After two days of stuffing ourselves with fresh crab and cheap beer in the seaside town of Kep, we decided it was time to do some exploring. We hired a motorbike and took off in search of a secluded beach.
We followed the paved road along the coast until we saw a small dirt road leading out toward the ocean.
After about 30 minutes, the green landscape began to give way to carefully plotted squares of flat dry dirt, surrounded by rows of handmade shacks. We also saw rakes along the sides of the square plots and suddenly realized what they were – salt flats!
As we passed by one shack with a large family sitting out front, we waved our hello. They waved us over to join them. The older man tried explaining things to us in Khmer as he motioned out across the fields, but seeing that we didn’t understand, he turned to one of the women and gave an instruction. She quickly went into the house and emerged with this giant basket of salt. The crystals were huge and they were more than happy to offer us a taste. The taste was so explosive that one single crystal tasted like the entire ocean.
We never did find the beach, but getting lost in the salt flats and sharing time with that family was greater than finding another piece of sand.
Kep is a couple hours by bus from Phnom Penh. Once you’ve arrived, head east from the Kep Beach roundabout along the coastal road until you see a small dirt turn off on your right. Follow it until you’re good and lost in the salt flats.