Rock climbing, river fun and glowing plankton in Kampot and Koh Rong

I left the Asean International school behind me to discover other parts of Cambodia. The trip from Angkor Borei to Kampot was rather pleasant! Smiling Khmer people and cute babies everywhere. One guy even paid for my bus trip to Kampot! Afterwards he was really surprised when he heard the price I had to pay.
Tourist tax: check! 


Maybe pot refers to the amount of pot that is been smoked by the expats. No, I’m joking.
The atmosphere in Kampot is really laid-back! It’s a small, clean and lovely city next to the river.
I’ve been told there are about ±2000 expats living in Kampot. I met more expats in the bars then travellers. With the beaches from Kep, Bokor mountain and some nice villages around the corner, I don’t blame them.
Due to bad weather in Cat Ba, my rock climbing trip was canceled back then. Here in Kampot I took my chance to do it. With Climbodia, a local climbing organisation run by a guy from Antwerp, I did a climbing tour. It included via feratta, abseiling, rock climbing and caving. Our local guides knew a couple of words of Antwaarps:  “Onnozel manneke” , bangelijk”,  “links en rechts“. The typical Antwerp accent combined with a Khmer touch gave a really funny result!

And action!

At our hostel we were asked to play a small roll on a film set. A funny question at first sight, but I was motivated to join! We were around 40 backpackers joining the shooting. Our role: dancing on a rave party. I think that’s something we’re all really good in! The film is called Hex, an American horror movie. The shooting found place in the old casino on top of Bokor Mountain.
During the day the temperatures were fine, but as soon as the sun set it became really cold. The setting from the scene was a beach party so we could only wear t-shirts and shorts during the takes. In between the takes, we all would grab our jackets to warm up! The main actors had a dialog, so there was no music while we danced… Around 3 am, the director shouted the magical words “It’s a wrap!” and at 4 am we were back at our hostel. Because of confidential reasons, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures. The film should be launched at the end of this year/beginning of next year. As soon as the making-off pictures are released, I’ll gladly share them!

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In Kampot, I had the pleasure of meeting the charming Stellar from Hong Kong. As a part time job, she worked as a host for a talkshow, so I was traveling with a Chinese celebrity!  She joined for a trip to Arcadia, a guest house next to the river with a “water park“. There was this famous “blob“, a big airbag that catapults you in the air. You could also use a rope to jump into the water, a waterslide and a dozen of tubes to relax in the river. The videos below speak for themselves:

A video posted by Mats Van Mieghem (@matsvm) on

In Cambodia, the Chinese new year has a big influence. People go to their hometowns to celebrate it with family. Others go to nice places like Koh Rong or Sihanoukville. But they all eat and drink a lot!

Happy new year!

Koh Rong

With Stellar as my new travelbuddy, we made our way to Koh Rong: a paradise island east of Sihanoukville. Imagine white beaches, palm trees and hammocks everywhere. The first time in a really long time, I took some time to relax on the beach. Koh Rong and his little brother Koh Rong Sanloem are known for their beautiful corals and glowing plankton. If you ever come here, go in the sea at night at a dark spot. Start splashing the seawater around and you will see shiny things around you 😉 I don’t have any pictures of this, but I assure you, it’s true!

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It was awesome meeting you Stellar! Hopefully we’ll meet again somewhere in the world!
My last days in South-East Asia are counting now. In ten days I’ll be flying to Sydney from Bangkok. But in the meantime I’ll explore Batambang, Siem Reap and the wonderful Angkor Wat!

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