Day 37 - Phnom Penh to Kampot
Another travel day which doubles as an audit (which can be a good thing at times)
Brecky at 0600 followed & as promised, our reliable tuk tuk at 0700 waiting outside reception to take us into the city to the Giant Ibis bus office. As it's along a street I won’t call it a depot or station as the daily traffic weaves past non-stop. Again whilst waiting to leave I talked to a young European couple with huge backpacks looking forward to reaching their destination. Got me buggered how they carry their entire life upon their shoulders but they weren’t complaining.
We were mobile by 0800 on a mid-sized bus with a journey that was smooth & took about 3 ½ hours, with a rest break after 2 hours at a service station to relieve & stock up.
"Goodness gracious" I thought to myself as the bus divided the tuk tuk touts like Moses parting the Red Sea. They even had the gall to pop their heads into the bus window quicker than you could undo your seat belts…they wanted business!
Recalling our previous experience where we hadn’t planned for a transfer I decided once our bags were unloaded we’d head inside the bus office to catch our breath
“Sir, what can I get for you?”
I think that bamboozled them as I shut the office door behind me so we could orientate ourselves in this new city.
15 minutes later I asked the remaining tuk tuk driver to take us to the Two Moons Hotel.
The welcome by Marcel, one of the owners was just right – no stress, no pressure to book tours, just relax, here have a cool drink. Some places really sync with me & I felt this was a great choice.
The regular routine of off-loading our luggage & setting up was done effortlessly. It was a nice change to open up our room to the fresh breeze wafting from the river & not rely on air-conditioning too. We soon found ourselves back in the outside dining / reception area speaking to the very friendly staff
I noticed, typically, amongst the local brews in their fridge some Paulaner Hefeweizen. Now considering the temperature, my dry throat, my eagerness to drink a German beer after weeks of Asian produce plus the fact it was after 12 I could see a lazy afternoon ahead. E was ecstatic about the excellent pool close by & R just as pleased looking at the lunch & evening menu…win – win – win!
Yes, folks, we had a very pleasant afternoon enjoying the trappings of our new digs & that continued with a great evening meal on-site also…leave discovery for tomorrow.
Day 38 – Kampot
It was the chug – chug – chug of boat motors that awoke me this morning. The local fisherman homeward bound along the Kampot river after a night on the sea.
After brecky we discussed with Rik, the other owner, possible plans to occupy our next 2 days around this town we were just loving
Anyway today we’d walk around & leave the travelling parts for tomorrow, starting with a visit to Tiny Pillows, a quaint little fabric & textile shop located on the 2000 roundabout. R ordered some merch that would be ready by the following afternoon as gifts for home. Our next stop was Epic Arts, again recommended by Rik, where we observed items made by members with disabilities – a coupla t-shirts to add to my collection & we were soon looking for a convenience store for some water. This walking about requires rehydration regularly so once we got some we were off looking at more craft shops. One thing I noticed was the large durian statue in the town centre, a sign that the region is one of the most productive in Cambodia
We had a sunset cruise booked for the afternoon/evening so we made our way back for some refreshments. Amongst the visitors on the boat were an English couple who we hit it off with easily so the chit chat and beer flowed freely. The cruise went upstream for an hour (or so) before returning back to dock. By then it was dark & as we were pretty close to the Rikitikitavi we had tea there. What a fantastic meal too! The manager was ex NSW so we had plenty to talk about both Oz & Kampot. A quick tuk tuk back to our digs & we settled in fully content with our days activities.
Day 39 – Kampot
Chug – chug – chug…more reliable than a rooster. Today we had one of the Hotel’s recommended tuk tuk drivers, Roy, as our main man for the day.
Off by 0900 for regular days trip starting with a visit to some local salt pans, a cave, a “secret” lake (which I still don’t know it’s origins), a pepper farm then onto Kep for a visit to the fish markets & around the corner to the beach
So much fresh seafood to choose from so I tried some octopus & squid…hmmm, a bit raw so we’ll see if my tummy agrees later I think!
The beach was a nice setting & with the warm weather I just walked straight in with boardies & shirt. The temp will soon dry the shirt but it was like the water in Nha Trang, very warm.
When we returned to our tuk tuk it had been taken over by several monks looking for a seat but they departed as we approached, different.
Back on the road to the Two Moons for more swimming for us all after a fantastic day of sightseeing with no pressure from our guide, onya Roy. Another couple from NSW had checked in today so there was more fellowship, discussion & a little bullshit…my speciality.
Tea? Well after last night’s experience it was unanimous we’d return down the road so we booked Roy for 1900 hours & true to his word, on time with a smile.
Another great feed was enjoyed. It was on our return back we had a quick feeling of depression about leaving this city as tomorrow we move on but rather than frown we grinned gleefully having experienced this place & 99% vowing we’d return someday.
Days 37-39, Kampot
Tuesday, June 02, 2015