Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kep: Simply Crabulous!

After a week in Phnom Phen it was time to head to the coast.  Our first destination was Kep, a sleepy sea-side town known for dilapidated french-colonial homes and, more importantly, delicious crab.

The crabs are best ate at crab market, where a dozen or more identical restaurants literally sit over the ocean.  Kimly is the most famous one.  And deservedly so.  Nine dollars buys you a large plate of crabs fried in an amazing green Kampot pepper sauce.  The crabs are incredibly fresh.  We know this because they are stored in crabbing cages in the ocean right outside the resturants.  As soon as an order is placed, the restaurant's runner heads into the ocean and grab the crabs that are soon to be on your plate.  Kimly is not to be missed.
Fresh Seafood.  Very, very fresh.
It was sooooooooo good.
I still dream of it.
The crabs still have nightmares about being coated in Kimly's delicious sauce.
Our second day in Kep was spent on Rabbit Island.  This forested island is lined with fairly pristine beaches.  A handful of Cambodian families live on the island, offering food, drink & "hellllllo maaaaassage" to day-trippers and cheap bungalows ($7) for those spending the night.  We chatted up the local woman who hopped a ride on our private boat, and helped her carry the goods and supplies she was bringing back to the island to sell to people just like us (though our efforts were rewarded  when she offered us 25% off all beers!  Bringing the cost down to $0.75 from $1).
On the boat from the mainland to Rabbit Island.
The idyllic Rabbit Island beach.
It was perfect.
Playing in the surf
And we even saw dolphins.
Sexy, swim-suit model dolphins.
The rest of the day we lounged in hammocks, drank fruit shakes and coconut, and got Khmer massages, which were indistinguishable from Thai massage, which was a good thing.  Our day on Rabbit Island was a success.



RECOMMENDATIONS

Kimly Restaurant - Go here.  Eat crabs (in pepper sauce).

You are delicious.
Rabbit Island - From the pier you can purchase a return trip for $20.  The boatman will wait for you on the island for as long as you want.  There are also organized tours for about $9 per person.

The Kep hike up to Sunset Rock - The hike takes about 90 minutes to get up and 60 minutes down.  It was a mediocre hike because most of it is along a dirt or paved road.  Only the final 10-15 minutes is actually in the jungle.  The view from the top at 10 AM, perhaps the wrong time to visit sunset rock, was good, but nothing to write home about, though apparently, it is something to write on the blog about.

Veranda Natural Resort - We stayed at the Veranda Natural Resort, which had a lovely pool, cute bungalows, and excellent food.

The view from the top of Sunset Rock.  It occurs to us that perhaps the view is better at, um, sunset.


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