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Canby Publications Cambodia Travel Guides

Kep

 Hotels

Dining

 Getting to Kep

Massage

 Things to Do

Tour Operators

Beaches

Trekking

Rabbit Island

Kep Maps

 Kep Map

 Koh Tunsay Map

 Kampot Map

 Coast Map

 General Map Index

 

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Kep, Cambodia

Cambodia's Oceanside Retreat

Cambodia Map: KepFrom the turn of the century through the 1960s Kep was Cambodia's premier beach town, drawing holiday-makers to its breezy shores and nearby Bokor Hill Station. Back in the day, luxurious villas of the privileged class dotted the seaside, but now remain as ruined vestiges of an earlier era, slowly being cleared away for new developments. These days Kep is known more for its oceanfront crab shacks and relaxed tropical atmosphere. A few short, picturesque slivers of sand dot the shore including Kep Beach where many of the guesthouses and restaurants are clustered. Though probably on the cusp of significant tourism development, Kep still has a rustic feel to it - jungled mountains, quiet beaches, crab shacks and a gradually growing number of hotels and restaurants. Kep is a place to relax and dine by the seaside and use as a base to visit Rabbit Island (Koh Tunsay,) to explore the national park, to see the nearby caves and rural countryside.

 

Getting to/from Kep

 

 

KAMPOT to/from KEP

The road from Kampot to Kep (Road 33) is a 25km, 30-45 minute trip though scenic Cambodian countryside - small villages and rice paddies.

Motodups from Kampot start at about $3-$4 one way and $8-$10 round trip. Tuk-tuks run about $10-$17 for a round trip depending how long you spend in Kep and number of passengers.

Many ethnic Cham people live along this stretch of road. Unlike the Buddhist Khmer, the Cham are generally Muslims. You may notice Cham women wearing the hijab and Arabic script on some signs.

From Kampot, follow the Road 33 east 14km to the White Horse Monument intersection. Bear right. At the next main turnoff (a small roundabout with a Vishnu statue,) turn right onto the oceanfront road to go to the Crab Market or continue straight past to Kep Beach..
 

PHNOM PENH to/from KEP

Road There are two primary routes to Kep from Phnom Penh: 1) Follow National Route #3 (NR3) to Kampot and then take Road 33 to Kep (see above). NR3 is in excellent condition; 2) Follow NR3 to the fork at Road 31 about 80km south of Phnom Penh. A prominent sign marks the turnoff. Bear left. Road 31 is recently repaved and in excellent condition. Take it south to Kampong Trach city. Turn right at Kampong Trach and proceed to the Kep loop turnoff. At time of printing all of the turns were well marked by signs. This route bypasses Kampot.

Taxis Private taxis run about $50-$65.

Bus Phnom Penh Sorya offers regularly scheduled daily buses to/from Kep, the same bus looping though both Kampot and Kep - Kep first on the way from Phnom Penh and Kep second on the way to Phnom Penh. In Kampot the bus station sits midtown. In Kep the buses arrive/depart at the Kep Beach intersection. Anna Tours (see page 97) offers daily direct buses between Phnom Penh and Kep. Alternatively, first bus to Kampot then catch onward transport (tuk-tuk or moto) to Kep. 

Phnom Penh Sorya Transport Bus
PP to Kep (direct) : 7:00, 8:00, 9:30, 12:00, 14:30 (18,000R/pax)
Kep to PP : 6:45, 7:00, 7:45, 12:30, 13:30 (15,000R/pax)
Full-size a/c buses
Phnom Penh Station: Next to the Central Market.
 

Getting AROUND Kep
Moto-remorques (‘tuk-tuks’) await passengers at the bus station (Kep Beach intersection), Crab Market, beachfront and other tourist locations. Most hotels can arrange motorcycle and bicycle rental. There are also a several tour operators and other businesses at the Kep Beach intersection that rent motorcycles and bicycles as well as offer other services. 

 

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Kep Guesthouses and Hotels

Several dozen hotels and guesthouses are scattered across the Kep peninsula. Many sit picturesquely amongst the jungle vegetation near the base of the Kep National Park mountains, a few hundred meters to a couple of kilometers from the ocean. Others dot the ocean’s edge, including a growing cluster of places at the Kep Beach intersection and a few hotels near the Rabbit Island boat dock. Kep, in general, is aiming at mid/upper-range tourists and though there are plenty of budget priced rooms available, accommodations in Kep tend to be bit more expensive than other coastal towns.

 

Akkurat Natural Resort
Range: $25 - $50 (breakfast included)

Individual stone bungalows in a lush garden setting at the edge of the Kep National Park. Beautiful mountain background, Air conditioned bungalows with cable TV, attached bathroom with hot water and free wifi, Restaurant with full bar, Traveler's services.
Visa/MC
Tel: +(855)(0)97-4488843

      +(855)(0)97-7836084
Akkurat.Kep@gmail.com

The Beach House

Range: $40

Nestled against the hillside on Kep Beach. Tastefully decorated rooms with a/c, cable TV, hot water, fridge, en suite bathroom, balcony with picturesque ocean views. Swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Restaurant serving Asian and Western food. Free wifi.

Located on Kep Beach, Kep Province, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-712750

info@thebeachhousekep.com

www.thebeachhousekep.com

Beach Town Guesthouse

Range: $10 - $20

Oceanfront guesthouse overlooking Kep Beach. Clean, affordable fan and a/c rooms with en suite bathroom. Terrace with a beach view. The beach and seafood restaurants 20 meters from the front door.

Located at the Kep Beach intersection, Kep Province, Cambodia.
Tel: +(855)(0)97-7521666

Brise De Kep Boutique

Range: $25 - $55 (Breakfast Included)

Ocean front bungalows with private balconies and all modern amenities. A/C, Cable TV, stocked mini-bar and free wifi. Wonderful ocean view. Free pick up from bus station. Tour and travel services. Restaurant serving French, Vietnamese and Asian cuisine and of course, fresh seafood.  

Tel:+(855)(0)12-301017

     +(855)(0)97-6298797

     +(855)(0)36-6336339

brisedekep@yahoo.com

Brise De Kep Guesthouse

Range: $10 - $20

Beachfront guesthouse offering clean, affordable fan and a/c rooms with CTV and en suite with hot water. Internet. The beach and seafood restaurants are 20 meters from the front door. Nice balcony restaurant with an oceanfront view, serving nicely prepared French and Asian dishes, with the emphasis on seafood. Excellent Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) available all day, but best at breakfast. Recommended.

Located at the Kep Beach intersection, Kep City, Kep Province, Cambodia.
Tel: +(855)(0)12-301017

      +(855)(0)12-756499

      +(855)(0)36-6336339
brisedekep@yahoo.com

Kep Arunrass Guesthouse
Range: $15 - $25

Eight-room hotel with pleasant rooms set on a quiet sidestreet near the base of the mountain, a short ride from the Crab Market and beach. Fan and a/c rooms with cable TV, good wifi, en suite bathroom with hot water, private balcony with sea or mountain view. Free bicycle.
Tel: +(855)(0)17-239567

      +(855)(0)97-5882088
keparunrass@gmail.com
www.kep-arunrass.com

Kep Lodge  

Range: $28 - $70 (Breakfast included)

Swimming pool. Fan and sea breeze-cooled thatched bungalows with big terrace. Ten nicely decorated, spacious wooden or concrete bungalows surrounded by a garden and fruit trees. Rooms equipped with comfortable 1.6m mattresses, bathroom with hot water, mini bar. Free wifi throughout the lodge. Free bicycle. Restaurant serving outstanding Khmer and Western food. Comfortable bar with pool table. Meeting room for up to 30 people. Western-managed, very friendly staff. Also offering deluxe double and deluxe twin bungalows.

Visa/MC

Just off Road #33A, a few of hundred meters north of the oceanfront road intersection. Kep City, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)92-435330

      +(855)(0)17-879526

      +(855)(0)17-879153

info@keplodge.com

www.keplodge.com

Khim Vouch Aiy and Restaurant Range: $8 - $20

Rustic wood and thatch bungalows in a picturesque garden setting at jungle’s edge, just a few meters from the sand and water. Attached bathroom and private balcony. Nice little restaurant with drinks and good seafood. Massage available on breezy, cushioned massage platforms at the beachside.

On Rabbit Island (Koh Tunsay), Kep City, Kep Province, Cambodia.
Tel: +(855)(0)97-7333131

      +(855)(0)78-612168

Knai Bang Chatt Resort

Range: $97+ - $425+

Recently renovated and expanded, this exclusive seaside resort offers 18 spacious rooms in five 1960's colonial-style villas. Nestled within private landscaped gardens, the property includes a full spa, infinity pool, media center, and beachside signature restaurant serving regional seafood dishes featuring fresh local produce and spices. All rooms have a/c, safety boxes, en-suite bathrooms with hot/cold water, and free WiFi. KBC supports the Hand in Hand Community Development Program and is conveniently located next door to the Sailing Club.
Rooms: +(855)(0)78-888557

reservations@knaibangchatt.com

Spa: +(855)(0)78-888556

spa@knaibangchatt.com
www.knaibangchatt.com

Le Bout du Monde

Range: $40 - $130

Individual and separate bungalows /residences/suite in traditional Khmer architecture, built on stilts and made of wood and stones. Located in landscaped gardens at the top of a breezy hill with a lovely, sweeping view of the Gulf of Thailand. Professional and friendly staff French and Khmer cuisine with fresh ingredients. Hot water, mini-bar, fan and safe in room (Khmer villa and residences/suite). Eco-friendly swimming pool for children and adults. Jewelry and crafts boutique.

Located on the hillside. From Road #33A, turn east (toward the hill) at the oceanfront road intersection, Kep City, Kep Province, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-801968
contact.leboutdumonde@gmail.com
www.leboutdumondekep.com

Le Coco de Mer Bungalows

Range: $20 - $35

Spacious, wooden and stone, fan and a/c bungalows. LCD-CTV, en suite toilet with hot water, free wifi. lounge and bar, Italian pizza and pasta. In a lush garden setting at the base of the mountain, only about 300 meters from the Crab Market.

From Road #33A, turn east (toward the hill) at the oceanfront road intersection, Phum Thmey, Sangkat Prey Thom, Kep Province, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)90-880513

      +(855)(0)90-880413

lecocodemer.bungalows@yahoo.com.sg
www.mohamadyh.wix.com/lecocodemerbungalows

Le Flamboyant Resort

Range: $60 - $160 (Breakfast include)

Stylish, very well appointed boutique bungalows in a peaceful, lush tropical garden setting. A/C, large flat screen TV, DVD, spacious en-suite bathrooms. All bungalows with veranda, some with private rooftop patio. Swimming pool. Restaurant serving fresh regional cuisine.

Located just off Road #33A, a couple of hundred meters north of the oceanfront road intersection, Kep City, Kep Province, Cambodia.

Visa/MC

Tel: +(855)(0)17-491010

leflamboyant_resort@online.com.kh
www.flamboyant-hotel.com

Masada Resort
Range: $15 - $50

Large private bungalows at the base of the mountain in a lush jungle garden setting. A quiet, peaceful area. Bungalows with a/c, fridge, free wifi, en suite bath with tub. Swimming pool with poolside lounge and bar. Restaurant serving Khmer and western dishes.

Visa/MC

Off Road #33A, a few of hundred meters north of the oceanfront road intersection, Kep City, Kep Province, Cambodia.
Tel: 088-8471984

      036-6530999

      017-471984
www.masadaresort.com

Nature’s Garden Resort

Range: $50 - $80

Large, stylishly furnished and decorated individual bungalows. Fully air-conditioned with all modern amenities and a private veranda in a lush garden, set around a large swimming pool. Located in a nice quiet area. Free wifi. Bicycle rental. Restaurant and bar.

Visa/MC
Off Route Nº 33A, Kep City, Kep Province, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)11-500303

      +(855)(0)88-8458577
info@naturesgardenresort.com
www.naturesgardenresort.com

Palm House
Range: $30 - $50

Unique all wooden, traditional Cambodian style building with stylish, nicely decorated rooms in palm and hardwood. Rooms with a/c, cable TV, fridge, free wifi and en suite with hot water. Swimming pool, restaurant and cool treehouse seating.
Visa/MC
Tel: +(855)(0)12-607138

      +(855)(0)89-999166

      +(855)(0)96-9687878
reservation@palmhousekep.com
www.palmhousekep.com

Ponleu Chhner Tra Cheak Chit Guesthouse

Range: $10 - $20

Guesthouse overlooking Kep Beach offering clean fan and a/c rooms with CTV and en suite bathroom with hot water. Seafood restaurant serving Khmer and western dishes. Motorcycle and bicycle rental. Island tours $7. Located at Kep Beach intersection. Free wifi.

Located at the Kep Beach intersection.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-548273

      +(855)(0)36-6322226

Raingsey Bungalow

Range: From $50

Wooden bungalows and rooms at the foot of Kep National Park. 5 minutes walk to the Crab Market. Each bungalow and room has a private balcony, A/C, cable TV, fan, fridge, coffee/tea maker, safety box, aromatherapy oil burner and en suite bathroom with hot/cold water. Poolside restaurant and bar offers Khmer, Asian, contemporary European food with Asian touch and good collection of wines and cocktails. Beautiful sunset view on the rooftop restaurant. Free parking and wifi zone.

Visa/MC/UC

Tel: +(855)(0)77-927030

      +(855)(0)36-6343222
raingseyinfo@raingsey-bungalow-kep.com

www.raingsey-bungalow-kep.com

Rock Royal Hotel & Resort

Range: $40 - $150

International standard hotel at reasonable prices. Rooms with all modern amenities, high quality beddings and decor. Family rooms available. International restaurant and bar. Swimming pool and full service spa coming soon. View overlooking ocean and islands.

Tel: +(855)(0)36-210168

      +(855)(0)36-210177

Saravoan Hotel

Range: $40 - $55

Oceanside hotel stylishly finished in beachstone. A/c rooms and suites with cable TV, stocked mini-bar, free wifi, en suite bath and some with private ocean view balconies. Restaurant serving western, Khmer and seafood dishes. Swimming pool near the ocean’s edge.

Visa/MC/GoldDot

Tel: +(855)(0)12-357729

      +(855)(0)36-6393909
saravoan_hotel@yahoo.com
www.saravoanhotel-kep.com

Sea View Bungalows

Range: $30 - $100 (breakfast included)

Nicely decorated, stylishly finished private bungalows with large veranda, in a lush flowery garden setting and with a fantastic sunset view of the ocean and islands. A/c bungalows with fan, good beddings, free wifi and en suite bathroom with cold/hot water. Family bungalows available and kid’s play area. Restaurant. Package rates. Tour arrangements, laundry, luggage storage.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-204155

      +(855)(0)97-6958582
seaviewbungalows@gmail.com
www.seaviewbungalows.com

Spring Valley Resort

Range: $20 - $50

Nicely refurbished villa-style accommodation at the base of the mountain, surrounded by lush vegetation. Just a few hundred meters from the beach area. Large, nicely appointed rooms a/c rooms with all amenities. Swimming pool with a shallow end for the kids. Restaurant.

Visa/MC/AMEX/TC

Tel: +(855)(0)36-6666673

      +(855)(0)17-536888

      +(855)(0)97-5050299

info@springvalley-resort.com

www.springvalley-resort.com

Tree Top Bungalows

Range: $4 - $45

Unique stilted bamboo bungalows on the hillside overlooking the ocean, standing from 1 to 3 meters off the ground. Clean, basic, private bungalows with fan room, mosquito net and en suite bathroom. Fresh fruit welcome for all. Bar/restaurant serving Khmer and international food, with the emphasis on seafood. Motorcycle and bicycle rental.

Located just off Road #33A, a couple of hundred meters north of the oceanfront road intersection.
Tel: +(855)(0)12-515191

      +(855)(0)97-6961709

keptreetop@gmail.com

www.keptreetop.com

Vanna Hill Resort
Range: $30 - $80

On the side of the hill, 200 meters above sea level, backed by picturesque mountains. 20 attractive rooms with cable TV en-suite bathroom hot & cold shower and a/c. Restaurant, swimming pool with Jacuzzi and poolside bar offers a beautiful hillside view of the ocean, the islands and mountains in the distance. Restaurant/bar. Free WiFi.

Visa/MC

From Road 33A turn east (toward the hill) at the Vishnu Statue intersection.
Tel: +(855)(0)12-755038

      +(855)(0)36-6755038
info@vannahillresort.com
www.vannahillresort.com

Veranda Natural Resort

Range: $60 - $150 (including breakfast)
A high-end nature retreat on the slope of Kep National Park, Stone and raised wooden walkways that interconnects most of the 40 accommodations. Spacious, fully outfitted private pool villas, luxury rooms and rustic bungalows available. En suite bathrooms, hot and cold shower and free Wifi in every room. Restaurant, bar, pool-side bar, bakery, café lounge, swimming pools, mini-mart, souvenir shop and kids' club.

Visa/MC

From Road #33A, turn east (toward the hill) at the oceanfront road intersection.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-888618

      +(855)(0)36-6388588
verandaresort@gmail.com  
www.veranda-resort.com

The Vine Retreat
Range: $25 - $45

Unique, ecologically conscientious guesthouse and organic farm in a jungle mountain area at Phnom Voar. A relaxed, natural, picturesque setting. Comfortably decorated rooms in a wooden guesthouse. Restaurant and bar. Salt water pool. Trekking. Yoga and meditation retreats.
Visa/MC
Tel: +(855)(0)36-6333383
www.thevineretreat.com

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Kep Dining & Drinking

 

Dining... Kep is known for its fresh seafood, especially the crab, which is absolutely excellent - literally straight from the ocean to your plate. No visit to Kep is complete without at least one fresh seafood lunch or dinner at the oceanfront.

The Kampot Pepper Crab is a local culinary classic - fresh crab fried or steamed with generous bunches of fresh green and black Kampot pepper corns, some of the finest, most famous pepper in the world.

Traditional dining venues include restaurants at the Crab Market and pockets of dining gazebos strung along the seaside. The Crab Market is made up of a more than a dozen rustic oceanfront crabshacks, most with a very local atmosphere, offering a wonderfully unsophisticated dining experience at the water’s edge. Generally speaking, the touristy places are slicker and easier but the scruffier little mom-&-pop places more authentic and down-home.

Along the road near the Kep Beach intersection and in the oceanside park near the Crab Statue picnic platforms and gazebos line the area awaiting diners. Vendors minding the platforms will wave you over. Just find an empty one, sit down and they will bring the menu and food to you.

There is also growing number of restaurants at the top of the Kep Beach intersection including a couple of Italian places, French and local dining. And almost all of the hotels and guesthouses in Kep have there own restaurants and bars, some quite good. Many serve western and international dishes as well as local.

Drinking... After dark most of Kep closes down, though its usually possible to find a drink until at least 11PM, sometimes later if there is enough customers. Besides the hotel restaurants, a few bars at the crab market stay open late including the Toucan Bar, Malis next door and the very popular La Baraka. Also check out the restaurants/bars at the Kep Beach intersection, which sometimes stay open late..
 

The Beach House

Poolside restaurant and bar at the Beach House hotel at the end of Kep Beach. Menu of western and Khmer dishes. Western breakfasts. Full bar - beer, wine, cocktails. Bar, terrace and poolside seating.

Located on Kep Beach, Kep Province, Cambodia.

Tel: 012-712750

www.thebeachhousekep.com

Brise De Kep

Very pleasant oceanfront balcony restaurant at Kep Beach. Offering nicely done, reasonably priced French and Asian fare with the emphasis on seafood. Good breakfasts including a very nice Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) properly served with all of the appropriate fresh herbs, sprouts and condiments.

Open 6:00AM - midnight.

Located at the Kep Beach intersection, Kep Province, Cambodia.

Tel: 097-6298797

Captain Chim’s 2
From the people that run the popular Captain Chim’s Family Restaurant in Kampot, the new Captain Chim’s 2 in Kep at the Rabbit Island Pier offers the same good selection of Cambodian dishes at reasonable prices. Good seafood choices as well as the classics - amok, luk-lak and more.
Tel: 092-668489

      012-321043

      012-210820

The Democrat Restaurant
Oceanside restaurant and bar at the Kep Crab Market. A step up from the average Crab Market place with US Democrat Party decor and very friendly and attentive service. Offering Cambodian food with the emphasis firmly on fresh seafood. Try the unique and very well reviewed Crab Amok. Full bar, cocktails and a selection of wines. Wifi. Open 9:00AM-10:00PM.

Located in the Kep Crab Market, Kep Province, Cambodia

Kep Lodge

Comfortable restaurant with great views over the gulf of Thailand with a variety of Röstis (Swiss style potatoes), tasty sausages and serving some of the best pizzas in town. Homemade ice cream. Salads. Happy hour from 5:30PM till 7:00PM with great cocktails and cheap beers (13 different kinds). Consistantly great reviews from Customers.

Visa/MC

Just off Road #33A, a few of hundred meters north of the oceanfront road intersection. Kep City, Cambodia.
Tel: 092-435330

info@keplodge.com

www.keplodge.com

Knai Bang Chatt

Fine dining next to the sea. Recently opened to the public, this upscale seaside restaurant serves regional seafood dishes featuring fresh local produce and spices. Choose from daily set menus and a la carte fare, complimented by extensive bar and wine list. Reservations are required and include access to the resort's pool, spa, and gardens for the whole day.

Open daily from 7:00AM - 10:00PM.

Tel: 078-333685 (Reservation)

      078-888556

www.knaibangchatt.com

Le Bout du Monde

Hillside restaurant with a lovely view over the gulf of Thailand, serving Khmer and French inspired cuisine for lunch and dinner using organic products. Homemade ice-creams and Breton pancakes at anytime of the day.
Located on the hillside. From Road #33A, turn east (toward the hill) at the oceanfront road intersection.

Tel: 012-801968
contact.leboutdumonde@gmail.com

www.leboutdumondekep.com

Sailing Club

Ideal for watching sunset. A former fisherman’s house built with a pier and a dock. Offering a variety of cocktails and a great menu for lunch and dinner. A very popular Sunday brunch. Pool table, ping-pong, volleyball. While you are there, hire a Hobie Cat, do some windsurfing or kayaking on the ocean. Check the website for special event. Free wifi.

Open Tue - Sun, 10:00AM - 11:00PM.

Tel: 078-333685

www.knaibangchatt.com

The Strand
A true culinary experience in a wonderful setting . "The Strand", a Kep fine dining experience where Chef Janine (South African 5-star ex-Chef) and her Cambodian team invites you to taste a fusion of international and local cuisine. “The daily fresh ingredients evoke a sense of adventure and lift the senses whilst sampling authentic Cambodian flavors.”

Open daily from 7:00AM - 10PM.

Tel: 078-333686

Veranda Natural Resort
The Secret Bar and Restaurant: A unique open-air restaurant surrounded with mountains and with a sweeping view of the Kep seaside and sunset. Offering a wide range of fresh seafood, Asian and western cuisine. Also daily breakfast buffet, a la carte dining, and happy hour. Generous portions, good wine selection, free wifi and scheduled live music.

Visa/MC
Veranda Bakery & Coffee Shop: Freshly baked breads, Danishes, croissants, pastries and cakes. 15 different ice cream flavors, espresso coffee, latte macchiato. Café lounge that has a great view of the ocean and surrounding mountains. Free wifi. Custom made birthday cakes. Range: $1.50 - $4.50

Visa/MC
Veranda Pool Bar: Two pool bars - one by the Garden Swimming Pool and another at the Infinity Pool! Scenic mountain surroundings and ocean sunset view. Specialty cocktails, beers and wines.

Visa/MC

** Happy hour 5:00PM - 7:00PM.

Tel: 012-888619

      036-6388588

verandaresort@gmail.com  
www.veranda-resort.com


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Kep Shopping
Kep’s only convenience store, Long Villa Mart, is located at the Rabbit Island boat dock, is pretty well stocked, offering beer, wine, spirits, foods, meats, soft drinks, snacks, and beach clothes. Good place to pick up supplies for the trip to Rabbit Island. 

Other shopping in Kep includes:

 

Kep Lodge Souvenir Shop

Offers a wide range of souvenirs. Starting with the world famous Kep-Kampot pepper, silk wallets, silk bags, Buddha statues, "I love Kep" T-shirts, cotton kromas, and lots of tribe things from Ratanakiri. "There is for sure a thing for you".

www.keplodge.com

 

The Shop at Veranda Natural Resort

Wide range of souvenir items, clothes, handbags, silk scarves, bathing suits, accessories, silver jewelry and ornaments, pharmaceutical products, antique sculpture and furniture, groceries, frozen goods, and wine and liquor.

Located at Veranda Natural Resort.

Tel: 012-888619

      036-210115

www.veranda-resort.com

 

_________________________________________________
 

Kep Spas & Massage

There is a small but slowly growing number of massage options in Kep. Some of the better hotels and resorts either have a spa or can arrange massage. Offering very more affordable massage, Lida Massage now has places at the Kep Beach intersection and at the crab market.

 

Lida Massage Traditional massage, foot massage, oil massage and more at Lisa Massage branches at Lida Guesthouse, above Italian Corner near the bus station and at the Crab Market.

Tel: 012-888619, 036-6388588

 

The Spa at Knai Bang Chatt

Located within the resort, this upscale spa offers a full range of massage, facial and body treatments by skilled and experienced therapists. After a relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatment, guests can enjoy the pool and garden for the whole day.

Tel: 078-888556

spa@knaibangchatt.com

www.knaibangchatt.com

 

The Veranda Spa

Located at the Veranda Natural Resort, full spa and a refined atmosphere, offering massage, body scrubs, wrap and facials and other spa services.

Open daily from 10:00am - 10:00pm

Tel: 036-6388588

www.veranda-resort.com

 

_________________________________________________

 

Things to Do & See Around Kampot and Kep
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.

 

Beaches

 

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 remnants 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
www.climbodia.com

 

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 $7-$10/person or $25 for the whole boat. 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

Kep
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.

 

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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

www.soklimtours.com 
 

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

www.tictuktourskampot.com

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.)

 

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