Kep and Rabbit Island

Trip Start Nov 05, 2008
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kep, an even smaller town than Kampot, was just a 2 night stay for me but very enjoyable. I stayed at a small place with only 4 bungalows run by a Belgian guy . There were huge lizards and frogs in my room eating all the bugs, so I was happy for the company. The next day, I set off for the ferry to Rabbit Island just off the coast of Kep. From Kep, you can actually see Vietnam, a mountanous island called Phou Doc, in the distance. The boat to Rabbit Island took about 40 minutes. There were about 10 other passengers all piled on to this one boat. We arrived and didn't really know what to do because the whole island was just a few bungalows lining the beach, 1 restaurant, and the rest was just mountains and jungle. I started talking to one of the locals and he told me that it takes about 2 hours to walk around the whole island. Before venturing off, he was nice enough to offer some fresh local crab, which was delicious.

I found a good, strong walking stick and stared my journey around the perimeter of the island. There was a faint path, which vanished after a while and I wasn't sure whether to follow the beach or bushwack through the jungle. I guess the cowboy in me led me into the jungle, which probably wasn't the best idea. There were so many thorns, at one point on a steep part of the "trail," I had to grab a tree for support, which was actually full of thorns, so I let go in pain and slid down the ground a bit. But that didn't stop me. Still in the jungle, I kept on hearing monkeys screaming but never saw one, I thought that the branches were actually snakes, and the path through the jungle kept getting smaller and more narrow and steep. After an hour of bushwacking, I managed to squeeze out of the jungle onto the beach only to be greeted by a pack of wild, snarling dogs that wanted to defend their territory. Luckily, I had my walking stick as a threatening tool and they backed off, but it took some time to get them to stop following me and barking. About 2 hours later, I found my way back to the original beach, sweaty, scratched up by thorns, tired and hungry. The boat crew that took us over fed us lunch as part of the deal, so I ate, talked to some Germans and relaxed on the beach for the rest of the day. We played some volleyball later, but a girl we were playing with got stabbed by a sea urchin, which was a purple and white striped spike that went through her foot, so we all got out of the water and by then it was time to go back to the mainland.

The next day, I went back to Kampot by hitchhiking on the back of one of those makeshift pickup trucks with 20 other locals carrying chickens, rice and supplies for the market. After Kampot, which I already blogged,  I returned to Phnom Penh for my Laos Visa.

Back in the chaotic capital, I had a couple days to hang out before I got my Laos Visa. I felt like I knew the city pretty well from spending some time there a week earlier, so I ended up walking (with all my bags for some reason) around the whole city, eating and meeting other travelers at cafes. Ate another spider, and learned that your not supposed to eat the butt. Slept at a couple different guesthouses. Checked out the "Heart of Darkness" night club, which was cheesy and sleezy. Refused another 50 tuk-tuk/motorbike rides. Went to another market and watched a local slaughter a duck and toss it into a bucket. Got my hair cut at some random barber shop with an old school mechanical razor for a dollar. Stocked up on peanut butter at the supermarket for my trip to Laos. Bought a ticket to the 4000 islands. My last memory of Phnom Penh was getting attacked by a really creepy, probably rabid dog that wouldnt leave me alone. On the way to Laos, a girl on the 9-person minibus, got motion sickness because of the maniac driver and was throwing up for a solid 2 hours straight in front of me, then placed the barf bag on the side of her seat so it was swinging back and forth hitting my leg. Then the girl got off the bus before everyone else, but forgot her purse. We turned the bus around and gave it to her and I muttered, "Don't forget your barf bag too!" I don't think she understood.

The border crossing to Laos was fairly quick and easy. The officials tried to squeeze a couple bucks out of everyone, but I gave them some leftover Thai baht worth about 50 cents maybe. 30 minutes we arrived at the ferry for Don Det.

Next Stop: Don Det at 4000 Islands
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Botanica Bungalows
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doriastories on

Wild dogs?????
Sheesh Luke, this trip just took a turn for the EEEK! That being said, the sea urchin probably posed the greatest risk of all the bio-hazards you were potentially exposed to. Tho' who knows about that barf bag, icky.

Lizards and frogs are your friends, for sure. Not sea urchins. Keep shoes or sandals on at the beach, mkay?

Did you see the full moon tonight (Friday)? It's been raining here for days, then suddenly cleared today and got cold and crisp. Tonight coming home I looked up and saw the full moon in all her glory, with the constellation Orion just to the right a bit. It occurred to me that you could probably see it, too. No matter how far away you are, we all live under the same sky.


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