[Home] [Photos] [Forum] [Music] [Docs] [Contact] [Members] [Sign In]



ការណែនាំដំណើរកំសាន្ត Tourist Guide In EnglishPosted: 2009-12-04 16:20:47   Replies: 0

Set with picture perfection near the base of the Elephant Mountains on the Kampong Bay River, the provincial capital of Kampot City is of quite a different character than the much more heavily touristed beach town of Sihanouk Ville. Quiet lanes, classic French colonial and Chinese architecture and very few tourists all serve to lend Kampot a quaint, welcoming, small town ambiance. Visitors come to Kampot for a taste of provincial Cambodia, the relaxed atmosphere, and to use Kampot as a base or a stepping stone to the Bokor Hill Station, the beaches and islands of Kep and the rest of southeastern Cambodia.

For those interested in volunteer work, Kampot offers several volunteer opportunities with NGOs and other charitable organizations both short and long term doing things such as teaching English, assistance with children and disabled people, reconstruction projects, etc.

Come the end of the day in Kampot the place to be is at one of the friendly little riverside cafes or pubs to relax curbside over a cold drink or a glass of wine and watch the sun slowly set over the river and into the Elephant Mountains.

Things to Do and See Around Kampot and Kep
Bokor Hill Station on Phnom Bokor and Kep Beach are perhaps the most popular day tour destinations out of Kampot with tour operators offering very competitively price tours. The area also offers several other attractions including pre-Angkorian ruins and caves, jungle trekking, bicycling tours, river cruises, island trips, isolated beaches, pepper plantations and some beautiful rural countryside.

Bokor Hill Station: Tours to Bokor are perhaps the most popular out of Kampot. The Bokor Hill Station on Phnom Bokor (Bokor Mountain) is a mountaintop collection of buildings (hotel, casino, church, royal residence, etc.), constructed by French authorities in the early 1920s as a complement to the already popular Kep resort area. In the 1990s a travel author referred to Bokor as ‘the eeriest place in the world’, and it lives up to that reputation. In its time, Bokor was an elegant getaway for French officials and foreign visitors to old Indochina - a classic colonial ‘hill station’ located in the mountains to allow foreigner visitors accustomed to more temperate climes to escape the tropical heat. But years of neglect have left ghostly ruins - vestiges of a different age, often shrouded in fog and clouds. One thing that the years have not changed is the absolutely spectacular view of the coast and the cool (sometimes cold) mountain air. Bokor Mountain is heavily jungled and trip beyond Bokor, including jungle trekking, can be arranged. Wild elephants and other jungle animal are occasionally seen. The is a small guesthouse near the hill station with $5 rooms, good toilets and very few other services. If you are going to overnight on Bokor, take food as the guesthouse has little to offer. 37km from Kampot. Take Route #3 west from Kampot to the well-marked turnoff. $5 entrance fee at the ranger station about a kilometer up the road. Badly broken pavement all the way up the mountain. Easiest in a 4WD. For experienced riders, it’s a moderate dirt bike ride. It is painful but possible on a small 100cc bike. It can get cold on the mountain, especially at night. Bring warm clothes.

Caves near Kampot: Limestone mountains (‘phnom’) dot the landscape between Kampot and Kep. Many contain limestone caves, some adorned with exotic rock formations, and almost all containing Buddhist shines. Make sure to bring a torch and wear shoes suitable for climbing on rocks.

The caves of Phnom Chhnork - Cave #1 Pre-Angkorian ruin set in a limestone cave amongst stalagmites and stalactites that are slowly growing back into the ruin. Small, 4th-5th century AD brick structure associated with the ancient state of Funan. A bit of carving is still visible. Look for the limestone formations near the entrance of the cave in the shapes of elephants. Cave #2 The entrance is about 300 meters from Cave #1 in the same limestone outcropping. Very little in the way of formations, but quite deep, requiring climbing over piles of rock and through small openings. Small shrine.

The cave at Phnom Sla Ta'aun Plain by comparison to other caves, but still an interesting climb. Look for the huge rock balanced in a hole in the ceiling. Small shrine.

The cave at Phnom Sasear, also known as the ‘White Elephant Cave.’ Located next to an colorful pagoda. The stairs up the side of the outcropping provide a beautiful view of the countryside, especially during the wet season. The cave contains a shrine at the base of a limestone formation alleged to resemble a white elephant.

Kampong Trach: Kampong Trach is the district that borders Vietnam. The road trip from Kampot to the main town passes though some picturesque rural areas. There is a new side road to Kampong Trach town that skirts the base of Phnom Voar, (where the victims of the 1994 Khmer Rouge kidnappings were held.) These mountain areas of Kampong Trach were one of the last Khmer Rouge holdouts. Kampong Trach town is small and relatively uninteresting. The area’s main attraction is a series of limestone caves and tubes that have been carved into a nearby mountain. The roof of a large cave in the center of a mountain has collapsed, making a small, enclosed jungle. Pagodas and shrines have been built amongst the caves, providing for some excellent photo possibilities. Bring a flashlight and wear good walking shoes.

From Kampot, take the Kep road, bear left at the White Horse Monument and follow to Kampong Trach. After a few kilometers the road changes to badly broken pavement. The side road mentioned above requires a left turn onto a graded dirt road about 7 km past the White Horse Monument. It is not a straightforward route and it may be better if you go with a guide. Set aside the better part of a day for the trip to the caves and back.

Kep Beach: A single, kilometer long crescent of sand near the tip of the Kep peninsula. Dining platforms and seafood vendors line the road behind the beach. Busy on weekends but often deserted during the week. The road through Kep traces the coastline to the beach and then circles back on itself. Cars and vans must pay admission to drive the loop (2500R-5000R). Motorcycles and pedestrians are free. Be aware that the loop is an one way street and the police do occasionally enforce the law, levying fines against violators.

Rabbit Island (Koh Tunsay): An easily visited island near Kep - about 20-40 minutes from Kep by local boat. White sand beaches and coconut trees. Relatively clear water. Snorkel around the rocks. No coral but lots of fish. There are now some very basic guesthouse facilities on the island.

Arrange a boat trip through your guesthouse in Kampot or Kep or just go to the Koh Tunsay Boat Dock in Kep town next to the Long Villa Restaurant.

River Trips Short sunset river cruises and longer cultural/wildlife/eco trips upriver can be arranged through Sok Lim Tours or your guesthouse. Sunset river cruises are becoming more popular, running from Kampot to the rapids at Tekchhou and back.

Tekcchou Resort: A picnic area on the Prek Chha river. Popular with the locals, especially on weekends. Lots of food/drink stalls. The cool rapids and river breeze are quite pleasant. 8km. Good road.

Tekcchou Zoo: Asian-style mini zoo displaying a variety of local fauna. 8km north of Kampot.

Tekcchou Resort: A picnic area on the Prek Chha river. Popular with the locals, especially on weekends. Lots of food/drink stalls. The cool rapids and river breeze are quite pleasant. 8km. Good road.

Angkorwat DVD Store
Cambodia Photos
Khmer Magazines
English-Khmer Dictionary
Cambodian Music
Smaradey Khmer
Phnom Penh
Khmer Dating