Kep is in the South coast of Cambodia, sharing the same sea with Thailand. When I finished preparing my work with Epic Arts I had afree weekend, so I rode my bicycle to wander around.
I left Kampot, a city full of houses of the French colonial times, and I headed to Kep. Kep is signed in the same way as the word “salt” in Cambodian Sign Language, because it is a sea area. It is only 30km away from Kampot and the road is between green mountains with beautiful cloudy skies. In this zone, the buildings are pile dwellings to help them avoid flooding during the rainy season. I crossed a bridge with slow flow. It was a browned orange water and I could see people floating in it, I could only see their heads… I got closer to see what they were doing, they were fishing! Among the muddy waters, they caught crabs and fishes that they threw into plastic boxes. I looked inside and they already had several fish covered in orange soil!
I continued my way to Kep until the area where they sell a lot of seafood, crabs, squids…I could see there many women working, wearing hats with huge caps with a piece of fabric to cover half head and the face. Their hats and clothes were clourful, the trousers and shirts sometimes give the impression of wearing pjs, this is Cambodia casual wear. The women also wear socks or long boots. All this outfit is meant to be protected rom the sun.
They catch crabs with some traps made in bamboo, tied up with strings, where the crabs get stuck and cannot escape. You could see them, young and old ones, chatting in th market and working, it was a lovely scene. They took out the baskets with the crabs, they sold them, and they threw them into the sea again, once and another time. This is why in this region crabs are super fresh. There are lots of stalls cooking crabs and you can have them right there. It is not very cheap, but people buy it a lot.
Then, in the central part of the village, there is a very nice beach with white sand and, just in front of it, there are several islands. Some of them belong to Vietnam because Kep is near the Vietnam border. There are some little ships to go on a trip to the islands. They are beautiful and very quiet.
If you go to Kampot, I recommend you to visit Kep, it is very nice,near and you can buy seafood, crabs, squids…
During the 20s and 30s, Kampot was a city full of French looking buildings which belonged to the burgesses of the age. In the 70s, the riots brought with them the destruction of the houses and the flee of their inhabitants. They were abandoned for years. Now, they are trying to recover, restore and maintain them to keep their facades and have the ancient colonial buildings back.
This is how Kampot is becoming an appealing city for tourists. Also, because in this area part of the French cuisine is kept and thanks to the high quality local salt and pepper exceptional meals are cooked.