Travel Guide Asia Cambodia Kampot



Kampot is a sleepy town in Cambodia, situated near the Teuk Chhou River and the Gulf of Thailand. Nearby Kep is more popular. It is a gateway to Bokor National Park. Kampot's main draw is its relaxing riverside setting. While there is a sizable town set back from the river, most tourists will spend most of their time enjoying the river. Most tourist businesses are scattered along the riverside promenade or are within one or two blocks of it. The riverside's main reference points are the "old bridge", a mongrel of various styles and temporary parts thrown together after its breaching in the Khmer Rouge days, and the French-built market building, which is being restored. Back from the river, the town is centered on the bizarre "durian roundabout". From where the buses drop passengers, walking down the wide boulevard leads towards the river and the French-built market.



Sights and Activities

The most impressive sights in Kampot are the river and surrounding hills, which grandly frame views from the riverside promenade. Kampot retains many of its colonial buildings and there are many interesting old structures in various states of repair. The two cinemas stopped screenings long ago but the buildings represents a charming, art deco vision of the future. The market, an angular structure similar to Battambang's, is undergoing renovation.

Bokor Mountain (1-2 hr out of Kampot). Bokor National Park is being destroyed by a large casino development. The eerie charm of the abandoned French hill station that included a shell of a church and the isolated upland nature reserve are rapidly becoming a tacky casino resort for Asian gamblers. The road up the mountain is now paved and provides easy access. The cooler climate and sublime views from the mountain remain and may provide some reason for a visit.
Tigers were rare to start with and will likely soon be non-existent. Gibbons and birds such as the chestnut-headed partridge, blue pitta, and orange-headed thrush will also been much harder to spot in what is now a construction site. The waterfall, which only flows in the wet season, may still provide some sanctuary for humans and animals wanting to get away from bulldozers. Tours still run up the mountain and cost approximately USD10, depending on bargaining skills. Lunch is included. Except for the Bokor Palace Hotel and old casino, the old French buildings are occupied by the families of construction workers. The excursion can still be worthwhile provided it is viewed as an insight into Cambodia's Great Leap Forward rather than as an atmospheric expedition into a remote and haunting environment. Several tracks enter the forest, one from behind the old tea plantation, the second from near the waterfalls. It is possible to stay at the ranger station which is basic but comfortable and, contrary to some reports, offers food and French wine. Free.
Kampot Mangroves (From Kampot and around). A traditional Khmer longtail boat floats you to beautiful places where the flora, fauna and people dwell harmoniously. Voyage up the Kampot River and towards the heart of Bokor National Park.
Pepper Farms (N of the Kep hills and Hwy 33). Inquire in town about how to see pepper being grown and processed. For a guided tour visit The Vine Retreat in Chamcar Bei village.
Phnom Chhnork (8 km E of town on the Kep Rd, Hwy 33). A pleasant ride through paddy fields and village life to these caves with pre-Angkorian (Funan) shrines and "lost worlds". Just after the rhino statue turn left (there is a sign to Phnom Chhnork Resort), cross the railway into a village. Straight ahead is Phnom Sera with some interesting caves and a quarry which feeds the local gravel industry. Follow the road 90 degrees left and 2 km or so to Wat Ang Sdok, pay the monks and walk across to the mountain. Take a torch. USD1.
Also to be experienced is the fresh seafood (especially the crab with local Kampot pepper) and beaches at Kep (25 km, 25-45 minutes east of Kampot by moto or shared taxi) which makes a fun day trip. Although the beaches are not as nice as those in Sihanoukville (one small brown sand beach and more rocky), it is quiet and during the week you will likely be the only visitors. Fishing boats can also be taken out to Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island), approximately 45 min from the mainland.
Cham Fishing Village, about 2 km out of town past the Governor's Residence on the road that runs along the east bank of the river. Seems to be undergoing road and bridge upgrading for the new swamp-side housing estate at the end of this road. Has a great view of the Cham fishing village across the river on the island.
Salt Fields, some are a kilometre out of town on the Kep road. You will see the fields off to your right (leaving Kampot) and there are a number of access roads.
Funky Statues, the Big Durian, the Vietnam Friendship Monument, the 2000 Roundabout, the Salt Workers Monument. Be sure to get your jump-shot photo in front of the hairy nuts.
The Two Old Cinemas, Art Deco design and both have been out of regular service for some time however the one on the old bridge road does show the occasional Khmer-made horror movie. If you are an Art Deco enthusiast, the Tourist Information building, about 400 m up from the Salt Workers Monument, is also worth a look.
The Old Bridge, now closed to heavy traffic as its structural integrity is questionable. It is still open for motorcycles, bicycles and foot traffic. It is very picturesque with light bulbs at sunset.
The Colonial Railway Station, the rail line through Kampot has been restarted and is running to Sihanoukville and Phonm Penh. Head out of town on the Phnom Penh road and take the last turn to your right before you come to the rail lines. The station is sign posted and approximately 1.5 km out of town.
The Kampot Traditional Music School for Orphaned and Disabled Children, across the road from the Acleda Bank building and adjacent to the park that runs down to the Old Market. The school holds occasional concerts. There is a notice board outside the building advising dates and times. It is possible to attend music rehearsals (M-F) if you make an appointment. Tel: +855 33 932992 (Field Manager: Mr. You Chhuy)
The Old Prison, still in active use and would make a great set if anyone ever decides to do a remake of the movie Papillon. This is not a place where you would want to do time. About 200 m from the Salt Workers Monument.
The 2000 Olympic Stadium, in the centre of town behind the Durian Roundabout. Classic Khmer-style stadium and the grounds are often used for fairs or live music concerts during public holidays.
The Market, large, rambling, well stocked with just about everything that an average Khmer family could need (have a look at the section behind the fish mongers for examples of local produce) and well worth a wander around.
Teuk Chhouu (8 km upriver of town on the W (far) bank). An area of rapids with eateries and an island. It is a nice place for swimming, tubing and relaxing, and vendors sell fruit, coffee and water.
Tada Waterfall (14 km north west of Kampot), a waterfall and swimming hole on a small stream. USD1 entry fee per person for locals and foreigners.
Get out of town, head out of Kampot for 1 km in any direction and get off the main roads and you are in rural Cambodia. Some of the local cottage industries include palm sugar and wine making, basket weaving and furniture making using liana and rattan.



Getting There

By Train

Kampot is on the railway line between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. The infrequent train takes around 5 hr to Phnom Penh (USD7) via Takeo and 2 hr 40 min to Sihanoukville (USD5). Schedule and ticket booking are available online.

By Road

From Phnom Penh

The trip Phnom Penh-Kampot (148 km) can take up to 4:15 hr due to poor road conditions. Bus Bus and mini-bus companies include:

Hua Lin buses depart at 07:00 and 12:00 from their bus station on St 182 near Olympic Market via Kep to Kampot.
Capitol Tour buses depart at 07:00 and 13:00 from their bus station near Orrusey Market. The fare is USD5 and the service is not via Kep.
Sorya buses depart at 07:30 and 14:30 from their bus station next to Central Market. In the high season (Oct-May) there may be an additional bus at 09:30. The bus travels to Kampot via Kep and the trip takes about 3 hr. The fare is USD5.
Paramount Angkor Express buses depart at 07:30 and 13:30 from their bus station near Olympic Market. The bus travels directly to Kampot (does not go via Kep) and the trip takes about 3 hr. The fare is USD5
Giant Ibis buses depart at 08:00 and 14:45 from St 106 next to the Night Market on Riverside. This company promotes itself as a luxury service. Tickets are USD8 and the bus arrives at the Durian Roundabout (approximately 300 m from the bus station) in Kampot. After Kampot the bus continues to Kep.
Kampot Express uses 12 seat Hyundai Starex mini buses. They provide an 08:00 and 13:00 service on weekdays with an additional 16:30 service on Saturday and Sunday. Buses are based at St 215 in Phnom Penh at the Sokimex petrol station. The trip taking about 2½ hr depending on the traffic leaving Phnom Penh. The fare is USD8 and additional baggage fees may apply.
M.T.T. (call/text TOM on mobile: +855 16 994161) newly-launched daily air-con vans serving all most destinations twice, plus Trat, Thailand

All of the buses -with the exception of Giant Ibis- end at the central Kampot bus station which is about 150 m from one of the main guesthouse streets in Kampot. Walk to the Salt Workers Monument and take the first turn to the left.

Buses do not generally have an on-board toilet, but do usually have a 15 minute rest stop at the half-way point between Phnom Penh and Kampot. Note also that while there is no difference in the fares charged for locals and foreigners on the Phnom Penh-Kampot route, fares generally increase for everyone during major public holidays/celebrations.

Taxi Many guesthouses in Phnom Penh can arrange a private taxi. Expect to pay between USD35-50 for the whole taxi with the trip taking about 2.5 hr. Prices will generally be higher during major public holidays and you will almost certainly be quoted a higher price if you attempt to negotiate the fare yourself with one of the taxis at Phnom Penh airport.

There are also a number of shared taxis (USD5-8 per seat) that regularly ply the route between Phnom Penh and Kampot and your guesthouse/hotel should be able to arrange a seat for you. If you want to make your own arrangements, taxis generally depart from Psar Damkor. Be aware that a shared taxi, generally a Toyota Camry, on this route will normally carry eight people (including the driver) so if you are a large Westerner, have a lot of luggage or have issues with your personal space, you might want to book two seats (thus double price), preferably at the front of the taxi.

From Sihanoukville
Take a shared taxi, minibus or bus. Most taxis depart from the traffic pickup point next to the market. The 2 hr drive should cost USD5 to USD8 per person in a shared taxi. Bus operators can help arrange a minibus with pickup at your guesthouse. Shared taxis are generally cramped, with up to 7 passengers: 4 in the back, 2 in the front passenger seat and one next to the driver.

Driving from Sihanoukville to Kampot on a rented scooter can be fun, but if road conditions are poor may take 3.5 hours or more.

From Ha Tien (Vietnam Border)
Several bus and van companies service the Kampot - Kep - Ha Tien Route. A ticket to Ha Tien cost USD8 from Kampot and USD5 from Kep.

By Boat

The Crab Shuttle is a converted local fishing vessel which sails between Kampot and Kep (trip time 2 hr 20 min). It leaves Kampot at 09:00 from the riverside in front of Rikitikitavi Hotel. It departs Kep at 15:00 from the pier to Rabbit Island to be back in Kampot by sunset.



Getting Around

Getting around Kampot is easy on foot or on a bicycle, given the town's small size and flat terrain. Or, hire a motorcycle (100-125 cc scooter or 250 cc dirt bike, from USD5 per day) or bicycle (from USD1 per day) from hire shops near the durian traffic circle, or from just about any guesthouse or tour shop.

It used to take about 2 hr by motorbike from Kampot to the Ha Tien border with Vietnam. The scenery is beautiful. If you start early you can catch the 10:00 ferry to Phu Quoc Island. The border procedure is hassle-free.




A delicious breakfast found in Kampot is Koh Kor Num Pain, a thick beef stew served with French bread.

Cafe Espresso Kampot, 17 Rte 717 (Across from 333 Bakery in the side street from Epic Arts Cafe), ☏ +855 92 388736. 07:00-23:00. Speciality coffee, roasted and ground on site. Australian-style café fare and fresh baked goods. Free Wi-Fi. USD5.
Captain Chim Guesthouse and Restaurant (Old Market). 07:30-22:00. Khmer family-run café and restaurant with local specialities and Western and vegetarian dishes. Also offers river tours, bus tickets, motorcycles, mountain-bikes, fishing tour.
Epic Arts Cafe, Old Market Street (North side two blocks from the river). Breakfast until 17:00. Modern cafe cuisine, fruit juices and Italian coffee. NGO-run to help local disabled people. Second-hand books for sale.
Kampot Pie and Ice Cream Palace (One block north and one block inland of the old bridge, behind Little Garden Bar), ☏ +855 99 657826. 07:00-late. Khmer bakery with good cheap fare. Great brownies, no croissants.
Laundry Cafe (In the old market building), ☏ +855 85 811001, ✉ laundry.cafe@yahoo.com. Great cheeseburger and fries for USD4.50.
The Rusty Keyhole (On the river, just south of the old bridge and next to the French-built market building), ☏ +855 92 758536. Western and Asian food with tender BBQ ribs, relaxing river side location. Beer provided in 568 ml glasses for those who love a pint.
Samon's Village (Formerly The Lazy Farmer), Touk Chou Rd (2 km from town centre. Cross the bridge and go right along the river about 1.5 km), ☏ +855 97 6888078. 07:30-21:00. Serves a wide range of Khmer delicacies in a romantic garden on the river.
Secret Italian (Street orthogonal to the river, one street north of the old market). Opens at 17:30. A small brick-stall at the roadside, owned by an Italian guy who makes excellent pasta and pizza. USD3-4.
Sisters II (Two blocks off of the river (turn beside Bokor Lodge off the river) near the roundabout), ☏ +855 17 777470. M-Sa 07:00-17:00. All-day breakfast and bakery, great carrot cake (3,000 riel). Air-conditioned. Free Wi-Fi.
Srey Mom Cafe (East side two blocks from the river and next door to Tiny Kampot Pillows), ☏ +855 12 987457. 17:00 until late. Western and Indian food.




Kampot has the best teuk rleuek (fruit shake) in Cambodia. Visit any of the numerous vendors on the main avenues in the evening.

OM House (OM House Kampot), Old Market Street no. 38 (In the old French Quarter between Old Market and park), ☏ +855 90 798152. 08:30-20:30. Restaurant and organic shop. Wide range of fresh juices and smoothies, crepes, Khmer and Western delicacies. Healthy food, herbal teas, coffee and cakes. A meeting place for green thinking people. Free Wi-Fi. USD0.50-5.00.
WunderBar (On the river front), ☏ +855 17 257364. Tu-Su, 16:00-01:00. Stylish bar with garden area and great tunes. Serves Western and Khmer food. Kitchen open till 23:00. Big selection of beers, cocktails, fruit juices. Darts, chess and new pool table with competition on Sunday at 20:00, admission USD2. Good meeting point at night. Friendly Swiss-German run. Cover USD2.




There are many guesthouses in Kampot, mostly in the USD5+ price bracket. It is best just to have a look at the rooms. In the city most of the guesthouses are located along "Guesthouse Street". There are also a number of guesthouses just outside of town across the bridge and along the river front.

Birds Nest Bar & Backpackers, Old Market Street. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 11:00. Four-bed dorm and air-con single/double rooms. free Wi-Fi. Dorm bed USD3 per person, double room USD8.
Captain Chims Guest House, Street 724, ☏ +855 12-321043. Check-out: 11:00. Has laundry and bicycle hire. Dorm bed USD3 per person.
Kampot Guesthouse (Guesthouse St). Another straightforward guesthouse with fan and air-con rooms and food, next to Orchid. This one has clean rooms, no fridge, great Wi-Fi and it's quiet because it's at the end of the street.
Long Villa Guesthouse (N of the market on New Bridge St). Nice garden restaurant, clean rooms, fan, and air-con.
Magic Sponge (Guesthouse St E of salt gatherers' roundabout), ☏ +855 17 946428, ✉ magicspongekampot@gmail.com. Funky converted villa run by Westerners with free Wi-Fi, 9-hole mini-golf course, pool table, 50-inch HD widescreen TV for live sports, great Western and Asian food including excellent Indian dishes, and a well stocked bar open late and with incredibly cheap draft beer, especially during happy hour between 12:00 and 16:00. A great place to hang out and meet other travellers, with no shortage of entertainment. Air-con or fan rooms are spotlessly clean and feature superb quality mattresses and hot showers, and now there is a penthouse dormitory. Laundry, travel tickets, motorbike and bicycle rental and up to date travel information available. Dorm bed US$3 per person.
Nature Bungalow (N of New Bridge 50 m). River front bungalows with over-the-water dining.
NyNy Hotel, 1 ouksophea Kampot (Near salt mine roundabout), ☏ +855 77-901460. Check-out: 12:00. Relatively (3 storeys) high rise building. Clean fan/air-con rooms with en suite bath. Wi-Fi. USD6-8.
Orchid Guesthouse (Guesthouse St, E of salt gatherers' roundabout, opposite Pepper). Straightforward guesthouse with fan and air-con rooms and food.
Paris Guesthouse (Corner of Old Market St, 3 blocks from bus station). Multi-storey purpose-built hotel.
Pepe 7 the Viking Guest house, Kampot River Front. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Six-bed dorm. Free Wi-Fi. Dorm bed USD4 per person.
Pepper Guesthouse (Guesthouse St). Converted villa guesthouse with simple restaurant and Wi-Fi.
Raksmey Kampuchea Guest House, Durian roundabout, ☏ +855 12-602679. Check-out: 12 noon. Fan/air-con double room with en suite bath. Free Wi-Fi. from usd 10.
River Lodge, Dragon Street. Check-in: 12:30, check-out: 11:00. Eight-bed dorm or double rooms. Free Wi-Fi. Dorm bed USD4 per person, double room USD16.
Kampot Eco-Village Retreat (Phone for free pick up in Kampot or drive over the new bridge and follow the road until the temple on the left side. Go into the little path on the right side and keep going for 600 m), ☏ +855 12 719872. Check-in: anytime, check-out: noon. Kampot Eco-Village retreat is a homestay guesthouse that features traditional bungalows and free use of a bicycle as well as Cambodian specialities and Western favourites. Friendly family country-side location, motorbike rental available. USD5 per day, USD25 per week, USD80 per month.
Greenhouse, Papaya Salad Rd (Cross the new bridge, follow Teuk Chhu road for 6 km, then turn right on Papaya Salad road when you see the white sign on the right side of the road), ☏ +855 88 8863071. Small private bungalows set in an orchard with a fantastic view. Great bar and restaurant in beautiful old wooden Khmer house with a large balcony overlooking the river. Free bicycles, kayak rental, free Wi-Fi, popular swimming spot. USD7-20.
Kampot River Bungalow (100 m before Olly's Place), ☏ +855 11 52 36 27, +855 33 66 66 418. Comfortable bungalows and rooms with mosquito nets. Diving board, inexpensive high quality food and great communal atmosphere. The cheapest of the three. Food and drinks. USD6.
Olly's Place (By the river, 500 m N of the W side of the new bridge, next to Bodhi Villa), ☏ +855 92 605837. Comfortable bungalows and rooms with mosquito nets. Paddle-boarding and swimming in the river included. Wind-surfing available. Food and drinks.
Samon's Village (50 m behind Bodhi Villa). Clean bungalows with mosquito nets, terrace, access to the river and good local food. Very friendly and family-like atmosphere. No party crowd and a place to easily get to know the locals. USD8 (shared bath), USD20 with bath.
Les Manguiers (E bank of the river, 2 km N of the new bridge on a rough dirt road), ☏ +855 10 2489376, +855 12 823400. Garden bungalow resort with table d'hote menu, kayaks, and boat trips. Very French. Trilingual staff. Call for pick-up. USD10-25.
Mea Culpa Kampot (Behind Governors Mansion), ☏ +855 12 504769, ✉ meaculpakampot@gmail.com. Guesthouse and restaurant in a nice garden setting, in a quiet part of the old French quarter of town. Clean, nicely decorated fan and air-con rooms with cable TV, DVD player and en suite bath with hot water. Balcony. Complimentary tea and coffee. Patio restaurant and bar serving Khmer and international fare including pizzas from a wood-fired oven. USD20-25.
Villa Vedici (E bank of the river, 2 km N of the new bridge on a rough dirt road, just N of Les Manguiers). Swanky garden bungalow resort.
Rikitikitavi (Corner of Riverside Road and Street 728 (Kipling Lane)), ☏ +855 12 235102, ✉ info@rikitikitavi-kampot.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Consistently well reviewed charming small Western-managed hotel on the river road in town. Stylishly finished a/c rooms with amenities including TV, DVD, mini-fridge, in-room Wi-Fi, spring mattresses, and hot/cold showers. Strong-box in-room. Excellent rooftop restaurant and bar with a brilliant view overlooking the river. Western and Asian food in atmospheric terrace restaurant. Notable saraman (Cambodian beef curry) and amok trai (fish curry). Cooked-to-order breakfast included in room rate. US$53 including breakfast.

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Keep Connected


Internet bars are starting to appear in most major towns in Cambodia. Connection speeds vary as does the quality of the computers. The best places to go online definately are Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and outside of these centers it's generally also more expensive. In general prices are not much more than US1-2 an hour. Remember to take off your shoes when you enter as a sign of respect and to watch out for small shrines that are on the ground.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country code of Cambodia is 855. To call out of Cambodia, dial 001 followed by the country code and telephone number of the other party. Many of the internet bars also have international calling options and you can also arrange calls at post offices. Services are usually run by the governmental telecommunication network Camintel. You can find telephone cards in many shops, starting from serveral US dollars to around US$50. Samart, Mobitel and Shinawrata are the main mobile phone providers, with Mobitel offering the best and most widespread services, although calling from outside towns (countryside) is still tricky.


Cambodia's national postal service offers a wide range of services, though in general things go slowly and are not always very reliable. That said, things have been getting better over the years, and you can expect for your postcard or letter to finally arrive after 5-10, depending from where you send it (avoid small towns) and to where you send it. Prices are around 2000-2,500 Riel to countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, and it's slightly more expensive sending it from more remote places in the provinces. Post offices in Cambodia generally are open from around 8:00am to 5:00pm, with some regional variations. Sendings parcels is only possible from the capital Phnom Penh and it's very expensive as well. You might be better to send it from Thailand, or otherwise check private companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, which are more reliable and might even be cheaper!


Accommodation in Kampot

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This is version 15. Last edited at 9:32 on Oct 28, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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