Kampot, an atmospheric city in South East Cambodia. For people that admire slow travel this is one of the places to visit in Cambodia. Kampot city is easy to explore by foot and the surrounding attractions can be reached by motorbike or tuk tuk. The laidback vibe in Kampot is one of the things that make you stay a little longer than planned. Combine this charming city with a day trip to Bokor National Park or a local pepper plantation and you are certain of a great time.
Continue reading to find out and explore all the tourist attractions Kampot has to offer.
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Kampot is a small but charming city where you will find a lot of French colonial buildings being converted into guesthouses, bars or restaurants. Walking along the Kampot river and exploring the city center gives you a good impression of authentic Cambodia. Another good option to explore Kampot is by bike. Because of the short distances it is easy and fun to ride around town with a bike.
One thing we also noticed is the amount of statues in the city and in particular the durian statue that has its own roundabout. Durian fruit is really popular in Kampot, so they honored it with a statue.
explore bokor national park
Bokor National Park is a famous park in Cambodia. The main attraction in Bokor National Park is the old French hill station at 1,080m above sea level. A visit to the park can be done easily as a day trip. You can book a day trip at one of the tourist offices or explore the 140.000 hectares by motorbike. With the roads being in good condition it makes it easy to drive by yourself. The entrance fee for the Bokor National Park is $0,50 and can be paid at the bottom of the hill.
Some of the highlights of the park in random order: The Ruins of The Black Palace, The Old Catholic church, Le Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino, Wat Sampov Pram, The Lok Yeay Mao Monument and the chance to spot wild tigers and elephants.
join a River cruise
A city divided by a river always charms us. In that case a river cruise couldn’t miss. When you do the Bokor Hill trip, a sunset river cruise + drink is included. But it is also possible to only do a river cruise if you inform the tourist offices.
Some offices call it the firefly cruise, but do you want our honest opinion? It’s a joke, there where literally no flies at all. Nevertheless the cruise was quite relaxed and amusing.
Day trip to Kep
Nearby Kampot you will find a lazy coastal city named Kep. The city is famous for its seafood and in particular for its crab. Beside the beach this city has no big attractions. Kep can be a great day trip but also if you want to relax for a few days while enjoying the Cambodian food. For us it is slow travel at it’s finest!
Similar to Battambang, there is a Night Market in Kampot . The market has been renovated and is open for business. With a lot of stalls that sell everything, it is nice wandering around. Find a souvenir, buy some clothes or enjoy the local food and drinks.
Besides the Kampot Night Market, you have the old market. It’s a traditional market that primarily provides the locals with the usual products. Have a look and wander around to see some local procedures but watch your head the ceilings are low.
kampot pepper at La plantation
When in Kampot, Cambodia you have to visit a pepper plantation. Located in between amazing hills close to the sea is the perfect environment to grow these peppers. The Kampot region is famous for their “Kampot pepper”. The pepper is the finest in the world and has been awarded with the Protected Geographical Indication status. Compare this with the fact that a wine can only be named champagne if it’s from Champagne (France).
Kampot pepper stand out with their unique flavor, high quality and strong taste. Walking through the vines and learning about the peppers is fun and you will also get to taste all the different types. After a visit your love for this spice will grow. More information can be found at the La Plantation website or book your night here at this beautiful place.
Eat cambodian food
When in Kampot, you cant go around the smell of Kampot’s famous pepper. In every restaurant you can eat this pepper, but we highly recommend Rikitikitavi for its traditional Khmer food. The restaurant is located on the riverside and also offers rooms.
Another Guesthouse and restaurant we really enjoyed is Pepe & the Viking. It is basically at the same street and is a place where you will feel very welcome.
We also recommend hostel and restaurant GreenHouse; it is located across the river and on the right side of the main part of town.
Visit the Salt fields
Another fascinating thing to visit in Kampot are the salt fields. On your way to Kep you will find a number of rice paddies that are currently being used as salt fields. The salt production is mostly done by hand and is from around the beginning of December to April. This is when it doesn't rain too much.
Where to stay in Kampot
If you want to stay near the city center, Guest House Blue Buddha Hotel is a great pick. If you want to experience life a little bit slow down, Eden Eco Village is perfect for relaxing and is located on the river side. The price you pay to spend a night in Kampot is really low, it varies from $6 to $25 for one night and the options are endless. Have a look at booking.com to see the current rates for hotels in Kampot.
how to get to kampot
from sihanounkville to kampot
Transportation in Cambodia is done best by bus. But if you travel from Sihanoukville to Kampot you will find out there is no bus line between those two cities. This means you have to travel with a minivan or a private taxi. A minivan will cost you $6 and a private taxi will be between $30 and $35. The ride will take around 2,5 and 3 hours depending on how good the roads are and the amount of traffic.
from phnom penh to kampot
Going from Phnom Penh to Kampot offers more options. You can travel by bus, taxi and even by train. The bus will cost you anywhere around $10 and takes around 4 to 5 hours. A taxi from Phnom Penh to Kampot is one of the fastest ways to travel. It cost you between $30 and $50 and takes approximately 3,5 hours.
A nice alternative is to travel by train, the journey takes almost 5 hours but cost you only $6. The fun part about traveling by train is that you get to see a lot of the beautiful countryside Cambodia has to offer. If you pick this option, book your tickets direct at the train station.