|Kampot is arguably the most beautiful province of Cambodia, offering beaches, deserted islands, wooded mountains, caves, a national park, waterfalls, and a picturesque colonial town of the same name.
Kampot town sitting on the banks of a wide river with the imposing Elephant and Bokor mountains as a backdrop, plus its close proximity to the sea and its ethnic Cham villages gives it a different feel to most other places in Cambodia. It is a sleepy, quaint place with a relaxed ambience and friendly locals. The streets are quiet, perfect for strolling, and there is a lot of French colonial and Chinese influenced architecture still surviving, and last but by no means least there is a wonderful riverfront will a small collection of bars and restaurants where you can relax and experience possibly one of the most beautiful sunsets in Cambodia as the sun slips down behind the nearby mountains.
One cannot mention Kampot without mentioning its pepper. Before the Khmer Rouge destroyed the country Kampot was internationally famous for its aromatic pepper which graced the table of many fine Parisian restaurants. However, locally Kampot is renown for producing the best durians, the spiky, smelly fruit Khmers love! Ironically the area also produces the majority of Cambodia’s salt, and is the home of tasty fresh seafood. It could be said that Kampot is a gastronomers delight!
Kampot and its surroundings were witness to armed conflict until 1994 and as a legacy it is one of the poorest areas of the country with many people living in poverty. However, as in many parts of the country the resilience of the Khmer people is inspiring, and whilst in Kampot you can visit various sites to discover how the local people are helping themselves to build brighter futures. You can visitthe community tourism project of Prek Thnot in the foothills of the Elephant Mountains and see how villagers are learning to use forest products in a sustainable way, see women learning the traditional skills of weaving, visit a school where orphaned and disabled children are being taught traditional music and dance, or travel to a remote rural village where a vocational training centre is teaching handicraft and life skills to adults and youths.
Using Kampot as your base you can: discover the cooler air and ghostly remains of the Bokor Hill Station; take a relaxing cruise along the Tuk Chou river passing small traditional fishing villages; explore the many caves that dissect the limestone karst outcrops; learn more about salt & pepper; swim beneathwaterfalls; witness traditional village life; experience a unique 'bamboo train'journey; indulge in fresh seafood; paddle through mangroves and spot fireflies; be brave and taste the smelly durian; and just marvel at the beautiful scenery within which all of this take place…
And if all this wasn’t enough Kampot is only 25km from the coastal resort of Kep and the back-to-basics experience of Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island). For those wanting a laid-back yet experience packed time, Kampot is the place to be…
For our suggested Phnom Penh tours please click here.