Posted By : Threeland Travel / Travel Guide
Kampot is a sleepy but definitely appealing small city and province in Cambodia. Not as big as Phnom Penh nor has a heritage like Siem Reap but Kampot is a quiet and dreamland. It sits on the banks of the Preak Tuek Chhu river, located close to the South Coast of Cambodia , this little town has made out to maintain its cool, laid-back atmosphere while still augmenting enough to provide plenty of restaurants, hotels, and amazing things to do for expats and tourists. Prior to the Khmer Rouge period, this area was once built as a French resort, and so far you can still see a few decaying mansion-style villas here. On the trails by the Kampot River, you will see a style of construction heavily influenced by French culture with large boulevards, rows of trees and even French colonial buildings.
Lose yourself in the tranquil of Kampot
Today, travelers can hop on a motorbike and travel through all the captivating scenery. All in all, Kampot is unlike any other Cambodian city you’ll find. If you are an adventure-seeker, don’t skip over this hidden gem of a city.
The best time travel to Kampot
The weather and climate in Cambodia are quite similar to Vietnam so you take a trip in any month of the year.
However, in the hot season, it is somewhat hotter and more intense than Vietnam, so the perfect time for you is in November to February every year when the climate is mild and less rainy.
Chill out with your buddies during Cambodia Holidays
If you step back until April, it will coincide with the Khmer New Year so there will be many festivals held so you can take advantage of this time to travel and learn about Cambodian culture.
Vehicles in Kampot
There are many means of transportation that you can choose from as follows:
- Tuktuk: I bet you absolutely attached to this. This is the most favorite and most noticeable means when traveling to Cambodia because of its reasonable price.
The most convenient vehicle: Tuk-tuk
- Taxi: Taxi is not a popular means of transportation in Kampot. Bear in mind that has 2 types of taxis: The type with meters and taxis without meters.
- Motorbike: When driving this, you don’t need to wear a helmet to go from 2 to 3 people because the law allows. But note that they are not safe.
SEE MORE: The Best of Cambodia
Adventurous things to do in Kampot
1. Cycle around Kampot’s City Center
You wanna witness the sunset views from above or indulge in the tranquil vibes of Kampot’s downtown? Yeah, we recommend wandering through the city center by bicycle to take a deep breath. You can rent this from the guest house or along the riverside for 1$-2$ per hour.
Cycle through the rice fields
Don’t worry if you get lost because Kampot is quite small and relatively easy to map-read. As friendly as Cambodians are, just ask someone to point you back in case you fail to keep sight of route. It’s extremely merry journey around the hubs with your buddy, we also want to notice you some stops that you may want to check out.
- The Fish Market on the riverside (Built in the 1930s, restored in 2016)
- The Durian, Salt Miners roundabout
- Old Royal Cinema
- The Lotus Pond
- National Bank of Cambodia (French colonial period)
2. Discover Bokor National Park
Time to visit: 8h - 17h.
It takes about an hour and a half from Kampot to Bokor center.
Escape the scorching sun of Cambodia, you can find the enchanting Bokor, which is located at an altitude of 1080m above sea level, it has a cool climate and cloudy year-round. Bokor National Park offers more than breathtaking natural vistas and an amazing array of wildlife, it is also noteworthy for its enormous abandoned French Colonial houses and secretive churches ( many people spread rumor it like a ghost city).
Day trip to Bokor National Park
From the Bokor Plateau you can enjoy sweeping views of Kampot, Sihanoukville, Kep and Phu Quoc Island. It turns out that Phu Quoc from Cambodia would be closer than from Ho Chi Minh. Therefore you absolutely can combine tours Cambodia - Phu Quoc without costly.
If you’re easy-going on a motorbike, this is the ideal way to explore; if not, hire a tuk tuk for the day which costs around 25-30$. Make sure you pack an extra layer of clothing too, as the temperature difference can be quite extreme compared to the bottom.
3. Visit La Plantation Pepper Farm
Follow our tips and here we go! Don’t skip this special expedition to Pepper Farm or you may get regret
For a long time, pepper has become an indispensable specialty when visiting Kampot. Foodies’ taste buds will love the chance to get more knowledge of black pepper farms and a glimpse of rural Cambodian life. La Plantation produces red, white, black and green pepper. The green berries are basked under the sun-light to make black pepper, while the red peppercorns are simmered to take off the skin leaving the white pepper seed inside.
Join a Kampot pepper tour
Another exclusive deal is that you are served lunch with fresh dished made from crispy pepper in the on-site restaurant. Of course, there are bags of black pepper to purchase at local prices as souvenirs.
You can get there by motorbike or by tuk tuk, don’t worry if the roads are a little bit dusty and bumpy cause the heaven of rice paddies, local villages right beyond your eyes.
SEE MORE: Cambodia & Vietnam Exploration
Kampot Cambodia Hotels
Kampot is affordable compared to other places in Cambodia. You can choose to stay in town or along the riverfront a few kilometers in simple bungalows with a beautiful location.
In-Town - Mea Culpa
- Mea Culpa may be the right choice for you. The hotel staff is very friendly and can help you rent a motorbike in just 5 minutes ($ 5 / day) without having to carry out complicated paperwork or deposit money. The rental fee will be included in the hotel rental.
Mea Culpa Hotel
By the river
- Guest House Blissful: Price from 4 - 8 $, clean room, with a restaurant with European food, most rooms have a bathroom and free wifi.
Guest House Blissful
- Bokor Mountain Lodge: Price from 35 - 50 $.This is a cute building with an old French style, perfectly located to watch the sunset, right in front of the river.
How to get to Kampot
Kampot does not have an airport. Therefore, you could take the train to Kampot but trains to/from Kampot train station only run a few times each week.
Kampot from Phnom Penh
Due to this, the most sensible way is taking the bus from Phnompenh to Kampot. It takes 3-2 hours including one rest stop which costs 9$ per person.
Giant Ibis Bus
Tips: The most trustworthy bus company in Cambodia is Giant Ibis. They run from Kampot to Phnom Penh and vice versa, a couple of times each day. You can book via travel agent or guesthouse for an extra 1$ within 8 a.m and 2.45 pm.
Otherwise, you can take the train from Phnom Penh to Kampot which takes 4hrs 40minutes and pays only 6$.
Sihanoukville to Kampot
You have to take a taxi or minibus from Sihanoukville to Kampot because there is no bus station around here. A private taxi will cost about 40$ and it is a better choice if you have lots of baggages.
Take a taxi or minibus from Sihanoukville to Kampot
Tips: Sihanoukville International Airport (KOS) is the nearest airport to Kampot. It has direct flights from Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh (Cambodia Angkor Air), and Kuala Lumpur (Air Asia). You’ll have more choice of flights to Phnom Penh.