Kep // Cambodia
Until the 1960s Kep was one of the most popular coastal towns in Cambodia. It then had been destroyed by the Khmer Rouge during civil war, and therefore you’ll still find many abandoned and derelict colonial buildings around town. Now it starts to regain popularity mostly among national, but also among international tourists.
Kep is quite small and in my humble opinion a day-trip is enough to get an idea of city. Nonetheless, it’s a very charming place.
This is heaven on earth for all seafood lovers! You’ll get almost everything the ocean has to offer as fresh as can be! Besides the eponymous crabs, you’ll find all kinds of fish, squid, shrimp and many different spices and fruits at the market. Of course also the famous Kampot pepper is being sold there too.
The crabs are being kept alive inside wooden cages in the water until customers make their selection. They then either take the living crabs with them or have them cooked nearby from one of the women.
I haven’t seen a beach this busy for a long time! Kep was full of tourists, but unlike other beaches in Cambodia the tourists were all natives! Due to the Khmer New Year celebration, they had two weeks off, which is why many treated themselves and their families with a vacation to the beach.
But when I came back to Kep some days later – after visiting Koh Tunsay (Rabbit Island) – the holidays were over and Kep turned almost into a ghost town again. On weekends it’s said to be well-frequented though.
WHITE ELEPHANT CAVE
After enjoying a papaya salad for lunch away from the crowd (and accidentally sitting under the ONE palm tree with a snake on it :O) we explored the countryside along the way back to Kampot.
We came across a lovely looking and very colorful pagoda, and decided to take a look inside the caves next to it. A handicapped man, who wasn’t able to talk but still tried to explain everything inside the cave, guided us. Two of the kids followed us around, and continously told us to „watch our steps“ in hope to earn a bit of cash too.