Friday, September 12, 2014

JANUARY 22, 2014: PEPPER FARM, COUNTRYSIDE, KEP

January 22, 2014

     We head upstairs to the restaurant area and order breakfast from the menu.  Pineapple juice, baguette with jam, fruit bowl, chocolate banana crepes, tea, and coffee.  Let me tell you, those crepes-oh my!!  We drop off some laundry for the hotel to take care of as it's so reasonable.  Our tuk tuk driver Savun picks us up at 9:00 am.   He will not only drive us but gives us so much info.  Can really recommend him.
Chocolate banana crepes!!

     Our first stop is at the STARLING PEPPER FARM.  This place is huge!  Owned by a Brit who has a Khmer wife.  They live in Phnom Penh but are here on the weekends and holidays.  His mother-in-law lives in the house now and we will meet her later.   Everything is in pristine condition.  There is more here than just the pepper plants.  Savun walks with us among the pepper plants and explains how green, red, white, and black pepper are developed.  Each is from the same pepper plant but at different picking times and processing to get the white.  Green pepper comes first and has a short life so that's why it's not sold as much as the other 3 kinds.  We learn so much about pepper and how it's grown.  We end our tour in the shop where I buy loads of pepper-mostly black, but white and red too.  It's all organically grown which appeals to me also.  It's vacuum packaged with the GI seal and the ECOCERT seal and expiration date of May 2016.

Along the way to the pepper place


Starling Pepper Farm



If picked now you would have green pepper.

Growing around bricks


Going up to the shop.  This is where the house is also. 
The shop





     Driving towards KEP we see how the people live and work.  Sugar cane, cauliflower, peanuts, mango trees, papaya trees.  We also see some funky statues.































     We arrive in  KEP.  We are thinking about taking the boat over to Rabbit Island but Savun says it's very windy so we decide to just explore Kep.   We see lots of deserted old buildings and wait-a huge statue of a crab!  Savun lets us off by the crab market to walk around.  We see the carb traps, fish being grilled and we wander through the market area until we reach our destination for lunch-KIMLY'S.  Of course my husband and I both order the grilled crab with green pepper.  It's delicious!  With drinks our bill is under $17.  Savun is waiting for us and asks if we want to stop at the beach.  The Kep beach is not what I expected.  The sand is soft to walk on.   It's a great beach for swimming especially for little kids as the waves are gentle.  I have my bathing suit on under my clothes so I decide to go in-but only up to my waist.  I can't come to the beach and not go in, can I??  Seems like I'm not alone.  A group of monks in bright orange robes are walking by the beach towards the mermaid statue.  Some are walking in the water.   There are bulldozers moving piles of sand.  We even see some monkeys!

Going to Kep
Deserted old building

Kep Provincial Hall

Deserted old building

No words needed!

Monkeys

Bulldozer moving sand












Kep crab market area




Durian for sale





Grilled crab with green pepper




Beautiful sandy beach

Mermaid statue

This beach is good for children

Even monks love the beach!
Funky statue!
Testing the water!



     Our last stop is the SALT PRODUCERS COMMUNITY OF KAMPOT-KEP where we see lots of salt flats. I put some of it on the back of my hand and the salt glistens in the sunshine.  How neat!  In Kampot-Kep we have salt, pepper, and crab!  In Kampot we see more neat statues-the Big Durian, the Salt Workers Monument, 2000 roundabout, the Vietnam Friendship Monument.  We are back to the hotel by 4:30 pm.  Cost for our excursion was $25.


Salt flat

Salt Producers Community of Kampot-Kep
Salt!
Vietnam Friendship Monument

The Big Durian




Salt Workers Monument
2000 roundabout 
 

   
     After some freshening up it's time to think about dinner.  I have a fancy for some ribs so we walk to the BOKOR MOUNTAIN LODGE which is practically next door.  It's Happy Hour time here!  Something different.  Long Island Ice Teas.  Again, I drink to you Ann!  I order the BBQ ribs with baked potato and sauteed veggies.  My husband orders a veggie baguette sandwich with fries.  He tries Lao beer and like it.  Cost for meal and drinks $18.  I'm disappointed that the ribs are not as tender as I would have liked.  Later I remember I should have walked further and gone to the Rusty Keyhole which is supposed to have great ribs.  Darn!  However, when we return to the Riki we go upstairs for dessert.  Apple pie with vanilla ice cream for me and rum raisin ice cream for my husband.  Cost $8.  Whoever the cook is here at Riki is a genius.



Long Island Ice Tea

BBQ ribs

Veggie baguette sandwich

Gift shop near Riki

Riki's night lights-so pretty!

Dessert at Riki-apple pie-delish!

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