Kampot and Kep
I have combined these two places as they are only about 30 minutes apart and can be explored together.
Kampot is a sleepy city in southern Cambodia, it is famous for its salt fields and pepper plantations.
The town itself is relatively quiet with more of chilled laid back vibe as opposed to bustling city. It’s almost as if time stopped here. Dilapidated buildings line quiet roads, and locals buy produce in small markets dotted around the town.
Kep is a coastal town close to Kampot, famous for its incredible crab markets and beautiful calm beaches.
The roads are open and wide, with small restaurants and shops scattered along the edge. It boasts beautiful sunsets, amazing hikes and is the ideal place to enjoy a slower pace of life.
We took a bus from Sihanoukville to Kampot for $5, the bus station is centrally located and we were easily able to walk to our hostel.
From Kampot we paid $10 for a tuktuk to Kep which took approx 30 minutes.
We did two nights in Kampot and two nights in Kep.
Monkey Republic Hostel
We stayed at Monkey Republic hostel in Kampot, it was $5 a night and pretty nice.
The staff are helpful and the food in the hostel restaurant was surprisingly good.
All the beds had privacy curtains, which is great for a good nights sleep. However we found it pretty weird when at 3pm we walked into the dorm and everyone was in their beds with the curtains drawn? Each to their own I guess.
Khmer house hostel
This hostel was a little out-of-town and you required either a moped or a tuktuk to get to town.
However, the rooms were super spacious and came with aircon.
The social area has a pool table and a cute dog!
There isn’t a massive list of things to do in Kampot but I guess that’s why people love it. It’s super chilled and the vibe is all laid back.
Here is what we got up to:
Ta Da waterfall – you have to pay $2 each to use the private roads to reach the waterfall and $0.5 to enter the waterfall. It’s quite a climb to the top, be warned.
Lok Yeay Mao statue – a religious statue, free to view.
Popokvil waterfall – a long motorbike ride from Kampot, but probably the best waterfall in the area. Free to view. You are able to climb down the ridge through the rocks and trees to the bottom of the waterfall.
Abandoned casino – a little creepy but worth a visit. Some one lost a lot of money here!
Old town and night market – local food and niknaks on sale.
Arcadia water park– free to enter if you stay at the hostel or $7 for visitors, lots of fun.
Salt and pepper farms– interesting to see, best to go in the afternoon when the salts in large piles.
The Kampot Hilton – a funky little restaurant with a pool table owned by an Australian couple (I think they’re Australian anyway). Food was amazing, I had a carved out cob with chicken, broccoli, cauliflower and creamy sauce with a side of mash!
Funky monkey – they serve roast on a Sunday! Stephen enjoyed that and I have chicken in creamy mushroom sauce.
Kep is similar to Kampot with its chilled out charm, but it’s secret weapon is the beach.
Here’s what we got up to in the coastal town of Kep:
Hire a moped– visit the various monuments and waterfalls.
Crab market– see the locals collecting, buying and cooking the crab.
Beach – chill out on the beautiful beach.
Sailing club sunset– enjoy a meal and glass (or bottle) of wine at the sailing club at sunset.
Kep coffee– have the best chocolate and peanut butter cake ever at Kep Coffee.
Don’t come to Kampot and Kep expecting a mass of things to do, come expecting a laid back Cambodian town.
Hiring a moped in both Kampot and Kep is pretty much essential to avoid spending a fortune on tuktuks.
The Kampot Hilton is lovely, and the sailing club in Kep is stunning for sunset.