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Bypass major tourist attractions and head over to Kampot: a truly unique experience in Cambodia

Kampot Province in Cambodia - Bram Wouters (Unsplash)

Kampot Province in Cambodia | Photo: Bram Wouters

Cambodia is so much more than major tourist attractions, like Angkor Wat. Bypass all that, or at least put it to the side for one day and experience Kampot, a place not to be missed. Decked out with rural terrain, lakes and nearby mountains, Kampot certainly is a place that lives within its natural surroundings.

It’s all systems go at the moment for Cambodia. Year upon year, tourism is increasing and travellers are discovering new hip and interesting places to visit. The first thing people think of when Cambodia comes to mind is Angkor Wat, and rightly so, these ancient ruins are the world’s largest religious site, and one of the top attractions in the world.

In fact, it’s off the beaten track towards Southern Cambodia that travellers are looking for more adventure.

Reasons why you can’t miss Kampot

Kampot is less than three hours away from the capital Phnom Penh. Kampot town and villages have a retro ambience that everyone connects with. There is no reason at all why you shouldn’t spend quality time here.

Bokor Mountain

Now more accessible since a new road has been built, Bokor Mountain is a must-see in Kampot. Famed for its old French colonial casino ruins that sit lifeless at the top, Bokor Mountain also has an old church and hotel ruins too.

If you want something a little more scenic and less eerie, Popokvil Waterfall is nearby. A day trip is best, and if you’re confident enough to ride a scooter or moped, then the journey itself coupled with spectacular misty views makes it.

Jungle Treks

The surrounding terrain makes for good hiking and there is no better spot to do that than Bokor National Park. With all the elements of a jungle you’d expect, from humidity, muddy paths, waterfalls, insects and a carpet of green, taking advantage of Kampot’s natural side is an absolute must.

Not only that but there is a range of wildlife such as tigers, elephants, gibbons and elephants, although in sadly decreasing numbers. Welcome to the jungle!

Close to Kep

Kep isn’t far away from Kampot at all. In fact, many travellers either ride motorbikes or take tuk-tuks there for a day trip. Kep is a fishing village with a laid back vibe, famed for its fresh seafood and in particular the red crab. There is also nearby Rabbit Island (Koh Tunsay) that requires a visit for some sizzling beach time to catch some rays.

In Cambodia, Kep is famous for its freshly caught crabs and its local Kampot pepper sauce.

Pepper Plantations

La Plantation is home to some of the world’s purest peppers. In fact, Kampot is kind of famous for it. The pepper farms are very much in use, so you’ll need a guide to peruse.

Snap up some fresh pepper in bags for a bargain price and a perfect gift idea. Some of the best chefs in the world use the peppers produced on these plantations, so fill your boots!

The River

Kampot is a river town, so make use of it! Go for a dip or have a go at paddleboarding, kayaking or even white water rafting. River and boat cruises are available here for you to enjoy the day. Things are laid back in Kampot, so it’s important not to feel too rushed. Take in all your surroundings, as you drift through the heart of Kampot. Perfect for a hot day here!

Arcadia Waterpark

Attached to Arcadia hostel, Arcadia Waterpark is for those thrill-seeking travellers who basically love to jump into the water. With an apparatus that boasts a vertical drop slide, the blow-up blob and a Russian swing, it’s impossible not to feel a little daring here. The river by Teuk Chhou is peaceful, deep and refreshing – the epitome of Kampot!

How to get to Kampot

That’s easy. Browse the Stray Asia Tours and select the tour that fits your travel plans. Stray’s motto is “See More. Do More” and that definitely goes for their tours in South-East Asia as well.

Tommy Walker (aka The Wandering Walker) originates from northeast England. He began his journey on the road back in 2012 throughout Asia, Oceania and Latin America. Now, nearly 5 years in, he is a freelance travel writer, content marketing specialist and founder of a popular collection of Backpacking groups on Facebook. 

Tommy goes by his own motto “every new place is a good place.” If you don’t see Tommy focused doing hot yoga, trailing through rainforests, ducking into the ocean or eating local street food, you’ll see him at a small bar drinking what the locals drink!