After being in Phrom Penh for one day I decided to head to Kampot for the weekend as I had to head back for my flight to Singapore on Monday. I had a feeling I wanted to leave the day before and I just have went with the feeling because Kampot is gorgeous!
I felt so alive when driving through Kampot! It reminded me of Austria with the lush greens that you passed by for miles and miles. Halleluyah, I thought as a I drove through the streets of Cambodia. I arrived with glistening water and beautiful sea smells to Kep, which is near Kampot. I realize that I was suppose to stay on the bus so I hop on the motor bike and we ride super fast to cetch up to the bus-honking and waiving we are able to stop the bus and off I got to Kampot ha! I must say it is always an adventure.
I arrive at one of my favorite guesthouses, The Blissful Guesthouse. It has a gorgeous outdoor area with hammocks and water fountains and guests sit and read and write. The room is $2USD for the dorm, which has eight people in it. Eight people you think noisy right? One of the most peaceful sleeps I have had with the canopy bed and the protective mosquito net.
The guy working at the desk, Chai and I chat about activities and I tell him about my interest in Bokor Hill station and camping overnight at a temple. He advises me against the camping as it is super windy.
After some talking, he says that Mr. Srei, his brother can take me and show me all the sights. Mr. Srei shows up on his bike all suave and acting cool. He wants more money that most people, but I prefer someone who is young and speaks English-makes the experience better. After attempts to negociate with Mr. Srei, I throw in the towel and say I will just find someone else. Chai mentions that he gets off work at 4pm and he would be happy to take me. His words, "Beautiful girl with cute smile, yes, yes I take you." Ha!
I walked to the city center as I wanted to rent a motor bike to go the caves. It ended up being a difficult task so I decided I would just take a tuk tuk. The people I asked did not know the caves so that ended up not working. What did work was meeting a new friend, Paul, from England, in town volunteering who I hopped on his bike and we went to the caves. He is in Kampot for 4 weeks on a volunteer project and then he plans on doing some traveling through Southeast Asia.
The drive to the caves was picturesque, I can not describe it as it just stays in my heart forever. The people were unbelievably friendly and sweet and for a change-they did not want anything in return. These middle school kids took us into the cave while politefully asking about our background, our interests, and our beliefs. They speak French, German, Khmer, and English? It is unbelievable how grown up these kids are, but again we learn through our interpersonal interaction and these kids are definitely learning. The boy loves to sing Lady gaga and I think he may be a lady boy when he gets older. We swing on vines and jump from the cliffs while hearing the sound of bats. This is by far my favorite cave and I am thankful for the kids taking us through as we would just be lost inside it.
After the caves, we part ways and give them some money. They requested $2 per child, which we already paid admission for the cave and a few dollars was more than enough. In these villages children are usually thankful with what you give. These kids were perhaps too smart for their own good as one of them said, "Effing cheap." I was surprised by that, but did not let that ruin my love for this area.
We had so head back as I had to meet Chai to go to Bokor Hill Station.
To be continued......