Kampot: Why I Don't Trust Lonely Planet (as much as I did before)

Kampot Travel Blog

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Old French Colonial Buildings

It's not that Lonely Planet is terrible, I still find it a very useful tool, but coming to Kampot, one of the "cultural jewels of SE Asia," I was sorely disappointed and started losing faith in the books opinions. This morning I woke up for an early four hour mini-van ride to Kampot, where I sat next to a young Khmer guy who had just finished his Master's in Management, and was great to talk to. Besides the kids who are terribly rude to you when you refuse to buy what they're selling, I love the friendliness and smiles of the people here in Cambodia. It's great to see such a light in their eyes after what happened to many of their families during the terrible days of the Khmer Rouge.

He had the van drop me off near some guesthouses and a travel agency that could get me a bus to Siem Reap tomorrow morning, and after realizing that there's not a whole lot to this city besides delapidated French Colonial style buildings, I quickly booked a night bus to Siem Reap, then headed out for a few hours of wandering around.

Classic Laundry
An empty stomach and a looming rain cloud drove me inside for some standard fried noodles before I really explored and started to wonder why Lonely Planet raved about this being such a great cultural center. The one cool thing about the city is that it seems to cater to helping out disabled people, giving them chances to work, dance, and create art.

I finally settled down at a cafe run by deaf people and enjoyed an incredibly rich brownie over a chat with a British guy who's been traveling for over two months now. He\'s left his girlfriend at home through all this, and I find myself wondering how well I would handle being away from the person I loved for that long. Going with the 'it's better to be safe than sorry,' theory, I started heading back to the tour agency where I was catching my bus over an hour befor I had to be there, worried that I'd somehow get lost, miss my ride, and be stuck in this city that seems fairly lifeless to me.

One of the few people I saw in the entire city
A fabulous reminder that I do have at least a sliver of a sense of direction, I made my way back without a hitch and was soon on the bus. While waiting, I got to talking with the receptionist, and out of curiosoty asked him how to pronounce the Cambodian name of 'Seyha,' as my family sponsored a little boy by that name for nearly ten years until he turned 18.

livelovelaugh87 says:
So glad you had a good time! It may have just been the time of year I was there that the city seemed to be deserted. Where else are you going in Cambodia? Batambang was one of my favorite over there-sooo much to see!
Posted on: Mar 08, 2011
luxorgoods says:
We are in Kampot right now. Had a wonderful day here! We are only spending 2 days out of the 16 days in Cambodia here but I think they were some of the best. I would recommend Natural Bungalows on the river. Take a Tuk Tuk tour, we used a great guy for $15 USD Named Dara Tikor. His cell number is 011204055. Last night was a great night! We ate at Rikitikitavi resturant, also on the the river side. The curry beef dish we had was AWESOME! The place is western owned and VERY clean. Tonight we are headed to the Rusty door restaurant for what are supposed to be the best ribs in Cambodia. We picked this place because the owner helped us find a reliable visa service last night. We met lots of people and all were very friendly. I hope you get a chance to go back and see how the city has changed since you visited it. Greg & Tawnya
Posted on: Mar 08, 2011
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Old French Colonial Buildings
Old French Colonial Buildings
Classic Laundry
Classic Laundry
One of the few people I saw in the…
One of the few people I saw in th…
On break from fishing
On break from fishing
Kampot
photo by: asturjimmy