Before the 14+ hour flight to Cambodia, I had pictured myself using crinkly, hand-drawn maps to find distant relatives in small, remote villages off the most traveled paths and staying with them in their humble self-made abodes. I'd learn to deal without running water and would trek a few miles to the nearest water source to fetch the day's water supply. In this splendid Survivor-esque dreamworld, I hadn't given a second thought to bugs or lizards or any of the wild things that were very likely to be waiting underfoot for me, and the idea of squatter toilets never phased me. I thought then that of course it would be hard, but surely not that hard, and best of all, it would be a satisfying experience. So it was funny when, halfway through the trip, I found myself not harvesting the fields in preparation for that night's dinner, but happily lying in a hammock reading the latest issue of Marie Claire. The Secretary of State was related to someone we knew, and there we all were, doing nothing but relaxing in his 2-story, 4-bedroom beach house which he graciously let us stay in for our 3-day trip to Kep.
A vacation destination for many local city dwellers, Kep is well-known for its beaches and resorts. After so much rushing around the week before (there were temples to see! and aunts to meet!), the slow pace of the town was a welcome change. In fact, Kep was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip.
During the day, we'd go for a swim. Veranda resort had my favorite pool, tucked in among the hills, which had smooth rocks and wood benches you could sit on in the middle of the water. It was a nice way to keep cool and spend an afternoon reading.
In the evening, we dined at the Veranda restaurant which felt like a great big, lit-up tree house.
After dinner, we would sit outside by the beach and drink wine.
Or we'd go for dessert while putting in requests to the karaoke singers on stage to sing our favorite songs.
At the beach, we'd feel the soft, white sand between our toes and splash in the see-through water.
We'd take boat rides to go on adventures to Rabbit Island (which sorta looked a lot like the set of Lost)...
...where we ate the freshest crabs (caught right in front of us!) that we all agreed were probably the tastiest crabs we'd ever eaten.