On our last day in Siem Reap, Dad, Grandpa, and I had dinner at HAVEN.
- I ate the fish amok, which was the #1 fish amok that I’ve eaten in Cambodia so far. It was perfectly curried and coconut-scented, with just enough lemongrass, ginger, and chili to add flavour without overwhelming the delicate fish. Best of all, the amount of rice paired perfectly with the amount of amok.
- Grandpa’s lok lac included vegetables, a fried egg, and plenty of peppery sliced beef.
- Dad enjoyed the calamari with lime aioli, as well as a bacon cheeseburger with fries.
- For dessert, I loved the banana bread with coconut crumble and mango-passionfruit ice cream, which I swapped with Dad’s caramel ice cream.
The next day, we had breakfast in Phnom Penh since we took a night bus. We ate in Raffles Hotel, where we had the breakfast buffet. I ate mango yogurt x2 and two blueberry muffins, along with two delicious Cambodian baguette sandwiches with fish pate, fresh dragonfruit, cheddar cheese, banana bread, and a very tasty slice of toasted rye with butter and papaya jam.
Before we knew it, we arrived in Kampot, which was a 30-minute tuktuk ride to our hotel in Kep. Our hotel was truly a tropical resort, with too many palm trees to count and two sparkling pools.
On our first day, we spent time at the Kep National Park. We walked for around 25 minutes before turning around to walk back down the hill. Despite completing just a small amount of the trail, we were rewarded with a lovely view.
That day, we liked our dinner at The Sailing Club. The photos did not turn out as expected since it was quite dark, but it was incredibly tasty nonetheless.
- spicy Khmer chicken noodle soup
- garlic baguette
- crab cakes with spicy aioli and fresh vegetables
- fresh white fish with vegetables and spicy garlic coconut sauce, steamed jasmine rice – this was mine, and it was hands down one of the top three savoury things I’ve ever eaten. The flavourful coconut sauce on the tender, flaky fish, paired with plenty of gently-sautéed vegetables and rice was heavenly.
- cheeseburger for Dad (unpictured)
- crispy fried banana with coconut ice cream and caramel sauce
The next day, we loved our brunch at La Baraka. We started with drinks, as usual, and I ordered tea with milk and sugar. Our meals arrived shortly after:
- shrimp fried noodles in a pineapple for Grandpa
- Croque Madame with fries for Dad (I tried some of his Croque Madame, and it was delicately fried and loaded with flavour from the ham and cheese enveloped within)
- two fried eggs, bacon, salad, bread, and pineapple juice for me
- garlic bread to share
- dessert of chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream
Next, we went to Bokor National Park. It was a 90-minute drive from our resort in Kep. We had the opportunity to explore the legendary buildings from Cambodia’s colonial days, but were sad to miss the waterfall which is only “active” during rainy season.
I learned: Established by the French as a hill station in 1925, Bokor has been abandoned twice, during World War II and the Khmer Rouge period. The area including Bokor ‘mountain’ was established as a national park in 1993, with its 1,500 square kilometres spanning four Cambodian provinces. Despite substantial illegal logging, it’s home to leopard cats, gibbons, hornbills, civets and sunbears.
The Old French Palace was hauntingly beautiful, built by French settlers before 1920 for French social elites in Cambodia.
Renovators did add a wonderful curving road to the top of the hill, making Bokor much easier to access.
Today is our last day in Kep, or Cambodia for that matter, and I will really miss this incredible country. Soon, we are heading back to Taipei for a couple days and then flying to Macau for a short period of time.
Now, Dad and I are off to visit the Kampong Trach caves and I look forward to updating with more soon.