We started our journey to Kep around 9am. The only time Dave didn’t talk was in the morning before he had coffee but he did tell us to eat a good breakfast as we weren’t going to stop until around 12:30. On the itinerary it said we would stop at a town called Kampong Chnang and for a break go down to see the activity on the river. Much to our dismay, we didn’t get down to the river after lunch. I guess we were lucky to find a decent cafe but the service took so long that we just had to continue on our way. There are several routes and one goes through Phnom Penh(the capital) and the other is supposedly a short cut. The shortcut was two hours of back breaking bumps and pot holes. Probably, the most miserable road trip I have ever taken. There were lots of interesting things to see along the way but very difficult to get a photo.
Kep is a seaside municipality. There is not much of a town or even a center. We saw a market place and a series of small shops and cafes. There are other beach areas but this one was famed for its spectacular sunsets and delicious seafood. We were excited because we had a whole day on our own to relax or just do what we wanted. I realize now that we should have had a few more free days sprinkled into our tour. We said good by to Dave and he mentioned he would call if he needed to get in touch with us. We would see him in two days for our drive to Bokor National Park. The man that took our luggage was also the clerk at the desk. We got our key and he led us to our room which was on a second level. The boutique hotel is actually a cluster of waterfront villas built in the 1960s. It has an infinity pool and its own sailing club. The open air restaurant and bar was very nice and looked out over the beach. There was a sailing club restaurant as well. The beach, itself was not great – no sand, just small rocks and supposedly very shallow. Not exactly what I pictured.
The room was rather unusual – minimalistic but comfortable at the same time. There was one huge bed and then a roll away that was twin size. The hotel clerk said if we didn’t like the roll away bed that Shawn could have his own room at no extra cost. We liked that idea and went downstairs to see Shawn’s room. He had a jacuzzi in his bedroom – a bit strange but it was basically the same as my room but a different layout.
There was, as you can see, mosquito netting that they put around your bed every night. They also brought you a devine dessert with the turn-down service. I remember the first night they brought two delectable creamy cakes. I was actually stuffed from dinner but I ate one of the cakes anyway! Yum!!! Then an hour later, I ate the other. The next night they brought little chocolate cakes. They certainly knew how to make desserts.
We settled into our room and both of us were tired from the long trip so we rested until dinner time. It continued to rain. We went to the dining area. It looked very inviting with low lights and candles. There was a small bar section with tables and chairs. We had our drinks. I stuck to wine and I think Shawn tried another cocktail. There was one other couple and then we saw a huge table set up for about 20 people. We found out later that they were travel agents looking at the hotel and trying out the food. The menu looked good! We tried the marinated tofu and a crab dish. Both were excellent! The crab dish was a crab mixture but set on top of crabs that you had to peel. It got to be quite messy but delicious! Our waiter was from Switzerland and we had fun talking to him. We found out that the owner was Belgium and actually met his wife the next night. It was a relaxing and enjoyable meal! We finally called it a night and went to our rooms. The door locks were a pain. You had to carry around a big key and it always took us a long time to lock and unlock our doors. It still continued to rain!