On trip to to Kampot and Kep, three out of four ain’t bad

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Returning to the city on a sunset cruise from Kampot.

Importuned to travel somewhere in Cambodia when a friend had a long weekend, three of us headed to Kampot within a province of the same name on Sunday.  Kampot, which enjoys justifiable fame for the quality of its pepper, is on the Kampong Bay River 148 kilometers (92 miles) southeast of  Phnom Penh.

We also drove to Kep, which lies on the Gulf of Thailand only a half-hour ride from Kampot for lunch.  Aside from its pleasing coastal views, that city is notable for its crabs, which women, just women, trap and sell at the shore on the edge of the food market.

Arrival at our hotel went badly, as I will explain in some detail later, but there were at least three diversions that made the trip worthwhile.

One was Continue reading

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To locals there is nothing like Cambodian New Year

Dangerous and exhausting as this transportation looks as the New Year approaches, sometimes passengers dare death by riding atop vehicles.

Dangerous and exhausting as this van transportation looked Friday before the New Year, sometimes passengers dare death by riding atop vehicles.  They reflect how powerful is the tug to go home.

Phnom Penh is emptying out as I write this, just before the start of the Cambodian New Year. The exodus has begun.

The holiday is a three-day celebration when the Khmer people head for party points, seaside resorts and, most important to them, the rural provinces and farms that mean “home” to them. Consider this sad post on Facebook from a student/waiter I know at the cafe where he works:

Why all of u give me alone? I’m really lonely….. All of u can go to ur homeland n happy but I can’t…. I really miss my homeland so much. I want to meet my family…. What should I do? How can I do?

Siam Reap, where Continue reading