We took a private taxi to Kampot. From Sihanoukville it usually takes just over two hours, our driver did it in an hour and twenty minutes! Lewis Hamilton eat your heart out. It was great driving through the countryside, and nice to see a bit of ‘real’ Cambodia.
We chose to stay in the ‘Magic Sponge’ hostel purely for its name (and the fact it was $28 a night with a tv that had Kodi!). We were warmly welcomed by William the owner – who was like he had just stepped away as an American game show host. His knowledge was incredible and he made us feel right at home.
Straight away I realised Kampot was my type of town as locals wore their brightly coloured Pj’s out and about as daywear. I’m having massive withdrawal symptoms from my dressing gown aka second skin even in this heat!
Our first stop was an emergency nappy dash, fortunately the closest supermarket had a good selection – a close call as we had none left! I thoroughly enjoyed being in my first proper supermarket, the shelves were immaculate and I could have quite happily spent hours in there perusing the aisles.
We wandered down to the river front and had a delicious lunch in Veronica’s where we tried chicken kebabs in a lime and pepper sauce – Kampot is famous for their pepper plantations. I got attacked by mozzies which was a little annoying!
We burnt off the lunch in a playground which although Molly enjoyed, like much of Cambodia we’ve travelled through, was covered in litter so we didn’t stay too long.
People in Kampot love the stinky fruit, durian, and have a giant statue of one on the main roundabout which did make me chuckle! Handy for a point of recognition when walking about however.
Back at our hostel we had a round of mini golf where they had a perfect Molly sized putter. I got a couple of hole-in-ones and thrashed Marcus! He didn’t launch his club in a rage this time!!!
Our second day in Kampot was so hot I genuinely thought the road was melting underneath us. We had many a strange look from locals as we walked in the full sun whilst they sat and watched the world go by under parasols. We saw their ‘Olympic Stadium’ (a grungy football pitch), the large water lily pond, and the shady riverfront.
We stopped for lunch at a cute warehouse called ‘Espresso’, the food took an age to come like it has done in the rest of Kampot (sums up this sleepy laid back town) and Molly slept. She was very excited to wake up in the toy corner! The Australian owners had a little girl called Matilda and one of their employees also had a girl, Paji, both two and a half and before long all three were playing nicely – when Matilda wanted to share her toys!!
We watched the sunset over dinner at Rikitikitavi and enjoyed some great food and cocktails – plus they had a highchair for Molls. She wasn’t best pleased about being contained but we very much appreciated not having to chase after her for a change.
We hired a Tuk Tuk for the day which was amazing! Molly and Marcus were particularly excited for the adventure. Our first stop was to see the salt fields. Although there was currently no salt forming (our luck!) they were spectacular to see and one of my highlights. We drove through rural villages full of malnourished cows and shacks. The red dirt tracks threw up mountains of dust which will do nothing for Marcus’ cough.
We arrived at ‘La Plantation’ an organic pepper farm. For some reason it reminded me of Jurassic Park!! We learnt so much about pepper farming and were surprised to find out just how much is hand picked and sorted. The guides were amazing and their English was top notch.
We continued onto Kep where we had lunch at the infamous crab market – the food was very ‘meh’ – if only I ate crab!!!
On the way to the beach Marcus started bouncing on the spot – MONKEYS! Molly was hysterical and was shouting ‘ooh ooh ooh’ waving her hands under her armpits, pointing with glee and interchanging with ‘narna narna’! It was a fab end to a great day.
31st January-3rd February