I rolled into the center of Kampot as the wind kicked up a large, smothering dust cloud forcing the few people in the empty square to shield their faces. I grabbed my pack of the top of the pile the tour operator had amassed and trudged off in the direction of where I thought my hotel was. With the exception of sporadic passing motorbikes, it was really quiet. I had debated about even going to Kampot and looking around at the beat-up and dilapidated French colonial buildings and relatively deserted streets, I began slightly second-guessing my decision.
Then I got to the riverfront.
Sitting in the shadow of the 1,101m (3,600′) Bokor Mountain and situated along the banks of the Kam Chay Bay River, Kampot was once on of Cambodia’s main ports until it was overshadowed by the rise of Sihanoukville to the West in 1956. Kampot fell into decline and it now the sleepy town is more famous for its Durian Farms and Black Pepper Plantations, the only Cambodian food product shipped exported world-wide.
I skipped out on the plantation tours, which are apparently one of the main “attractions” in Kampot, and I did what I tend to do… spent my time wandering on cruiser and motor bikes. And once again, it was awesome.