First Vacation to Kep

We had our first family vacation since joining MCC last week. It was great to get away from the city and be alone together as a family.

Kep is a southern province on the border with Vietnam. It was a popular French resort town during the colonial period. There are many gutted and abandoned villas from that era. Some have visible bullet holes from past conflicts. Kep is well known for it’s crabs and Kompot, one province over, is famous for it’s pepper farms. Fresh crab with green peppercorns is amazing.

Walking to the beach from where we stayed.

The internet was down where we stayed and, despite repeated promises that it would be repaired, stayed down for our entire four day stay. That stopped us from sending out photos while we were there but was actually nice – it helped us detach and focus on being together.

Charlotte in the Pacific ocean for the first time!

We took a long walk down from our bungalow to the public beach. This is the first time that the girls have been to the Pacific but they are beach kids through and through. They were ecstatic.

We had an unwelcome visitor in our bungalow the first night. I often had these little scorpions invade my home in Prey Veng. My cats usually took care of them for me but once one stung my foot while I was taking a shower. It hurt tremendously for hours…but no lasting harm. Fortunately, no one got stung during our vacation but it was a unsettling. We had another surprise, the ceiling dripped onto our bed all night. This was especially surprising as it wasn’t raining. The next day we discovered that the solar hot water heater was broken and we moved to another bungalow. We did find a scorpion in that bungalow as well but otherwise our stay was uneventful!

Catherine drinking her second coconut after the beach.

During my first term I was known for drinking many coconuts very quickly. I think it’s safe to say that Catherine had inherited this trait as she downed two coconuts in quick order after our first visit to the beach.

Catherine relaxing on the porch of our bungalow.
Sunset where we ate at the Crab Market.
How fresh was the crab? This fresh.
Fresh crab with green peppercorns. This was the best crab dish that I’ve ever had.
Crab amok. Amok is a traditional Khmer dish made with fish but it’s delicious with crab.
The view from the Veranda Natural Resort restaurant. Crystal and I stayed here 12 years ago for $23 a night. It’s a lot more expensive now so we stayed somewhere more affordable.
Heading up into the mountainous jungle of Kep National Park.
The only wildlife we saw in the jungle was a lizard but there were many, many butterflies.
Charlotte was very happy to find a walking stick in the jungle.
Back at the crab market on our last night in Kep.
Taking a tuk tuk down to the beach on day three.
All packed up to head back to Phnom Penh after a wonderful respite.

Kep has, for the most part, changed for the better since I was last here. The beach was clean and free of plastic trash (and needles). The crab market has refrigerators now and food safety is greatly improved in general. While Veranda has become very expensive (and gone from feeling like Swiss Family Robinson to Rivendell) it’s still easy to find beautiful and affordable places to stay. It was quiet while we were there and the locals told us that’s usually the case during the week.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Homer Wood says:

    Great photos! Glad you got a break from a very busy life.

  2. Nancy Sharpe says:

    Wow! Looks like a fabulous time for you guys and the girls!

  3. rose graber says:

    What a wonderful respite!!! Look forward to seeing it ourselves one day.

  4. EmmaMarie Hanna says:

    What a wonderful adventure! Happy that you were able to have family time.

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