit to get away from the heat from the city.
I get really nervous on winding roads, but the hour long drive up the mountain was very pleasant and the road was is great condition. Towards the top of the mountain is a huge statue called Lok Yeay Mao.
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She is a huge goddess who looks out over the ocean. We read that she is the protector spirit of travellers. Apprently she is waiting for her husband to return from his long absence at sea. We also read that because she was pining for her husband to return she waslonging for the “D” (I have no idea if this is true, but we read it in a tourist booklet) so people leave artificial penises or bananas by her as a sign of respect!
You can still visit all of the abandoned buildings Bokor Hill station, which is at the very top of the mountain. We were really lucky that the weather was clear as sometimes it can get really mist so the visabilty is poor. They seem to be developing a lot, so we are glad we visited before it loses its charm. They are even talking about building a cable car.
Visiting all the abandoned buildings was amazing. It felt so earie. It wasn’t even that long ago that it became abandoned, but it felt like we were walking through the land version of the Titanic.
The most random thing that happened in Kampot was that we bumped in to two people I went to Uni with…Laura and Tom! I had known they were in Cambodia as the day before I had seen a post on Instagram. We never saw each other when we were in Manchester but ended up seeing each other in the streets of Kampot over 3 times! We even ended up booking a day trip with them. We had a great day with them swapping travelling stories and visiting different sites.
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I really miss Kampot. It’s lazy days. Eating dumplings and wondering about. Sometimes it’s nice to visit some where and just do nothing. Especially when every guide book and blog is telling you to visit so many places.
We actually tried to leave Kampot at one point and headed to have a few days in the next town along called Kep, but that’s a long story so I’ll save that for another blog.

 

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