Sunday, April 23, 2023

Kampot pepper and Kep crabs

When the Chinese started to overrun Sihanoukville the local expat scene moved on to Kampot. A little French colonial town which is famous for its pepper. Cambodia tries to get the old town recognized as World Heritage site together with Kratie and Battambang. 

First we drove out of town again to visit Bokor Hill Station, a colonial French built resort to flee the heat of the region. Nowadays only the church remains and some newer hotels and casinos have been built. The surrounding land is in progress to be heavily developed with huge plots of land being cleared.
The church

The Mushroom, one of the attractions 🤷‍♂️😁

Creepy hotel with all its shutters closed

Ugly hotel/casino yay

Failed developments but new ones starting right next door 🤷‍♂️

In the evening we strolled through old town and ended up in a little stall by the town square. Here some spaced out Japanese dude was serving beer and telling stories. He used to have a beach bar in Sihanoukville for many years before being driven away. During the summer he returns to Japan and runs a surf bar on the beach. We returned the second night which he was super happy about 😆 The moment I told him I have been to Japan and Korea he took out his secret stash of Soju some friends had brought him 😋

Jamming away 😛

The next day I had to look for a mechanic as the shitty road coming from Sihanoukville had destroyed my front shocks 😔 This was so far the worst part we have been driving in almost two months. I rather drive the Laotian dirt roads than this mess of broken concrete. 😵‍💫 To get around I rented the cheapest scooter available, in hindsight maybe not the smartest choice…

So we visited one of the pepper farms even though I’m not a huge fan of pepper 😅 They showed us the different steps of production including a tasting at the end. Was interesting but couldn’t convince me 😉

Pepper vines

Didn’t know about the long pepper

Traditional meeting house where we had the tasting 

Next was the crab market of Kep. Famous for its Blue Swimmer crab which you can buy by the kilo and have fried right there. So we bought 1kg of crab and 1/2kg of giant shrimp, paid a lady some Riel to fry them, then seated ourselves at one of the little drink stalls and went to work 🙃

Happy crab?

Fresh crab!

Close up

Getting cut in half 😬

Stir fried with some spices

Took us about an hour to eat them 😆

On the way home disaster struck, my drive belt totally disintegrated… luckily there isn’t a mechanic far away and some minutes later I was up and running again. Even though the clutch and rest needed urgent attention as well… 
But then the rental guy insisted we should have called them and refused to pay 🤬 So I got my belt back and gave it away to the guy who fixed my shocks instead. So do not rent from Sean Ly in Kampot, his bikes are in shit condition 👎

My bike was back on track and we continued on to Vietnam!