Transit days are action-packed, emphasized by 007 films playing on the bus. We were leaving the big city for costal connections. First stop- Kampot. We didn’t know much about it, and I’m guessing its new to you. So here’s what we learned:
– Kampot is famous for pepper (mostly green but also black and red)
– Pepper is so plentiful here they add it to dishes by the vineful which is strangely not overwhelming but very flavorful. I didn’t hear much sneezing at meals.
– There is a large community of Muslims here in southern Cambodia. Known as the Chams, this group is originally of Vietnamese origin but ethnically affiliated with Indonesia. They were one of multiple minorities persecuted under Pol Pot’s regime.
– Though TripAdvisors ratings can be bizarre, when they are right, they are really right! We stayed at the number one hotel in Kampot and loved it. The number one restaurant was a one-man wonder and I don’t know what secret recipes he kept under his newsie’s hat, but this chef packed in the flavor.
– Anthony Bourdain edits out the rats from some of his Parts Unknown series, and my husband also failed to warn me rats were in the reviews he read. Rats.
– Mountain bikes are golden for getting deep into the dirt roads and passing the school kids who seem to manage it all with ease on vintage bikes 🙂
– Pimms cocktail is surprisingly refreshing on a hot day. Especially when they are two for one.
Kampot was a great mellow change of pace from the bustle of Phnom Penh, and they say Kep will be even sleepier!