Kampot is a small riverside town in the south of Cambodia, 60 kilometers east of Sihanoukville, known best for its pepper plantations and fruit farming – namely of the durian fruit.
In fact, the streets all came together at the bizarre looking Durian Monument – a tropical cocktail in statue form centered on an unnecessarily large roundabout.
On paper Kampot screamed quaint, charming, and riverside French architecturey; in reality, the durian statue glared down from the deserted and dusty central roundabout obliterating whatever charm the town might have had left.
The roads leaving the Durian statue were wide, too wide for the town and gave it an odd sense of space; there was just too much of it, and it made the town feel quite the opposite of quaint.
French architecture lined the street towards the riverside in that rundown lovely kind of way, the decrepit structures and peeling paint casting a sort of creepy unconventional beauty filter on the town.
Even the riverside wasn’t particularly alluring-
except for the blue structure that hung off the sidewalk and disappeared into the sky.
It didn’t stand out, but rather blended in so well with the powder blue yonder and the light blue water that its seamlessness was splendid to look at.
It retained a sense of serenity that Kampot likely had in earlier years, a sense of calm that frazzled expats still maintain it has.
Maybe you will, too. Or maybe you’ll feel Kampot’s haunting sense of a charming paradise now long lost.
Note: Kampot is the go-to town for people from Kep as it is only 25 kilometers away and has necessities that Kep simply doesn’t like a pharmacy, a minimart, electronics stores, a book exchange place and a handful of decent restaurants (Captain Chim’s) and cafes (2 Sisters). Also, with ATMs lacking in the area, Kampot is the place to go for its decent Canadia branch, a bank that doesn’t charge any transaction fees – bonus.