The heat finally got to me in Sihanoukville. I was sick enough to consider going back to Thailand. We talked about it and decided to continue on to Kampot but would check into an air conditioned hotel for a few days. Luckily, we found Guesthouse Kampot which had delightfully cold air conditioning and wifi for $15 a night.
The first night, we just stayed near the guesthouse, venturing only as far as the guesthouse across the street for some truly bad curry. I didn’t realize just how badly I needed the rest. I’ve been pushing myself too hard in the heat and I need to slow down.
Ever since I watched the Cambodia episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, I’ve been dying to try Kampot pepper. I finally got a chance at the Rusty Keyhole restuarant along the riverfront. While the flavour was not as distinct and strong as I had hoped, the dish was quite good and I was happy to be eating something better than we had found in Sihanoukville.
Kampot is so much more relaxed than Sihanoukville. I can see why some people never leave. We have not once been harassed by tuk tuk drivers and in general the people have been friendly. Khmer men tend to stare at foreigners, especially women, a lot. Micheal didn’t notice this but it creeped me out a little.
Most of the city is clean and free of the piles of rotting garbage we saw in Sihanoukville. The only thing that bothered me was the Old Market. The smell was pretty intense and let’s just say that hygiene is not up to Western standards. We saw an old woman squatting on a table chopping up raw chicken with a huge butcher knife only an inch away from her own toes. Yikes! I was so close to fainting from the smell of rotting meat that I forgot to take any photos in the market.