We left Phnom Penh and went to the South of Cambodia where we haven’t had much internet access. We’ve been staying at a backpackers house on the river just outside of Kampot, called the Bodhi Villa. It is owned by an Australian family with two children. According to many, “Bodhi Villa is the Hotel California of Cambodia”: you can check in any time you like, and then you never leave… We arrived last Friday, which happens to be live music night and there was a big party with travelers and expats from all over the area. We were lucky to snag a floating bungalow for one night, due to a cancellation, and later moved to a regular bungalow on land. We had planned to stay two nights, and go hiking for the day, but when I asked the bartender about booking the hiking trip up to Bokor mountain, he calmly shook his head and predicted that we would be up until 4am and would not get our acts together in time for the 8am departure. We took his advice and decided to take it easy the next day. Five days later we had still not gone on the hike!
Instead we spent days lounging by the water, taking jumps off the diving board and going on motorcycle excursions to local beaches. We made a whole bunch of friends, many of whom had been traveling for a year or more after leaving the drudgery of their jobs back home. Steph and I joined various other girls in impromptu yoga sessions on the pier in the mornings. When we were all stretched out, we took a step forward and jumped in the river to cool off before heading to the bar to have a breakfast of tropical fruit and freshly brewed Laos coffee. Evenings were laid back gatherings over Angkor or Klang beer talking about travel, politics, new career paths, and old jobs left behind.
Yesterday we went to a seaside town called Kep that used to be a French waterfront resort back when this was Indochina. There are old burnt out villas along the water and a couple that have been restored. We gorged on amazing fresh seafood cooked in locally grown fresh green peppercorns. We had an enormous helping of crab, as well as squid, shark, stingray… All washed down with some crisp Australian Chardonnay. As you can see, we’re not roughing it too much!!