Ssssoooo. My first day in Kampot. The town of Kampot is located on the Teuk Chhou River in southern Cambodia, just 30 km from the Vietnamese border.
The environment Kampots is known for the production of the world's (!!) best pepper. In addition, the area is considered to be the main producer of Durian (an incredibly stinking fruit), while other agricultural products include rice, rambutan, grapefruit, pineapple and mangosteen, to the east of the city there are extensive sea salt fields for the extraction of sea salt (Fleur de Sel).
I rented a scooter for the next 2 days to be more flexible when exploring the region.
In the morning I went to the Bokor National Park. Without much knowledge of what to expect, I drove there.
The Bokor National Park is located in the highlands of the Dâmrei Mountains and forms the southeastern parts of the Cardamom Mountains. The largest part of the park is about 1,000 meters above sea level and the highest peak is Phnom Bokor with 1,081 meters, also called Bokor Mountain.
That being said, I had to drive with my scooter of about 3m above sea level up to 1,000m above sea level. The road was, for Cambodian standards, very very good.
First, I went to the Popokvil waterfall. However, this was anything but impressive due to the dry season 😅
Well, that was to be expected. So I drove further into the park. Somehow, however, the park kind of failed to impress me. Of course, the region is pretty. Green and hilly. But somehow the wow effect is missing.
But it was about to get super strange, when I came around a curve and in front of me this huge, gold-colored complex emerged. The 'Thansur Bokor Highland Resort'. A hotel / casino complex built, you guessed it, by the Chinese. This in a national park somewhere out in the nowhere. I found this so abstruse and weird that I decided to head back to Kampot.
It was only 2:00 pm by the time I got back, so I still had enough time to devote myself to a secret tip that was at the top of my bucket list.
In some blogs I had read about the so-called 'Green Cathedral'. This seemed to be quite an insider, which I did not want to miss.
By scooter about 15min. out of the city, into the pampa, I arrived at the 'Champa Lodge'. There I could rent a kayak to go paddling. A quick briefing of which river to paddle I was ready to go. The paddle fun was supposed to take about an hour.
From the main river I had to turn right after a short distance into a smaller stream. The stream was lined with small palm trees. Because the river was getting narrower, at certain spots only about 1.5m wide, the palms form a kind of tunnel or 'cathedral'. The afternoon sun, leaving a particularly nice light. It was really great to paddle through the palm trees. I was mostly alone in the palm jungle along the way. Only sometimes did I pass children who were playing in the water. Or paddled by astonished and giggling locals fishing. Countless cicadas seemed to be screaming. It was so loud🙊 And yes, I was a little bit scared that suddenly a crocodile or a giant anaconda would appear from nowhere. Obviously, that was not the case though 😁
After about 30min. I was suddenly not sure if I was still on the right path (or river). There were different river paths to turn. But fortunately, there's Google Maps 😅 And suddenly I discovered another kayak a bit behind me. I was not all alone. Phu. I was a little relieved 😁
For 1 hour I paddled through the beautiful palm jungle. The atmosphere is unique, almost magical. All this for me alone woopwoop. How cool 🙊😅
With my bum hurting and aching arms, I was on time for an epic sunset back in my hostel.
Pictures📸 Of course🤷🏼♀️ Just klick here.