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Published: March 12th 2015
I suppose the name of this blog could be quite deceiving.
Or maybe not.
We drove from Sihanoukville to Kep via Kampot. We didn’t stop in Kampot long, just enough time to grab some lunch and an amazing lunch at that. Kampot is known for its pepper, not chillies, pepper. Pepper encrusted chicken wings with creamy pepper sauce and a beef kebab with another type of pepper sauce, which was actually this best meal I’ve had so far in Cambodia.
Kep, despite the name of this blog, is actually a very nice place. In total we spent a week by the coast in Cambodia, a few days in Sihanoukville and a few days in Kep. The main difference between the two is Sihanoukville has a much higher number of tourists and is therefore busier and noisier than Kep, but if partying is your thing its where you want to be. Kep on the other hand is the tranquil piece of paradise we had craved.
In Sihanoukville we had a group of people who drank beer all day and brought a large speaker to the beach, blaring out house music
all day, every day.
In Kep the only noise was the sound of the ocean and the sound of the birds singing.
Our hotel was a small hotel, eighteen rooms, although not technically “on the beach” it had sand and just a few steps down to the sea, it also had an amazing infinity pool that looked out to the sea. The view was amazing no matter where you were in the grounds of the hotel, however, something hit us very quickly as we walked around. The smell!
I’m not sure if it was the heat of the sun causing something in the shallow water to smell or if it was the huge pipe leading out to the sea from the hotel, but at low tide the hotel grounds quite literally stank of krap, sorry I mean crap.
For most of the day it wasn’t a problem and for us it nearly didn’t affect us at all as one day, out of the two full days we were actually in Kep, we spent at Rabbit Island.
Rabbit Island was a bit like a tropical paradise,
nothing but palm trees, wooden huts on the beach, hammocks……and lots of backpackers. You can’t blame them though when accommodation is $5 a night and lunch is as little as $1.5. Massages are $5 and drinks are cheap too. You can live like a king on a paradise island for $30 a day.
Even with factor 30 sun screen on Nikki and I could only manage a few hours in the sun and even then we were both red. The boats to and from Rabbit Island are supposed to be every 30 minutes, use that as a rough guide! There was no 2pm boat so we had to wait until 2:30pm until we could go back to the hotel, luckily we had taken a big cover to lay on whilst on Rabbit Island so we could use it as cover from the sun on the journey back as the boat has no cover at all.
Unfortunately something Nikki had eaten, not at Rabbit Island, had made her ill, she had the kraps. As she had lost a lot of fluids I decided to join her for a day in the shade the following day.
Being a Brit, in a sunny country and staying in the shade when I’m not sunburnt is how I imagine sunny holidays are for ginger people….difficult!
One night at the hotel there was entertainment, a local charity dance school for disabled children put on a number of performances in the form of telling educational stories. The first, a lesson about safe sex and the consequences of not using protection. Others included the importance of doctors and modern science vs traditional methods, explaining how sometimes the traditional methods and not seeing a doctor can make people worse. Very educational for those that live in poverty with very little interaction with the outside world. The performances themselves were all amazing, I've worked at a performing arts school so I know the standard performers are trained at, these kids were amazing!
After just three nights in this tranquil piece of heaven by the sea we moved on to the final leg of our Cambodian adventure in Phnom Penh.
My mosquito rating for Kep is 5/10, although I only got bitten two times I saw lots of mosquitos, I think I was just very lucky.
Nikki got a lot of bites in Kep. You know things are not looking good when you check into a hotel and the bed has a mosquito net around it.
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