There is an expression in German that if you want someone to get lost, you tell them to “go where the pepper grows”. I have always been intrigued to find out where this mysterious place is (so I can send Chris there) and now I know – it is a small town in southern Cambodia, called Kampot!

Kampot is a sleepy riverside town not too far from Kep and best known for its fine pepper, which is much sought-after by gourmet chefs worldwide. We visited a pepper plantation to get a closer look at what all the fuss is about.

kampot pepper field

Kampot itself is situated by the picturesque Prek Kampong Bay River, perfect for a fishing trip, an afternoon stroll or a visit to the many riverside bars.
Kampot used to be a hotspot for rich Cambodians and French ex-pats but became completely abandoned during the Khmer Rouge regime. The colonial houses haven’t been decorated since, giving the town has a ghostly, stuck-in-time feeling to it.

Kampot is nestled between the abandoned green Elephant mountains with their panoramic views over the lush Cambodian countryside. It is an adrenalin-lover’s paradise with trekking, caving and rafting opportunities. Sadly rafting and a trip to the local waterfall weren’t possible during the dry season so we visited Rung Domrey Saa (the White Elephant Cave) instead. To get to the cave we had to climb 203 steps (harder than it sounds when it is 40-plus degrees) past a slightly random Buddhist hermit who has been living there for a few years (avoiding Council Tax, perhaps).

Hermit blessing us
Inside the cave was a 700 year old temple and an elephant stalactite that gives the cave its name. The local populace once used the cave to hide from the Khmer Rouge.
The cave
The temple inside the cave
Countryside around the cave with the Elephant mountains in the background
A local farmer, no doubt looking forward to the rainy season

If you would like to see more photos you can visit our facebook page.
Have you been to Kampot or have you tried the famous pepper yet?


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About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

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