Cambodia in Brief – A Quick Guide to Kep
A Quick Guide to Kep
Kep is an ideal place to escape from crowds that are slowly taking over Cambodian beaches. Catering for more upmarket clients than Sihanoukville, Kep offers clean beaches, great food and clear waters – things necessary for peaceful relaxation.
What to do and see in Kep
Eat at the Crab Market
Crab market is probably the first place every Kep visitor is directed. The row of stalls and small restaurants offer a wide choice of freshly caught crabs and other seafood. After you’ve taken enough photos of fishermen, boats and various sea creatures in big buckets of water, chose a restaurant you like and have a meal there. Kep’s signature dish – Kampot pepper crab – is served everywhere. But if you want something different, there is also squid, fish and prawns, all cooked on open fire.
Visit Organic Pepper Plantation
The province is famous for its pepper – in early 20th century it was considered to be the best pepper in the world. Times changed, and now it is cultivated in many SE Asian countries. If you want to see not only how pepper grows, but also to observe the stages of it being processed, head to Sothy’s Pepper Farm. They produce organic pepper with minimal use of pesticides, so make sure you visit the shop too.
Take a Horseback Ride through the countryside
Horseback riding doesn’t sound like a real Cambodian activity, does it? Nevertheless, you will see lots of small horses (almost ponies) in the southern and south eastern provinces of Cambodia. According to ancient texts Khmers used horses since at least 8th century. So if you are tired of cars and bicycles, but still want to explore Kep countryside, we recommend you check out “Ranch De La Plantation”. It offers 1-3 hours horseback rides that will take you to mango and pepper plantations, temples, Kep National Park and plenty of other destinations. Riding a horse is a perfect way to explore the sleepy and peaceful Kep countryside.
Boat Trip to the Rabbit Island
When you’ve done all planned activities and spent enough time on the beach, take a boat trip to Koh Tonsay (Rabbit island). Only 25 minutes by longtail boat from Kep, and you will be in a completely different world. This small island (it takes only about 3 hours to walk around it) has clean beaches, clear waters and rows of palm trees. If you fancy to do something active, opt for a fishing trip with one of the locals. Or simply hire snorkelling gear from one of the beach shops and dive into the world of colourful fish and corals.
How’s the food?
Kep is the place if you like good seafood: crab, fish, squid – you name it, the cook at the market will grill it. We also recommend you try other famous Khmer dishes – curries, Amok and deep fried spring rolls. And don’t forget to add pepper sauce!
Before the Khmer Rouge regime came into power, Kep was a favourite resort destination of Cambodian elite. There is a number of half-ruined villas and mansions still standing on the hills surrounding town. Local graffiti artists use their walls to express themselves. The combination of old architecture and modern art will attract both – history junkies and art lovers.
Is Kep for you?
If you want to break your travels and just spend several days tanning, swimming and enjoying fresh seafood by the beach – Kep is definitely for you. It’s perfect for families with children, couples, honeymooners, food lovers and photographers.
The best time to go to Kep
Kep is pleasant all year around with average temperature about 28 degrees celsius. Monsoon season lasts from May until mid-October. It can rain heavily along the coastal line, but the rains don’t usually last long (couple of hours a day). During the dry season (November-April) the temperature can go up to 38 degrees Celsius. But fresh ocean breeze cools the air down to a pleasant 25-29 degrees.
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