I knew my time in Phnom Penh was winding down but there was one more thing on my 'to-do' list. I've always had a love for cooking [and eating] but never actually shelled out the money to take a course (they wanted upwards of $50 in Korea which didn't seem worth it), but all of that changed recently. On one of my first days in the city, I heard about a cooking course offered by Frizz restaurant which I added to my list of things to consider while visiting. I checked out the website and read a few reviews, for $23 it seemed like a pretty good deal, the course would start with a trip to the market followed by full instructions and hands-on work in making a 4-course meal. I didn't get a chance to participate before heading south for my adventures in Kampot but while on a boat there I met a woman who spoke highly of the course, so I added it to my must-do list for when I returned to Phnom Penh.
After falling head over heels in love with the city of Kampot I had a tough time trying to decide where to next. My original plan was Sihanoukville, the touristy beach town to the west, but I started having second thoughts. After hearing that the city was overrun with loud hostels, bars and tourists looking for a party I decided that's not the scene I was looking for. Another option was Kep a sleepy beach town to the East which boasts delicious seafood, a small natural park, close access to the pepper plantations and even a little beach, much better. I considered doing a one day tour to the city which included a boat trip out to Rabbit Island but since the tour wasn't running the day I wanted to go I decided to spend a few days there instead. Cambodia does a really good job of being accessible for their tourists offering many different maps, visitors guides and 'pocket guides' for dining and nightlife. It was through my Kampot/Kep Canby Guide that I found great guesthouse and restaurant recommendations including the Tree Tops Bungalows in Kep, a Khmer family run hideaway tucked into the side of the hills of Kep National Park
Only recently has this country shown up on the SE Asia tourist route. With a dark, harrowing past it's amazing to see the smiles spread across the locals faces. I've met travelers with mixed impressions, but if you're lucky enough to connect with a few locals I'm confident you'll fall in love.