Category Archives: Cambodia

Kampot and Kep, sleepy towns in the south of Cambodia

The dynamic changes once you leave Phnom Penh, roads that were chaotic scenes of daily Cambodian city life gradually diminish in intensity as the lovely tarmac road begins to disappear into a bumpy potholed mess.

Bus travel is the main option here, there used to be a good train to Sihanoukville but that line is still haunted by the memories of three backpackers captured and later killed by the Khmer Rouge back in the early nineties. Horror stories of the atrocities abound and it is hard to reconcile that with the bucolic air that surrounds the region. The madness men do unto men will continue to astound me.

The old creaky bus bumped and cajoled me as it sped through villages in a blur, pausing just briefly halfway to get a cup of delicious coffee and a bun. The land is mostly flat here with the occasional hill until you finally in arrive in the far south close to the Bokor national park and eventually the gulf of Thailand.

waterways between kampot and Kep

I had been interested in Kep for a long time; the appeal of fresh fried crab in the local Kampot peppers was too much of a mouth-watering draw.
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Siem Reap and the Angkor Temples

For most travellers here, unless you fly into Siem Reap, at least one part of your anatomy is going to suffer on the long bus journey from Vietnam, Thailand or Laos! My journey, seven hours from Phnom Penh after a six hour connecting bus from Ho Chi Minh City was not exceptional. Many do the buses here by night in sleepers, I chose the day to see the countryside and at that level it paid off.

Crossing the border from Vietnam to Cambodia is pretty straightforward nowadays and even getting a visa at the border is painless and swift. The bus however, seems to cover the distance at a mind numbingly slow pace and the constant karaoke will take its toll unless you have earplugs or an Ipod to save you. Having said that, the service on the Mekong Express bus was exceptional and the free pastries and water were welcome.

local transportation
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