Before we came to Cambodia I had never heard of Kep, which meant I had no expectations, it may not be great as a solo traveller but it was perfect for the two of us.
After big city life in Phnom Penh we decided to get the bus to a place called Kep, a town we knew nothing about. After a little bit of research we knew it was famous for crab and that was about it. The place we stayed in Kep was called Khmer Hands and it was one of the best places we have ever stayed, the owner, Chris, was one of the friendliest and most informative people I’ve ever met. He’s very well travelled and does a lot to help out the locals! Our room was superb our own little stone hut with private bathroom.
There isn’t a lot to do in Kep itself, the place is tiny, you have the crab market with a crazy amount of over priced restaurants, and the “town” which is one street with some more resturants and shops, very tiny indeed. However there is the Kep national park, which was a short walk up a steep hill from our room, the national park has incredible views from the top and is definitely worth a visit if you’re near by.
Kep is a very quiet place with hardly any traffic, so we felt if we were going to ride a moped here would be the place to learn. I was pretty nervous about getting on it, so Jocelyn took the reigns at first and she nailed it, so I jump on the back, however it turns out I’m a terrible passenger and would much rather be in control. So I take it for a quick spin on my own, perfectly fine, a lot of fuss and worry over nothing. We take the bike on a big round trip recommended by Chris, the trip includes Sothy’s Pepper Farm, then onwards to some caves before heading home.
The pepper farm was pretty cool, you can buy lunch there which we wish we had, but we had eaten before we left, so that was kind of annoying! We arrived just as a tour had finished, so we had a sit down for a few minutes before the guide was ready. The guide had incredible English, a great sense of humor and he really knew his shit about peppers. He let us taste a few pepper corns, then took us around and basically told us everything we could possibly know! At one point he had to keep the guard geese at bay while we darted past them into the pepper growing area. It was quite the sight watching a man slap a goose on the head as if to tell it off, but it worked! After the tour (which is completely free by the way!) you can browse the shop, they are not pushy in the slightest and there is absolutely no obligation to buy anything!
After the pepper farm we rode onwards to the caves, very easy to find. Upon arrival some Cambodian guy decides to sort of “lead the way” and tells us we need to donate $1 each to the monks, so we inform him we have no money at all, and he tells us it’s free. He then shows us around the caves, which were super cool, including some very quick jungle navigation and climbing sections, there were lots of bats too! At the end of the cave, he then asks us to pay him, which was odd because he told us it was free and not only that we already told him we had no money! So after a few minutes of trying to explain to a very sad/angry looking Cambodian man that we have no money we escape on the bike and head back to the guesthouse!
Overall it was a cool experience on the bikes and Kep is probably one of the best places to learn as there is literally no traffic. We had a very relaxing time in Kep and it was nice to sit on our porch and watch the rain fall while having a read, or sit in the guest house restaurant admiring the view while eating some great food.