Kampot Cambodia – Kampot is a charming little town in southern Cambodia, at about 100 km from Sihanoukville and 30 km from Kep. It is the ideal destination if you are looking for a peaceful place to visit and want to see beautiful natural landscapes. To go there, you’ll need to book a mini-van seat for a 3-hour trip from Sihanoukville. You can make reservations directly online on the Camboticket website.
Kampot is known for its pepper plantations and the quality of its pepper is recognized worldwide. Honestly, I had some doubts about the town’s famous pepper and I couldn’t understand why it would be so special until I actually tasted it. Now I can tell you there’s Kampot pepper and there’s all the other ones. We’ll get back to Kampot’s peppery goodness in a while. Here are some valuable options if you’re looking for decent accommodation in Kampot.
Where to stay?
If you are on a budget and don’t mind sleeping in dormitories, I recommend you book a bed at this hostel which is cheap and very conveniently located on the Kampot River banks. It is not far from the city center either. Consider booking as soon as you can though, it gets sold out pretty quickly.
If you can afford to spend more money on accommodation and want more comfort, my friends have tried this hotel that has a very nice outdoor swimming pool and an excellent location score.
Are you done planning out your accommodation? I’ve got you covered for the rest of your stay in Kampot! Here is my top 8 favorite places to discover in this cozy little town. I had a scooter that I’d brought back from Vietnam and used it to move around town. It was quite convenient to be able to move about freely so I recommend you rent one in Kampot. If you’re not a scooter person, rent a tuk tuk or a taxi at your hotel reception desk.
1. Kampot Cambodia – The Phsar Leur Market
Kampot’s market is located in the city center. You can buy fruits and vegetables there as well as clothing or jewelry. It is a truly authentic and colorful place where you can buy fresh and healthy products. If you haven’t yet, I recommend you try dragon fruit. It’s absolutely delicious!
Kampot’s market is where you will find the best prices if you’re looking to buy pepper. While the town’s emblematic product is quite expensive to buy directly from plantations (where it’s sold at high tourist prices), you can find it in the market where it is much less expensive.
2. Kampot Cambodia – The Big Durian Roundabout
When you’re done visiting the market, have a look at the famous Big Durian while you’re still in the city center. The popular southeast Asian fruit stands as a statue at the center of a roundabout. Durian has a bad reputation because it has a rather unpleasant smell but it actually tastes very good and is apparently very healthy. Have a look at this video to find about its health benefits:
3. Phnom Bokor National Park
7 kilometers away from downtown Kampot, you can get adventurous in Phnom Bokor National Park and get a good dose of nature and fresh air at the same time. No tourists around and the landscape is really beautiful. It’s probably because the road leading to the park isn’t in the best shape possible, although I got there on my scooter without much trouble. If you are worried you’re going to get lost, use Offline Maps to make sure to stay on the right track.
4. Kampot Cambodia – Kbal Romeas Caves
You can find many caves around Kampot. The prehistoric Kbal Romeas caves are located 7 km away from the city center. Apparently, shells that date back to the Stone Age have been found in those caves.
They are now used as Buddhist temples where people make offerings, pray or meditate at Buddhist altars.
You can also take climbing courses just outside the caves. I thought it was a bit inappropriate as an activity to do right outside of a place of worship, but hey, it’s up to you. Anyway, the caves, and especially the good vibes they send out, are definitely worth your time. The temperature inside is also very cool , even when it is 35°C outside!
5. Kampot Cambodia – Phnom Chhnork Temple
Not far from the Kbal Romeas caves, the beautiful Phnom Chhnork temple is also built inside caves. The road leading to the temple is really beautiful and the higher you climb towards it, the greater the view. Palm trees and rice fields as far as the eye can see!
As for the Phnom Chhnork, it is not a Buddhist but a Hindu temple this time, that is dedicated to the goddess Shiva.
6. The Secret Lake
If you keep going eastward, you will get to what’s commonly called the Secret Lake (location). Honestly, I don’t know the reason behind that name so if you have the answer, share it in the comments below! In any case, it’s a quiet and pastoral setting that is perfect for a little picnic
7. Kampot Cambodia – Sothy’s Pepper Farm
Beyond the Secret Lake (see map at the beginning of the blog post), you will get to Sothy’s Pepper Farm plantation (exact location here). The good thing about it is that it is a bit far from the city so it’s not a busy place to visit at all. The guide who accompanied us to the farm took all his time to show us around the plantations and explain to us how they produce a pepper of such good quality.
You can buy pepper on the spot but as I said previously, it is much cheaper to buy from the town’s market.
8. Kampot Cambodia – Preah Monivong National Park
The last thing I did in Kampot was to visit the Preah Monivong National Park which is 38 km west of the city. If you’re planning to go there on a scooter, you should expect a steep and winding road so be careful!
There are many interesting places to visit in this park, like tea plantations…
…or Chinese temples…
and also the famous Bokor Palace, said to have been a casino that burned to the ground and has been haunted ever since. You can go check by yourself!
That’s it, I’m done showing you around Kampot, get over there and discover the rest by yourself! I hope this post has been useful and will help you to make the most out of Kampot. Don’t hesitate to share it with your friends and to send me your questions in the comments below.
And if you are looking for more off the beaten track destinations, have a look at this article too: Battambang Cambodia.
See you all around,
PS: For more travel tips about Cambodia, feel free to also read these blog posts: Cambodia Travel Blog.