“Ever more visitors are being seduced, gently, by the charming riverside town of Kampot, with its relaxed atmosphere and one of Cambodia’s finest, if dilapidated, ensembles of French colonial architecture” (Lonely Planet)
With the sunsets, the river, the palm trees, the plentiful restaurants (with both Khmer and Western food), the bars with 2 for 1 cocktails (which literally means they bring two cocktails at once!), the rooftop cinema and a sneaky wee art gallery or two (https://www.facebook.com/lightboxartkampot), you can see why Kampot is seducing it’s visitors.
It is a pleasant wee town (definitely emphasis on ‘wee’; it’s certainly not a big place), with many NGO’s paving it’s streets, from organisations set up to recycle clothing from around the area and teaching local people who to sew, from Epic Art’s Creations shop and cafe; two business run by disabled and non-disabled people.
I am living above the shop, which is definitely rather fun; I get to see all the comings and goings, the tourists and the locals, and of course meet the staff. Everything sold here has been made by either Cambodians or people living in Kampot, and its proceeds go to Epic Arts itself and it’s inclusive dance company and arts course.
A 10 minute cycle and you are in the Cambodian countryside, where seasonally you can see the Salt Miners at work, as well as the villages, where you can really get a glimpse into how Cambodian country folk (or Yokals as we would say back home…ah Shetland) really live their lives. There’s free range chickens everywhere! And all the happy, wee children shouting to wave hello to us passing through.
There’s swimming locations situated on the river (which a member of the performance company that I will be choreographing on kindly took us to)
I definitely don’t quite feel settled yet, and I cannot wait for Donald to come and join me here (8 weeks and counting – seriously trying so hard not to miss him too much!), but for the meantime I am enjoying exploring the restaurants, the place, the yoga settings (although that one definitely deserves a separate blog post) and of course getting to know the rest of the Epic Arts Team who have also just left their lives at home to start this new, inclusive arts, Cambodian adventure all together.
This is an extremely thoughtful and well written account that makes me eager to come to Kampot. It looks like a beautiful and friendly place. Keep the blogs coming. It is so good to read your reflections and experiences. And,of course, to get an honorary mention in the Killing Fields section!
Well of course, Maggie, couldn’t go mentioning the 70’s without your Afghan coat!!!!
Looks brilliant, Kathy! Very happy that you are in such a nice place, doing such creative, worthwhile work. You will be great at it!
Thanks Julie I am certainly stuck in already making a piece so it is all go 😀 very exciting. I of course miss the farm though!!!! Give Fin a big hug from me 😀