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Text and pictures by Bernhard Heiser

    Part 6:  A day in Kampot
Today I plan to go down to the coast. I say goodbye to Narin and his team and take a moto to the Psah Dumkor bus terminal. I decide to try the minibus instead of a Toyota Camri taxi. One is already filled with passengers and I get on. We pass Pochentong Airport and leave the city. About 20 km south of PP we cross a river. Ricepaddies, palmtrees, small huts in the fields, waterbuffalos, playing children come into view. Before reaching Kampot we cross the railway again. The train, going south today, passes by very slowly (picture). As usual, the best place seems to be on the roof of these cargo cars.
At noon we arrive in Kampot and I pay 5.000 R for the trip. I walk down the road to the traffic circle and take a room in the Phnom  Khiew Hotel. After short bargaining I get it for, you guess it, 4$ again. It's time for lunch now, the market (picture) isn't too far away. From here I take a moto and we go down the road to Kep.
A 14 km wonderful ride takes us to Phnom Sihea, a little hill with a temple on the top. A labyrinth of small walkways leads to the "cave of the white elephant" and to several stupas. Beautiful frangipani trees give some shade.  I stay for an hour and enjoy the view across the ricepaddies to the sea (picture).
The scenic road to Phnom Sihea was really a dream. So I decided to skip Kep and go back to Kampot right now. My driver drops me in a fishing village 4 km from Kampot. This is the right time now for taking pictures, so I want to walk back the last part of the road. Fishermen are preparing their nets for the next trip (picture).
People here are really extremely friendly. Everyone wants to be on the picture, many people invite me to watch their work or to have a little chat. An older man speaks french, so this is no problem.
All houses in the village are buildt on stilts, narrow bridges lead to the road. 

Most of the houses in the fishing village can be reached directly by boat. However, most people in the Kampot province earn their living with agriculture and farming.
It takes about an hour to walk back to Kampot. Along the road there are small shops and I stop to have a glass of pressed sugar cane with ice.
The next morning I wake up at 6 o'clock. Where the hell does that noise come from? There is extremely loud music outside the hotel. Hundreds of people have gathered at the traffic circle. Looks like a demonstration, people are holding banners and there are speeches on the podium. Soldiers and whole schoolclasses are lined up, listening. Later I find out what it is about. The girl talking on the stage (picture) is a former Tuol Kok prostitute, now the head of a "rights for women" organization. It's the 1st December today, World-Aids-Day.

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