Kampot Province is located on the southern coastline of Cambodia. It is around 3 miles from the Gulf of Thailand. It borders with Vietnam. The city of Kampot is on the Preaek Tuek Chhu River and the province is famous for its pepper plantations. Not only is it famous for its pepper plantations but also for its salt fields.
Kampot has many French colonial style buildings that date back to the end of the 19th century. One example is The Governor’s Mansion, a well-preserved building which now houses The Kampot Provincial Museum.
Kampot was once a major port, although, now it is quiet riverside town. It still holds much of its charm but is rapidly gaining popularity. It is especially appealing to environmentally conscious foreigners and locals looking for a slower pace.
Easily navigated by bicycle or foot, the town has many restaurants, boutiques and art galleries as well as traditional local markets.
Kampot has been gaining in popularity over the years and it’s really coming back to life as so many people adore it’s laid back feel, proximity to the river and sea and the abundance of nature there,
Its ecological value is quickly being realized and many eco lodges are popping up, with conservationa activities in motion. Kampot is located only 30 minutes from Kep, a crab lover’s heaven and a wonderful clean beach.
Getting to Kampot
You have a number of options open to you depending on where you are travelling from and which method you prefer.
- Private / Shared taxi
- Bus / Coach
Bar far our preferred method of travel. The train runs every weekend from Phnom Penh to Kampot, Sihanoukville, stopping at Takeo on route. From Sihanoukville you can get to the island easily such as Koh Rong
Train currently costs $7 per person each way and takes between 5 and 7 hours so if you are in a hurry then a taxi would be better (a little bit).
We enjoy the train as you can move around, eat and drink and so on. There is a toilet and for smokers or if you want some fresh air, you can go between the carriages.
You can also put on a motorbike for just $5 each way if you own one or have rented one for a long period to travel around and a bicycle will cost you around $3.
Choices of Private taxi (from $35 – $50) or you can get in a shared taxi – be warned unless you are lucky enough o get in the front seat, it’s a squash and can get hot, even with the A/C if the sun is on the windows it could be unpleasant.
Here are some taxi companies we have used and recommend for private taxi:
It is also maybe worth joining the Kampti Noticeboard on Facebook as there is a good community of people on there that can give you advice and maybe you can find 2 people to share a private taxi with so you are not crammed in too much.
Doer Nom Taxi: +855 163 026 45 / +855 977 30 26 45
LSK Taxi Group: +855 78 880 10 88 / +855 709 077 10
Bus / Coach
There are numerous coaches and buses you can take to get all around Cambodia. One of the best companies we recommend is Giant Ibis.
Not only are they one of the more comfortable and reliable services with USB charger, WiFi where possible and air fan, but they also donate money towards the Giant Ibis foundation (Giant Ibis is a very rare endangered bird).
You can ride your own motorbike there, however, we do not recommend it for the faint hearted as it is a reasonably long ride and the roads can be pretty lethal (we have seen at least 4 or 5 accidents involving scooters when using the roads)
so take care out there!
Due to its proximity to the sea and surrounding mountains, Kampot is one of the cooler regions in Cambodia.
- Cool Season – Nov – March (20c – 26c)
- Hot Season – March – May (29c-34c)
- Rainy season: May – October (22c-30c)
Things to Do
Phnom Bokor National Park
Bokor National Park (also known as Preah Monivong National Park) is home to the infamous Bokor Hill Station. This is home to an abandoned casino and ruins of a church that is often clouded in eerie mist.
The Khmer Rouge took control of the casino and church during the dark Pol Pot days and evidence of gunfight can still be seen in the crumbling buildings today.
On a clear day, the view of the surrounding forest and fields from the hilltop is spectacular. The national park below is home to abundant wildlife including gibbons, tigers and one of the biggest elephant herds in Cambodia.
There are many hiking trails within the park that cut through the jungle and lead to waterfalls. The remains of French colonization are still evident and can be explored on foot.
Popokvil Waterfall, also located within the National Park drops from the top of Bokor Mountain and is a popular spot for meditation, as well as a favorite place for picnics, with an opportunity to sample genuine khmer countryside food, sold from small local huts.
Phnom Chhnork Cave Temple
The Phnom Chhnork Cave temple has a history of more than 1300 years and is the only cave temple in Cambodia.
Around 8kms from town, it’s accessible by trekking through a rice field. Afterwards climbing 203 stairs in order to reach the cavern set in a limestone mountain.
This intriguing temple complex contains elephant carvings and linga and was constructed in the 7th century, dedicated to Shiva.
Praeik Tuek Chhu River offers many recreational activities including swimming, paddle boarding and kite surfing.
One of the best ways to take in the breathtaking untouched nature and explore rural Cambodia is by paddling on the river.
This offers a slow paced chance to get up close and personal with stalactites, mangroves and explore floating villages.
Other attractions include visiting a Pepper plantation, Kampot Provincial Museum, Sunset River Cruise and the Crab Shuttle that runs regularly between Kampot and Kep.
Kampot Butterfly Farm
A little way up some dirt roads you can find Kampot Butterfly Farm, see some rare species of butterflies and relax in the quiet surroundings.