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Kampot


Posted by | Evil Kristos | March 2, 2010 | No Comments

There are days where you ask yourself; what on earth possessed you to do a certain thing. While I was sitting in Kampot I was asking myself exactly that question. I had decided to come here but why I honesty do not know.

At first glance Kampot is a god forsaken village in the middle of nowhere. When I arrived I asked a couple that was just about to leave what they did during their stay. They hesitated and then said one could go to the national park. I asked if they did. They said no; it costs 20 Dollars and in most of Cambodia you walk through the jungle for free. They said they rented a scooter and went to Kep. They told me it’s beautiful.

I hade seen Kep on the map and for some reason decided to go to Kampot first. Looks like it’s my lucky day. Since I was here I got a room and make the best of it.

I went for nap which was necessary. The night before was long – a Polish couple tried to get me drunk – and the stupid mini van came an hour early (7.30 AM). It’s simply not a good combination. It was a remarkable drive though.

For a start the van had no air condition. Even worse while we were still in Sihanoukville the suspension went with a bang. Within five minutes a replacement came which was remarkable the least to say. While we thought the van is full – which it was – we had another person to collect. That in itself would not have been a problem but this lady moved apartments and I swear to god, her furniture alone would have filled the van. She had piled up so much crap that we all burst out laughing. No way we said, yes way the driver said.

Well we are in Cambodia where one is creative so they tied her bookshelf to the back of the van and made an extension out of it. They then put all the other crap on top and – half an hour later off we took.

One would think that with all the stuff tied up in the back the driver would may be take it easy but wrong. We got the whole Khmer experience. Years ago – back in Thailand – I decided that if it would be my destiny to die in a bus accident I’d be dead by now. On this very day I thought I may have gotten it wrong. Busses are rather safe if you compare them with mini vans. Khmer driving is quite something. We made it in one piece as you can tell and at this stage.

Kampot and I got off to a bad start but I reconsidered my first impression in the mean time. It’s actually quite nice. The French quarter is beautiful, you can walk down the promenade along the river, it’s not too hot and most importantly the people are incredibly friendly.

I explored the French quarter with its beautiful buildings, went across the old bridge in to the dodgy part just because I felt like it, I enjoyed the sunset in a nice restaurant with view over the river, all in all it is a pleasant place.

No one is bothering you. They wave their hands, say hello but that’s it. No one is trying to sell you junk and that is a first. Based on that alone I’d say Kampot rocks. The town is so mellow it feels like a different country.

I watched a few boys catching a large fish. It was interesting but what I liked most was that they weren’t bothered by my presence. One can move freely and that’s apparently a rare thing in Cambodia. Most of the time people treat as if you are a cow; only there to be milked. If all Cambodia were like Kampot, chilled out and quiet, I’d like it a lot more.

The only real problem was that at that time when I was there the entire city was under construction. That’s bad luck. Other than that I enjoyed it immensely.

Kampot - view from the old bridge

Kampot - view from the old bridge

Kampot - French Quarter

Kampot - French Quarter

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