Kampot Revisited

This past Friday was International Women’s Day, which meant another three-day weekend here in Cambodia. They are huge fans of holidays and subsequently, three-day weekends which I am not complaining about because it gave me a reason, or possibly an excuse, to bus it on down to Kampot for another relaxing weekend.

This time, Ben and I brought more recruits: Danny, Tash and Cozette! We stayed at one of my (still) favorite places in all of Cambodia: Bodhi Villas. Everyone was just as pleased as Ben and I were the first time we were there. Friday night we hung out at the guesthouse and listened to live music. I heard an authentic Mongolian throat singer. Throat singing is an art I have never heard of, much less heard in person. It was a pretty intense performance. Then there was a French DJ spinning techno music; not really my style but it was interesting and it made a lot of people dance, which was also interesting.

The outside of the limestone caves I will soon be exploring!
The outside of the limestone caves I will soon be exploring!

On Saturday we got up early and prepared for a day of adventure around Kampot and Kep! Our first stop was the ancient cave temple. The temple was originally built in the sixth century inside this awesome limestone cave (see above picture). Although it is no longer a functioning temple, there are remnants throughout the cave from when it was functioning. The coolest part of the cave though was getting out: you could either go back the way you came in (stairs) or take a ten minute hike through a dark cave. I opted for the cave route and it was totally worth it. We climbed and slid around the cave (all the while being directed by our children guides) and posed for photos.

ancient steps leading up to the temple
ancient steps leading up to the temple
cave exploring - these kids know the caves like the backs of their hands and got us all out safely, which was probably a challenge
cave exploring – these kids know the caves like the backs of their hands and got us all out safely, which was probably a challenge

After the cave it was on to a lake that was built during the Khmer Rogue period but now houses a restaurant and a place to rent inner tubes so you can float around. We didn’t rent inner tubes but we did hang out for a bit and stick our feet in the wonderfully warm water of this lake. It is set in between a rice paddy and the mountains so the scenery is pretty spectacular.

the "not-so-secret" lake; very calm and peaceful with great views all around
the “not-so-secret” lake; very calm and peaceful with great views all around
a water buffalo chilling by the lake
a water buffalo chilling by the lake

Next, it was onto the beaches of Kep and to go some Kep Crab! The beach was not what I was expecting but to get to the nicer beach in Kep you have to rent a bike because the drive is too strenuous for a tuk-tuk (especially our crowded and rackety tuk-tuk). The crab was just as good as last time. Despite how much work it is to eat crab with nothing but your bare hands, it is totally worth it. Because the crab lunch fest was so delightfully messy, it was completely necessary to jump into the ocean in order to become non-sticky. The water was a beautiful temperature and the waves were perfect for floating.

sneak peak of the ocean on our tuk-tuk ride to Kep
sneak peak of the ocean on our tuk-tuk ride to Kep
just for funnies - I ran into this adorable little pair in a coffee shop. cuteness overload.
just for funnies – I ran into this adorable little pair in a coffee shop. cuteness overload.

Our tuk-tuk ride back to Bodhi Villa was just as uncomfortable as the first one along with longer, because our tuk-tuk broke down twice. Once, it got a flat tire. Thankfully this happened approximately one hundred and fifty feet form a tire shop. So the flat tire wasn’t all that bad; at least, it could have been a much bigger hassle. Then when were going over the bridge to Bodhi Villa, the moto ran out of gas. Thankfully, again, this was a problem that was easily fixed. We finally made it back to Bodhi safe and sound and exhausted from a long day in the Cambodian sunshine.

Cozette, Danny and Ben on their crowded side of the tuk-tuk
Cozette, Danny and Ben on their crowded side of the tuk-tuk

Tash and I on our comfortable side

Cheers to another successful Kampot trip. I fall a little more in love with that town every time I’m there.

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