After finishing Phnom Penh, Battambang, and Siem Reap, I traveled to Kampot, a laid back town in southern Cambodia, known primarily as a place to chill and relax near the beach. Most of my fellow backpackers would choose to go to Sihanoukville, but I’ve heard it is too much of a drugs and partying town for my tastes, so I avoided Sihanoukville and visited Kampot instead. I was quite happy spending a couple days lounging about in Kampot and seeing the sight sof Bokor mountain.
The first thing that struck me when entering Kampot, is the durian statue / durian roundabout. It’s one of those “huh?” moments – somebody was clearly in an altered state of mind when they decided that this was a good idea.
There isn’t much to see around Kampot – the one thing is Bokor mountain, a scenic mountain a ways away from the city, accessible by tour group (yuck) and motorbike. I chose to go by motorbike. The road to Bokor is quite refreshing – smooth roads, the wind through your hair, the sun shining down.
– An old hotel, abandoned but still intact.
The only problem I ran into was coming down the mountain – while coming down and going through a turn, I discovered that the rear brakes on my bike were completely dead. A bad time to make such a discovery, going downhill at high speeds and turning. My bike wiped out, I got myself a nasty road rash – the southeast Asian backpacker’s tattoo. Thankfully, it was fairly small, and I could treat myself very easily.
– Embryo egg (balut)! It’s a fertilized egg, given time to develop, before being cooked and eaten. And it tastes pretty good too – like a cross between a standard boiled egg and chicken. Just don’t think about it too much. Best with lemon, salt, and pepper.
– This is a lot of cash. Or at least, it looks like a lot of cash. All those bills probably add up to around $100 USD. The problem with Cambodian money is that you can have an entire wallet stuffed full of bills, and it’ll only be worth $5.
– While exploring around, I found a ton of people playing Chinese chess. A ton of old men, sitting around, playing Chinese chess, and drinking coffee. I sat and watched them for a bit. Does that make me an old man?
Overall, I’m quite happy with my decision to skip Sihanoukville and visit Kampot – though I’m somewhat sad I missed Koh Kong off the coast of Sihanoukville. While here, I also made a quick day trip to Kep (by tuktuk), before heading off to Vietnam for Tet (lunar new years!)