With all the hustle and bustle of tourists in Cambodia, it is a good idea to get away to a more quiet, less populated destination also known as the little town called Kep.
Kep offers beautiful landscapes and mountainous areas, in addition to sensational tropical beaches worth exploring.
The capital, Phnom Penh, is 150 km away, and approximately 3 - 4 hours by bus. There are daily buses to and from Kampot, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, and Koh Kong. It is also possible to travel with a motorbike from Kep to Sihanoukville or from Kep to Kampot. The border of Vietnam is only 20 km away, thus making Kep an excellent destination if you’re hopping between countries.
Kep is the ideal escape for more of a local and cultural experience, with many activities and adventure, all while you are surrounded by the silence of nature and the heart-stopping sights.
Here is a list of our top things to do while visiting Kep:
Kep Beach offers crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches and if you are looking for a local experience this is the place to go. During low season you will find more locals than tourists, and it is a great time to try out regional cuisine (starting from $2), enjoy fresh fruit, or laze around in a rented hammock while reading a good book.
This authentic affair is a must-see for all seafood lovers. Visitors can experience local fishermen bringing in crabs and a variety of mussels, shrimps, and fish while being engulfed by the dynamic rush of the market.
Pop around to the surrounding restaurants and try local Khmer seafood dishes bursting with flavor and spice. Fresh crab and green pepper is one of the top meals in Cambodia with Kep being the ultimate place to try it.
Kep National Park
Kep has an incredible nature scene, and if you’re interested in trekking and exploring, the Kep National Park is an absolute must-see. Follow the many routes by foot or motorbike to see wild monkeys, butterflies, exotic birds, and incredible coastal views, for only $1 entry fee. We recommend going in the early morning, because even though the park is shady, Cambodia reaches very high temperatures that can make walking around very uncomfortable.
Sothy’ Pepper Farm
Kampot (approximately 30 km away) is famous for growing and harvesting some of the world’s best cultivars of pepper.
At Sothy’s Pepper Farm they offer a free tour around the plantation in English, Khmer, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Vietnamese, where you can roam through the plantation and under the many fruit trees.
Furthermore, visitors can purchase a variety of peppers at appropriate prices in addition to savouring a piquant meal at the restaurant.
Rabbit Island (Koh Tonsay)
If you are in the area for a while, take a 20-minute boat ride to this magical hideaway where the island is small enough to walk the entirety of it in approximately 3 hours and where different accommodation options are available for an overnight escape. These clear, sandy beaches offer a time out from the world and if you are part of a tour, a boat ride will cost about $8 - $10, otherwise, it is $25 for a round trip by a wooden boat.
Cambodia has many Pagodas to visit, but if you are in the area of Kep, Wat Samadhi is a alluring place to see. With intricate and compelling statues, views of the countryside and coast, and elaborate designs, this pagoda is worth the 20 km trip outside of Kep.
Phnom Kampong Trach and the Swimming Cave
Take a scenic drive through mountainous greenery and undulating landscapes to enjoy the outdoor adventures of cave exploration. At Phnom Kampong Trach you will find a cave at the foot of a rocky mountain, a number of small mountain wells, a big Buddha, and other smaller statues local people use for worship.
This is a fun caving experience to enjoy with local young guides (cost approximately $1,50 - $2), along with a scenic adventure like no other.
If you’re feeling adventurous take the 2 km bumpy road to the swimming cave. Enjoy the refreshing water and take the steep, tiny stairwell up the mountain for the most breathtaking countryside and mountain views.
Ultimately Kep offers solace and a break away from the madness and crowds people encounter while travelling. It is the sheer uninterrupted peace that each traveller deserves to experience during their adventures.