12 hours in Kep, Cambodia

I know there were special things to do and see in Kep, Cambodia I just didn’t happen to see or really do any of them. With my Doctor detour in Phnom Penh I arrived a little later than expected with my new friends from Battambang, Celine and Elianne, anxiously awaiting my arrival. I was greeted with a coconut shake and the option of a rocky beach or directions to a pool surrounded by tropical plants. Um, not that hard of a decision… we headed straight to the “resort” for a late lunch and some pool time. Due to afternoon thunderstorms our pool time was short but sweet – luckily it was almost 5 o’clock, somewhere that is!

Cocktail hour couldn’t have been in a more tranquil scene; we sat at the corner table at the Kep Sailing Club on the deck overlooking the ocean.  The clouds and fog were hanging ominously over the pier jutting out into the endless sea; sheltered from the lightning, rain and wind we enjoyed some of the most delicious cocktails and marveled at the sunset or lack there of. Our drinks led to a fabulous ‘see food’ (not to be confused with seafood) dinner at the crab market nearby where I saw food and I ate it ‘see food’, clearly not a kosher kitchen as my plate was piled high with fresh steamed crabs, steamed veggies and pomme frites.

One of the best things about travelling without a schedule or agenda or plan is that you can change your schedule or agenda or plan at a moments notice. In the midst of saying farewell to Elianne, Celine and realized that we had missed the boat to Rabbit Island, (apparently one of the cooler attractions in Kep) upon hearing the news we trashed the idea of staying in Kep and opted for the beaches of Sianoukville, just West of our current location. I was a little hesitant to head in the opposite direction of Vietnam but I was told it was only 2.5 hours – oye, will I EVER learn??? First we waited almost an hour past the intended pickup time, then the bus stopped 5 times to pick up other people in different places. The 2.5 hour ride quickly turned into a 5 hour ride; to compound the questionable arrival time, there were massive potholes, internment washboard dirt roads, as well as a Cambodian kid that didn’t stop talking the entire ride. I tried to sooth my nerves with thoughts of the ocean, but my happy place was quickly diminishing. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity in a crammed little minivan we arrived in the promise land.  We decided to skip the main party town of Sianoukville and head straight for the less developed, chiller beach where long golden stretches of sand dotted by only a few small guesthouses and places to eat were guaranteed.

Celine and I were beat from a long, bumpy ride and between the two of us we couldn’t make one simple decision – where to stay??? I had my heart set on a beach shack with or without electricity I just wanted to be close enough to hear the waves. After settling on a place lacking the charm I was hopping for we be lined for the beach bar. Half a beer later and one cute bartender from Sweden we decided to move locations. Fortunately, we hadn’t paid so I played the bad guy and broke the news to our guesthouse, we were moving out sooner rather than later.

Our first night on Otres Beach was blissful and relaxing, a great way to end our day in Kep!

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