The talesofasia guide to Sihanoukville and the south coast
by Jack Stephens
Updated October 12, 2006
The ultimate cliché of ‘sleepy provincial backwater’ fits Kampot to a tee. Occupying one of the prettiest locations in Cambodia, with the waving silhouette of the Elephant Mountains dipping into the horizon across the wide, cooling river, Kampot’s scenery and climate are a breath of fresh air. And things happen at a relaxed pace, especially in the atmospheric side streets of the colonial part of town. It’s not a secret that has ever been hidden, but only recently has the potential become apparent to foreigners opening businesses here and expats relocating to enjoy the everyday riches on offer.
A good time can be had by all in Kampot: even though the area’s big tourist draw remains Bokor Mountain and the ghostly relics atop the misty plateau, it’s packed with places to check out at leisure, plus there’s a wide range of more active pursuits.
Kampot is a great place. Cries of inherent bias should be restrained a while, for though I do currently call Kampot home, the reasons for basing myself here are manifold. People travelling through discover a relaxing oasis between the hectic ‘checklist mentality’ destinations of Phnom Penh, the temples of Angkor or beaching it in Sihanoukville. Expats come in growing numbers to enjoy a healthier weekend break or long holiday, so you return to Phnom Penh with a glow and somewhat more refreshed and toxin-free than several late nights and missed daytimes in the big city.
There’s a growing range of options for wining and dining and places to rest your head, no nightclubs or late-late bars to steal away your beauty sleep, rewarding mini-adventures in every direction, beaches, seafood, views, greenery, better climate, no traffic, swimming, biking, hiking, boating – all kinds of attractions.
Sihanoukville/Kampot Guide index page
Getting There and Getting Around
Things to See and Do
restaurants, tours and more
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