Kampot – short taxi rides and differences of opinion on rooms! – Day 177 – 14 July

Well it was another one of those days where we needed to get up early, throw our backpacks on and ensure we were ready for collection from the hotel for our transport to take us back once again to Kampot, the place that had greeted us with flooding the last time we had visited it! Well it all started off quite innocuously enough when we were collected, albeit a little early, from our hotel by a mini bus. The aforementioned mini bus then took us to the main square in Kep where we caught another bus to take us to ‘Kampot’ which then proceeded to drive around the various hotels of Kep the last stop before we left the town being our own! At our hotel some other people who were staying there were picked up and funnily enough because they had had extra time in bed they looked far less tired than we did, as we fell asleep across our backpacks – can these people not understand the concept of getting from ‘A’ to ‘B’! (Lol)

The journey was quick enough though, the mini bus taking us back to Kampot where we ended up at the bus station on the big roundabout, which when we had lasted visited it had been underwater! A ‘friendly’ Tuk Tuk driver said he would take us to our hotel for the paltry sum of $1US. This seemed like a good deal until he took us there and it appeared that we could have actually have thrown our backpacks further than the distance we travelled to the hotel from the bus station!

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Our room! – no the view from it though!

Perhaps due to our somewhat earlier start than our fellow mini bus passengers we arrived at our hotel just a wee bit weary and whilst the hotel looked like it was due some TLC our room itself looked like it needed double helpings of only the finest tender loving care. This was shabby chic without the Shab! I went to complain only to be informed by the French owner/manager that our room was one of the best in the place so unless I fancied moving on, which I did not, it would have to do. If ours was one of the better rooms then the others that were staying here were certainly having a very hard time of it. I imagined opening the doors of other rooms and wondering exactly what we would find, possibly the elements of the Black death, earthquakes, or perhaps even London after the Blitz – who knows, we certainly didn’t so we decided it was best to go out for a bite of lunch.

We did not really have the energy to go traipsing about the town so settled ourselves at a nearby eatery at another large roundabout just a Tuk Tuk ride from the hotel. The food was not too bad and it was a good place to do a spot of people watching as we chowed down. The roundabout was quite a busy place and from what we could see from our vantage point, Kampot looked just a tiny bit run down – like our room I suppose. Once we had eaten our fill though we decided to take advantage of our room’s best feature, its bed, and grab ourselves a bit of shuteye before venturing out and exploring the place a bit more thoroughly.

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A Durian decorating the roundabout!!

Evening came and forth we went, it was quite a nice stroll we walked down to the river and those buildings that earlier had looked merely ramshackle had been upgraded by the simple dimming of the light which gave them much more of an arty look. We ambled along the riverside and cast our eyes over the old bridge which had a touch of the ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ about it! Admittedly this was perhaps after a bit of bombing had taken place but to be fair it matched the rest of the town’s ‘decor’.

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A ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ impersonator!

Along the front we stumbled across a little restaurant called Rikitikitavi which was a bit of an oasis along the riverfront a place of relative calm and bambooiness where the tawdriness of the nearby buildings could not cross the threshold. Okay, now this upgrade in our surroundings came at a price but as we soon enough found out it was all worth it. We had lived frugally all day so what the hell! The place had good food, good service and even better a two-for-one offer on the cocktails during ‘very’ happy hour, what was there not to like? A great way to end what had been quite a torrid old day.

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