Kampot is our favorite town in Cambodia where to spend a short break away from the hustle and bustle of the city. On the top of its serenity and slow life, it’s a great destination for a short city break because it will not empty your bank account.
Here’s what is it that we have fallen for about this small but liveable town of Kampot.
Laid back town – The life in Kampot feels so slow. No rush. It’s quiet. The traffic is almost non-existent. It’s hard to believe that there is quite a number of tourists. It’s easy to get around either by foot, bicycle or motorbike.
Visit the salt fields – Kampot is the only salt producer town in Cambodia. We went to the salt fields early in the morning around 8am, and they looked so stunning. We watched the workers raking the salt and carrying it off in heavy bamboo baskets. Our Tuktuk driver/guide told us that the workers brought the sea water from the sea about 5 km away into the prepared clay fields. Then they left it there to evaporate until salts crystals are formed.
Try Kampot Pepper – Kampot is famous of its pepper, one of the best and finest pepper in the world. We walked around the pepper vines, took pictures, and tasted the growing peppers. Kampot peppers have a unique fruity taste, the trademark of the place. We learned a lot of information about pepper production!
Trip to Bokor Mountain – We explored Bokor Hill Station both by motorbike and by car. It’s very high up the mountains and there are some interesting old buildings to enjoy. The scenery from the top is mesmerizing, especially when you can literally touch the clouds and take in the bracing mountain air. To me, the deserted church and the view on the hill behind it are the highlights; and the best way to explore Bokor is by motorbike. It was full of fun and a great day out!
Climb in the dark cave of Phnom Chhngok – We explored the cave of Phnom Chhngok as part of our full day tour. It is off the main road to Kep, about 8 kms from Kampot. We then climbed about 300 stairs; when we reached the top we descended into the cave and we were greeted with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. The cave is wonderful with amazing natural rock formations; and it is a home to a 7th century shrine to Shiva.
Enjoy the river – The riverside location of Kampot is one of its best attractions. At sunset, many tourists, expats and locals enjoy strolling along the river promenade. There are also many restaurants, cafes, bars on the riverside where you can enjoy happy hour cocktails. I love lazying in one of the restaurants there – enjoying the cocktail while watching people passing by.
Take a sunset cruise – I love this sunset cruise! The price was affordable, it included a drink and lasted a few hours. It was great way to enjoy a sunset and we had a nice evening on the river. Overall, it was a quiet relaxing experience.
Canoe down the river – We paddled the river with our canoe for about 3 hours. It was quite hard and very hot but we enjoyed a very peaceful ride until we reached the mangrove area. We noticed that it was a dead end, there was no current at all and the waters were shallow. On the way back, we stopped in the so called “tourism site” for a drink and snacks. I think it was a great way to discover the beautiful and diverse flora and fauna in the river.
Savor great food – There are many restaurants, cafes, bars in Kampot. You can easily find everything there – pizza, burgers, steak, pasta, local food, baguettes, freshly squeezed sugarcane juice, fresh fruit juice, sweet potato cakes, steamed corn, and many more.
Hit the Rabbit Island in Kep – We went on a day trip to the beach in Kep. The boat took about 20 minutes from the port in Kep to the Rabbit Island. We spent a day there – trekked around the island; enjoyed the tranquility, landscapes, the beach, local life, cocktail and beer as we lazed throughout the day. It was a heaven on earth! 🙂
A day trip to eat yummy seafood in Kep – It was a beautiful sunny day when we went there for lunch. Great setting by the sea and the food was really delicious. We had crabs with peppercorn, BBQ squid, prawns with garlic, and spring rolls. Certainly, it was my best seafood meal in Cambodia!
Have fun with rapids – We stopped there before we went to the zoo. It’s a pretty place to relax. The water is cool and clear. At the weekend, many locals flock there for a picnic.
Truly, with all its splendors, one visit in Kampot is never enough.
Have you been to Kampot? What did you like best there?