Around 150km or a 4h bus ride south of the capital Phnom Penh on the coast of the gulf of Thailand, the town of Kampott is situated. The small town rooted back to the time of the French colonization which is still visible through the old style building in the city center. The Praek Tuek Chhu river is the pulsing center of the city and gives a nice view especially in the mild evenings. Located a 30min ride/drive next to Kampott there is the beach of Kep with its nice open gold sands.
Praek Tuek Chhu River
Being at the pulse of Kampott city the river defines clearly its layout. Especially during the sunset it gives a wonderful scenery you possible want to experience on one of the evening boat tours. Additionally if you are more an active person I can recommend you to rent a kayak and explore the many side arms of the river on your own.
Located around 30km next to the town there is the Bokor hill national park. The entry is free and you will probably need with the motorbike around 1 hour to get to the top at 1000m above sea altitude from the city. The highlight on the hill top are the many abandoned buildings of a former luxurious tourist retreat. Just a few Kilometer before the actual hill top there you can find the status of Yeay Mao:
Old Catholic Church built by French around 1920:
On the very top of Bokor hill there are many abandoned buildings to explore from also different epochs.
The pepper plantation was founded by 2 Europeans around 10 years ago and is one of the special manufactures where they produce the famous Kampott pepper. In a free tour you can learn more about how this product is cultivated and what makes ist so special. The product tasting gives you an idea of what the final product and I can just encourage you and support this sustainable project with buying some of them. The venue itself is around 45min ride away from the town. Be aware that it takes very bumpy roads to get there.
Things to see in Kep
The area of Kep is a 30min ride away from Kampott city and has a very nice coast vibe. You can find a rather big fish market but also at the top of a hill the national park offering thy typical jungle feeling. To get around it is recommend to go by motorbike.
The beach front of Kep is located at a large bay with shallow water and golden sands. There are some restaurants as well in that area but be aware of the aggressiv street vendors that want to sell you a space at their prepared hammocks and beach beds. Prizes are rather expensive and can be around 5$ for a single seat. The beach itself is public so better be rested at the sands with a towel.
Kep national park
Raising from the Kep bay a big hill is forming the junge area of the Kep national park. There is no entry fee and you are also allowed to go via motorbike into the area – cars are not allowed. To explore the forest is great fun and you can find many viewpoints and of course wildlife there. At the peak of the hill there is a green watch tower that gives that extra view onto all the surroundings. You can also easily spot the market and the beach from atop.
Kep crab market
The big fish market is a very chaotic place where the locals offer the fresh fish and seafood to the visitors. The quality of the products is very good and you shouldn’t have concerns to get a fresh squid from the grill. Also available in that are on the right side of the market you have a bunch of Servier restaurant that offer the food in a more relaxed atmosphere then at the hectic market.