Heading to Kampot Cambodia? Well, you’re about to fall in love. From its beautiful scenery to its laid back vibe, Kampot should be on everyone’s Cambodia must see list.
Kampot Cambodia: Your Complete Travel Guide
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Where is Kampot in Cambodia
Kampot is a river-side town located in southern Cambodia. Situated on the Preaek Tuek Chhu River, Kampot is a peaceful getaway from the bustling cities so many tourist visit while on their Cambodia holiday.
To ground you, Kampot is about 155kms / 99 miles southwest from Phenom Pehn and 99kms / 61 miles east from the coastal city of Sihanoukville.
How To Get to Kampot
You have three options to choose from when booking your transportation to Kampot.
- Mini-Van (VIP Van)
The cost effective way to get to Kampot is by bus or mini-van from and the most popular route is from Phenom Pehn. However, transportation services from Siem Reap and Sihanoukville are also available options when wanting to get to Kampot.
How To Get From Phenom Pehn to Kampot
The bus ride from Phenom Pehn to Kampot takes about 5 hours and costs anywhere from $6 – $8 USD. Sorya is the company that operates the busses from Phenom Pehn to Kampot.
Their busses are older and honestly run fine, but for around the same price and shorter ride, most tourists opt for the second option, the mini-van (VIP Van)
—-> Check times and ticket prices for busses from Phenom Pehn to Kampot at BookMeBus.com
By Mini-Van (VIP Van):
The most popular option tourists tend to take when heading to Kampot from Phenom Pehn is the mini-van option. The ride takes around 3 hours (2 hours shorter than the bus option talked about above) and costs anywhere from $6 – $10 USD.
There are several companies that operate mini-vans from Phenom Pehn to Kampot but Giant Ibis and/or Champa Mekong are two great companies to go choose to ride with.
—-> Check times and ticket prices for mini-vans (VIP vans) from Phenom Pehn to Kampot at BookMeBus.com
The last option is a taxi. Taxi’s are clean cars that fit up to four passengers. However, the car has a standard size trunk. So, if you are carrying a lot of luggage, a mini-van will be your better option to take.
Taxi’s move a lot faster than the two options listed above, so you can expect to get to Kampot from Phenom Pehn in under 3 hours. For a more “private ride”, you can expect to pay a higher price. Taxi’s can cost around $55 USD and can fluctuated around Cambodia Holidays. Remember, the cost is split between four people.
—-> Check times and ticket prices for taxi’s from Phenom Pehn to Kampot at BookMeBus.com
Another booking option is to book directly with your accommodation or a tour agency in town. However, prior to doing so, check the prices on the BookMeBus website and compare that to the price your accommodation or tour agency gives you.
It’s common for your accommodation and tour agency to tac on a few extra dollars as a “convenience fee” for themselves.
What To Do in Kampot Cambodia
Kampot is picturesque, quaint and has no shortage of beautiful sites for you to see and experience. From a party filled, wet and wild day to some serene scenery in a national park, were going to give you the four things not to miss when in Kampot.
1) Arcadia Backpackers
Arcadia Backpackers is a hostel located in the village of Snam Brampi, 5 miles (8kms) from the city center of Kampot. The hostel is nestled on the banks of a river and surrounded by lush jungle.
Sounds serene right? Well, yes but also no. The Arcadia hostel is a backpacker haven! Why you ask? Because it is a waterpark!! Yes, you read that correctly, a waterpark!
You can visit the waterpark for $7 a day per person. The $7 a day gets you endless rides on the rope swing, the blob and the massive water slide and diving boards they have on site. Or, just grab an inner tube and float the day away with new friends.
In addition to providing hours of endless entertainment, there is bar on site that serves up cold beer and cocktails all day and night.
2) La Plantation Pepper Plantation
Believe it or not, but Kampot has the perfect climate for growing pepper. Because of this, Kampot has made a name for itself for growing some of the best pepper to come out of Asia.
La Plantation is an organic and sustainable family project started by a French & Belgium couple, Natalie and Guy, in 2013. The pepper farm grows and harvests pepper by hand all while providing jobs to many people in the rural area.
You can get a free tour of the plantation and learn about everything you could ever imagine to know about pepper. Plus, there is a complimentary tasting afterwards.
The ride to the plantation is nothing short of a mini-adventure. Rent a moped from Kampot and head out 20kms (12 miles) east to the village of Bosjheng.
Along the way, you’ll ride through rural farming villages on dirt roads that shake your body the entire way. A bumpy ride for sure but for us, that is part of the story and journey!
3) Bokor National Park
Located in the highlands of the Dâmrei Mountains, Bokor National Park is about a 5 mile (8km) ride from Kampot. You’ll need to rent a scooter in town to make the most of the trip. Plan on spending an entire day on this outing.
There is a nominal fee of 2000 riel ($0.50 USD) to enter Bokor National Park
While the entrance to Bokor National Park is only 5 miles from Kampot, it’s another 19 miles (32kms) uphill to reach the summit. It’s a beautiful winding ride and along the way, you’ll want to stop and check out a few stops…
- Lok Yeay Mao Monument – A towering meditating Buddha considered to be the protector of travelers, fisherman and hunters.
- Le Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino – French colonial casino that opened in 1925. A little random and eerie to see something so large appear out of no where.
- Popokvil Waterfall – A several tier waterfall that literally translates to “swirling clouds” from the mist it lets off. Make sure to visit just after the rainy season or else Popokvil could be more of a trickle versus a waterfall.
- The Old Catholic church – Built in the 1920’s by French colonists, the story goes that bankrupt patrons of the casino would choose between confession at the church or hurling their body off the cliff on the other side. Happy times, right?
4) Kep’s Crab Market
Okay, so technically not in Kampot, but close enough. Located 15 miles (25kms) from Kampot, you’ll find Kep. Kep is known for one thing and one thing only, it’s amazing crab market!
The Kep Crab Market is a located on a parking lot with bamboo stilts holding up the blue tarp and blankets that cover a community of woman steaming up and cooking fresh crab.
Grab a seat where you can find one, order crab by the kilo and watch the women jump off the dock, grab on a rope and literally pull fresh crab from the ocean right in front of you.
They will them steam the crab to perfection. Oh, and don’t be expecting any “crab crackers.” This is a hands only type of establishment.
We got 2 kilos of fresh crab for under $3. Now, that is cheap, but good eating!
Places to Eat in Kampot Cambodia
You’ll have no shortage of options in Kampot. Below are a few of our favorites!
- Laundry Café: If you’re wanting to get some laundry done and craving a good ol’ fashioned burger, look no further than the Laundry Café. Yes, they will do your laundry and while you wait, you can chow down on a super tasty burger
- Wonderland Ice Cream Shop: In the Cambodia heat, who doesn’t want something sweet to cool down with? From vegan options to every flavor under the sun, you won’t be disappointed with their popsicle and frozen yogurt offerings.
- Khmer Root Café: If you are looking for authentic Khmer food, head to this bamboo hut establishment. Located in the more “rural” side of Kampot, Khmer Root Café serves up dishes like massaman curry and chicken with Kampot pepper seasoning.
- The Rusty Keyhole: Okay, to be fair, we need to preface that we had been traveling for 6 months at this point and we were missing western food like crazy. Once we found out about The Rusty Keyhole, we ran (not kidding) to check it out for dinner. The Rusty Keyhole sits along the river and serves up massive slabs of ribs and sides of mashed potatoes. It was the perfect comfort food we were looking for from home. Regardless of how long you’ve been traveling for, this place is for real good.
If any of our restaurants up top didn’t tickle your fancy, walk along the main street by the river and you’ll find cafes lining the street. From pizza places to local eats and nicer cafes, you’re sure to find something you like.
The Best Time To Go To Cambodia
The best time to go to Cambodia is from October to April. These month are Cambodia’s dry season.
To avoid the rain and to make travel as easy as possible, do your best to travel to Kampot, Cambodia during October through April.
For The Budget Conscious: If you’re looking for a social hostel that has a pool and bar, then look no further than Mad Monkey. This accommodation has a restaurant on site and can also book any transportation you need, be in scooters or tuk-tuks to get around town or busses to get out of town.
For The Luxury Inclined: A salt water pool and views of Bokor Mountain, Hotel Five.S is sure to get you feeling relaxed and ready to take on Kampot.
For Something In Between: Apsara Guest House Kampot City offers cozy, clean rooms and friendly, helpful staff await you.
For more accommodation choices and places to stay in Kampot, you can check the latest prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)