Exploring national parks in Kampot and Kep

We left Phnom Penh and made what should have been the 3 hour bus journey to Kampot. 2 minibus changes, 2 car washes to cool the engine down and 4 hours later we arrived. We checked into Borey Vatanac Guesthouse which would be our home for the next 4 nights, it was really well priced and had aircon! We found a place for dinner called Ecran noodle and dumpling house where they make home made noodles and dumplings right in front of you. The dumplings were pretty nice however the noodle soup was quite bland and lacking flavour.

The next day we woke up and headed to a place called Epic Arts Cafe for breakfast. It’s a charity run cafe where all the staff are either deaf or have a disability. The menu had tips on how to order in sign language and when the food came it was great! The rest of the day we spent walking along the river and exploring some of Kampot. It’s quite a small sleepy river town however there is a large expect scene. 15994905_10154081551291176_6847359293199854991_oThe old architecture from the French is spread all over the town and there’s plenty of nice little cafes to have a coffee in. We spent our afternoon drinking a beer by the river so we could watch the sunset.
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After the sunset we went to a place called Captain Chim’s for dinner. The food was really cheap and pretty good. We got chatting to a couple next to us from England. Paul and Hannah are also travelling for a long period of time so we exchanged travel stories over a beer and swapped contact details with the hope to catch up again.

We woke up, hired a scooter from our hotel and drove to Bokor National Park about 40kms away from Kampot. The drive was really nice but it was a very windy day making the road up the mountain feel quite long. We eventually made it to the viewpoint and were so happy the long drive was worth it. The view was amazing!
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After the viewpoint we explored some of the abandoned buildings within the national park. The French had built a casino, a church and a few other buildings back in the 1920’s before abandoning the builds and leaving them unoccupied. Walking around and inside made us feel like we were in a horror movie.
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Around 2pm we realised we hadn’t eaten yet so we left the national park and headed to Ecran again for some more tasty dumplings. That evening we met up with Paul and Hannah again for dinner and a few drinks before heading home for an early night.

For our last full day we decided to make the drive down to Kep.
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The drive was pretty easy and just one long road the whole way there. When we got to Kep we decided to explore the National Park first. The guy at the gate said we could drive through it so we jumped on the bike and headed down the dirt track. The drive wasn’t easy or comfortable as there aren’t any proper roads.
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About half a km into the park a long snake slithered out in front of us, it disappeared pretty quickly too but we were then a little on edge about stopping for too long in certain places. We had gone to see the waterfall which we could see on the map, when Charlie asked the ticket office how far it was the guy said there was no waterfall. We thought it was strange as on entry there was a sign for the waterfall so we thought surely there must be one, he must be new or just doesn’t know. Turns out there is a waterfall but only in the rainy season, so when we showed up to the waterfall and admired the dry rocks we knew what he was trying to tell us.
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We drove out of the national park and explored the main shoreline of Kep. The beach was nicer than we were expecting but it still wasn’t much to write home about. We also visited the crab market where you can go and buy fresh crab caught off the back of the pier that the market sits on.
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On our way home we decided to stop at a cave that we could see on our map. On arrival we were greeted by a young boy, maybe in his teens. Once we realised that he wanted to be our guide, it was a bit too late to tell him we didn’t want one so we just went with it.
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We tipped him $1.50 for his service which he was extremely happy with. He wasn’t a very good guide and if anything rushed us around the cave but we both figured that he probably needs that money much more than we do. 15937121_10154084063811176_7926549764338347048_o
That evening we booked our bus for the next day to Sihanoukville, got some take away dumplings and watched TV in bed.

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