Cambodia Travel

21st September 2023

16 Best Things to Do in Kampot: Embark on an Adventure (2023)

Looking to uncover the best things to do in Kampot? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ve got you covered.

From our last visit to this place, we learned that Kampot is a hidden gem filled with captivating adventures, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering delights.

From exploring nature’s wonders to indulging in local cuisine, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the vibrant charm of Kampot.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the best things to do in Kampot and create memories that will last a lifetime. Let’s dive in and experience the best this remarkable destination has to offer!

5 Facts about Kampot

  • Kampot is a coastal province located in southwestern Cambodia.
  • The city of Kampot is known for its historic French colonial architecture and relaxed riverside atmosphere.
  • Kampot is famous for its production of high-quality black pepper, which is considered one of the best in the world.
  • Bokor National Park, situated near Kampot, offers stunning views, waterfalls, and a mountainous landscape for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • The Kampot Pepper Festival is an annual event that celebrates the region’s pepper harvest and showcases local culture, food, and music.

Best Things to Do in Kampot

1. Bokor National Park

Nestled in the picturesque Kampot Province, Bokor National Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the lush greenery and discover its historic buildings, such as the abandoned Bokor Hill Station.

Explore the park’s hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints, offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and coastline. Keep your eyes peeled for unique wildlife encounters along the way.

  • Location: Kampot Province
  • Best Time to Visit: Dry season (November to April)
  • Famous For: Picturesque landscapes, historic buildings, wildlife sightings

2. Kampot’s Pepper Plantations

Venture beyond the city limits of Kampot and step into a world of sensory delights at the renowned pepper plantations. Take a guided tour to learn about the intricate cultivation process and the art of producing the world-famous Kampot pepper.

Engage your taste buds in a pepper-tasting session and savor the distinct flavors that make this spice so exceptional. Don’t miss the chance to purchase high-quality Kampot pepper to bring a piece of this culinary treasure home.

  • Location: Surrounding areas of Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: Harvest season (January to March)
  • Famous For: World-renowned Kampot pepper, guided tours, pepper tastings

3. The Kampot Salt Fields

Journey to the outskirts of Kampot and witness the age-old tradition of salt harvesting at the Kampot Salt Fields. Marvel at the expansive salt flats glistening under the sun and learn about the fascinating process of salt production.

Capture the mesmerizing sunset views over the salt fields as the sky transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors, creating a truly magical ambiance.

  • Location: Outskirts of Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: Dry season (November to April)
  • Famous For: Traditional salt harvesting techniques, stunning salt flats, sunset views

4. The Caves of Phnom Chhnork

Uncover the mysteries hidden beneath the surface as you explore the fascinating Caves of Phnom Chhnork. Admire the intricate stalactite and stalagmite formations that adorn the cave’s interiors.

Step back in time as you discover ancient Hindu shrines within the caves, providing insight into the region’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

  • Location: Phnom Chhnork, Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: All year round
  • Famous For: Stalactite and stalagmite formations, ancient Hindu shrines

5. The Teuk Chhou Rapids and Waterfalls

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at the Teuk Chhou Rapids and Waterfalls. Located along the Preaek Tuek Chhu River, this serene oasis offers a refreshing escape from the bustling city.

Take a dip in the crystal-clear pools, surrounded by lush greenery, or simply relax and soak up the tranquil ambiance. The cascading waterfalls create a soothing symphony, providing the perfect backdrop for a peaceful retreat.

  • Location: Preaek Tuek Chhu River, Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: Wet season (June to October)
  • Famous For: Natural rapids, scenic waterfalls, peaceful atmosphere

6. The Secret Lake (Boeng Mealea)

Uncover a hidden gem nestled amidst Kampot’s countryside, known as the Secret Lake or Boeng Mealea. This secluded freshwater lake offers a serene setting for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful escape.

Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the calm waters and marvel at the surrounding lush vegetation. Enjoy a picnic along the lake’s shore while relishing the tranquility of this hidden paradise.

  • Location: Kampot countryside
  • Best Time to Visit: Dry season (November to April)
  • Famous For: Serene freshwater lake, kayaking, tranquil atmosphere

7. Sunset Riverfront Stroll

Take a leisurely stroll along the enchanting riverfront of Kampot as the sun begins its descent. Admire the colonial architecture that lines the streets and bask in the warm golden hues of the sunset reflecting off the water.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, with local vendors offering delicious street food and handmade crafts. Experience the charm of Kampot as the town comes alive with its unique blend of history and modernity.

  • Location: Kampot Riverfront
  • Best Time to Visit: Evening hours
  • Famous For: Spectacular sunset views, colonial architecture, lively street food scene

8. Kampot Market

Delve into the heart of Kampot’s local culture at the bustling Kampot Market. Wander through the vibrant stalls filled with fresh produce, aromatic spices, and handicrafts.

Engage with friendly vendors, and sample exotic fruits or savory street snacks. Explore the market’s hidden gems, from traditional textiles to intricate handmade souvenirs, and take a piece of Kampot’s vibrant spirit home with you.

  • Location: Kampot city center
  • Best Time to Visit: Morning hours
  • Famous For: Local produce, spices, handicrafts, bustling atmosphere

9. River Cruise on the Preaek Tuek Chhu River

Embark on a scenic river cruise along the mesmerizing Preaek Tuek Chhu River. Drift along the tranquil waters, surrounded by lush mangroves and captivating landscapes.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty as you spot diverse bird species and maybe even catch a glimpse of playful river dolphins. Relax on the deck, savoring the gentle breeze and taking in the picturesque views that unfold along the riverbanks.

  • Location: Preaek Tuek Chhu River, Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: All year round
  • Famous For: Scenic river cruise, mangroves, bird-watching, river dolphins

10. Rock Climbing at the Cliffs of Kampot

Calling all adventure enthusiasts! Take your adrenaline to new heights with rock climbing at the breathtaking cliffs of Kampot. Test your skills and conquer the challenging routes while enjoying panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, Kampot offers a variety of climbing options suitable for all levels. So gear up, ascend the cliffs, and experience the thrill of rock climbing in this spectacular setting.

  • Location: Kampot Cliffs
  • Best Time to Visit: Dry season (November to April)
  • Famous For: Rock climbing, stunning cliff formations, scenic views

11. Kep Beach – A Serene Coastal Getaway

Escape to the idyllic Kep Beach and immerse yourself in its tranquil ambiance. Feel the soft sand between your toes as you stroll along the shoreline, with the gentle waves lapping at your feet.

Unwind under the shade of palm trees, basking in the serenity of this pristine beach. Indulge in fresh seafood delicacies at the local beachfront restaurants, savoring the flavors while enjoying panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand.

  • Location: Kep, near Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: Dry season (November to April)
  • Famous For: Serene beach, fresh seafood, scenic coastal views

12. Rabbit Island (Koh Tonsay) – Beach Bliss

Hop on a short boat ride to Rabbit Island, also known as Koh Tonsay, and discover a slice of paradise. Bask in the untouched beauty of this serene island, with its palm-fringed white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Enjoy a leisurely swim, snorkel to explore vibrant coral reefs, or simply unwind with a good book under the shade of a swaying coconut tree. This unspoiled gem is the perfect spot to disconnect from the world and immerse yourself in pure beach bliss.

  • Location: Rabbit Island (Koh Tonsay), off the coast of Kep
  • Best Time to Visit: Dry season (November to April)
  • Famous For: Pristine beaches, snorkeling, peaceful atmosphere

13. Kampong Trach Cave Temples

Embark on a captivating journey to the Kampong Trach Cave Temples, where nature and spirituality intertwine. Explore the intricate cave system adorned with awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites, while discovering hidden chambers that house ancient Buddhist shrines.

Absorb the peaceful ambiance as you wander through the temples and witness the interplay of light and shadows, creating a mystical atmosphere.

  • Location: Kampong Trach, Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: All year round
  • Famous For: Cave temples, stalactite and stalagmite formations, spiritual significance

14. Sunset Boat Tour on the Kampong Bay River

Set sail on a picturesque boat tour along the enchanting Kampong Bay River and witness nature’s canvas come alive at sunset. Cruise along the tranquil waters, surrounded by lush mangroves and verdant landscapes.

As the sun begins its descent, the sky transforms into a vivid palette of oranges, pinks, and purples, casting a magical glow over the river. Indulge in the beauty of this mesmerizing spectacle while creating unforgettable memories.

  • Location: Kampong Bay River, Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: Evening hours
  • Famous For: Scenic boat tour, sunset views, mangroves, natural beauty

15. Kampot Pepper Tasting

Satisfy your culinary curiosity with a Kampot pepper-tasting experience. Sample the distinct flavors of this world-renowned spice, renowned for its aromatic and complex profiles.

Learn about the cultivation and harvesting process from knowledgeable experts who will guide you through the sensory journey. Discover the nuances of black, red, and white Kampot pepper, and appreciate the craftsmanship behind this exceptional ingredient.

  • Location: Kampot pepper farms and specialized shops
  • Best Time to Visit: All year round
  • Famous For: Kampot pepper tastings, spice appreciation, culinary exploration

16. Indulge in Local Cuisine and Seafood Delights

No visit to Kampot is complete without savoring the local cuisine and indulging in the abundance of seafood delicacies. Explore the vibrant food scene and indulge in dishes such as Fish Amok, a traditional Cambodian curry, or the iconic Kampot pepper crab.

Wander through bustling markets and street stalls, where the aroma of freshly grilled seafood fills the air. Let your taste buds embark on a flavorful adventure, immersing yourself in the culinary delights that Kampot has to offer.

  • Location: Various restaurants and street food stalls in Kampot
  • Best Time to Visit: All year round
  • Famous For: Local Khmer cuisine, seafood delicacies, Kampot pepper-infused dishes

Best Time to Visit Kampot

The best time to visit Kampot is during the dry season, which typically spans from November to April. During this period, the weather is generally pleasant with lower chances of rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the natural wonders of Kampot.

The temperatures are also more moderate, ranging from comfortable to slightly warm. However, it’s worth noting that Kampot can be visited year-round, and each season offers its own unique charm.

The wet season, from May to October, brings lush greenery and vibrant landscapes, though occasional rain showers are to be expected. Ultimately, the choice of when to visit Kampot depends on personal preferences and the type of experience you seek.

How to Get to Kampot

  1. By Air: The nearest international airport is Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH). From there, you can take a domestic flight to Sihanoukville International Airport (KOS) and then proceed to Kampot by road.
  2. By Bus: Bus services operate from major cities in Cambodia, including Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap, to Kampot. Multiple bus companies offer daily routes, providing affordable and convenient transportation.

Where to Stay in Kampot

1. Rikitikitavi – Rikitikitavi is a charming boutique hotel nestled along the banks of the Kampot River. With its stylish and comfortable rooms, guests can enjoy picturesque views of the river or the hotel’s lush gardens. The on-site restaurant offers a delightful dining experience, serving a fusion of Khmer and Western cuisine.

2. The Columns – Situated in the heart of Kampot’s Old French Quarter, The Columns is a boutique hotel that exudes colonial charm and elegance. The beautifully restored colonial building houses spacious and tastefully decorated rooms, each with its own unique character. Guests can unwind in the lush garden courtyard or take a dip in the refreshing saltwater swimming pool.

3. Le Bokor Palace – For a touch of luxury, Le Bokor Palace offers a lavish retreat in a historic setting. This grand hotel, originally built in the early 20th century, offers beautifully appointed rooms and suites with modern amenities and stunning views of Bokor Mountain. Guests can indulge in fine dining at the on-site restaurants, relax at the spa, or take a dip in the outdoor pool.

Where to Eat in Kampot

1. The Rusty Keyhole – A favorite among locals and visitors alike, The Rusty Keyhole is renowned for its mouthwatering barbecue and flavorful dishes. Set in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, this restaurant offers a diverse menu featuring juicy steaks, ribs, burgers, and other grilled specialties.

With its rustic charm and friendly service, The Rusty Keyhole promises a memorable dining experience in Kampot.

2. Epic Arts Café – More than just a café, Epic Arts Café is a social enterprise that promotes inclusivity and supports local artists with disabilities. Set in a cozy and artsy environment, this café serves up a delectable array of vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as delicious baked goods and refreshing beverages. Enjoy a tasty meal while supporting a meaningful cause at Epic Arts Café.

3. The Kampot People’s Market – For an authentic culinary adventure, head to the bustling Kampot People’s Market. This vibrant marketplace offers a plethora of street food stalls and local vendors serving up a variety of Khmer delicacies.

From freshly grilled seafood to traditional noodle dishes and exotic fruits, you’ll find a plethora of flavors to tantalize your taste buds. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and savor the diverse culinary offerings at the Kampot People’s Market.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Plan your visit to Bokor National Park during the dry season to enjoy the best weather and clear views.
  • Take a guided tour of the pepper plantations in Kampot to gain insights into the pepper cultivation process.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a breathtaking sunset over the salt fields in Kampot.
  • Bring sturdy footwear and a flashlight when exploring the caves of Phnom Chhnork for a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Check the seasonal water levels before visiting the Teuk Chhou Rapids and Waterfalls for optimal swimming conditions.
  • Rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore Kampot’s countryside and enjoy the scenic routes at your own pace.
  • Sample the various flavors of Kampot pepper at different pepper farms and shops to appreciate the nuances of this renowned spice.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Kampot

In conclusion, Kampot offers an enchanting blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and gastronomic delights. Whether you’re exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Bokor National Park, savoring the flavors of Kampot pepper, or immersing yourself in the charm of the Old French Quarter, there are endless best things to do in Kampot.

Soak up the serenity of the Teuk Chhou Rapids and Waterfalls, embark on a river cruise at sunset, or simply indulge in a relaxing stroll along the riverfront. With its warm hospitality and captivating attractions, Kampot is a destination that will leave you with cherished memories and a desire to return.

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Kampot

What are the best things to do in Kampot?

Kampot offers a diverse range of experiences, including exploring Bokor National Park, visiting pepper plantations, enjoying river cruises, and discovering the caves of Phnom Chhnork. You can also relax at Kep Beach, take a cycling tour in the countryside, and indulge in local cuisine and seafood delights.

When is the best time to visit Kampot?

The best time to visit Kampot is during the dry season from November to April when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities. However, each season has its own charm, and Kampot can be enjoyed year-round.

How do I get to Kampot?

You can reach Kampot by air through Phnom Penh International Airport and then take a domestic flight to Sihanoukville International Airport. Alternatively, buses, taxis, and private transfers are available from major cities in Cambodia.

Where should I stay in Kampot?

Recommended hotels in Kampot include Rikitikitavi, The Columns, and Le Bokor Palace. Rikitikitavi offers a riverside setting, The Columns exudes colonial charm, and Le Bokor Palace provides a luxurious experience.

Which restaurants should I try in Kampot?

Must-visit restaurants in Kampot include The Rusty Keyhole, known for its barbecue specialties, Epic Arts Café for vegetarian and vegan dishes, and the lively Kampot People’s Market offering a variety of Khmer street food.

What are some travel tips for visiting Kampot?

Plan your visit to Bokor National Park during the dry season, wear sturdy footwear when exploring caves, check water levels at the Teuk Chhou Rapids, and consider renting a motorbike or bicycle for exploring the countryside.

What can I expect from Kampot?

In Kampot, expect picturesque landscapes, historic sites, pepper plantations, serene riverfront strolls, and a rich culinary scene. Kampot offers a blend of natural wonders, cultural highlights, and a relaxed ambiance that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

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