Indulge yourself into Kep – the city of beaches and relaxing (Updated!)

Visit the serene Sambor Prei Kuk in Kampong Thom, Cambodia Is there any interesting thing in Kratie, Cambodia? The beautiful capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh Cambodia travel experience: what I have learned after an excellent trip   The coastal city of Kep in Cambodia is being familiar to lots of tourists. Kampot province is located very closely to Kep city so it is reasonable to have a short trip, especially…

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Kep beach - an ideal relaxing in Cambodia
The coastal city of Kep in Cambodia is being familiar to lots of tourists. Kampot province is located very closely to Kep city so it is reasonable to have a short trip, especially combining with a tour to Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
When visiting Kep, you will met the special welcome board with a crab.
When visiting Kep, you will met the special welcome board with a crab.
From Xa Xia border gate, going more 20 km is to arrive Kep coastal city – Cambodia. Sparse population are on two roadsides. Toward to sea are stretching salt fields along the national highway. Far about 5 – 7 km from the city center, cars run up and down steeps, very interesting. Two roadsides are successive cemented fences which are old but very nice, each of them has different style.
Kep city was built in 1908 under the French domination and upgraded to become the coastal resorts from 1960. Kep name is explained from Le Cap in French language- means cape jutting into the sea. During the Khmer Rouge period, the works, resorts of the French in Kep city were destroyed a lot, but there still have vestiges of a golden period of this beautiful city in the past. Kep still keeps many symbols, signboards and architecture from French domination.
There are some amazing resorts in Kep City.
There are some amazing resorts in Kep City.
The road hugging coast in Kep is 5 – 6 km long. One side is the sea, another side is a winding mountain road with green color form head to toe. Kep beach slopes gently with light waves and clear blue water. Many pretty resorts and accommodations for tourist to take a rest after swimming covered roofs by straw and leaves are placed along the beach.
The scenery is peaceful and sleazy. Along the road behind the beach is an empty area with many vendors. The beach is often crowded on weekends and pretty deserted on weekdays. The road is through Kep, along the coast and turn back. Cars and small trucks have to pay travelling expense to move on this road. Motorcycles and pedestrians are free. This is one-way road and Cambodian traffic police often fined violators.
Samot Reang Sey Pagoda.
Samot Reang Sey Pagoda.
Samot Reang Sey pagoda is a can-not-be ignored tourism destination when visiting Kep city. The pagoda is located far 2 km from the city center. This is the Cambodian pagoda with attractive characteristic architecture. Kep also has “Bunny” island which is about 30 minutes from the center of the city about 30 by ship. The island has white sandy beach and coconut trees; the water is quite clear, visitors can swim with snorkel around the rocks. There is no coral under water but lots of fish. Currently, there are a few simple guesthouses on the island.

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Kampot province is far about 25 km from the Kep city. The road to Kampot runs through alternative mangrove forest and stone. Kampot province is an old small capital next to Chhou Teuk river bank. There are many architectural relics from French domination period with 100-year date. Prek Kampong bay or river of Kampong Bay separates Kampot province into two sections connected by the ancient Kampot bridge and a totally new bridge called Kampong Bay.
Chhou Teuk River in Kampot.
Chhou Teuk River in Kampot.
Kampot people live mainly by farming, growing durian, pepper, and other fruits and mining salt. The local landscapes are still very pristine and peaceful.
Bokor tour is probably the most popular tour in Kampot. Bokor Hill Station on Phnom Bokor (Bokor Mountain) is a complex of buildings built in French domination including hotels, casinos, churches, and royal palaces built in the beginning of 1920. In the decade of 1990, Bokor was compared to “the most exotic places in the world” and “ghost town” because of its ruinous and mysterious look.
Don't miss the thrilling stories about Bokor Hill Station.
Don’t miss the thrilling stories about Bokor Hill Station.
Bokor at prosperous time was used to be a resort of the French’s officials and foreign tourists in Indochina. It is situated on hill with mild climate to avoid the heat. It was abandoned several years so it had been seriously ruined. However, visitors can see spectacular scenery of beach and enjoy fresh air. Bokor Mountain is covered with jungle and you can discover that forest. Many travelers have seen elephant and wild animal. Currently, local authority are planning to restore this relic.
Kampong Trach is a small town near Vietnam border. On the way from Kampot to this town, it will go through several beautiful villages. Now, there is a byroad to Kampong Trach town by going along Voar Mountain which used to be the last refuge of the Khmer Rouge. The attractions of this place are many limestone caves and tunnels running to the nearby mountain. Pagodas and temples were built in the caves so tourists can take nice photos. When visiting this place, you should wear flashlights and shoes.
Kampong Trach with the very authentic pathway for biking.
Kampong Trach with the very authentic pathway for biking.
Far about 12 km from Kampot province is Teuk Chhou stream. Teuk Chhou means flowing spring by Cambodian language. It is large, long, which divides into different forest parties; that scenery and green trees on two sides creates an ideal fresh landscape for tourists to visit. It is also a tourism destination of Kampot province serving tourists to rest and explore in hot season. There are stores and restaurants along the spring for tourist take a rest after swimming. Kampot province also has Teuk Chhou zoo which is about 12km in the northeast of the province. Like Kep city, all gateways to the city are also placed the cultural symbols. The statue of white horse placed in rotary reminds the legend of white horse saving the Cambodian prince. Kampot now has many great resorts such as Teuk Chhou, Preak Ampil, Bokor in order to develop resort business form.
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24 thoughts on “Indulge yourself into Kep – the city of beaches and relaxing (Updated!)

  1. Hi all, we are currently in Kep and staying near the crab market. Today we walked down towards the beach end and ended up at the saravoan and the beach front. Is that the main area of town? Or is there something we are missing? We were looking for a supermarket to pick up. Milk but could only find small mini Marta that had a lot of beer and cola but no milk. Also is it worth a walk down there at night time or is crab market and the restaurants better? We are going to take a trip to rhthe sailing club one night. Thank you in advance

  2. Yes that is the central part of town, and yes, thats it for shops in the central area 🙂 There are a few restaurants there, but no bars

  3. Some love it for the serenity but for many it’s just a bit too peaceful. If you’ve discovered the beach and the crab market you’ve explored the major part of Kep. There are some restaurants where you can get Kep’s signature dish of crabs in green pepper (‘Kimly’ is a favourite with many) and the sailing club is a great place for a sunset meal. Otherwise you’ll find more in the way of markets and restaurants in Kampot.

  4. You are actually in the touristy part of Kep. If you go east along the coast you get to the old french colonial part which is very large but mostly deserted, though parts are being developed at a rapid pace. Interesting for discovering the old villa architecture. There is a new town hall, police station and some hotels and many new houses…. and a small supermarket about 3 km east. Worth taking a look.

  5. How’s the serenity? So much serenity. There’s a boat that leaves Kep Pier at 3:00pm. It will have you in Kampot and the pier in front of Rikkitavi at around 5:00pm. Just saying.

  6. After a hectic few days in KL we are enjoying doing absolutely nothing athough the baby does need milk hence the hunt for a super market! Fortunately the hotel we are staying at are ordering us a pint each day with their order and putting it in our minibar so I won’t need to hunt anymore. We are enjoying Kep. A few backpackers trying to find themselves aka Thailand types but other than that it’s beautiful and lovely to b away from the rat race back home. We head to Kampot in a few days.

    1. I agree with you. Kep is a real gem.I suggest you get a push bike/bicycle and cycle to the eastern end of Kep where the land opens up very considerably and there is a lot more of this seaside town to be enjoyed. I fully expect to be back there for a few days immediately after Khmer New Year

    2. Thanks for the tip. We are doing a 8km walk of the National Park today to burn off some of the sea food. We went to kimly last night for the dinner and the crab was amazing! We have also been to the sailing club which was nice. Food was fine , nothing out of this world but the service and setting made up for it

  7. Planning a trip to Cambodja, and regretfully, have taken Kep and Kompot out of the planning because of the weather. Am i wrong?

    1. Yes, you are wrong. Coastal Kep and Kampot up river and circa 18 km from the coast will experience some intense, but short lived, tropical downpours or rain squalls but these are not daily occurrances and certainly no reason to remove either town from your list of places to experience. Kampot and Kep are as different as chalk and cheese. Kampot, both the town and the province, are changing rapidly and not all for the better so see it while you can. Kep, to many foreigners is deadly quiet but for many of us that is, in part, its attraction as a still quintessential Cambodian seaside town with a happily integrated Khmer and Cham population. I and my Khmer friends just love Kep but to many on this forum it is anathema as there are no foreign bars and restaurants etc and one has to rediscover the lost art of conversation or simply relaxing.

    2. I have been to Kampot in July or August for a number of years. In a normal average year you can expect similar wet season conditions to the rest of Cambodia – it will rain on 3 out of 4 days, but mainly heavy rain for an hour or two in the late afternoon or overnight. You have plenty of time in the morning and early afternoon to get out and about without much chance of rain. On the odd occasion if you get caught in the rain out in the countryside, you can shelter under a nearby house – a nice way of meeting local people. The countryside inland from Kampot near Phnom Chhnork Cave, is a vast sea of rice paddies with houses dotted here and there – an amazing sight in the wet season.

  8. Thanks for the input, i was pretty much conviced to drop this 2 places, like this i’ll reconsider. I’m ok with 2/3 hours of rain per day (more if it rains at night). Angkorlad, i’m trying to escape exactly that, the bars and tourist restaurants, thats why i found Kep and Kompot so appealling, escpecially getting the train from Phnom Phen to there. Alistair, i see, i was under the impression that it was a very nogo zone in August, but i stand corrected. As for what you said, so in Kratie it will be about the same thing? Weather wise? I’m revising the entire plan again because of this. Thanks for the help.

  9. Really it’s a matter of personal choice. There’s much more to do and see in and around Kampot but if you are looking for a couple of days of down time, then Kep could suit.

    1. Kampot has more to do for most people ( especially night time) ,more choices of accommodations an restaurants, I prefer Kep, but u need bring ur own entertainment. Its only 30 minutes by taxi

  10. Really it’s a matter of personal choice. There’s much more to do and see in and around Kampot but if you are looking for a couple of days of down time, then Kep could suit.

  11. Kep is a day tour while based in Kampot. Kep is nice but streched without much life, Kampot is a beautiful provincial city with Life.

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