We were delighted to be moving onto somewhere new in Cambodia and particularly excited to be going to the home of the famous ‘Kampot Crab’ dish. Second to visiting the Angkor temples, this was the thing I was most looking forward to in Cambodia – sad but true!
It turned out that Kep had a great deal more going for it that just the crab, in fact it turned out to be our favourite place in Cambodia. With a sleepy and distinctly French seaside feel, Kep stood out from other places we had been. From visiting the crab market to cycling the quiet backstreets to exploring the abandoned art deco French mansions, Kep was truly fascinating.
Kep was founded as a seaside resort for the french elite in 1908 and was known as the ‘St Tropez’ of Cambodia! Some of the French left Kep after Cambodian independence in the 1950s and the majority of those who remained left during the Khmer Rouge regime. Their elaborate mansions were looted and most have gradually been reclaimed by the jungles of Kep National Park.
There were lots of statues and monuments around the town, sometimes with a range of offerings at their feet.
We hired some bikes, mainly to make the journey to and from the crab market quicker and easier (the crab market can be seen behind me in the right hand picture).
The highlight of our time in Kep was definitely the crab market itself, which you can see from this (tiny) selection of our photos!
If you didn’t fancy takeaway then there were many crab restaurants within the market to choose from.
And then there was the Kampot Crab itself…
After all that eating there is only one thing left, enjoying a cocktail at The Sailing Club near the market. Here is Ryan enjoying his ‘essence of sunset’ cocktail! Apt.
Now we had seen where the crab came from, our next destination was a few miles along the coast to Kampot – the home of the famous Kampot peppercorns!