Cambodian Coast

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Where I stayed
Paris Villa

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

After NFO a few of us hedied to the seaside resorts to check them out.  Kampot is where King Sihanouk used to take all his dignatories and guests so is littered with villas and colonial looking houses and is small enough to walk around. We stayed in a pimpin' hotel, the Paris Villa for like 8 dollars a night between three of us, no A/C only fan. Which was fine as Ali managed to open the A/C unit and turn it on from the inside. Backpackers 1 Hotel 0. We went up to Bokor Hill Station from Kampot which was a lavish hotel built by the French during their occupation and was a sore spot for the communist Khmer rouge who swift ripped the whole thing to pieces.  Then it became a battle ground between Khmer rouge and Vietnamese when they punted Pol Pot out in 1979. So the place is derelict, riddled with bullet holes and very very eerie. It’s a vertical km above sealevel and the views were amazing but because of this there was this mist that hung over the place giving it a haunting feel to it. Add some eerie trip hop on the iPod and wander around on your own, I scared the bejesus out of myself. Awesome.

Around Kampot, there were some cool caves that wouldn’t have been that memorable but we were mobbed by all these kids who wanted to be your guides. I told em a flat out NO but they wanted to hang around with us anyways. So instead of taking the stairs to get to the cave, they lead us through the jungle climbing over some serious rocks and vines. Felt like Indian Jones or something.    So a visit to a completely non-descript cave turned into a riotous hour with like 20 kids helping us scamper over rocks and through pitch black caves. One of them told me that the name Adam in Khmer mythology was the name of one who could scare off ghosts and tame tigers with his mere presence. I thought he must’ve been pulling my leg looking for tips but another lad confirmed it. So there you go, if I ever meet a wild tiger I’ll stare it into submission. We didn’t pay the kids cause apparently the money goes straight to some dodgy guy down the road but we bought them some cokes instead.

After that, we went to visit a pepper pot plantation where Peter the pepper picker greeted us and showed us around. I doubt his name was actually Peter considering he was Khmer, and he was actually a she. So she probably wasn’t called Peter at all.  Seemingly, Kampot pepper is the best in the world as the searing heat is perfect for it to grow. The pompous Parisians chiefs will only use Kampot pepper apparently so you know it’s good.  So I bought up a big bag of Pepper and then we headed to Kep, a town on the coast which is famous for its crab.  We ate probably the freshest crab in the world. A bold statement perhaps but the fact that we watched someone from the restaurant wade out into the sea to get the crab from the cages anchored just off shore to cook for us is testament to it! So crab and green pepper sauce which was so good. It took 45 mins to pull the little things apart but was great fun eating.

Pretty cool day out and after 5 of us bundled into a tiny car to get over to Sihoukville for some beach action.
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