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By Rachel

After Angkor Wat, we decided to get some R&R in and headed to the little riverside town of Kampot, home of Bokor National Park, in the Southwest of Cambodia. After a quick night in Phnom Penh we headed out by bus. Even before we got to Kampot, we passed the seaside town of Kep. As we drove by the coastline looking at the gorgeous sea, I noticed tons of little huts with hammocks inside to lay on and got super excited that we came to the area. We originally planned on taking a trip to Bokor National Park but after reading reviews on it online, it sounded like more of a tourist trap then an enjoyable experience. So instead, we just walked up and down the riverside one day and hired a tuk tuk driver to take us to Kep for a day trip and relaxation by the sea.

Kampot is famous for its yummy durian (which we weren’t able to try – no funsy food stalls in little Kampot) and its black pepper. I had the fresh black pepper, whole and still on the stem instead of grounded – pretty tasty! They also had tours of some pepper plantations and caves around Kampot, but we decided to spend the day in Kep instead.

Kep is where many Cambodians go for a quick wknd trip to the beach, especially those from Phnom Penh. The beach is just okay but the seaside is gorgeous and we spent a few hours walking down it and relaxing in hammocks. Perfection!

Kep is well known for it’s fresh crab. So fresh that they literally take the crab out of the traps, stick them in little baggies and start hawking them on the street! Our tuk tuk driver recommended a restaurant and we enjoyed some fresh grilled crab with veggies. They didn’t have a claw cracker though so it was interesting trying to pick out the crab meat! Delicious though!

We invited our tuk tuk driver to join us.  He said it was too early for him to eat but he joined us at our table. He talked about the local culture a bit… the Muslims were fishermen, the Buddhists and Christians were farmers. Unlike other cultures, in Cambodia, the male has to raise money to get married and give a dowry to his wife’s family – around $4,000! That’s a LOT for a tuk tuk driver!

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