We absolutely loved Kampot, the small riverside fishing town. There are still not too many tourists there, as most people are heading to the famous Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) or beachside town of Sihanoukville. We found Kampot to be an excellent value for accommodation and food. We were planning to stay there for 4 days, but ended up to stay there for 7 days. To get to Kampot from Phnom Penh was easy. We took the Giant Ibis bus. The ride took about 4 hours ( there was more traffic outside Phnom Penh) and it cost $8.00/person.
The mix of French and Chinese architecture truly grabbed our heart. Majority of the buildings are without a doubt dilapidated, but few of them have been already beautifully renovated.
All we could see was buying a property and doing another renovation until we realized how expensive these old building were. The real estate prices ended our dreams of buying any place there. We enjoyed our stay in Kampot with just taking pictures, enjoying meals and cheap drinks in restaurants with gorgeous river view.
There is not much to see in Kampot, but here is plenty to do in the surrounding countryside. We made few trips outside the town by motorbike and by bicycle.
The bicycle trip was an interesting one, as we biked all the way to Kep, about 16 miles one way. The bike ride there was easy ….until we had to go back, riding against the wind. Forgot to mention, the bikes we rode were the free bikes from our guesthouse. Let’s just say these bikes had seen better days…
Kep is mostly famous for its seafood. We had a fantastic lunch there: grilled fish and squid. There is also a nice beach in Kep, where most accommodation is located.
For our next trips we decided to stick to a motorbike.
During our trips we visited:
Salt Fields. Salt, that’s what Kampot is really famous for. There are many salt fields just outside the town. It’s a quite an interesting process to make the salt, as the water is let in from the ocean to the fields. The fields are then blocked, and the water is allowed to evaporate, leaving salty crystals. We found many salt fields, but during the time we were there, we didn’t see any salt collection taking place.
Pepper Farms. We visited pepper farms by a motorbike, however there are many tour operators or tuk tuk drivers offering to get there. All pepper farms were located in the same area. We stopped at the Vine Retreat and Pepper Farm. Truly we didn’t know much about pepper, but after a tour we learned about different types of pepper and its process. Harvest takes place from February to April. Since we visited the farm in December, the fruit wasn’t ready to be picked up. We tasted one and it already had a quite nice pepper taste.
Amazing sunsets. The sun sets behind a beautiful mountain range. It truly a remarkable view with a river in front of it. We spend many evenings and took many pictures. Simple we couldn’t have enough of it.
During our stay in Kampot we stayed in three different hotels.
Hotel Mea Kulpa. I came across this hotel in one of my favorite blogs. We spend two nights there and paid $25.00/night. The rate didn’t include breakfast. The hotel is located about 10 minutes from the town center.
Hotel Moliden. We loved the style of the hotel, but we only spend one night there, as the room was too noisy from early morning. The cost $20.00/ night including breakfast.
Hotel Little Garden. We spend last 4 nights. This hotel worked for us, with simple but quiet room. The cost was only $15.00/ night , without breakfast.