Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hit or miss? The latter

Kampot province is Cambodia is largly well-known because of the natural setting, at the foot of a high mountain range (Bokor), the sea and a fertile plain. The town of Kampot lies on a broad river which springs from the Bokor mountains. Visits to town seem to mean that a visit to the nearby Tek Chou rapids is called for, them being just 5 kms upstream from town.

Until now (January 2010) I've been able to avoid this tourist trap, simply because it's that. But all things must come to an end and thus last month I visited Teuk Chou (or Tek Chhou). There's a blanket charge for visitors, which seems steep for what one gets. One gets nothing. Along a 100 m stretch of the river, about 10,000 stalls are vying for the best place and get visitors to stay and spend some cash. Between the river and the stalls is a dirty area which seems to make this a natural area to be enjoyed redundant. And it seems that with the dam just upstream under construction the river and the rapids themselves have gone, leaving behind a couple of pools of tepid and dirty water. Avoid at all cost.

More photo's from internet:

Photo's from times with more water. Sources above and below.

Do note that this is only my opinion. Under the caption
'Teuk Chou's brook nevelrfails to win local and foreign fans'
comes the following first hand experience:
'It was not difficult to find 'Teuk Chou'- a local out-of-sort resort by a rocky brook only a few minutes drive from town. On arrival, we were greeted by many stalls by the road selling all sorts of foodstuff and fruits.
As we got out of our vehicle, we were immediately approached by food vendors rushing and pleading to take our order for lunch. These vendors can be quite persistent but since we needed lunch anyway, we permitted this big lady to lead us to a place under a tree by the stream. This was a makeshift platform made from some planks and neatly covered by a grass mat. Under the shade of trees by the stream, it was really quite cozy and comfortable.
We ordered lunch and, believe it or not, they actually served a full meal with fish, vegetables, chicken, soup and rice. The place was quite crowded with holiday-makers picnicking and having fun in the water.
The water in this rocky stream was crystal clear and cooling as well but unfortunately it appeared as though it was fast drying up and there was not much left to cater to the crowd, all rushing for what's left of deeper areas. For us, it was a rather pleasant place to have lunch'.
Teuk Chou's time is up apparently, recent reports [March 2011] on the Khmer 440 forum refer is as a 'fetid creek'. Certainly not worth a visit.

Elsewhere in Kampot province reference is made to Anlong Thom waterfall. Anyone been there?

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