Ahhh, Kampot. Our favourite place in all of Cambodia, and at that, one of our favourite places in the entire world. Kampot is a sleepy riverside town just a couple of hours from Phnom Penh that offers beautiful architecture, scenery, and endlessly interesting things to do. Planning a trip to Kampot and/or Kep? Lucky you! Looking for things to do in Kampot? We’ve got you covered.
Lo and behold, our list of the best things to do on your visit to Kampot & Kep.
1. Stay in a treehouse bungalow
We believe that the most authentic way to enjoy your stay in Kampot is to book yourself into a river bungalow. There are multiple options varying in price.
You can stay in a no-frills bungalow for as little as $5/night or opt for a more luxe option costing you around $40/night.
Regardless, you will sleep peacefully under your mosquito net while you listen to the trickling sound of the river and palm trees blow in the wind.
Most bungalows offer kayak, bicycle & motorbike rentals, as well as a peaceful terrace on the river for you to lounge in their provided hammocks.
2. Hop in a kayak and paddle down the river
The river in Kampot is peaceful and serene. Even if you are not an experienced kayaker, this excursion should be a breeze. Rent a kayak for $5-$10 dollars and spend your day exploring the dozy river. Why not park it in the sun for a while and catch a sun tan while you’re at it, too?
3. Take a motorbike up Bokor Mountain
If you’ve been in Cambodia for long (like us, who live here), you will be impressed by how beautifully paved the roads are leading up to the top of Bokor Mountain.
Bokor is approximately 30km long, and a tuk tuk won’t take you up there – so hop on a motorbike or join in on one of the taxi tours up the mountain.
There is plenty to do on your trip to Bokor Mountain, so give yourself a lot of time – that said, spend the whole day here if you can!
Here is our list of things to do on Bokor Mountain:
– Get in touch with nature at the Bokor National Park
– Check out the abandoned church for a photo op
– Be amazed by the Buddhist temple atop the mountain
– Catch views of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand from the top of Bokor
– Go for a dip at the Popokvil waterfall
Bonus: Do you longboard? Watch when Nick bombed down Bokor Mountain with his best friend & Matt Abbott, a Kampot local.
4. Visit the pepper plantations
Yep – it’s true. Kampot and Kep are both home to legendary pepper plantations. Join in on a tour to learn about the entire pepper production process from the very beginning until it’s an edible (and delicious) peppercorn.
The tours are generally pretty short (under one hour), so this is a perfect activity to do in the morning. Trust us – you’ll want to eat some food covered in this pepper later.
5. Visit the salt fields
Now that you’ve learned about pepper, why not learn about the salt process too? You will learn about the natural harvesting of salt and see the production in action.
Visiting the salt fields is yet another beautiful but short tour. Hey – it’s a great excuse to get some education in on your vacation.
6. Indulge in Kampot River Crab
We saw it on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and knew we had to try it. Ever since then, we’ve had to get it every single time we’re in this part of Cambodia – Kampot river crab.
Funnily enough, some of the best Kampot river crab is actually in Kep.
Here is a list of the top 3 restaurants that offer the river crab:
– Holy Crab (Kep)
– Kimly Restaurant (Kep)
– Ta Eou (Kampot)
Alternatively, you can always ask a tuk tuk driver to show you to his favourite place.
Really, it’s delicious. If you are a crustacean-eater, this is an absolute must-do when visiting Cambodia.
7. Visit the Kep Crab Market
If you’re looking for an interesting look into local food culture in Cambodia, this is the place to be. Watch the hustle & bustle of the locals catching their food in the morning, and take a wander around the market.
Most of the seafood is to be bought by the kilo, but you’ll be sure to find a couple of places with ready-to-eat catches.
8. Find a sea-side hammock in Kep
As you drive down the seaside road in Kep, you will see a plethora of local restaurants. Pay for a couple of beers and claim a hammock, as you swing and relax near the South China Sea.
Bring a blanket because it could get windy.
Seriously, we could do this for hours.
9. Rent a bicycle and cruise around Kampot
One of the reasons why we love Kampot is the beautiful, old architecture that victoriously survived the Khmer Rouge. Kampot is full of history and beauty, and one of the best ways to experience it is by bicycle. Bicycle rentals in Kampot can cost as little as $2/day.
Unlike busy Phnom Penh, the roads in Kampot are calm and quite safe. You may have to dodge a pothole or two, but you don’t have to worry about crazy honking and busy traffic.
10. Take a trip to Rabbit Island
Just about 30 minutes south of Kep is Rabbit Island (Koh Tansay). If you’re looking for the white-sand-palm-tree experience, this is the perfect little escape for you.
Don’t expect too much to do other than swimming and lounging on the beach however, as Rabbit Island is mostly undeveloped.
There are multiple ways to get to this little paradise and how you decide to get there is completely up to you.
You will need to travel to Kep first as that’s where the boats leave. You can either seek out a travel agency within Kampot or Kep – but we recommend asking your hotel or hostel to arrange the trip for you.
We haven’t personally done it, but we’ve read this Trip Advisor review on the Crab Shuttle and it seems to be highly recommended by all.
11. Stroll around the Old Market street (downtown Kampot)
The Old Market, at one point, was completely abandoned and is now revived, making it a very interesting area to explore while in Kampot. You’ll be able to take in the beauty of the old French colonial buildings, now converted into interesting cafes, shops and restaurants.
Grab a cocktail or some tapas in a historic building while you watch locals and tourists alike pass by on foot.
12. Have a healthy vegan bowl & take a yoga class at Simple Things
Simple Things is one of our favourite restaurants in Kampot. They have an array of fresh vegetarian and vegan food, so you can do your body a favour.
You can even step your health game up a notch and take a yoga class while you’re at it. Simple Things offer yoga classes every day of the week.
Your body and soul will thank you.
13. Spend the day at Arcadia – Kampot’s amusing water park
Yep, we saved the best for last.
It’s true, there’s a water park in Kampot – and it is really, really fun. Sorry families, we wouldn’t recommend this river amusement park for small children. Some of the attractions *ahem, the steep slide* are a bit wild and don’t scream “safety”. That said, this place is full of belly laughs and will offer you the most fun of times.
Don’t feel like getting wet? They also offer dry activities like pool, darts, ping pong and board games.
The water park is actually part of a backpacker’s hostel – so the entry fee is $7 if you’re not staying there. Trust us, it’s worth every penny.
If you love adventure, Arcadia is most definitely a must-do when visiting Kampot.
Need visuals? Watch one of our many trips to Kampot on our Youtube channel.
Seriously, it’s one of our favourite places on this planet.
Thinking of including Kampot & Kep in your itinerary? Find our perfect 7 day itinerary for visiting Cambodia.
Looking to teach English abroad? Read WHY you should consider teaching English in Cambodia.