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www.hotsia.com > Combodai > Kampot

 


 

This pictures province is located in the Southwest of the country, having an eighty kilometres costal strip with the Gulf of Thailand. The provincial capital is named Kampot and sits near the base of the abundant green Elephant Mountains and the famous Bokor Hill Station. Compete to crowded Sihanoukville in the North of the province you may find quietness and almost no tourists around here. Most visitors come here to have a look at the old French colonial architecture, which is one still in charming condition, to have a vantage point for visiting the near beaches or the small islands of Kep. Kampot province is also renowned for the quality of its fruits (durian, coconut, mango, etc.), its sea salt and of course the famous Kampot Pepper. The special fresh climate and soil type of Kampot as well as the experience from several generations of pepper farmers make this pepper unique and much sought-after by gourmets worlwide.

The small town of Kampot on the Tuk Chhou River is 5km inland from the sea. Fishing and farming are the main activities; durians and melons grow in abundance. To the south end of the town is a large dusty traffic circle with three hotels arrayed around it Phnom Kieu, Phnom Kamchay, and Tuk Chhou.
Each has its own restaurants; Tuk Chhou offers a seedy nightclub. Also on the circle is the Prachummith Restaurant, which is close by is the Amar Restaurant. To the south near the river is the GPO and telecommunications building. At the north end of town, about 1.5 km away, lays the Central Market, with quite a lot of food stalls. All Kampot transportation is concentrated within the range of the market - cycle, motors, taxis, trucks, and buses. The railway station lies further north, but isnt used anymore.
 

 


Theres almost no interest in Kampot, except to walk around the town and look at crumbling French-built blue-shuttered shop fronts. You can reach Kampot by irregular plane service from Phnom Penh. Its not the best and more comfortable way to get there by car. It takes about 5 hours to cover the 150 km from Phnom Penh to Kampot on a bumpy road, which but goes through a scenic changing nature.

 

Kampot province is 4.873 square kilometres big. Its located in the Southwest of the country and is bordering to the North with Kampong Speu, in the East with Takeo, in the West with Sihanoukville and Koh Kong and to the South with the Gulf of Thailand. The East of the province consists of the typical plain area for Cambodia, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations. The Western part of the province shows up with the well-known Bokor National Park, being a part of the grant Elephant Mountains, which is rich in lush forests and a huge range of wildlife. The two highest points in the province are the Bokor Hill Station with 1,027m altitude and further north another hilltop with 1,050m altitude. Some people consider the countryside similar to the sharp Vietnamese limestone rocks shooting up of flat plains an impressive aspect.

 

Kampot may easily be approached directly from Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and also from Vietnam via the Prek Chak (Ha Tien) and Phnom Den international border crossings.

How to get there

Bus:
To/From Phnom Penh:
Via paved and in comparative good condition National Highway No 3 from Phnom Penh to Kampot. This road is more recommendable than the alternative National Highway No 2 to leading to National Highway No 3 via Takeo province. The buses to Kampot departure each day at 7:30am and midday around 1:15pm from the central bus station near the central market (Sorya Bus Company; No 168). The prices with a usual old air-con bus are around US$4 per a person and trip. The trip usually takes approx. 4-5h.

To/From Sihanouville:
Taking a bus from Sihanoukville itll take you North on the National Highway No 4 to Veal Renh (about 40km), than youll turn east on National Highway No 3 in direction to Kampot. Both highways are paved and in comparative good condition. The trip from Sihanoukville to Kampot usually takes approx. 1-2 hours (110km).

 

Share Taxis:
If you wish to go from Sihanoukville to Kampot by share taxi you can found one opposite the market (Phsar Leu) and at the downtown bus and taxi station in Sihanoukville centre. In Kampot, taxis can be found at the taxi stand or you just tell your guesthouse or hotel that you wish one taxi, as theyll be friendly enough to help you organizing one ASAP. The prices are around 12,000 - 14,000Riel/person or $20 for a private taxi ($25 with a proper a/c). Going from Phnom Penh with a share taxi you can find one at Phsar Dumkor in Phnom Penh or opposite of central bus station. The prices are 13,000 -15,000Riel/person or $22-$30 for a private taxi. The 3 hours ride is shorter as with the slowly bus.

Motorbike Info:
The National Highway No 3 from Phnom Penh to Kampot is definitely not in the best condition as you might wish to hit the road as fast as possible, but its a scenic trip while you enjoy the countryside (approx. 155km). Its worth it!
Coming from Sihanoukville you have to ride on the National Highway No 4 for about 40km turning at the junction East and heading the NH No 3 for another 75km to Kampot.

To/From Vietnam:
The border to Vietnam (Ha Tien) is around 60km far from Kampot. The easiest mean to go there is by hiring a moto tub or Tuktuk (prices are around US$5 for a moto tub and US$1014 for a Tuktuk; 1 1/2h trip). The border was long closet for international travellers but has recently opened (beginning of 2007). The borders full name for both sites is Prek Chak/Xaxia. Going to the border youll have to take Road No 33 east from Kampot to the intersection of Road 31 at Kampong Trach town. Turn south on Road 31. The roads are all paved except the last few kilometres to the border, which are sealed. Both, Sok Lim Tours (Tel: 012-801348) and Marco Polo Adventure Tours (Tel: 012-883429) offer regular transport from Kampot to the border. If youre coming from Vietnam, moto tubs usually wait at the border crossing to take approaching travellers to Kep or Kampot.

 

Where to eat

Little Garden Bar: (tel: 012-256901)
This Restaurant has an open-air garden style and is situated on the riverfront one block north of the bridge. Youll find a good selection of western and Khmer food. There are lots of sandwiches and daily specials on the board. Try the popular Pork Volcano; check out our daily specials from prime Australian rib eye filet to roast Lamb with mint sauce. We also have a number of vegetarian dishes as well as nice fish dishes. It's a perfect spot to enjoy the sunset whilst sipping your favourite cocktail. They also give you information on the Kampot area and local volunteer opportunities.

Epic Arts Caf: (tel: 011-376968)
That is a project providing small restaurant to the deaf and disabled communities. Teas, cakes, fruit shakes, lunch and snacks available.

Lucky Food Restaurant and Bar: (tel: 012-806105)
You can find Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine here as well as tasty seafood dishes. Imported lamb (Australian) and chicken (Singaporean) is also on the menu. Full bar with cold beer and one dollar shots. Free drink or snack with each dish ordered. Takeaway, breakfasts and lunches are offered. Very clean kitchen and clean purified ice.

Rheajs Burger House: (tel: 012-333361)
Friendly riverfront restaurant serving western and Khmer dishes. Western breakfasts, burgers, pizzas, BBQ, seafood, desserts, fruit juices and shakes. Full Bar. Indoor and curbside seating.

Jasmine: (tel: 012-927313)
Thats a popular, stylish, welcoming riverfront cafe serving a good selection of western and some Asian dishes. Indoor and curbside seating with a very nice river view. Great place to enjoy sunset over a glass of wine and have a good, reasonably price western meal. Lots of books and magazines. Wifi wireless is available.

Bokor Mountain Lodge: (tel: 033-932314)
Lovely old French Colonial-era building in a perfect sunset location on the riverfront road. Serving a variety of Khmer and some western dishes. They serve Italian, Thai, and burgers, specializing in fresh crab dishes. Weekend BBQs. Pizzas. Equipped with a full bar with cold beer, wine and cocktails and coffee facilities. Wonderful curbside seating overlooking the river. Western managed.

Rikitikitavi: (tel: 012-274820)
Lovely rooftop restaurant and bar with a gorgeous view overlooking the river. Serving a wide selection of western dishes prepared by a professional chef. Full bar with cocktails, cold beer and a selection of wine.

 

Where to stay

Bokor Mountain Lodge: (tel: 033-932314)
This hotel is a classic French Colonial building located directly on the river front road. You can enjoy fantastic sunsets from here. Equipped with clean air-conditioned rooms with en-suite bathrooms, some of which have river views. Including a popular restaurant and bar on the ground floor. Wifi internet is available. Prices: $15 - $36.

Hang Guesthouse: (tel: 016-389170)
This guesthouse is located on the riverside and also includes a restaurant with a beautiful garden with mango, coconut trees and lots of flowers. The rooms are pretty and have a nice view of the river, the mountains and the rice fields. Its located 2 minutes outside town. Internet facilities. Free bicycle use. Free transportation into the city. Tour services. French, English and Khmer spoken. Prices: $5 - $10.

Little Garden Bar: (tel: 012-256901)
This is a villa-style guesthouse with a view overlooking the river and the mighty Bokor Mountain. Equipped with clean rooms, including fan and attached bathroom. One apartment with a/c. Restaurant. Information on various volunteer projects around Kampot. Prices: $10-$25

Mealy Chenda Guesthouse: (tel:012-831559)
This is one of the older locations in the centre of the town. Its a very old French colonial villa with huge rooms, including fan, small bathroom and some come with cable TV. Restaurant and bar. Inexpensive tours and transportation. Bokor tour for $8. Prices: $2 - $5.

Orchid Guesthouse: (tel: 033-932634)
This guesthouse offers fan and a/c rooms as well as bungalows. They come with cable TV, hot water in Khmer decor. International/Khmer restaurant with lots of seafood. Full bar. Motorcycles, bicycles and boats for rent. Quiet area and secure parking. Contact for Wild Orchid Tours offering trips to Bokor, Kep, jungle treks and more. Prices: $4 - $15.

Kampot Riverview Guesthouse: (tel:011-717818)
This guesthouse is located at the rivers edge. Its one of the backpackers places due to its moderate prices. Fan rooms with cable TV and en suite bathroom. Riverside veranda restaurant with a nice sunset view of the mountains. Serving reasonably priced western and Khmer dishes. Range: $4 - $7.

Long Villa : (tel: 012-908619)
Thats really a unique wooden long villa. Fan and a/c rooms with attached bathroom. Dormitory beds are also available, as it is a common budget travellers place. Restaurant with seafood dishes, Cambodian and western food, and pizza. Reasonably priced. Pool table. Lots of information on tour services and guides. Located near the market. Range: $3 - $10.

 

Shopping

As it is quite common in Cambodia even small cities, such as Kampot have at least one big market. You may also find a market in Kampot centre, which are very busy areas with local shops dealing the local daily consumer products, like fish, fruits, vegetables, meats and packed products. Most of the food and drink shops are surrounding the market. To take something special from this province along, buy some famous Kampot Pepper.

Where to see

Bokor Hill Station
Is a mountain top collection of buildings (hotel, casino, church, royal residence, etc.), constructed by French authorities in the early 1920s as a compliment to the already popular Kep resort area. In the 1990s a travel author referred to Bokor as the eeriest place in the world, and it lives up to that reputation. In its time, Bokor was an elegant getaway for French officials and foreign visitors to old Indochina. But years of neglect have left ghostly ruins - vestiges of a different age, often shrouded in fog and clouds. One thing that the years have not changed is the absolutely spectacular view of the coast and the cool (sometimes-cold) mountain air. Wild elephants and other jungle animal are occasionally seen. Small guesthouse on top with $5 rooms, good toilets and very few other services. If you are going to stay on Bokor, take food as the guesthouse has little to offer. 37 km from Kampot. Take Route #3 west from Kampot to the well-marked turnoff. $5 entrance fee at the ranger station about a kilometer up the road. Badly broken pavement all the way up the mountain. Easiest in a 4WD. For experienced riders, its a moderate dirt bike ride. It is painful but possible on a small 100cc bike. Bring warm clothes.
 

Caves near Kampot
The caves of Phnom Taaun are part of a limestone formation. Narrow cave, chimney, passages with rock formations. A bit more interesting are the caves at Phnom Sia. One cave contains a supposedly elephant shaped rock formation that is treated as a shrine. Bring a flashlight.
 

Handicrafts
Most of the handicrafts made of the sea shells amd corals that are popular with tourists are made in Kampot province.
Shell Handicrafts
This handicrafts is sold along the beaches and very popular with tourists.
Corals
Corals are also popular with visitors. The coral is washed until it is white, and sold the beach to local and foriegn visitors. Because coral is rapidly disappearing from the sea and oceans, however, environmentalists discourage tourist from buying these souvenirs.
 

 

 

Kampong Trach
Kampong Trach is the district that borders Vietnam. The road trip from Kampot to the main town passes though some picturesque rural areas. There is a new side road to Kampong Trach town that skirts the base of Phnom Voar, (where the victims of the 1994 Khmer Rouge kidnappings were held.) These mountain areas of Kampong Trach were one of the last Khmer Rouge holdouts. Kampong Trach town is small and relatively uninteresting. The area's main attraction is a series of limestone caves and tubes that have been carved.into a nearby mountain. The roof of a large cave in the center of a mountain has collapsed, making a small, enclosed jungle. Pagodas and shrines have been built amongst the caves, providing for some excellent photo possibilities. Bring a flashlight and wear good walking shoes. From Kampot, take the Kep road, bear left at the White Horse Monument and follow to Kampong Trach. After a few kilometers the road changes to badly broken pavement. The side road mentioned above requires a left turn onto a graded dirt road about 7 km past the White Horse Monument. It is not a straightforward route and it may be better if you go with a guide. Set aside the better part of a day for the trip to the caves and back.
 

Kep Thmey
Kep Thmey Classification Nature Wildlife and Preserves Location Kep Thmey Village, Beoungtouk Commune, Kampot District Accessibility 8 km (12mn) From Provincial Town
 

Phnom Chhnok
Phnom Chhnok Classification Nature Wildlife and Preserves Location Bos Trobek Village, Trorpeang Pring Commune, Kampot District Accessibility 9km (22mn) From Provincial Town
 

Phnom Daung
Phnom Daung Classification Nature Wildlife and Preserves Location Beoung Tapream Village, Treuy Koh Commune, Kampong Bay District Accessibility 7 km (11mn) From Provincial Town

 

Phnom K'Chnor
Pre-Angkorian ruin set in a limestone cave amongst stalagmites and stalactites that are slowly growing into the ruin. Small 4th-5th century AD brick structure associated with the ancient state of Funan. A bit of carving is still visible.
 


 

Phnom Seda Orn
Phnom Seda Orn Classification Nature Wildlife and Preserves Location Ang Kor Village, Trorpeang Pring Commune, Kampot District
 

Prek Ampil
Prek Ampil is located on the coast in Koh Toch commune, Kampot district, about 18 kilometers west of the provincial town. Prek Ampil features a white sand beach with thousands of mangrove and coconut trees growing nearby, making the site ideal for visitors looking for a pleasant place to relax. In addition, there is an array of fresh seafood such as crab, cuttlefish, lobster and snails, as well abundant coconut juice. The waters off of Prek Ampil are rich in corals, a natural attraction that could attract tourists who enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving.

With the exception of Teuk Chhu, none of the sites listed above have been developed for tourism, although efforts have been made to stop further destruction at the sites. Today, locals and some foreigners visit the sites to do research.
 

Salt Product
Salt products are among the items Cambodia produces for export. Cambodia can produce enough salt for use inside the country and also for export. Most of products are made in Kampot district nearby the sea.
 

Teuk Chhu Resort
Teuk Chhu is located in Snomprampi village, Makprang commune, Kampot district, about 8 kilometers north of Kampot provincial town. Its main attraction is a stream that flows from Phnom Damrei via Phnom Kamchay. The cool, clear water flows over large rocks year round. This is a good place for swimming or bathing.

There are many kinds of decicious fruit available, including durian, mangosteen, rambutan, mak prang, pineapple, grape fruit, custard apple and coconut. Only the durian, however, is available year round. Not far from Teuk Chhu is a zoo and plantation organized by His Excellency Nhim Vanda. The zoo raises animals, while the plantation grows a variety of fruit trees, including durian, rambutan and other fruits.

 

Teuk Chhu Zoo
Asian-style mini zoo displaying a variety of local faunas. 8km north of Kampot.

 

 

 
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