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Travel Guides





 Getting There

 Things to Do

Tour Operators
Kampot Architecture

 Bokor Hill Station

 Caves Near Kampot


Kampot Maps

 Kampot Map

 Kep Map

 Koh Tunsay Map

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the print version of

The Sihanoukville

Visitors Guide


















On the River

Kampot sits along the east side of the Kampong Bay River near the base of the Elephant Mountains and is of quite different character from the beach town of Sihanoukville. Kampot City is an old provincial capital of quiet lanes and colonial architecture, a bit worn but radiating a quaint, welcoming, small town ambiance. A partially destroyed bridge, bombed in the war, sits city center over the river, its unique haphazard appearance now a bit of iconic Kampot. Kampot is a place to get a taste of provincial Cambodia, both urban and rural. Use the city as a base to explore and tour the surrounding countryside and as a stepping stone to the nearby beaches and islands of Kep, the Bokor Hill Station and the rest of southeastern Cambodia. Come the end of the day in Kampot, a little riverside cafe or pub is the place to be in Kampot - relaxing curbside over a drink, watching the sun set over the Elephant Mountains.



Getting to/From Kampot


Kampot may be approached by road directly from Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Kep and from Vietnam via the Prek Chak and the Phnom Den border crossings. There is no air service to/from Kampot.


The most direct route to Kampot from Phnom Penh follows NR3. The full length of NR3 is in very good condition - fully paved and quite wide in most places. The trip between Kampot and Phnom Penh can be made in less than 3 hours.

An alternative route following National Route #2 (NR2) passes several pre-Angkorian ruins in Takeo province including Phnom Chisor and Prasat Neang Khmau. From Phnom Penh take NR2 south to Road #22 in Takeo. The intersection is very well marked. Take Road #22 west to NR3 and then turn south to Kampot.

Taxis ~$30-$40 for a private taxi. 3 hours. In Phnom Penh, Kampot-bound taxis depart Phsar Dumkor. In Kampot taxis depart the bus/taxi station.

Bus Several daily a/c buses. 2.5-4 hours. Buy tickets at the bus station or from one of the many local tour and travel agents. Some buses loop through Kampot and Kep. When booking ask for a bus that stops at Kampot first. There are several bus companies and there is no centralized bus station in Phnom Penh so it is usually easiest to book tickets through a tour operator.

Giant Ibis (Deluxe mini-buses)
PP to KPT : 8:00, 14:25
KPT to PP : 8:00, 14:25
Phnom Penh station: #6, Street 106, next to the Night Market.

Tel: 023-999333



From Sihanoukville, travel north on National Route #4 (NR4) to Veal Renh (43km). Turn east on National Route #3 (NR3) to Kampot. NR4 is in excellent condition. NR3 is in very good condition. The trip takes 1½ -2 hours and is 110km total.

Bus There are currently no regularly scheduled buses between Sihanoukville and Kampot.

Mini-vans A couple of tours operators run inexpensive (~$5), daily, tourist mini-vans. Contact a local tour operator for current schedule. (See page 106.)

Taxis In Sihanoukville, taxis can be found at the main bus station. In Kampot, taxis wait at the bus stop/taxi stand. (See Kampot map.) Sihanoukville to/from Kampot runs $25-$30 for a private taxi.

Vietnam visas are not available at the border. Visas are available at tour operators in Kampot and Kep and at the Vietnamese consulate in Sihanoukville.

To/from Ho Chi Minh City: Three possible overland routes to Kampot: 1) Moc Bai/Bavet crossing via Phnom Penh (bus or taxi); 2) Prek Chak crossing (bus); 3) Phnom Den crossing (taxi.) Get bus tickets from a local tour operator (see page 107.)

To/from Phu Quoc Island and deep south Vietnam The crossing Prek Chak/Xaxia is the nearest, most easily accessed border crossing with Vietnam. The crossing is near the Vietnamese town of Ha Tien, the primary jump off point to Phu Quoc Island.

Regularly scheduled multi-daily vans and mini-buses travel from Kampot and Kep, through the border crossing and all the way to Ha Tien, most in time for the ferry to Phu Quoc. Price: $8-$11. Arrange a ticket through your guesthouse or a tour operator in Kampot or Kep. If you want to do-it-yourself, a motodup from Kampot to to the Prek Chak crossing costs about $8; tuk-tuks run about $15-$20 and a taxi is $20-$25. Some motorcycle taxis from Kampot are also able to cross the border with you and take you as far as Ha Tien for an additional $2-$3.


To/from Ho Chi Minh City:  Three possible overland routes to Kampot: 1) Moc Bai/Bavet crossing via Phnom Penh (bus or taxi); 2) Prek Chak crossing via Ha Tien (bus); 3) Phnom Den crossing (taxi.) Get tickets from a local tour operator.

To/from Phu Quoc Island and deep south Vietnam The crossing Prek Chak/Xaxia is the nearest, most easily accessed border crossing with Vietnam. The crossing is near the Vietnamese town of Ha Tien, the primary jump off point to Phu Quoc Island.

Regularly scheduled multi-daily vans and mini-buses travel from Kampot, through the border crossing and all the way to Ha Tien, most in time for the ferry to Phu Quoc. Price: $8-$11. Arrange a ticket through your guesthouse or a tour operator in Kampot. If you want to do-it-yourself, a motodup from Kampot to to the Prek Chak crossing costs about $8; tuk-tuks run about $15-$20 and a taxi is $20-$25. Some motorcycle taxis from Kampot are also able to cross the border with you and take you as far as Ha Tien for an additional $2-$3.


For more on international border crossings see the Overland page.



Getting Around Kampot

The town is small and motodups are common. Foreigner price for motodup: 1500-2000R across town. Motorcycle rental: 100-125cc ($4-$6/day) and 250cc ($15-$20/day). There are a couple of motorcycle shops just off the traffic circle in the center of town (see map) and almost all hotels and guesthouses and even some restaurants and bars can help you arrange motorcycle rental and other transportation.



Kampot Hotels and Guesthouses

Kampot City is comparatively compact and most in-town hotels are within walking distance of the popular riverfront area. Several stylish little places occupy colonial-era buildings in the Old French Quarter, offering a uniquely Kampot experience. There is also a cluster of a few budget places on ‘Guesthouse Street’. For a more natural, secluded setting, a number of budget and mid-range guesthouses dot the riverside stretching north from town, some several kilometers up river.


Auberge du Soleil
Range: $25 - $38

Very nicely restored colonial era building a block off of the riverfront in the old French Quarter. Three spacious rooms fast free wifi, en suite bathroom with hot shower, AC and fan, flat screen cable TV and mini fridge, laundry service. Restaurant and bar serving Under a recent Swiss management. Restaurant serving Swiss Cheese Fondue and Röstis, French and Asian specialties. French, English and Khmer spoken.
Tel: +(855)(0)88-8820245


Blissful Guesthouse
Range: $2 - $8

Popular, inexpensive, friendly, clean, western managed guesthouse/restaurant located on 'guesthouse street'. Dormitory available, most rooms with attached bath. Free wifi. Lush quiet garden with restaurant and bar. Great breakfasts and a large varied menu. Quiz night every Tuesday. Some books, postcards, souvenirs and traveler's sundries. Lots of travel and local information available. Receiving lots of good reviews.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-848390

The Columns Kampot
Range: $45 - $59

Fully restored French colonial era buildings a block off the river in the old French quarter of town. Hardwood furnishings, Cambodian silk cushions and decor, and all modern amenities including air-conditioning, flat-screen TV with cable and DVD player, mini-bar, lockbox, in-room wifi and i-docking pad. In-room wifi.
Tel: +(855)(0)92-128300

Hang Guesthouse

Range: $10 - $30

Riverside restaurant, pretty rooms in a beautiful garden with mango and coconut trees, lots of flowers. and a nice view of the river, mountains and the rice fields. 2 minutes outside town. Internet facilities. TV. A/c rooms. Hot water. Free bicycle rental. Tour service. French, English and Khmer spoken. Free WiFi.
Tel: +(855)(0)16-357178


Mea Culpa Guesthouse
Range: $20 - $25

Guesthouse and restaurant in a nice garden setting, located in a quiet part of the old French quarter of town. Clean, new nicely decorated fan and a/c rooms with cable TV, DVD player and en suite bathroom with hot water. Balcony. Complimentary tea and coffee. Free wifi. Patio restaurant and bar serving Khmer and international fare including pizzas from a wood-fired oven. Both the guesthouse and the restaurant are receiving excellent reviews from customers.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-504769

Moon River Lodge Kampot

Range $10 - $25

Newly refurbished guesthouse in a Retro-design French-Khmer building on the riverfront road 500 meters downriver from the main riverfront district. Nice quiet area with a view of the river and mountains. Both fan and air-conditioned rooms available with CTV and DVD player, free wifi, en suite bathroom with hot water. Guesthouse services include laundry service, tour desk, free pick-up from the bus station and room service from the guesthouse restaurant. Kitchen open from 7AM, serving Khmer and western food and all day breakfast on the balcony.

Riverside front Road 500meters from Governors Residence, Kampot, Cambodia.

Tel: (+855)(0)77-526-443

Nataya Round House Coral Bay Resort
Range: $100 - $300 (Breakfast Included)

Beautiful, unique resort set amongst manicured gardens on a secluded beach on the South China Sea 15km west of Kampot off of Route #3. Fully outfitted, very well appointed ‘round-house’ style boutique bungalows just a few meters from ocean. Superior and deluxe bungalows and pavilion suites. Infinity pool and Jacuzzis at ocean’s edge and a long sandy palm-lined beach. Fine dining and drinking venues. Absolutely unique and one of the finest accommodations on the coast. Free wifi.

Tel: +(855)(0)33-6902011



Natural Bungalows

Range: $30 - $52 (breakfast included $30+)

Stylish, finished, air-conditioned individual rooms in wooden bungalows at the riverside. Tastefully decorated, well appointed rooms with all amenities. A/c, Cable TV, en suite with hot water. Most with balconies and a beautiful sunset view over the river. Riverside restaurant and bar. 10% discount on stay of 1 week or more. Free WiFi.

Located just north of the new bridge.

Tel: +(855)(0)33-641188 (English)

      +(855)(0)12-819081 (Khmer)

Orchid Guesthouse

Range: $6 - $20

Fan and a/c rooms and bungalows. Cable TV and hot water. Khmer decor. Intl/Khmer restaurant. Lots of seafood. Full bar. Motorcycles, bicycles, boat for rent. Books available. Quiet area. Secure parking. Contact for Wild Orchid Tours offering trips to Bokor, Kep, jungle treks, and lots more. Internet, free wifi.

Tel: +(855)(0)92-226996


Pepper Guesthouse
Range: $6 - $35

Nicely refurbished villa-style guesthouse on a quiet street amongst a cluster of guesthouses. Fan and a/c rooms with cable TV and en suite bathroom with hot water. Free wifi. Bicycles for rent. Restaurant and bar with BBQ. Happy hour. All tourist services. Health care services.

30 meters from ACLEDA Bank.
Tel: +(855)(0)17-822626


Range: $35 - $45

Charming little western-managed guesthouse on the river road in town. Very well-appointed, stylishly finished a/c rooms with all amenities including CTV, DVD, mini-bar, in-room wifi, spring mattresses and hot/cold showers. Free, fast wifi and safe-box in-room. Excellent rooftop restaurant and bar with a brilliant view overlooking the river. Consistently good reviews.
Tel: +(855)(0)12-235102

Two Moons

Range: $15 - $75

Hotel and bungalows offering picturesque river, mountain, sunrise and sunset views. Set in a tranquil location yet only a 10 minute walk or short bicycle ride to town. 20 stylishly furnished and well appointed rooms. Choose from Khmer wooden bungalows, a 4 bedroom Khmer house suitable for groups or families or stay in the newly built hotel. Restaurant serving fine international cuisine prepared by a European chef. Nice big swimming pool. Tour desk, bicycle and scooter hire available.

Tel: +(855)(0)33-932857


Villa Vedici

Range: $30 - $100

Laidback garden resort on the riverfront surrounded by paddy fields with spectacular mountain views. Receiving very good reviews. Rooms and family bungalows. Small beach, swimming pool, bar. Serving Western, Khmer, Mexican food. Free Wifi, Sat TV, movie database, PlayStation3. Sunset cruises, kite surfing, wake boarding, water skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, basketball, pool table, ping pong.
Tel: +(855)(0)89-290714





Kampot Restaurants
Dining... Kampot has a number of little restaurants and cafes, and like most southern towns the emphasis is on fresh seafood. Some of the best dining in town is to be found along the picturesque riverfront road and nearby streets in the Old French Quarter - pizza, Cambodian food, pub grub, coffeeshops and lots western choices. The riverfront road has long had a fair number of restaurants and bars and recently several new places have popped up around Phsar Kronet and in the Old French Quarter.

For a local streetfood experience, soup, sandwich and fruit shake stands set up in the evenings on the road between the Old Bridge and the Durian Monument.

Drinking... Kampot is not a party town the caliber of Sihanoukville, but there are more than a few bars in town, and growing gradually in number. And some of the guesthouses up river are pretty good party venues, chill-out places, riverside bars and even live music.

In town, many of the bars are located on or near the riverfront of the Old French Quarter. There’s also a couple of bars mid-block on the north side of the Phsar Kronet just off the riverfront. Late night most of the town closes, but a couple places sometimes stay open late including Blue Bar Red and Wunder-bar on the riverfront and ABC next to Phsar Kronath.


Auberge du Soleil
Set in a very nicely restored colonial era building in the Old French Quarter, Auberge du Soleil specializes in Swiss Cheese Fondue and Röstis, as well as French and Asian dishes. The Duck Breast with an Orange and Honey Glaze and the tender Beef Filet with a "Marchand de Kampot" Sauce are recommended. Wine selection, full bar, cocktails and liquors. French, English and Khmer spoken.

Tel: 088-8820245

Blissful Guesthouse

Popular garden restaurant located on 'guesthouse street', all food prepared by a professional western chef. Large varied menu of Western, Khmer and Asian dishes. Great breakfasts and a Sunday roast every week. Full bar open into the evening. Happy hour 4:00PM - 8:00PM. Free wifi. Lots of travel and local information available. Receiving consistently good reviews.

Open early till late.

Tel: 012-848390

Brise du Bokor Restaurant
Comfortable local restaurant on the Bokor Mountain Road, next to the Yeah Mao Monument near the top. Nice clean dining room with fans. Serving Khmer food and some western dishes, both meals and snacks. Small bar with beer, wine and a few cocktails. Reasonable prices.
Tel: 097-6298797


Café Espresso Kampot
Southeast Asian coffees roasted in-house. Good selection of espressos, perfectly brewed. Breakfast and lunch, baked goods, homemade condiments & good vegetarian options. Stylish atmosphere and great service. Free wifi. Recommended. A couple of blocks off the riverfront, half a block from the Phsar Kronat and Epic Arts Cafe.

Captain Chim’s Family Café

Family-run Cambodian restaurant in the center of town, offering authentic home cooked Cambodian dishes at extraordinarily reasonable prices. Some of the best value for money in town. Luk-lak, Cambodian Amok, soups and more. Also running Cambodian cooking classes for foreigners. Boat and motorcycle rental available.

Opposite the Old Market.
Tel: 012-321043


Divino Italian Restaurant
Homey little Italian restaurant serving up some excellent Italian dishes and getting very good reviews in the process. A selection of pastas, pizza, ravioli, gnocchi, tuna tartar and more. A good choice of desserts too, including a very nice tiramisu. Wines, spirits, beer.

9AM-11PM. (Closed for the low season.)
Tel: 088-4791027

Epic Art Cafe
Established in 2006, Epic Cafe provides work opportunities for deaf and disabled people and is a model of an inclusive work space. Comfortable corner restaurant near the Old Market. Serving western breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, home-made cakes, teas, juices and more.

Happy Dreamily Pizza

Friendly little riverfront pizza place serving pizza, pastas, burgers and a variety of good Khmer dishes. Full bar. Cold beer, spirits, cocktails. Open 7:00AM - 11:00PM. Free delivery. Call a pizza to your hotel or guesthouse.

Tel: 092-459525


Happy Special Pizza

Riverfront pizza place with a huge menu, full bar and great sunset view. Western breakfast, sandwiches, salads, burgers, a selection of pasta dishes and near 50 varieties of pizzas. Fresh fruit shakes. Beer, wines, cocktails. Very reasonable prices.

7:00AM - Midnight.
Tel: 012-410538


Kampot Pie and Ice Cream Palace

Pleasant little bakery/deli/coffeeshop located just off the river road. Fresh baked pastries, pies, cookies, good coffee, shakes, fresh juices, frappes and more. Also a few light meals including burgers, chili dogs, chicken curry pie and even poutine. Wifi.

Mea Culpa Bar & Pizzeria  

Pleasantly quiet patio garden restaurant and bar set off the main road in a tranquil corner of town. Serving nicely done international fare including excellent pizzas from a wood-fired oven. Good salads and sandwiches as well. Excellent service. Friendly place. Receiving consistently great reviews from customers. Free wifi. Recommended.

Tel: 012-504769

Mira Home Cooking
Local restaurant serving very reasonably priced Cambodian food - stir fries, fish soup, curries, fried chicken, fried rice, some veg dishes, all very reasonably priced. Many meals between $2 and $3. Specializing in tukiluks, the classic Cambodian fruit shake. Receive a free fruit shake with purchase of meal and the advertisement (page 93).
Tel: 016-777409


Rikitikitavi Riverfront Restaurant

Charming rooftop balcony restaurant and bar with a spectacular view overlooking the river and mountains. A great place to enjoy sunset -the only place on the riverfront with a balcony sunset view. Offering a wide selection of western and Khmer dishes prepared by a professional chef. Generous portions. Great desserts. (The Apple Pie is delicious!) Cozy balcony bar offering cocktails, cold beer, a selection of wines and fine spirits including a very good choice of single malts. Great service. A very popular place.

Two for one happy hour 5:00PM - 7:00PM.

Open 7:00AM - 10:00PM everyday.

Tel: 012-235102

Rusty Keyhole

Friendly, very popular, western managed, bar and restaurant. great western and Asian food at very reasonable prices. good value, good cooking. Daily seafood and Tex-Mex specials, draught beer in a pint glass and, as reported by the Phnom Penh Post, serving the best BBQ ribs in the land. Ice cream and sweets. Located on the riverfront, next to the old market. Offering the 1.5kg dino rib!!! Recommended.

11.00AM - 11.00PM

Tel: 012-679607


Veronica’s Kitchen

Lovely al fresco restaurant on the riverfront, uniquely placed at the riverside end of Phsar Kronat (the Old Market). A friendly upscale ambiance at very reasonable prices. Offering a good selection of both Cambodian and western classics, from Mexican Burritos to Fresh Shrimp in Kampot Pepper. Full bar with a good wine selection. Nice place for a sundowner. Set in an open area with a nice breeze off the river and a sunset view.





The main market is located at the north end of town - a traditional style market carrying the usual local products: vegetables, fruits, meats, bulk rice, motorcycle parts, tools, moneychangers, etc. Phsar Kronat (the Old Market) on the boulevard off the riverfront road has recently reopened and now includes a book shop, souvenirs and clothing, a small convenience store, a realtor, a couple of tour operators and a few restaurant/bars at either end.

Two or three convenience stores are located on central (Durian Monument) traffic circle, offering a pretty good selection of imported goods, canned foods, snacks, beer, spirits, wines, water and sundries. One of the stores also has a pharmacy.

Many of the guesthouses and hotels offer small selections of souvenirs, usually focused on local products such as Kampot pepper, Cambodian coffee, locally made bags, handicrafts, clothes and cards. And there are now a few proper souvenir and clothing shops in town as well as a book store.



A Cambodian social enterprise combining skills training and employment opportunities. Shop offering a good selection of handmade women’s clothing and accessories, most in comfortable cotton - dresses, skirts, blouses, bags, purses and more.

Located next to the Old Market.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-960225


Kampot River Souvenir
New riverfront souvenir shop carrying a wide variety of Cambodian handicrafts, souvenirs, clothes and other Cambodian products. Local basketry, Kampot pepper, Cambodian crafts and jewelry, NGO products, bags and purses from recycled rice bags, also comfortable clothes, sunglasses and such.

Tel: 092-334966


Kampot Souvenirs and Handicraft

Offers a wide range of local handicrafts including the Transparent Handicraft range of products made by disabled and disadvantaged in the Kampot Area. This product range is transparently priced so the customer knows who made the product and how much they were paid.


Kepler’s Kampot Pepper

Large selection of the famous Kampot-grown pepper, some of the finest black pepper in the world. Kampot-grown black, red and white pepper, available in different packaging's. Also selling Cambodian grown coffee.

Open 8:00AM - 8:00PM.

Tel: 012-306410


Srey Na Souvenir Shop
Small local souvenir and gift shop just off the riverfront, catering to both locals and travelers. Kampot souvenirs including a variety of Kampot peppers, kromas and Cambodia tee-shirts. Also light dresses, hats, sunglasses, sundries and trinkets.

Tel: 097-9338295




Books and Information

Kepler’s Kampot Books carries a good selection of used and new novels and Cambodia related titles for buy/sell/trade. Souvenirs for sale. Kampot pepper, statues, t-shirts, postcards, more. Print and scan services. Internet available.

Located next to the old market in the middle of town.

Open 8:00AM - 8:00PM.

Tel: 097-7774493

Most of the guesthouses and tour operators can provide local travel information. Local newsletter, The Kampot Survival Guide, provides an entertaining read and a unique take on touring Kampot. For the history of Kampot, pick up a copy of Robert Philpotts’ The Coast of Cambodia (Blackwater Books, 2000).



Kampot Banks, ATMs and Money
ACLEDA and Canadia Bank both accept Visa and have 24-hour ATMs. Canadia Bank also accepts MC. ACLEDA ATMs access Visa and Gold Dots. Canadia Bank ATMs access Visa, M/C, Cirrus and Maestro. For instant cash transfer, Canadia Bank offers MoneyGram and Acleda Bank has Western Union. All banks offer currency exchange. Moneychangers are located around the market.



Phone & Internet: There are several internet places around town and some of the hotels and restaurants offer free wifi. Dani Internet cafe just off the riverfront has inexpensive internet, wifi and international calls. Hotels and restaurants with wifi available include Rikitikitavi, Rusty Keyhole, Natural Bungalows, Mea Culpa, Bokor Mountain Lodge and others.

Medical: The main hospital is on the riverfront road 100 meters north of the Old Bridge. Facilities and services are very rudimentary. Local residents also recommend the Bokor Clinic & Maternity near the hospital (see map).

Tel: 017-620531


Tel: 012-594224






Things to Do and See

The quaint riverine capital of Kampot and the oceanside town of Kep sit along the coast a couple of hours east of Sihanoukville. The two are so close to each other that they share most of the same sights and attractions, though some are more convenient to one city or the other. For example Bokor is closer to Kampot and the Rabbit Island ferry departs Kep, but as Kampot and Kep are only 30-40 minutes apart, even if you are in the ‘wrong city’ it ads little time. Kep Beach, Rabbit Island, Bokor Hill Station and countryside tours are perhaps the most popular day trips with tour operators offering competitive prices. There are also Angkorian ruins, caves, jungle trekking, bicycling tours, river cruises, secluded beaches, pepper plantations and more.



Architecture of Kampot
Though suffering a bit the ravages of time, the architecture of Kampot is pleasantly provincial, a mix of red tile-roofed shophouses and old French colonial government buildings. Kampot has been an active settlement for centuries but the location and layout of the modern town was established during the French colonial period in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Many of the buildings along and near the river were constructed during this period. The south end of town harbors several European-style buildings including the governor’s mansion and the old prison. Most of the other colonial era buildings employ the classic 2-storey ‘Chinese shophouse’ design, many displaying European design elements. Unlike many other Cambodian cities, the shophouses are often individuated in design and facade, lending to Kampot town’s quaint air.



Kep Beach The most popular beach in the area. A single, kilometer-long crescent of sand near the tip of the Kep peninsula, bounded by rocks at either end and traced by an oceanfront road. Coarse sand and warm shallow water. It’s a very average swimming beach but still pleasantly peaceful (no noisy jet skis yet) - a good place to lounge, have an oceanside seafood meal and enjoy the cool sea breeze. Dining platforms and seafood vendors line the road behind the beach as well as the oceanfront further down the road. The beach can be quite busy on weekends, but is often deserted during the week. The road through Kep follows the coastline to the beach and then circles back on itself. Sometimes cars and vans must pay admission. Be aware the oceanfront road along the beach area is a one way street and the police do occasionally enforce the law.

Angkuol Beach Kep’s “other beach” - a long, narrow sandy tropical beach about 25km from Kep. The beach is very lightly touristed with only a couple of snack/drink vendors, a few fishing boats and little else. Interesting, photogenic trip through the rice paddies and salt flats to get there.



Phnom Doung Beach A small, completely untouristed beach about 9km south of Kampot City. The dirt road from Kampot to the beach passes through picturesque rice fields and salt flats.


Bokor Hill Station

Tours out of Kampot to the old Bokor Hill Station in the nearby Elephant Mountains have long been popular. A new casino/hotel complex has gone up over the last couple of years, and the road up the mountain improved, but the reminants of the old hill station are still there - a mountaintop collection of crumbling buildings - hotel, casino, church and royal residence. The station was originally constructed by French authorities in the early 1920s as a complement to the Kep resort area. In its day Bokor was an elegant getaway for officials and foreign visitors - a classic colonial 'hill station' located in the mountains to allow foreigner visitors accustomed to more temperate climes to escape the tropical heat. The old building were abandoned in the 1970s, leaving ghostly ruins - vestiges of a different age, often shrouded in fog and clouds.

One thing that the years have not changed is the absolutely spectacular view of the coast and the cool (sometimes cold) mountain air. Bokor is jungled and excursions beyond Bokor, including trekking, can be arranged by local tour operators.

The road up the mountain has been completed and is in good condition. Full day Bokor tours can be arranged through a local tour operator. Tours run about $10/person inclusive for an all-day tour including a sunset boat cruise on the Kampong Bay River. The Park Office and turn-off to the Hill Station are 37km west of Kampot on National Route 3. The drive from the base to the top takes 30-45 minutes.


Caves near Kampot

Limestone mountains (‘phnom’) dot the landscape between Kampot and Kep. Many contain limestone caves, some adorned with exotic rock formations, and almost all containing Buddhist shines. Make sure to bring a torch and wear shoes suitable for climbing on rocks.




The caves of Phnom Chhnork - Cave #1 Pre-Angkorian ruin set in a limestone cave amongst stalagmites and stalactites that are slowly growing back into the ruin. Small, 4th-5th century AD brick structure associated with the ancient state of Funan. A bit of carving is still visible. Look for the limestone formations near the entrance of the cave in the shapes of elephants. Cave #2 The entrance is about 300 meters from Cave #1 in the same limestone outcropping. Very little in the way of formations, but quite deep, requiring climbing over piles of rock and through small openings. Small shrine.


Phnom Kbal Romeas (Phnom Sla Ta'aun) Plain by comparison to other caves. Look for the huge rock balanced in a hole in the ceiling. A few old shrines, hidden deep inside the hill and many stalactites. Excellent views from the top.

Climbodia provides caving and rock climbing in amazing caves at Phnom Kbal Romeas. A climb to the top rewards with breathtaking views inside the cave and from the top of the hill, Bokor and the ocean. Securely placed Via Ferratas take you deep into the belly of the hill, abseiling down a labyrinth of caves. All skill levels, from the absolute beginner to the experienced climber.

Tel: 095-581951


The cave at Phnom Sasear, also known as the ‘White Elephant Cave.’ Located next to an colorful pagoda. The stairs up the side of the outcropping provide a beautiful view of the countryside, especially during the wet season. The cave contains a shrine at the base of a limestone formation alleged to resemble a white elephant.




Countryside Tours

Kampot and Kep provinces harbor some beautiful rural countryside just outside the town areas - bucolic scenery, rice paddies and water buffalos with white egrets riding their backs, countryside pagodas and little villages filled with traditional stilted houses. There is some very nice rural scenery along the road between Kampot and Kep. Keep your camera at the ready. Tour operators offer full and half day area tours the can easily be customized to your requirements, often including visits to the caves, a pepper plantation, Kep, Rabbit Island, Kampong Trach and a sunset cruise on the Kampong Bay River.


Kampong Trach

Kampong Trach is the district that borders Vietnam. The road trip from Kampot to the main town passes though some picturesque rural areas. There is a new side road to Kampong Trach town that skirts the base of Phnom Voar, (where the victims of the 1994 Khmer Rouge kidnappings were held.) These mountain areas of Kampong Trach were one of the last Khmer Rouge holdouts. Kampong Trach town is small and relatively uninteresting. The area’s main attraction is a series of limestone caves and tubes that have been carved into a nearby mountain. The roof of a large cave in the center of a mountain has collapsed, making a small, enclosed jungle. Pagodas and shrines have been built amongst the caves, providing for some excellent photo possibilities. Bring a flashlight and wear good walking shoes. 

From Kampot, take the Kep road, bear left at the White Horse Monument and follow to Kampong Trach. After a few kilometers the road changes to badly broken pavement. The side road mentioned above requires a left turn onto a graded dirt road about 7 km past the White Horse Monument. It is not a straightforward route and it may be better if you go with a guide. Set aside the better part of a day for the trip to the caves and back.


Kampot Pepper and Pepper Plantations
Kampot pepper, grown in Kampot province, has been renowned for more than a century as some of the highest quality pepper in the world - its distinct flavor and pugnacity, intense but light taste with fresh lingering aromas has long been a prized as an essential spice in the finest French kitchens. It is also featured in local Kampot/Kep cuisine such as Pepper Crab (local crab fried in black or green pepper corn) and beef steak in fresh pepper corn sauce. At the beginning of the 20th century the Kampot plantations were in full operation and Cambodia was exporting more than 8000 tones of pepper annually. In 1960, there were 1 million pepper poles in Kampot. But the wars from the 1970s through the 1990s put an end to regular production for almost 30 years. Production was renewed in the late 1990s but faced new challenges. Pepper plantations now dot Kampot province. Most general Kampot area tours pass through the pepper plantations near Phnom Voar. The plantations of Angkor Chey near Phnom Voar offer a particularly good look at the process or growing and preparing the pepper. And it’s a good place to buy the Kampot pepper straight from the source.


Rabbit Island

Rabbit Island (Koh Tunsay) is a small tropical island located about 30 minutes south of Kep by local boat. The island is undeveloped except for some rustic bungalows and a couple of beach shack restaurants. Secluded white sand beaches dot the edges of the island, backed by a hilly coconut palm interior. Most services are near the west side beach. The surrounding waters are relatively clear and warm, offering some snorkeling opportunities around the rocks. Coral is scarce but colorful fish abound. You can stay on the island or just make a day trip of it. Rooms/bungalows on the island generally run $10 or less. Arrange a boat trip to the island through your guesthouse in Kampot or Kep or just go to the Koh Tunsay Boat Dock in Kep town next to the Long Villa Restaurant. Boats are almost always available. A round-trip trip to/from the island runs $20 for the whole boat, so bring some friends to split the cost. The round-trip price is the same whether you stay a few hours or a few days. Tour operators in Kep offer day packages starting at about $7/person inclusive.


Kampot River Trips
& Sunset Cruises

Various sorts of river trips out of Kampot on the Kampong Bay River are available. Local tour companies offer upriver boat trips including daily sunset cruises and 1-2 hour cruises to the Tekchhou Rapids, as well as longer cultural/wildlife/eco trips upriver combined with trekking into the National Park. Going the other way, downriver trips from Kampot to the ocean let you explore beaches and sand spits near the river’s mouth and do a bit of ocean swimming. Some tour operators can supply basic fishing gear. Contact a local tour operator (below) to arrange a trip or contact the cruise boat that sometimes waits at the riverside.


Trekking around

Offering a fairly easy hiking experience, a trail/service road snakes through national forest land around Kep Mountain - the small mountain near the tip of the peninsula between Road 33a and the Kep town area. The gently sloping trail winds past a couple of old pagodas, though light jungles where you may spy monkeys or other wildlife, and provides many picturesque overlooks along the way. Kampot and the Elephant Mountains can be seen in the distance from the northwest viewpoint, and the trail on the other side of the mountain provides some striking views across the valley to a pagoda on the next mountain and the beaches in the distance. The trail is actually a small, dirt service road that rings the mountain in an 8km loop, part of the road in pretty good condition, some narrow and overgrown. Suitable to hike of for a mountain bike or dirt bike. The trail is most easily and conveniently accessed from the road next to Le Bout du Monde and Veranda Guesthouse. The hiking is fairly easy, but wear stout shoes and take water and mosquito repellent.





Kampot/Kep Tour Operators
Whether you plan to book a tour or do-it-yourself, transportation and/or tours are probably most easily arranged through one of the many local tour operators or your guesthouse. In Kep several tour/travel shops are clustered near the Kep Beach intersection, especially near the bus station. Shop around for the best price and for exact type of tour you would like to take.


Anna Tours & Travel
Full service. Bus, boat, plane tickets. Local tours to Bokor, Rabbit Island, countryside, cruises. Buses to Vietnam, Phu Quoc, all points Cambodia.
Kep, bus station, Kep Beach intersection
Tel: 097-9828756, 092-125556, 033-6335556

Kampot Tours & Travel
All travel and tour services. Bokor, countryside, boating, cycling, Kep, Rabbit Island, transport to Vietnam and Thailand.
Kampot, one block off the river road

Tel: 097-9828756, 092-125556, 033-6335556

Sok Lim Tours
Kampot packages, sunset cruises, Rabbit Island, Bokor, jungle trekking, countryside tours, Takeo.
Kampot, opposite Magic Sponge Guesthouse.
Tel: +(855)(0)12-719872 

Tic Tuk Tours
Kampot/Kep area tours - Bokor, caves, pepper farms, countryside. Half and full day tours. Custom tours.
Moon River Lodge on the river road, south of town center, opposite Aquatic Center, Kampot
Tel: +(855)(0)13-299939

Tree Travel Service
Motorcycle tours, Rabbit Island, Bokor hill station, countryside tours, cruises, motorcycle rental.
Street 729, just off the Durian Traffic Circle

Wild Orchid Adventure Tours
Day tours and overnighters to Bokor. Countryside tours, cycling tours, motorbike tours, kayak tours. Kampot pepper plantation tours.
Orchid Guesthouse, ‘Guesthouse Road,’ Kampot.
Tel: +(855)(0)92-226996


Last updated July 2014


This website is the (expanded) online version of Canby Publications' Cambodia travel guides: The Phnom Penh Visitors Guide, The Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide and The Sihanoukville Visitors Guide, (also including Battambang, Kampot, Koh Kong and Kep.)

Kampot Websites



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