After a whirlwind trip to Hong Kong, we headed back to Cambodia for further adventures. We had an overnight in Phnom Penh before heading south to Kampot to visit our old friend Lee. We ended up staying there for 2 months… yep, 2 months in Kampot.
If you are in Kampot you have to go up Bokor mountain. It’s spooky, beautiful and weird all at the same time and has its own weather system. Lee took us up the first time on a very foggy, rainy day. We went to the waterfall with water that looks like tea, explored the old casino, went through a huge warehouse that people were living in and checked out the suburb that is supposedly being built. We ended up going up Bokor several times but only once in the sun.
We also went to the monastery, the abandoned church, the old houses and the new casino. Its a really fun ride on a scooter. Except for the one time we discovered that our moped had a hole in its gas tank and we had to coast 2/3 of the way down the mountain with a few hundred meter push at the bottom. We definitely preferred visiting Bokor in the fog, as it really added to the experience.
The People – What can I say, we loved it here and had a hard time leaving. We are lucky that we had Lee to take us around to different places and introduce us to some amazing people. We met Dean, Dieu and Will, Steve, James and Lucky the Chicken, Sydney, Justin, Mike… and many more. I do have to give special mention to Spotswood (RIP), Lee’s dog, who was a character.
If you like good food you have to go to Kampot. There are many expats there who have set up restaurants and the food was amazing. We had so many excellent meals that I can’t even recall all the places we went. Special mention to Razorbacks Bar BQ (Dean and Dieu’s place, now it is Harry’s Stumble Inn) for many a delicious smoked catfish and potato salad meals, pulled pork, ribs and many tasty beverages. We became regulars at Mike’s Texas BBQ Cafe for breakfast, which was just round the corner from our awesome NY NY hotel. The best chorizo I’ve ever had and the breakfast burrito. Aroma House, owned by James for amazing kebabs and a visit with Lucky the mascot chicken (RIP). The best Thali and an awesome play time at Justin’s Adwa I-tal which we were lucky to experience before they moved to Suriname! Also a shout out to the seafood restaurants in Kep for some amazing crab and squid meals.
The Red Roads and Surrounding Area
We did several rides along the “red roads” to explore the area. These are a network of red clay roads that go to all sorts of interesting places. Dusty as heck when dry and slippery as snot when wet. We met locals, won at quiz night, a boat ride with Bart the Boatman, explored caves, saw the remarkable fig tree and went to Kep for amazing seafood. Just rent a scooter for $4/day, fill it for $2 and go explore. One thing to be aware of is these roads turn into ice rinks when you add rain so be aware of the weather when you are out riding. And wear a helmet!