Set on the Kampot River, Kampot Town is the capital of Kampot province. A lot of Kampots all in one place. A quiet town, best known as the starting point for trips to Bokor Mountain and it's riverside scene. Kampot is a great escape from the larger cities and towns in Cambodia. Located near the ocean, close to Vietnam, you can travel to SihanoukVille and Phnom Penh in a few hours, and to Vietnam in only an hour. Also, the original seaside resort of Cambodia, Kep, is a short drive away.
Located on both sides of the Kampot River also know as Teuk Chhou or Prek Thom, and connected by 2 bridges, the East side of Kampot is where most of the restaurants, guesthouses, and market are located. Along the riverfront, on both sides, are several hotels, guesthouses and restaurants with Western and Khmer (Cambodian) hosts. The riverfront is fairly quiet and quite picturesque.
Walk around town, rent a bicycle, or rent a small motorcycle to get around. Also, you can ride motorcycle taxis and tuk tuks (a cart pulled by a motorcycle) for 12 to 50 cents to most places in town.
Some attractions downtown, besides the riverfront, are the central market, small caves with Buddhist shrines, and the football stadium. Towards the ocean on the East side is the port of Kampot and many Cham Muslim communities and schools. Across the river is Kampot's Wat or Buddhist Temple which is open to tourists. Past the Wat are Kampot's salt fields, and further out of town are Kampot's famous Black Pepper (red and green too!) and Durian farms. Along the riverfront, mostly North of downtown's bridges, are several guesthouses and restaurants, right on the river.
Big Map of Kampot
Across the River (West Side) the first big road to the right from either bridge, takes you to the Kampot Zoo (about 20 minute ride and $5 entrance fee), lions, tigers and bears (and maybe some monkeys), and the Kampot River rapids, Teuk Chhou, an informal park for eating, drinking, sleeping, and playing in the water. Take your own motorcycle or get a motorcycle taxi or Tuk Tuk for about $5-7 round trip.
Canoeing, Kayaking, and guided river tours are possible on the river. Check out Kampot Tours and Transport for some suggestions.
Kampot is also known worldwide for it's Pepper Plantations (Pepper website) (black, green, red and white table pepper) and locally for Durian farms (a giant, pointy fruit, weighing up to 12 kilograms). The Pepper from Kampot is the only food product in Cambodia exported worldwide, and will soon have the Origin Specific label "Kampot Pepper". Pepper farm tours are a popular activity here.
Other Things in Kampot
Ecran Movie House
Phnom Sasear is one of the caves about 10 kilometers outside of Kampot. The cave is small, and there is an ancient Buddhist shrine inside.
From Phnom Penh, a taxi or minibus for a 3 hour trip, about $5. From Kep, a half hour ride by car, tuk tuk or motorcycle. From SihanoukVille, a taxi for about $4/person, leaving from in front of the market, or $25 for the whole car for a 2 hour trip, or a 2 hour bus ride for about $7. Check the Sihanoukville site for departure times.
Now from Koh Kong, sometimes you can get a morning bus to Kampot for $10 and a 4 to 5 hour ride. From Vietnam, check out Andy's Oasis Bar in Ha Tien, Vietnam.
While in Kampot, look for the Kampot Survival Guide for more information.