Krong Kep & Tek Chhou Rapids: 31 Aug 2003


Crab Fanfare

Kep is located on a small headland extending into the ocean with a 6 km palm-fringed road that follows along the coastline. As there is not much of a sandy beach, Kep is more known for its seafood stalls (especially crab) and picnicking huts. Many clusters of these seafood stalls line the coastal road. The above are those in the northern part of the coastal road, and is often referred to as the Crab Market.


Fishing Baskets

Many fishing traps and baskets can be seen along the coastal road. Such are needed for the high demand for seafood by many tourists that visit here especially on holidays and weekends.


Haunted Houses

Everywhere within Kep is dotted with the ruins of once beautiful villas and homes, a stark reminder to the dark days of the Khmer Rouge and subsequent warring years. Little remains except the skeletons of buildings, as locals were forced to loot the villas for materials to sell to the Vietnamese to survive the famine of 1979 and 1980.


Still Chilling Out

A late waker, Poo Lin enjoys a lazy morning on the hammock.


Treasure Hunt

Armed with a hand drawn map on a bamboo scroll, we set off for a morning jungle trek around the hills of Kep.


Villas and Palaces

Ascending the hill gave beautiful vistas of the surrounding coastline and beyond. The broken roofs and empty shells of ruined villas contrasts against the beautiful Royal Palace seen in the distant headland. Constructed in the early 1990s, the hill top palace is one of King Sihanouk's many throughout the country.


Taking 5

Yasuko taking a breather from the steep ascend. The trail ascends the hill with numerous switchbacks, up some 400 feet to reach the nunnery and GSM radio towers on a knoll.


Nunnery or Wat ?

A Buddhist nunnery out of nowhere... isolated in the jungle and on the hilltop. Very few visitors dare to venture to this remote place, in addition to the effort needed to reach it. This was a most welcoming sight after a tiring climb up the hill.



Six women share an isolated life in the wooded hills. Leading very simple live, they only take tea and condensed milk for their meals.



A brand new government building complex at the base of the hills, at the southern tip of the Kep headland.



A beautiful surprise on the jungle trail in the hills... our guide nearly stepped on it and gave a loud yell in shock on realisation.


Gekko Gecko

The Tokay gecko is very common in Cambodia. They are one of the largest growing geckos in the world, growing up to 35 cm in length. The above was one of two Tokays that shared the room with me at Veranda Guest House.


Tek Chhou Rapids

About 8 kilometers north of Kampot is the recreational area of the Tek Chhou rapids. A very popular destination for the locals for a wet and wild weekend. It's a beautiful setting with large boulders near the rapids, and the river slowly disappearing from view around a bend into the mountains upstream.


Wet and Wild

Tubing and swimming are the main fanfare here. Touts will rent out rubber tyre tubes and cotton swimming shorts for those daring to venture into the brown river waters.


Bamboo Riders

The upstream forest is being harvested for bamboo. Many pedal riders carry out loads of bamboo on their bicycles, an example of ingenuity and fine art of pedal balance.



Food and drink touts are everywhere. Upon arriving, every vehicle is swamped with many of such touts harassing over and over. No they are not otak, but a sweet glutinous rice desert.


In the Dying Light

Nearing the end of the day, our travel back to Phnom Penh passes through the usual paddies and wetlands. A man checks his net for signs of catch.


Twilight Colours

The final photo stop of the journey, to take in the colourful last lights of the day.



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