Southern Cambodia – sand, seafood and squashed minibuses!

After a couple of days waiting on our Vietnam visa in Sihanoukville, being typical English backpackers (ie drinking towers of beer in the Big Easy and sleeping off hangovers on the beach) we were headed for Kep. Somehow our two hour journey managed to take a good four, but we arrived at lunchtime into the sleepy seaside town of Kep, after a very brief breakfast stop in Kampot, (pepper capital of Cambodia you know!). The usual tuk tuk hordes awaited, this time with a different agenda. 

“You want Rabbit Island?”

Originally, no we did not want Rabbit Island, we just wanted one night in Kep to try the famed crabs so it was a great surprise half an hour later to find ourselves on a boat! Rabbit Island (Koh Tonsay) is a tiny island with about five tiny restaurant/guest houses, a couple of short beaches and remarkably little else, so we didn’t really know anything about it. What a great shout getting on the boat though! We chose a cute little rustic bungalow overlooking the beach and went for a walk along the beach. We had just managed snag a hammock when we got caught in a tropical shower and fled into one of the restaurants for some shelter (along with a small flock of chickens). When the rain eased we watched the beautiful sunset, then went for a huge dinner of fresh caught crab and jumbo prawns. As the power shuts off at about 9pm, it was an early night for us!

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The next day we took full advantage of the weather and chilled on sun beds and in hammocks, explored the other short beaches, swam in the warm waters and did all the things that will make everyone reading really hate us. 

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It was a short boat ride back (with a detour for a Cambodian lady to collect her crab bucket) and we checked into a guest house, with HOT WATER! First time since Korea! After a half hour shower each, the Kep Crab Market was calling, so we got stuck into a huge plate of fried crab cooked with Kampot Pepper at Kimly restaurant (for which we were both very underdressed. Who would think the smartest restaurant we’ve found here would be in tiny little Kep!?) 

  
For some strange reason we were taken with this tiny little town – it has a feeling halfway between French Riviera and an abandoned village (there’s loads of derelict houses from the French colonial period) but it has a lovely charm and some good eating!

Still, the adventure continues, so our next stop will be Kompong Cham. Never heard of it? Neither have we, but the bus goes there so why not!?

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