After our tuk-tuk tour of Kep (see earlier blog), we adopted our favorite tuk-tuk driver for Kep. At the end of each journey, he would simply ask ‘this evening?’ or ‘tomorrow, where we go?’ In case, you are not familiar with tuk-tuks, there is a special relationship – once you get over the initial haggling, there’s mutual respect and the tuk-tuk driver often show real care; it is also the most common form of transport for foreign tourists, with most of the side roads and many main roads being only dirt tracks.
After our tuk-tuk tour of the main sights of Kep, which included the famous pepper plantation (guess who bought pepper as a souvenir?); we returned to our hotel for a swim in the oversized pool and a relaxing glass of wine. That evening, we were going out for some crab to a highly recommended seafood restaurant that is situated in the crab market area – this is where it all happens! Sitting on a veranda, overlooking the ocean and the sun almost disappearing, armed with a seafood menu, and of course, of glass of chilled white wine, we eventually decided on how we would have our crab cooked – fried, we are told is the best with fresh Kampot pepper. It was quite a challenge eating it with our nutcrackers, knife, fork, spoon and of course, fingers but really delicious!
The following day we visited Rabbit Island; we boarded our longboat at 10am and returned at 3pm and it proved to be a really pleasant trip. That evening, we returned to the crab market area and our friendly tuk-tuk driver, recommended what was to become our favourite restaurant, ‘The Holy Crab’ – it was truly excellent! It was a hundred meters from the famous crab market, built on stilts with the sea crashing down below.
Generally speaking we have found that the food in Cambodia is amongst the finest in South East Asia, obviously due to the French influence of the 19th and 20th centuries plus the wonderful local produce, herbs and spices, and, of course, lots of Cambodian imagination too.
For some amazing photos of the Kep Crab Market, open this link for photos in the public domain. The best of our own photos will follow shortly.
Watch out for our visits to Kep National Park, Kampot and Bokor Mountain.