Kampot & Kep - Cambodia's Costal and Islands

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Kampot’s Information and Possibility of Visit

A former port city in south-east Cambodia. Kampot is a calm little river town best known for its salt and production, fresh seafood, and its proximity to Bokor National Park and Damrei Mountains. Alongside this, Kampot has its own unique charm and makes for a perfect chilled out getaway before the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh. 

Population: 615,000 approx.

Vibe: There is a great ambience to Kampot, with a relaxed and understated feel. This may, in part, be due to the mix of colonial architecture and a relaxed riverfront, with friendly locals and adventurous backpackers.

Known For: Growing some of the best pepper in the world, thanks to the unique climate and great soil in the countryside surrounding this town. Tastes vary from sweet to spicy and you can be sure to find plenty of restaurants around the town where you can sample some of the local seafood with a pepper sauce during your stay. 

Must do: The sunset river cruise. Watch the colours of the sky change behind the beautiful national park as you cruise along the river.


Bokor National Park
You can spend the afternoon doing a taxi tour of the Bokor Hill and the surrounding National Park. This trip offers some amazing views of the city and ocean below, a beautiful waterfall and is also home to the old French Colonial Hill Station with abandoned relics of an old church and a casino to explore – one of the final strongholds of the Khmer Rouge. If you’d like to get deeper into one of Cambodia’s best parks, sign up for a trekking trip to Bokor Mountain, where you can visit waterfalls and have various forms of the local wildlife keeping you company. Don’t worry, tigers are only rarely seen!

Pepper Farm
Take a trip into the countryside to see how the world-famous pepper in Kampot is grown. You'll learn about the farming process and get the opportunity to see some of the surrounding villages and local life.

Old Colonial Buildings
There are remains of French colonial architecture, though some are a bit - shall we say - 'decaying' atmospherically, dotted around Kampot which makes it incredibly photogenic. These include the Governor's residence, the Red Cross building, and the Department of Mines.

Wat Treuy Koh
A beautiful Buddhist temple decorated with depictions of Buddha's life – this is also a great spot to watch the fishermen around dusk.

Arcadia Water Park
Located approximately 7 kms out of town, Arcadia Water Park is a great place to cool off in the hot weather. Test your limits on the huge water slide, person launching “Blob”, acrobatic Russian swing, rope swing and pontoon dive tower or just relax on the pontoon, in a hammock or at the riverside bar. 

Durian Fruit Monument
Yes, there is a roundabout here which depicts the infamous smelly fruit of Asia. Strange but cool. Prior to the Khmer Rouge, Kampot used to be a paradise for Durian lovers and called it the “King of Fruits” – this large, bizarre sculpture signifies just that!

Sunset river cruise
Jump aboard the river cruise and watch the sky go technicolour at the end of your day exploring. The sun sets behind the national park and it's the perfect way to close your day in this beautiful town and see the town lit up at night. Grab a local beer, sit back and relax, and see if you can spot some fireflies!

Kampot night market
The night market here is small but nice to visit, with a few children's amusements to add to the friendly vibe of this place. 

Visit Kep
Kep, approximately 1 hour's drive from Kampot along the coast, hosts a picture-perfect beach and an amazing local market, known best for the fresh crab and grilled squid. Watch the locals haggle for the best catch and sample some seafood straight out of the ocean.


Although small, you shouldn't have any problems finding a place to eat or drink in Kampot. The food stalls along Makara Street are where you will see the locals eating, but there are also many restaurants to choose from in the old market area.  Just across from the river is Kampot Restuarant, with great fresh food, generous portion sizes and backpacker friendly prices. The stand out dishes are the beef skewers

What to do here…

Day 1/ Take a private vehicle to Kampot (approximately 4.5 hours) from Phnom Penh – one of Cambodia's most attractive old towns. Famous for its pepper, Kampot supplied most French restaurants with this vital spice for many years during colonial rule. Today, the region is more renowned for its plantations of durian, a spiky, pungent fruit that you’ll either love or hate – try it if you dare! In some free time, you might choose to stroll along the riverside and observe the French colonial architecture or have a cup of coffee on the veranda of one of the riverside restaurants and admire the view of Bokor Mountain Range. A traditional massage is also highly recommended. Certainly, one of the most enjoyable ways of supporting a local charity, you change into loose cotton pajamas before putting yourself in the capable hands of one of the blind masseurs or masseuses. In a country with no social security, the training and support provided by the centres such as Seeing Hands allows blind Cambodians to support themselves with dignity.

Day2/ Enjoy a day out in the countryside, giving you the opportunity to discover the jewels of the Kampot Province. Visit the Pepper Project and learn why Kampot pepper has been acknowledged by international chefs as the world’s best. Also visit the Kampot salt field – the only salt field in Cambodia. A short walk through the rice fields and a climb provides a lovely outlook over the surrounding countryside. A few steps later and you enter the mouth of Phnom Chhnork limestone cave that has a small 7th century brick temple inside it. Explore the old buildings near Kep’s oceanfront. The town used to be Cambodia's most popular and prestigious beach town from the early 1900's until the 1960's. During the Khmer Rouge years, many of Kep's mansions and villas were destroyed, but the ghostly remains of many still stand as a silent reminder. 

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Cambodia's Costal and Islands