Two hours from Sihanoukville lies the town Kampot. It’s known for its French colonialist architecture and relaxed atmosphere, as well as it’s world famous locally produced pepper. We liked the town straight away. The town is situated along the river, with a nice big riverfront and big streets. There’s much less traffic than in any other Cambodian town we’ve been to, and much less stress and hassle. And there’s lots of nice little restaurants and bakeries serving French food…
We rented a scooter at the hotel, and it was really nice to be able to get around by ourselves – the first time we’ve felt comfortable doing that in Cambodia. The next day we drove an hour to Bokor National park, which is situated on a mountain, to check out the so called ‘ghost casino’ and a waterfall. It got quite cold as we drove up the mountain, and we drove through a lot of fog.
As it’s dry season we didn’t see much of the waterfall, but the casino – twice abandoned, once during WW2 and during the Khmer Rouge regime – was pretty spooky in the fog. There was also a whole bunch of other absolutely massive buildings under construction on the mountain top – God knows why as there was almost no people there, and it’s quite far from anywhere. But quite a cool, if very Cambodian, experience.
On the way down we spotted a couple of gigantic birds with massive beaks. Mike got very exited. We later found out that they’re called Hornbills.
Tonight we had some proper cheese and red wine for the first time in Asia. It was really nice. We both agree that Kampot is our favourite place we’ve been in Cambodia – really relaxed and pleasant, with a nice atmosphere and pretty architecture.