Kampot & Krong Kep: 30 Aug 2003


National Highway

Kampot is only a mere 148 kilometers from Phnom Penh, but the sad state of National Highway No. 3 made the journey a very interesting 5 hours ride.


Miles of Paddy

The slow speed of travel enabled us to fully savor the scenery along the way, with frequent stops for photographs and pee. The initial travel took us through the flat plains of Kandal and Takeo Provinces. Paddies dominate the landscape here.


Just Ripe

It is towards the end of the first harvest. The last remaining ripe paddies are cut for grain harvesting.



Crops for a new season. All bundled up, new stalks of rice being brought to the fields for planting.


More Smiles

Their smiles are just mesmerizing. Cambodians are most friendly and most willing to pose for a photograph, anytime.


No Waste

There is no waste as the empty stalks of rice are recycled as animal feed.


Lotus Ponds & Rolling Hills

The landscape gets less flat as we approach towards the Province of Kampot. Abandon ruins of old French villas dot the country, takes to the master destroyer... the Khmer Rouge.


Nature's Umbrellas

A plant of many uses. These girls are harvesting the leaves of the lotus plant.



The country road also passes by many homestead pig farms. Pigs run free everywhere.


Long Ride

A long tiring ride on a wet bumpy road. Thankful that we were in a comfortable Land Cruiser... that also leaks water like a Landy.


Nearing Kampot

A magical landscape, with the Elephant Mountains as a backdrop, and the rain and mist providing the mystical effect.


Streets of Kampot

Located a few kilometers upriver from the sea, Kampot is a somnolent but charming riverside town. The streets are most pleasant to explore, as traffic is sparse.



Kampot's proximity to the sea means cheap and varied seafood on sale in the market. Nurse sharks, parrot fish, giant sea shells, all for the dining table.


Sleeping Child

The market in Kampot is as sleepy as the town, contrasting against the typical activity of the markets in Phnom Penh.


The River

Bridging the Kampot River, Highway 3 continues westwards towards Bokor National Park, and to Sihanoukville.



Officially known as Preah Monivong National Park, Bokor is one of Cambodia's largest national parks. It has much to offer visitors... magnificent vistas of the coastline, waterfalls, untamed forest (dotted with mines though), cool climate, and the ghostly remains of magnificent buildings of the past. 


So Near Yet So Far

It is most unfortunate that we were declined entry into Bokor on our Land Cruiser. The road up the mountain has apparently been washed out from a previous storm and is passable only to motorcycles.


Colorful Boats

A decisive destination change to Krong Kep. The road to this seaside resort passes many small fishing villages. Colourful small boats are the means for the coastal fishermen.


Tropical Paradise

Once a tropical paradise, Kep used to be a stunning coastal resort area for the French elite, and subsequently the rich and powerful of Cambodia, before the Khmer Rouge destroyed it to the best of their abilities.


Rocky Coast

Unlike the white sandy beaches of Sihanoukville, Kep's coastline is narrow and rocky. However, the surrounding idyllic countryside and tree-covered hills more than makes up for this rendering Kep it's distinctive attractiveness.


Blues and Reds

The ocean view is to islands and mountains. Many small islands dot the southern view, with Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island) being one of the closest. Further beyond is the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc (Koh Tral), prominent from it's sheer size. To the west is the massive of the Bokor Mountains, most outstanding unless being masked by mist and clouds.


Chilling Out

What better way to end the day. Chilling out in the lovely Veranda Guest House.



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