Arriving in Kampot after a torturous overnight bus from Ho Chi Minh was a blessed relief. This calm little place has its own charm, and we had a relaxing couple of days. It’s one of those places that hasn’t really got much going on, no major ‘must see’s’ or ‘must do’s’ and we loved it all the more for it (travelling is exhausting). We were dropped off in the centre of the town, and took a tuk tuk to ‘My Parent’s Guest House’ which was to be our home for the next few days. We were greeted with big warm smiles, hot coffee and warm crusty rolls with homemade mango jam. After breakfast, we showered then had the most delicious 3 hour nap. Those overnight buses are a real killer!
We really enjoyed wandering around the little town, with it’s sweet restaurants, cafe’s and bars with live jazz bands. We booked our tuk tuk driver Mooni to take us on a tour the next day to the pepper plantations. Kampot is famous for it’s pepper and rightly so, it really is delicious. Mooni picked us up and took us on a tour of his village with it’s red dirt track road and little ones running around and splashing in the stream. It was exactly the image I’ve always had in my mind when I thought about Cambodia.
We tried all kinds of pepper, but my favourite is the salted green long pepper. Bitter, sweet and salty. Mmm.
Our tour guide who told me with a wink to call him Dr Long Pepper.
Onwards we went, to The Secret Lake which is in fact not a lake at all, but a dam built by enforced labour during the Khmer Rouge rule.
Afterwards, we asked Mooni to take us to the crab market for lunch. We ate in the restaurant right next to the market, and of course had to try the crab, freshly caught that morning. We also had shrimp, and both had the most delicious Kampot pepper sauces. We’ve both eaten a veggie diet on this trip, but really wanted to try the crab and shrimp and I’m so glad we did.
We spent the rest of the afternoon lazing at the beach in Kep.
We didn’t have long in sweet Kampot, but some places we enjoyed are:
- My Parent’s Guest House – a little out of the town centre (a $2 tuk tuk ride away) but the perfect basic homestay. Very clean, and super welcoming hosts and their adorable children.
- La Plantation – certified organic Kampot pepper farm which offers tours and pepper tasting
- Kep Crab Market – we enjoyed lunch at the tiny restaurant right next door
- Veronica’s Kitchen Vegetarian Restaurant
- Epic Arts Cafe – run by people who are deaf. Really good for breakfast, coffees and cakes.
- Pie and Ice Cream Palace – Ideal spot for a slice of dessert pie and a scoop of ice cream
- Kep Beach – Nice little beach, not too far away from Kampot, and doable for an afternoon if you have the time.