Cambodia in Brief – A Quick Guide to Kampot
A Quick Guide to Kampot
Kampot is a small town in south east Cambodia. During the French rule it became the country’s major port and trade centre. Nowadays it’s a sleepy town with wide streets lined up with colourful colonial buildings. A perfect place to escape the buzz of big cities and enjoy slow life of provincial Cambodia.
What to do and see in Kampot
Visit Salt fields
Have you ever wondered how salt is made? Wonder no more – while staying in Kampot you can visit Sea Salt fields. During dry season almost 4,500 hectares of land is divided into pools. Each pool is filled with ocean water. After water evaporates, salt crystals are collected and stored in warehouses. You will be able to see the whole process, take plenty of great photos, and if you are lucky and local workers don’t mind – try your hand in collecting salt.
Cycle through the town
The best way to explore Kampot town is by bicycle. Start your trip at the riverside, and then continue through backstreets to see exquisite old buildings, markets, temples and monuments. Kampot is famous for its Durian. Don’t miss so called Durian Roundabout with a giant monument to this fruit when you tour the town. If you have time and energy, we suggest to extend your route to the countryside: rice fields, traditional houses and many buffalos will provide entertainment and excellent photo opportunities.
Take a day trip to Bokor National Park
Bokor National Park is one of the most popular destinations for a day trip from Kampot. Despite recent development in the area, there are still plenty of wild birds and animals living in the forest. If you travel during the rainy season, make sure you stop by Popokvil Waterfalls. In the dry season head straight to the old French Casino on the top of the hill. You will be awarded by stunning views of the Gulf of Thailand and Phu Quoc island.
Explore the caves
There are several caves located just a short ride from Kampot. The most popular one – Phnom Chhnok – has a 7th century temple inside. During the Khmer Rouge era locals used the caves to hide from Pol Pot soldiers. Nowadays you can visit the caves enjoy beautiful views, explore rows of stalactites and stalagmites, and – if you love active sports – try abseiling and rock climbing.
Stretch your muscles at a yoga class
There are plenty of places in Kampot to enjoy all types of traditional massages. But if you want something more – check out Banteay Srey Spa yoga classes. Yoga is a great way to start the day with stretching your muscles and opening your mind to the new experiences. They also have an evening Yin Yoga class, but it’s opened for women only.
How’s the food?
For the best food choices in Kampot head to the riverside. It’s buzzing with restaurants and bars offering great variety of Western and Khmer dishes and fresh seafood. If you are looking for something more authentic, we suggest to check the new Night Market. There you can find great hot pot, noodle soups and peppery barbeque meat.
Don’t miss an opportunity to have a meal at Epic Arts café. More than just a café with great food and drinks, Epic Arts is also a gallery and a learning centre for people with disabilities and troubled Khmer youth.
Is Kampot for you?
Photographers, food junkies, nature lovers and history buffs will definitely find Kampot worth spending several nights. Families with children, backpackers and independent travellers will be surprised by the great choice of activities the town has to offer – from relaxing in art cafes by the river to sunset boat trips.
Where can I stay
There are many hotels and guest-houses in Kampot, that can satisfy any taste and wallet. From simple dormitories near the Night Market, to lush villas and resorts by the riverside.
The best time to go to Kampot
Kampot is pleasant all year around with average temperature about 30 degrees Celsius. Monsoon season lasts from June until mid-October. It rains only couple of hours every day, so you still will have enough time to explore the town and nearby areas. Days during the dry season (November-May) are hotter, with temperature sometimes reaching 37-39 degrees Celsius.
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