Beachside promenade – seafood market
The popularity of Kep in earlier times as a seaside resort is still evident in the wide sidewalks built along the seashore, the many public sculptures/statues erected in the area, including a gilded statue of King Sihanouk on the beachside promenade.
Early morning saw us on the beachside promenade to watch the men and women of Kep at work bringing in the blue crab for the seafood market. Apparently the men go out the night before, or well before dawn, in their boats to catch the crab. They return in the morning and anchor as close to the seashore as they can in their brightly colored fishing boats.
Fresh blue crab – beachside at Kep
The men off load the cane baskets full of their fresh catch. The women wade out into the sea in water up to their waist to drag the cane baskets back into the seashore. It is usually a family affair, the wives or women relatives hauling the baskets in. The cane baskets are full of freshly caught blue crab. Eager buyers are on hand to select and make purchases as the baskets are opened. There is much discussion and bartering before prices and quantities are agreed upon, and a deal made.
You may also buy a fresh blue crab of your choice and have it cooked on a nearby stall with fresh green Kep black pepper and a garlic sauce. It is great eating. I found it fascinating to watch these women at work bringing in the crab baskets, haggling over prices and the general lively exchange between them.
Colorful stalls at the Seafood Market
The seafood market on the beachside promenade has colorful stalls with all types of dried and preserved seafood as well as the baskets of fresh blue crab being hauled into shore by the women of Kep. There is also fresh fish, squid and luscious banana prawns ($3 kilo so cheap) for sale.
If the catch is not sold immediately the baskets sit in the water near the seashore until more customers arrive. The fishing boats return at intervals during the morning to keep the supply replenished for the seafood market. Young children wait on the seashore watching anxiously as the fishing boats go in and out, and their mother’s wade out waist deep to bring the baskets in.
Khmer’s picnic on weekends – beachside at Kep
Kep is another popular beachside spot for weekend trips by Khmer’s to enjoy a traditional picnic near the seashore. The fresh succulent blue crab are a major attraction. Opposite the seashore there are plenty of hammocks available for hire, as well as hammocks on the beach. Here Khmer’s relax, catch the sea breeze and wait for the freshly cooked blue crab or seafood from the market to arrive. Kep offers a balmy tropical climate all year round.
Seafood Market offers many other delicacies
Many other delicacies are also hawked around the seafood market such as sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves; fresh coconut juice, very thirst quenching on a hot day. Their famous tropical fruit the Durian is also here for tasting. The local Anchor beer is readily available. Attractive souvenirs with clever items made entirely from shells by the locals are on the stalls among other souvenirs. The crab market at Kep is a very worthwhile experience; don’t miss out on the freshly cooked blue crab.
Away from the Crab and Seafood Market..
Several islands lie of the coast of Kep. Koh Thonsay or Rabbit Island the best known, is a short boat ride away. It is a fishing community with about 200 inhabitants. Apparently its main attraction is a lovely sheltered beach with golden sand and great swimming. You can walk around the entire island in about two hours. Trips are also available to the nearby islands of Kkoh Pos and Koh Svaio if this is what you fancy.
The next part of our journey takes us through Kampot to Sihanoukville……
- Beachhouse at Kep – Seaside resort
- Caves of kampong trach kampot caves
- Tonle (lake) Bati – Hindu Temple of Phnom Chisor
- Dinkelsbuhl – Medieval fortifications
- Rothenburg – a beautiful medieval town
- Traditional homes country Cambodia
- Temple of Ta Prohm Takeo
- Melbourne suburbs Doreen Melbourne area
- Tropical Fridays-anything but tropical in Melbourne city
- Greensborough Victoria a pleasant place to visit
- Flinders Street Station Melbourne City
- My Favourite Places to Visit Despite the Melbourne Weather