The highlight of Kep was our accommodations at Bacoma (BAnana, COconut and Mango). It is a beautiful hideaway that is well maintained, clean and very peaceful and no wonder why it has a five star Tripadvisor rating. I have dedicated this post as a review of the beautiful Bacoma guesthouse which was our home during our stay.
Kep is a sleepily little beach side town on the southern coast in Cambodia about forty-five minutes from the border with Vietnam. We had five days and four night in Kep. Two were travel days (so they don’t really count) and one was a rest day (that for sure counts). That left us with a day for exploring the wilderness and another day to check out the town of Kampot.
It was a short walk (up a hill a bit) from the bus stop so we didn’t need to hire a tuk tuk to get there. We stayed in the round Bungalows and since we were here in the low season, our price was $12 a night. Al and I shared our bungalow so are individual price was a low $6 a night – less than our four bed dorm in Phnom Penh. The one element that was missing to make our stay perfect… air conditioning. The temperature was well into the 90’s with super high humidity and the fan in the room was just not cutting it to stay cool.
If it were not for the heat, the bungalow would have been the perfect romantic get away. Traveling as a group and staying in dorm rooms in hostels does not lend itself well to private couple time so it was nice to have Mr. Fein all to myself for awhile.
The bathrooms are great. If I were to design and build my own home in the tropics, I would copy this model. They are round buildings as well and house a sink, shower and toilet. The floor gets wet when you take a shower but that has been common place here in Cambodia. At Bacoma it didn’t bother me because the bathroom was kept so clean and the floor was mopped often. There are three bathrooms to share between the 5-6 bungalows- I never had to wait for a bathroom.
We had the most beautiful but elusive gecko type creatures that lived behind the mirrors. My late night bathroom runs consisted of me trying my best to get a good photo of these guys. As you can see in my blurry photos… it was not an easy task!
The common area was were we got hooked up on our wi-fi, hung out with our fellow travelers and ate the awesome food from the restaurant. It was peaceful and relaxing and a great space to just chill. There were big fans that worked great to keep the mosquito’s away, a pool table if you like and even a movie hut for the evenings entertainment. Jose picked out the movie, Lunchbox – it’s a great little love story out of India. One update that would be nice to see here are new cushions. The “fluff” level has diminished over time.
I did break from eating vegetarian to eat crab while in Kep. It is “the thing to do” as Kep is famous for it’s crab. I have to say for me though, it was not worth the effort trying to get to the meat and I felt bad the second I saw those little beady eyes looking up at me from my plate. The meat eaters thoroughly enjoyed it though.
We all agreed that the food at Bacoma was great. In fact, I chose to eat all my meals at Bacoma except for the crab on the first night and two lunch outings. The price was great, the service exceptional, good portion sizes and the food was beautiful and tasty.
Best of all at Bacoma – the staff. I’m sorry to say that I did not get the names of the lovely women that helped to make our stay here so wonderful. Two ladies kept our rooms and bathrooms spotless and made the beautiful towel animals with flowers on the beds. The other two ladies made the delightful food that kept us coming back for more. Like many other Cambodians I have met they all had the best smiles and were happy to help out in anyway they could.
The star of the show has to be Tara and his name literally translates to star in Cambodian. It is no coincidence. He could be employed at the finest hotels in the world because he has service down to a T. The consummate professional he carried out his business with finesse. The word, “pleasure” has never sounded so beautiful coming out of someones mouth. I know it sounds a bit over the top, my praise, but you didn’t experience it so go with it. Pleasure is what Tara said when he did a task for you and you thanked him.
The owner of the guesthouse was back home in Switzerland on holiday. I can assure him that his establishment was well cared for in his absence.
The flora and fauna of Bacoma:
Last but not least, I have to mention the pets at Bacoma because for me interaction with dogs and cats is just part of my nature. I crave it when I am away from my job and my own dog.
I completely fell in love with these two cats and showered them with my affection sometimes, admittedly, against their will. Both are raising babies which is normal in Cambodia where spaying and neutering is at a minimum.
I have been avoiding touching dogs while in Cambodia and will continue to do so through the next six months in Southeast Asia. I did not move quickly enough to get vaccinated against rabies prior to leaving the United States and I would not have had enough time to do the three vaccine series. I know many people are against vaccines these days but I am not. I don’t care to die from rabies which is fatal if contracted and if treatment is not available, which it commonly is not in this area. So because dogs can carry rabies and tend to be the link in giving it to humans, I am avoiding dogs. Tara informed me that the Bacoma dogs have been vaccinated and they are well cared for, so I indulged in some dog interaction.
I did mention it was hot, right? The dogs were least active in the day time but would follow us out onto the street when we went exploring.
So if you happen to find yourself on the coast in Cambodia and are looking for a quiet place to rest and enjoy yourself, consider Bacoma. We could not have found a better place and at such a great price with more friendly and welcoming staff.
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