Little Places – Kampot, Cambodia

Hi all. ‘Little Places’ today is taking me back to the year 2000. It was November-December and I was on my second ever solo backpacking trip, and first stop was South East Asia. Cambodia was the country to be explored, and I had met up with three random travellers who had connected on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree and decided to undertake an adventure in Cambodia together.

After visiting Battambang, Angkor and Siem Repp and the capital Phnom Penh, we journeyed south to the less-visited town of Kampot. According to the interweb the 2012 population was a tick under 50,000 people. So you know, not the tiniest of places but pretty small.

In the middle of a rural area, the town itself didn’t hold a lot for visitors, but the surrounding area was green, there was a river (Praek Tuek Chhu) and some ‘mountains’ not far away. Our group had a room with four beds that over looked the main intersection of the town, and on the final morning I think it was, there was a massive deluge and the road was under quite a bit of water. Luckily, it drained away almost as quickly as it built up.

The river was worth visiting, and we had tour guides with motorbikes that took us around to see the sights and go for a swim. The water was lovely, but I do remember that I got whisked away by an undercurrent and pulled down the river. My motorcyclist ran after me on the banks of the river in terror! But luckily I stabilized and was able to get out of the current!

The Bokor National Park had this amazing abandoned Hill Station that we explored and took a few photos of. Today it has been fully restored and converted into what looks like a hotel, but back in the day this was a place visitors were taken too. From here there was quite a view across to the ocean.

At night we were invited back for a meal with our guides’ families. Which was lovely. It is the only time in my life I have eaten oysters. I am such a wuss! I screwed up my face with each one I had, being told I mustn’t be rude and eat what they gave us. Which somehow I did – I loathe seafood in almost all forms and oysters were particularly hard to stomach. But the kindness of our hosts was humbling to say the least.

I suspect we saw a couple of other things – but it was nearly 20 years ago and those diaries have long since bitten the dust! But I do remember it as a special, if short stay. Have you been? Please do comment below! And…. May the Journey Never End!

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