Take a break from the rushing around in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville and spend some quality time in the lazy backwaters of Kampot and the seaside town of Kep.
Enjoy fried crab with kampot peppers and take a sundowner overlooking the bokor hills.
Nicely situated guesthouse on the Kampot riverside, and an ideal base from which to enjoy this lovely relaxing little city and its surroundings.
Rooms are aimed squarely at flashpackers, and are simple but stylish, and the owners Dom and Denise and their staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. Great restaurant/bar on a balcony overlooking the river, too.
This quiet coastal destination around 16 miles from Kampot used to be Cambodia’s beach town in the 1960s, but nowadays the old villas are in ruins. The main draw of visiting Kep is the oceanfront seafood stalls, which there are many to pick from, all serving the same delicious fare of locally caught fish, crab, squid, prawns, snails and many other seafood delicacies. You can go to the seafront and choose your live catch from the fishermen, actually more likely fisherwomen and then your selection will be barbecued for you and brought to your table within fifteen minutes. A full table of assorted seafood with rice, vegetables and beer will set you back around $25 for four people. Before or after eating do visit the quiet beach for a relaxing swim.
The journey from Kampot takes around 45 minutes. You can hire a moto driver for $8 round trip or quite easily do the journey yourself on a hired motorbike.
The 1040 metres high Bokor Mountain was once a playground of the rich and famous during the early 1900’s. However, it is now a hauntingly derelict ghost town. There is so much to see on this former French hill station, such as an old abandoned Catholic church, a derelict French colonial style hotel and casino, a holiday villa, a royal residence and a Buddhist monastery that is built on the verge of the mountain. Also wild elephants and other jungle animals are occasionally seen if you’re lucky.
The view over the Cambodian and Vietnamese coast and islands from the top (1081 metres above sea level) is spectacular. At certain times of the year the mountain gets enveloped by a quick moving thick fog which makes for one of the most eerie yet beautiful sights I’ve ever experienced. It is also possible to stay at a National Park guesthouse on Bokor.
Hire a taxi to take you to the summit; the journey should take around two hours and costs about $20. I would advise against riding a motorbike there unless you are an experienced rider on a dirt bike. I have heard of many near death experiences of foreigners trying to do the journey themselves.
Visited by moto or 4WD vehicle (rates vary so haggle) and it is a two hour trip up a bumpy track.
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