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3 Oct 2011

The long awaited holiday

We headed off on our much anticipated holiday in the pouring rain, wading through ankle deep water outside our house to get to the bus only to be told that the fast road to PP was closed (it was under water) and we would need to go the long way round. This would have been fine if we hadn't pre-booked seats on a connecting bus to Kep on the coast for 12.30pm. Amazingly, despite the weather and the late start, our driver got us there by 12! We congratulated ourselves on our luck, settled into our seats on the bus and prepared for the 4 hour journey. A few minutes later we were told there had been a change of plan and we would need to get the next bus at 2.15pm as the 12.30 bus was no longer going to Kep. How very annoying. We decided the only thing to do would be to treat ourselves to ice cream which was well worth it. No more dramas after that but we didn't arrive till 7pm which made the day quite long as we'd been up since 5am.

Our beautiful hotel (our stay was Sam's birthday present from his parents) where we had a lovely, relaxing time even though it rained every day. It was the perfect place to watch the storms, drink tea, read, play games and indulge our food fantasies. We ate a lot of pizza and lasagne, had steak and red wine on our gala night and stuffed ourselves so full with fry ups at breakfast that we often didn't need lunch.

I stayed in this hotel in March with my parents and was gutted not to be able to make full use of the pool because of my hand so this time I swam all the time, mostly in the rain, and it was heaven.

Me loosing the Cambodia 2011-2012 tournament. Most of the games were played in March/April when I was in a lot of pain and on strong painkillers so I think they should be discounted. Obviously Sam doesn't agree and is loving his 50 point lead.

Enjoying the time off from my work and course to read and relax

Enjoying our fruit shakes on the balcony. I'm pretty sure there was no alcohol in them though Sam looks a little drunk!

We had to go straight to sleep after drinking this bottle of red wine. Cambodia has turned us into lightweights.

Sam waited all week for his special brownie treat (and even had a small meltdown when they ran out the day he'd chosen to indulge).

And I had this yummy and very large cheesecake

On one of the days that was relatively rain free we hired a moto and headed to the nearby town of Kampot, where the best pepper in the world comes from.

Kep only became a seperate province (from Kampot) in 2008 and here's the sign to prove it.

One wheel in Kep, the other in Kampot.

A pepper plantation

Kep is a slightly strange town as it is very spread out, small and a little bit ghostly. It used to be the holiday area for the French and then rich Phnom Penhers. But during the Pol Pot Regime, the Khmer Rouge burnt all the old colonial houses. The shells of these houses still remain with gates and walls to protoct them. Most have squatters in them but for some reason are not being redeveloped. They are quite eerie but also very beautiful.

We had a little puncture on route which meant I got to sit and drink a sugar cane juice while I waited for Sam to get it fixed.

The sugar cane machine

Stunning views of rice fields

And it was nice to see a different landscape from Kratie - rice fields but with hills in the background

An ingenious place where you can get your hair cut while your moto is being cleaned. What could be better than that?

The local mosque on the way to Kampot

Sam couldn't resist taking some pictures of the local handpainted signs

The other volunteers in Kratie had given Sam some money for his birthday so we spent it on cocktails in Kep and a large ice cream treat for Sam in Phnom Penh.

This cocktail was called Amnesia. The name should have given it away but I was still shocked by how strong it was.

Sam is very happy with his choice called Unforgetable (spotting a theme yet?)

How happy does Sam look?

After Kep we headed to the nearby province of Takeo on our way back up to PP.

I'd actually started to miss rice so was feeling happy about my pork and rice breakfast

We saw 5 of the biggest fattest pigs ever wandering the streets of Takeo. Sam's pretending to be brave but he didn''t like it when they broke into a trot.

The lotus flowered covered lake where one of Ta Mok's houses stands. The Lonely Planet says it is filled with secret paassageways as he was extremely paranoid and that he had the builders killed after the completion of each floor.

Takeo had it's own little mini Independence Momument (identical to the one in PP but smaller...and a different colour). Here it is by day...

and by night

After Takeo we headed to PP for Dave's leaving party where:

I had my first pint in over a year

we took the obilgatory drunken group photos

the boys got their bellies out like true Cambodians
and Dave decided not to leave Cambodia after all and has extended for 6 months!

It was a lovely break and we enjoyed every minute of it. Of course we already feel like we need another one so it's lucky the next festival is only five weeks away when we'll be visiting Ratanakiri with my parents.


  1. kep's a great place for a break. glad you had such a good time!

  2. The place looks amazing and best for the vacation, thanks for sharing about this place i would soon be visiting here.