For the first time in a long time our travel day didn't begin with an early start! For breakfast, we wandered along the road, back to Barista Coffee, for a coffee and pastry and headed back to our hotel to get the rest of our bits and pieces packed ready to be collected for our bus to Kep. The minibus arrived and we were thrilled to discover it was relatively comfy and spacious for our short 40 minute journey to the coast. However, our delight was short lived when we pulled up next to a rather ramshackle bus in the town centre which we had to change to. The seats were so tightly packed that even Katy struggled for leg room but thankfully we managed to move to a couple of seats right up the back that had a little more space making the journey much more comfortable. The bus carried on to Vietnam and we were glad we weren't doing that part of the journey!
It was a pretty uneventful journey and we arrived into Kep just in time for lunch at Beachside Tacos. After lunch we flagged down a tuk tuk and headed out to Khmer House Hostel, our home for the next 3 nights where we were greeted by Blackie the resident dog!
We checked in and were shown to our room which carried on the ramshackle theme of the day. We noticed a few massive ants in the bathroom but we'd slept in worse so we were happy to go with it. After a little bit of unpacking we took ourselves to the hostel bar area to enjoy a drink and a couple games of pool.
Having had a nice relaxing afternoon we decided to walk to the local Crab Market for dinner where we went to Kimly Restaurant. We both had the Crab with Kampot Black Pepper sauce which was absolutely delicious if an absolute bugger to get in to!
After a delicious dinner we walked back to the hostel ready to crash into bed however, those ants we had previously spotted in the bathroom, had now multiplied and were EVERYWHERE! We hot footed it to reception to see if we could be moved room but they wanted to try a bug spray first. This managed to kill a few but as quickly as they were dying off more were crawling through the cracks in the walls so we got our bags packed back up and moved to a room, with no wildlife in the bathroom, and crashed out!
The next morning we had an alarm set for 06:30 as we had planned to get out to the National Park to do some hiking however we were both clearly knackered as we slept straight through the alarm and didn't stir until 09:00! We enjoyed a slow morning with a leisurely breakfast then set off for a walk into the main town of Kep. We passed some nice sights and enjoyed the leisurely walk which we didn't quite realise was actually 7km! By the time we hit the town we were desperate for some lunch however, we discovered just about every restaurant or cafe was closed so we had to turn around and head the 4km back to the beach. Refuelled with some food and a 1.5 litre bottle of water (each!) we walked the last 3km back to the hostel.
Back to the hostel and we relaxed in the nice air conditioning of our room for the rest of the afternoon before eating dinner in the hostel. We decided to have another early night and hopefully get to the national park.
The next morning the alarm was yet again set for 06:30 with hopes of getting out for the hike we had failed to do the previous day however, yet again, we slept straight through it and didn't stir until 09:00. We took this as a sign that we should probably enjoy a day of relaxing and did just that. We read our books, Katy stitched up a hole in her rucksack (we are keeping our fingers crossed it lasts the next 9 weeks!!) and we played numerous games of pool. For dinner we ventured back out to the Crab Market, this time to Kep Sur Mer Restaurant, which is owned by the same family that owned our hostel. We arrived just before happy hour ended so we took advantage of the $2.50 cocktails! Craig had the fish Amok, a local Cambodian dish, and Katy had the crab cakes. Delicious! We set off on our walk back to the hostel when the owner appeared in his tuk tuk to take us back which was a welcome treat! We popped to the bar for one final drink before calling it a night.
The next morning we managed to avoid sleeping through our alarm and were up at a reasonable time to get breakfast then got the last of our bags packed and ready to begin our journey back to Phnom Penh. We sat around the hostel for a little while until it was time for us to get a tuk tuk to take us to the post office because yes ladies and gentlemen, despite our dreadful experience on the way to Kampot we were giving them the benefit of the doubt and getting the same bus back from Kep... Why!? Because we never learn (and we had already paid for it)! We turned up at the post office and surprise surprise, we were greeted by the same driver as we had had previously and we got ourselves ready for another eventful journey. We yet again curb crawled to find an extra 5 passengers again, over 4 seats. And it was just as bumpy a ride as it had been previously, however this time he managed to avoid smashing a window, yippee for little victories!
We arrived in Phnom Penh in one piece but 2 hours late so we were thrilled to jump in a Grab Taxi to take us to You Eng Hotel, chosen because of it proximity to the airport for the next day. The very uninterested member of staff checked us in and we were shown to our room which we were pretty sure someone had been sat chain smoking in daily for the last 10 years but too tired to argue we settled in and made our way to the restaurant downstairs for a late dinner. Now we aren't sure whether we gatecrashed a function or whether karaoke is the norm at this hotel but we were treated to the screeches of Play That Funky Music (sung in Khmer obviously!) and many other songs!
Thankfully the music finished not long after we headed back up to the room and we were able to head to bed. Well Katy did, Craig sat up til 01:30 watching the rugby!
Tomorrow we skip countries again to Vientiane in Laos!
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