Beachside – Seafood market at Kep – Cambodia

 Beachside Statue King Norodom on the promenade beachside at Kep

Beachside Statue King Norodom  promenade at Kep

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.

Women of Kep bringing in the crab baskets, first catches of the day

Early morning – women of Kep bringing in the crab baskets for the seafood market

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.

Kep Crab Boats & Crab Pots beachside

Crab boats & crab pots a family affair. Beachside, Kep

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.

Beachside-Women of Kep. eager buyers await fresh blue crabs.Seafood market

Beachside – Women of Kep. Eager buyers on the seashore. Seafood market

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.

Buying-fresh-blue-crabs - Seafood Market Kep

Buying-fresh-blue-crab – Seafood Market, Beachside, Kep

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.

Beachside - young children wait anxiously on the seashore -Seasfood Market,

Beachside – young children wait anxiously on the seashore – seafood market,

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.

Women of Kep cooking fish at seafood market, beachside

Women of Kep cooking fresh  fish at seafood market, beachside Kep

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.Luscious-fresh banana prawns,tropical Durian (green fruit in background)

Seafood-Market.Luscious-fresh banana prawns.Tropical Durian (green fruit on the right)

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.

SeafoodsMarket. Dried shrimps,pickled prawns and garlic,tempting.Beachside,Kep

Beachside-Seafood Market temptations.Dried shrimps and pickled prawn.

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……

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  1. Wow , how cool is that to eat fresh seafood cooked right in front of you! This is what South East Asia is all about. Food courts and hawker centers in Malaysia and Singapore – it is all about yummy food cooked right in front of you. One thing to keep in mind though – the hygiene factor. Usually everything is ok, but it is always better to keep an eye.

    • Yes it was a great trip and the fresh crab was wonderful. Good point about the hygiene factor. It always pays to keep that in mind when traveling in foreign countries. thanks for your comment. Lyn

  2. I am an expat living in Cambodia. There are plenty of seafood varieties available here but sometimes I wish i could get large sized crabs for preparing crab cakes which happen to be my favorite.

    • Hi! Most of the blue crabs we saw were, to my mind on the small size. Here we are used to muddies or mud crabs which can grow to quite a large size and are delicious eating. Thanks for your comments. Lyn.

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