Kampot is a quiet escape from the crowds of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, but this town is in no way a lifeless place to visit. In fact there are many activities to do if you want to fill your days with nature as well as a cultural experience.
Known for its pepper and salt production, the town is only a 3-4 hour bus ride away from Phnom Penh and can easily reached with daily buses from Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kep, Koh Kong, Banteay Meanchey, Banlung (Ratanakiri), and Lem.
The Preaek Tuek Chhu river separates the town in two parts. The right side has many options for accommodation and dining, whereas the left side is quieter for a complete retreat.
Visitors can get around Kampot via Tuk Tuk, but we recommend renting a motorbike (from most accommodation for $6 - $8 per day) to explore the area.
Our list of top attractions to visit while in Kampot:
This is a motorbike adventure filled with historical buildings, exuberant views and rolling landscapes situated only 8 km outside of Kampot.
We recommend hitting the road on a moto instead of a tour company as the road to the top is in good condition, with long winding turns and many viewpoints to admire.
As a visitor you should put aside 6 - 7 hours to enjoy the vast pleasures the mountain has to offer.
There is something for everyone; nature, history and luxury.
View historical buildings like the old Catholic church, a fancy hotel on top of the mountain, big Buddha among other abandoned places. Stop by at one of the many viewpoints along the road or refresh yourself at the Popokvil waterfall.
The cultivar of pepper in Kampot is one of the highest regarded peppers in the world. The peppercorns can only be grown in this particular region and its an the absolute must see.
The region has many plantations to visit, with La Plantation at the top of our list.
Kampot is not only known for its pepper harvests but also for the large salt production. Visitors can pop in to the Exhibit Centre at the beginning of the salt fields to meet a better understanding of the process, workers, workflows and challenges faced in the salt-producing industry. For $2 travellers receive a short presentation, small package of locally produced salt as well as being able to view all the tools used during production.
Fun Fact: Kampot produces approximately between 80 000 - 100 000 tons of salt per year.
Rapids and Waterfalls
Cambodia is hot and humid, and the Teuk Chhou Rapids offer instant relief from the heat. Enjoy a day by the river swimming in the slow-moving water, relaxing in a hammock, and enjoying lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants.
The rapids are 10 km north of Kampot and have a small entry fee of $2 for the whole day.
Travellers can take a 5 km scenic drive to Ta Da waterfall. It is only 1000 Riel for parking. There is a staircase leading to the main waterfall with an incredible view. Beyond the parking lot, another smaller waterfall awaits, surrounded by food stalls.
It is safe for children to enjoy, and definitely a must if you want to experience a local atmosphere. Take sunscreen, towels, drinks, and if you are female, a t-shirt and shorts out of respect for local culture.
Secret Lake - Brateak Krola Lake
It was previously known as Brateak Krola Lake but the name changed in recent years and has since had a mysterious allure to it. The tranquil lake is based 20 km out of Kampot and is the perfect destination for relaxing by the water and exploring the caves.
Phnom Kbal Romeas Cave
This is one of the few spots in Cambodia great for rock climbing and caving. It is $1 to enter and 1000 Riel for parking. Climbodia offers many packages for rock climbing, caving and abseiling. Wear tight shoes as there are many slippery rocks to conquer.
Kep is a less crowded, offshore little town 30 km away from Kampot, and makes for a great motorbike ride. This is an ideal resting-place if you want to partake in many activities without the hum of tourists.
Sometimes it’s good to do nothing but still take in your surroundings. The scenery in and around Kampot is truly picturesque, and there is no better way to soak it all in than renting a motorbike and going for a slow ride in the countryside. Rolling hills, lush greenery and titillating scenarios await. The locals are extremely friendly and you will be met with many waves, smiles and greetings.
Stand up paddle boarding has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years, and SUP Asia offers many different tours on the Preaek Tuek Chhu river. They range from beginner tours to fun, active tours like yoga classes on the boards. On these trips, visitors can float along the river to see pagodas, the mangroves and even fishing villages.
Kampot offers the tranquillity of a jungle river experience with many adventures and activities to match any traveller’s inclination.