Kampot

Kampot Travel Blog

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Downtown Kampot
 

Our minivan crossed the Kampong Bay River on the new bridge into Kampot and stopped at one of the guesthouses. It just happened to be the Long Villa which was the one that I had randomly chosen from the Sihanoukville Visitors Guide. That free guidebook includes maps and information on Kampot and Kep as well. My $5 room had cold water, a floor fan, and was newer than room 105 back at the Freedom. 

 

Robin, a middle-aged avid hunter, fisherman, boater, and scuba diver from the North Island of New Zealand had also been on the mini-van and decided to stay at the Long Villa.

The old Kampot Bridge
He was traveling to visit Kep tomorrow for a couple of days then head back to Sihanoukville. We walked back to the new bridge then downstream along the shaded, tree-lined river. The waterfront was very laid back after being in Sihanoukville, most noticeably by the lack of pestering motorbike taxi drivers, noisy traffic, and beggars. We stopped at the Bokor Mountain Lodge for a cold beer in outdoor shade then continued past several other western establishments for another kilometer. 

 

We angled back toward the guesthouse through town. Wide streets seemed well planned. The classic French colonial and Chinese architecture made it easy to imagine the booming days when this provincial capitol thrived - before Sihanoukville came into existence and before the destructive Khmer Rouge Regime.

Outbound fleet
Many of the buildings were abandoned and boarded shut, nearly all badly weathered and unpainted. Some flew Cambodian flags or Angkor beer banners that were shredded and faded.

 

By the Central Traffic Circle, we paused to study the red sign in front of Cheang Try Tours. It listed bus, motorbike, and taxi routes throughout Cambodia, to the Thai border, and into Vietnam. The owner halted work on a dusty Honda Dream to answer a barrage of questions in perfect English. I bought a ticket to Vietnam for $10. A motorbike would take me across the border and right into Ha Tien in less than two hours time. The three-hour ticket offered at the Long Villa would have cost $12 and dropped me at the border where it would have been another $3 motorbike ride into Ha Tien. Cheang Try told me that a 6:00 a.m. pick-up from my guesthouse could put me into Ha Tien in time for the 8 o'clock boat to Phu Quoc Island but I opted for a 10:00 a.m. pick-up which would give me an entire afternoon and a night in Ha Tien. Robin bought a ticket to Kep with a 7:30 pick-up.

 

At day's end, we walked to a waterside restaurant near the New Bridge and had a spicy bite to eat and a few more beers. We heard the drone of a dozen rumbling engines. It was an impressive sight to see the Kampot fishing fleet idle under the bridge as they paraded out to sea. The wooden boats had the same hulls but their cabins were much lower profiled than the fleets in Thailand or western Cambodia.

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Downtown Kampot
Downtown Kampot
The old Kampot Bridge
The old Kampot Bridge
Outbound fleet
Outbound fleet
New Bridge lights
New Bridge lights
Crossing the river
Crossing the river
Welcome to Kampot
Welcome to Kampot
Temple across the river
Temple across the river
Across the river
Across the river
The New Bridge
The New Bridge
French colonial building
French colonial building
Old building
Old building
Tour boat going out
Tour boat going out
The new and the old
The new and the old
The Year 2000 Monument
The Year 2000 Monument
Sign at Cheang Try Tours
Sign at Cheang Try Tours
Cheang Try making out my ticket
Cheang Try making out my ticket
Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade
Fishing fleet passing under New Br…
Fishing fleet passing under New B…
Fleet going out
Fleet going out
Kampot
photo by: asturjimmy