Kampot Cambodia - Top Thrilling Things to Do
Whilst Kampot is a great place to enjoy a slower pace of life, there is still plenty to do for those seeking a bit more adventure. Kampot is surrounded by beautiful countryside to explore, plus the river provides plenty of opportunity for swimming and water sports. There are also a few day trips that can be easily organized. The following are just a few ideas of things to keep you busy during your stay.
A day trip to Bokor National Park
A trip to Bokor National Park is not to be missed and could quite possibly be the highlight of your time in Kampot. When we visited last year, we rented a scooter and rode the 32 km to the park and then made our way up the winding roads of the mountain.
The views were incredible and it felt like a real adventure, as the roads are very windy and you could hear the sounds of the jungle – we think we heard gibbons at one point! If you’re lucky, you may even get to see some wildlife; the jungle is apparently home to leopard cats, gibbons and sun bears.
There are several attractions in the park that are worth visiting, including some impressive waterfalls and a spooky abandoned casino. It’s best to visit the park on a clear day, as it can get very foggy on the mountain and you might not get any good views.
Tuk-tuk tours of the countryside
Upon arriving in Kampot, it is very likely that you will be approached by tuk-tuk drivers offering tours of the surrounding countryside. The tours are very worthwhile if you choose a good guide, and can be customized depending on where you want to visit.
Your accommodation may be able to put you in touch with a recommended driver, or many of the drivers have a book of reviews from other customers.
The tour we booked included a drive around the paddies and local villages, some caving, and a visit to a pepper plantation. We then finished the tour with a trip to Kep for a seafood lunch.
The pepper plantation was very interesting and there was an opportunity to buy some pepper as a souvenir. In Kep, we visited the local crab market and then went to a restaurant where we tried Kampot pepper crab. It was a really great day out and our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about the area, and also about Cambodia in general.
It’s also possible to add a visit to the salt fields if this interests you.
Another recommendation would be to stay in Kep overnight and then visit Rabbit Island the following day. It’s very undeveloped and there are many secluded beaches dotted around the island. A boat will cost USD25 to hire for a round trip and can seat up to 10 people, and you can buy beers and coconuts for just USD0.75 each. It’s a great place to relax and one of the few places near Kampot that has a beach.
The river offers plenty of daytime activities, and a very special night-time adventure, too. Several boat operators organise a sunset cruise on the river, and if you are very lucky, you will also see thousands of fireflies glowing in the dark!
One of the most popular operators is the Boatman, whose private cruise costs between USD40 and USD70. It’s a bit pricey compared to others, but he knows the river very well and will take you to places that others don’t go to. However, if money is an issue, Naga House and Captain Chim run USD5 cruises and you get a free drink.
Finally, you can rent a bicycle for as little as USD1 to explore the paddies and local villages. If you’re feeling up for some exercise, it’s only 25 km to Kep, but make sure to take plenty of water as it will be a hot and sweaty ride.