After leaving the paradise that was Koh Rong Samloem, I head back to the mainland and spend one shitty night back in Sihanoukville, which I won’t elaborate on here but probably leave for the podcast. Anyways, a day later I’m headed west to Kampot.
In Kampot I rent a bicycle from my hostel and explore the town. It’s an interesting little city on a river. One day I bike to the other side of the river and ride around. Finding some old dirt roads and getting lost (intentionally) for a while, I joyfully waste the day.
A few days later I grab a bus and head another thirty minutes west to a town called Kep. There I check into a little bungalow and this time they offer bikes for free, albeit shitty ones. I use this bike to get to the main part of town (I was staying about a twenty minute bike ride out).
One day I ride out to Kep National Park, pay the one dollar entry fee, lock my bike up and do some hiking. It’s a very beautiful hike. Although it wasn’t sunset I hike to Sunset Rock figuring it should be a pretty good view, nonetheless. It’s pretty spectacular. I sit out on the jutting rocks and take in the vista of the coast of Kep. It’s here, resting and with t-shirt soaked, that I decide: Yes, I have literally sweated more in Cambodia than I ever have in my life. I first noticed it in Siem Reap where even standing outside at night I would be dripping sweat. It’s extremely hot here of course but I think the humidity is the real problem. You sweat a lot and the sweat NEVER evaporates. Never experienced anything like it. Later I hike on to the North Viewpoint. Reaching it I’m disappointed at the lack of view from that vantage point. The name is quite misleading I think.
That evening I ride out to the crab market and snap some photos of crab pots in the late afternoon light before meeting up with Dan and Margret, a couple I met in Kampot. We eat at one of the crab shacks and have the famous Green Pepper Crabs. Delicious. The crab’s are not the huge crabs everyone is normally used to, but actually very close to the blue crabs my family and I used to catch back home when I was younger. They are fixed with the special pepper that is the signature of nearby Kampot.
I have a few drinks with Dan and Margret there in the village and then hop on my bike to head back to my guesthouse. On the road that snakes along the coast the street lights eventually disappear and the road becomes pitch black. I put on my headlamp so I can see. At some point, out the corner of my eye, I see something weird out in the ocean. I pull over and stop. I turn off the headlamp and stare into the sea. The crests of the waves are glowing green. Holy shit. The Plankton! The little bioluminescent creatures I swam with in Koh Rong Samloem were shining brightly in the pitch blackness here in Kep. Wow. I look down to where the waves crash into the breakers. Great neon explosions of halloween glow-stick green. I sit down on the bulk head and just watch nature’s wonderful little light show. I sit for at least thirty minutes meditating on the little wonders of the world such as this that I have encountered in my travels. Those brief little moments that make all the struggle worthwhile.
The next day I bus back to Phnom Penh and spend a couple evenings back at the One Stop Hostel before catching my plane to Hong Kong.