Let’s travel to the southern part of Cambodia for a sleepy town that still retains it French colonial buildings and Chinese shop lots for an architectural holiday back in time.
HOW TO GET THERE
You can access the small town by taking the bus from bigger cities like Phnom Penh. A bus from Phnom Penh will run you three to four hours depending on the traffic. A more comfortable option is to take a minibus from companies like Giant Ibis. If you are from Sihanoukville, they have daily buses to Kampot that take approximately two hours.
WHAT TO DO
Kampot is mostly a place for relaxing by the river or casual strolls around town to admire the crumbling yet stunning architecture influenced by the French and Chinese. Renting a motorbike is a great way to explore these old building which can be done via Hong Kimeng Moto Rental if your guesthouse does not provide rentals. To admire the architecture of temples, Phnom Chhnork is a 7th- century temple in a cave that is greatly preserved thanks to its dark and rocky surrounding.
The Kampot salt fields are worth the visit where you see the locals evaporate salt water into salt crystals. The view of the salt dunes during sunrise is something close to a postcard view. 30 minutes outside of Kampot are the pepper farms where visitors can take the tour to see the process of making some of the world’s best pepper.
WHERE TO STAY
The cabin life with an added bonus of being close to the beach can be found at Natural Bungalows Restaurant and Bar. Bamboo ceilings bring a nature aspect to their deluxe suites that also boast beach views overlooking the mountains and passing boats. While the standard and deluxe rooms can easily fit a group of three with a spacious attached bathroom and river views.
An accommodation that offers a more relaxed minimal design is the Boutique Kampot Hotel. Their spacious yet elegant rooms illuminate with an abundance of natural light against white walls and gray tiled floors. Each room has a balcony that overlooks Kampot town and bigger rooms like the deluxe triplet come with living rooms for casual hangout sessions after a long day.
WHAT TO EAT
When in Cambodia, take the time to sample some of their delicious Khmer cuisine. Restaurants like Khmer Root Café use local ingredients like their world famous peppers in their dishes. The open kitchen allows customers to see all the action and if you want to learn the tricks of the trade, Khmer Root Café also provides cooking classes.
Ecran Movie House is a quaint noodle place serving hand pulled noodles (Chinese style) with scrumptious dumplings of pork and vegetables for a reasonable price. The movie house is where you can rent a movie from its vast selection, to be watched in one of the four private screening rooms, all while slurping on your noodles.