Vacationers often overlook Kampot as a travel destination. When you think of Cambodia, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh typically come to mind. Kampot may be small, but we found 29 things to do in Kampot that will make you want to book your trip tomorrow.
Kampot is located near the southern border of Cambodia and sits alongside the beautiful Praek Tuek Chhu River. We spoke to many ex-pats while we were in Kampot. Unanimously, they all chose Kampot for its laid-back pace of life. It made sense, it was exactly what we loved about the city too. Make no mistake, though, you will not be bored in Kampot, ever.
Kampot has so many amazing sites to see, plenty of adventure sports, a food scene that is out of this world, and so much more. We love to mix up our travels with relaxing, eating, and of course, adventure. Luckily, Kampot has all of them. These are the best things to do in Kampot.
THIS POST IS ALL ABOUT THINGS TO DO IN KAMPOT.
THINGS TO DO IN KAMPOT FOR THE RELAXER:
1. VISIT LA PLANTATION
La Plantation is the best-known pepper farm in Kampot. La Plantation produces organic Kampot Pepper and Cambodian spices. All aspects of production, from harvesting to individual packaging take place at the farm with about 75 farmers on hand.
TAKE A FREE TOUR OF THE LA PLANTATION PEPPER FARM
One of the main draws of La Plantation is a free tour of the beautiful farm which lasts about an hour. Following the tour is a spice tasting. This entails tasting their various peppers as well as other spices they make in-house such as turmeric. The tasting does not include beverages. As a result, we recommend you order a drink from the restaurant before it starts. A glass of wine and a bottle of water does the trick.
Following the tasting, you are free to peruse their shop and purchase souvenirs, i.e. all the pepper you could ever want. You can also hang out in the restaurant and order food, drinks, and even ice cream infused with their pepper. While we recommend all three, the ice cream is particularly refreshing.
We braved the bumpy, but fun ride, to La Plantation on our own, but you can book tours that include transportation to the farm. Tours will typically consist of air-conditioned transportation to and from the farm, the complimentary farm tour, and spice tasting session, a Buffalo Tour to the Secret Lake, and a set lunch. This will all run you between $25-$35 per person which is a steal of a deal.
TAKE A KHMER COOKING CLASS AT LA PLANTATION
The free tour at La Plantation is an amazing experience in and of itself. If you want to enhance that experience and learn more about Khmer Cuisine, you should give their cooking class a serious look. You will explore a local market, discover new and exciting ingredients, and handcraft some of the most traditional and delicious Khmer dishes Cambodia has to offer such as Lok Lak Beef, Amok Fish, and Vegetable Green Curry.
>> You can book your Cooking Class!
2. TAKE IN THE SUNSET AT SABAY BEACH
We actually stayed at Sabay beach and we have to tell you, it is one of the most picturesque little beaches you will find in Kampot. Even better than the beach (because we love food and drink), is their restaurant. Everything we ordered there was phenomenal as were the cocktails. If you want an unforgettable drink, order their specialty cocktail, Holy Smokes. It will blow you away. The view of the Preakness Tuek Chhou River is always amazing from Sabay Beach, but if you are going to go there, go for sunset. It is breathtaking!
3. Hop on a Sunset / Firefly River boat Cruise
A sunset/firefly river cruise will run you around $5 per person. It typically comes with a free beer, but you can also negotiate two beers at that price. Alicia surprised me with this when we purchased the tickets. I had no idea.
When you board the boat, you will head to the top and notice that all of the tables are very low to the ground and that your chair is a cushion on the ground. Why? Because the boat will be going under some very low bridges with about six inches of clearance. You will literally have to lay down to remain a part of the cruise. We couldn’t believe they let us stay at the top of the boat when this happened, but it was a great time and quite hilarious.
All throughout the cruise, music will be bumping and you can order food and drink for the duration of the cruise. The sunset, the ride along the river, and the firefly sightings made for an unforgettable night.
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4. VISIT THE SALT FIELDS OF KAMPOT
Pepper Plantations are very popular in Kampot, but their Salt Fields are actually their true claim to fame.
The salt fields are just outside of Kampot on the road to Kep. Ocean water fills the fields through a series of canals. When the fields are sufficiently full, the water is cut off. In the dry season, the water evaporates off and leaves behind beautiful salt crystals. The salt crystals are raked into tiny triangular piles, loaded, and stored in barn-like warehouses around the fields. Finally, the salt is transferred to the factory, processed, packaged, and distributed throughout the country.
A great time to visit is between December and April. You will see tiny salt piles that seemingly go on forever. If you visit between May and November, there is much more rain which does not support proper evaporation. Even still, it is worth visiting these endless pools of water during sunrise and/or sunset. The colors of the sky are unbelievable and the reflections add a majestic flair to the whole experience.
5. RENT A BIKE AT TREE TRAVEL TOURS
For just $2 for 24 hours, you can pedal around Kampot in style. Cruise past the Durian and Saltworkers roundabouts. Pick up some ice cream or fresh fruit. And ride along Kampot’s beautiful riverside promenade. If you are feeling brave, you can travel a bit outside the city center and explore the countryside to count the cows.
6. RIDE ACROSS THE OLD FRENCH BRIDGE
During the Khmer Rouge period, the Old French Bridge was destroyed. Fortunately, it has since been repaired. It allows for motorbike and pedestrian traffic. You can walk it to a certain point, but it is safer, and easier, on a motorbike. It is fun to ride over it a time or two or in our case three times.
If you come back in the evening, you will see it teeming with lights in the shapes of hearts to match the passing riverboat traffic. A great place to watch the Old French Bridge transition from day to night is at the Fishmarket restaurant.
7. walk AROUND THE LOTUS POND
At the south end of Kampot behind the National Bank of Cambodia and the Kampot Provincial Museum, you will find the very beautiful Kampot Lotus Pond.
While the lotus carries religious symbolism in Southeast Asia, it is also widely used in their cuisine. They use the big, lily pad, leaves to wrap food for steaming and the stems, seed pods, and seeds are all eaten. We did not see it, but apparently, it is not uncommon to see locals in the pond picking the good stems to sell in the market.
The locals also use this area to get in their evening exercise. They will do laps, upon laps around the pond. You can join in, or just find a seat somewhere around the pond and prepare to watch a beautiful Cambodia sunset.
Even if not for the exercise, do make a point to take at least one lap around the pond to admire the various shrines in the center of the pond, and don’t miss the pagoda on the outer edge.
8. TAKE THE CRAB SHUTTLE TO KEP FOR THE DAY
Kep and Kampot are so close that many travelers stay in one of the two cities, and take a day trip to the other. In our opinion, you can knock out all that Kampot has to offer in 5-7 days whereas Kep is more of a weekend getaway. If pressed for time, a day trip to Kep will surely suffice.
You can get to Kep by renting a motorbike, which will run you about $4-$7 per day, a tuk-tuk ride, or take the Crab Shuttle. We definitely recommend taking the Crab Shuttle. It is a ferry that runs daily from Kampot to Kep. A one-way ticket costs $10 per person and a round trip ticket costs $15 per person. The boat departs Kampot at 9a from the riverside in front of Rikitikitavi and arrives in Kep at approximately 11:20a. The departs back to Kampot at 3p. You can make arrangements to be dropped off, and picked up, at Rabbit Island for an additional charge.
If you only do one thing in Kep, you have to visit their famous crab market. Beyond that, you can make your way to Kep Beach for the afternoon, or take a hike around the very beautiful Kep National Park ($1 admission per person). You can also check out some of Kep’s great restaurants such as Led Zep’s Cafe, Italian Corner, Kep Sur Mer, and Deli’s Kep to name a few. If you need some dessert, head over to Kep Coffee for a massive slice of chocolate or carrot cake, and/or one of their signature cinnamon rolls.
9. VISIT RABBIT ISLAND
Koh Tonsay, or Rabbit Island, is about a 20-30 minute boat ride off the coast of Kep. If you are coming from Kampot, the best way to get there is via the Crab Shuttle. Alternatively, you can take one of the local boats that depart Kep’s main port at 9a and 1p for about $8-$10, including a return ticket. You can also hire a private boat for the day for about $20-$30.
You can explore Rabbit Island in a day, but many stay for a few nights, or up to a week. If you plan to stay, you will find accommodations ranging from your most basic shack to bungalows. When you arrive, you will negotiate prices with the respective owner; plan on around $10-$15 per night.
The island is laid back and the beaches much less trodden than other Cambodia Islands. You can sip beers on the beach and lounge in a hammock for the day.
If you are more adventurous, you can trek the trail that runs around the perimeter of the island. Ask around to find the beginning of the path, but it should be towards the right side of the island (facing the ocean) behind a set of guesthouse huts.
After 10:00 pm, the generator on the island turns off and that will be the end of electricity until morning. Charge your gear before that, and bring a power bank if you have one. But don’t jump on your device just yet, because now is the perfect time to take a swim in the glow of the ocean from the illuminated plankton.
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10. DATE NIGHT AT THE FISHMARKET
If you are fortunate enough to grab a table on their patio, you are in for a picture-perfect date night. The Fishmarket has one of the most beautiful views you can find for dinner in Kampot. It is the stuff of movie dinner proposals. You can watch the sunset and see the French Bridge light up the night.
Their happy hour runs from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm and their food is fantastic; we shared the Fish & Chips and could not have been happier. Last, but certainly not least, you cannot leave without trying their warm homemade chocolate cake. It is one of the best desserts in town.
11. Simple Things yoga session
Simple Things is a wonderful restaurant that specializes in coffee, smoothies, and has a large selection of vegetarian and vegan food options. The food is amazing and you will see that most people in the restaurant have one of their delectable smoothies in hand.
They also have a Yoga Studio on their second floor. They have classes daily at 9:00 am and 5:00 pm for $5 per session. Check out their Facebook page for the most up to date schedules, or If you just want to look at pictures of their beautiful food.
Top Activities in kampot
12. SPA DAY AT BANTEAY SREY PROJECT
The Banteay Srey Project is comprised of three branches: the Banteay Srey Spa, Deva Cafe, and a Yoga Studio. Per their website, the project provides local Khmer women with on-site training, well-paid jobs, and a supportive future.
The spa has wonderful packages which include a variety of massage options, yoga, manicures, and pedicures, and one of their amazing fresh juices or smoothies. It is a great day to break up a long week of exploration.
13. HOTEL OLD CINEMa pool
7 Makara Cinema, and before that ‘The Gong,’ was the second of four theatres to pop up between the ’50s and ’70s. All four played different genres of movies so as not to compete with one another. The Gong specialized in Hong Kong Chinese martial arts movies.
The theatre eventually fell into disrepair and has since been restored to a beautiful boutique hotel, Hotel Old Cinema. Stop by for their amazing food or cocktails, or take a swim in their pool. If are not a guest, it will cost you $6, but you can put that towards food or drink.
14. KAMPOT PROVINCIAL MUSEUM
Set inside the Old Governor’s Mansion, the modest museum covers Kampot’s 2,000-year history spanning the pre-Angkorian period, from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the colonial period under the protectorate regime, and the contemporary period. The museum is not going to blow you away, but it is a great way to better connect with this incredible province. And at $2 for admission, you can’t go wrong.
THINGS TO DO IN KAMPOT FOR THE ADVENTURE SEEKER:
15. KAYAK THE GREEN CATHEDRAL
The Green Cathedral, or Green Loop, is a serene and beautiful offshoot of the Praek Tuek Chhu River. If you are staying in the city center, it is a quick 5 km motorbike or tuk-tuk ride north of town. If your guesthouse is anywhere on the river, you can rent a kayak from them. Last, but not least, you can drive to a guesthouse close to the Green Cathedral loop to rent your kayaks such as Champa Lodge, Meraki Guesthouse, or Retro Kampot Guesthouse to name a few. Prices range from $3-$5 per hour, $10-$15 for a half-day, and $15-$25 for a full-day rental. If you are a novice kayaker, we recommend getting as close to the loop as you can.
The loop itself is lined with luscious green foliage throughout. In some areas, the greenery touches the middle, just above you, creating “the cathedral.” The loop is well-shaded but eventually opens up wider letting in the sun. This is a great point to stop and have a picnic on the boat. Relax, grab some food and water, and take in the beautiful sights and sounds.
All in all, the loop itself takes one to two hours depending on your pace. Don’t forget to bring: sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, sunglasses, a dry pack, water (and beer if you fancy that), and snacks.
16. Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding
17. BOKOR MOUNTAIN ON A MOTORBIKE
If there is one thing you will come to know about us, it is that we love to explore new places on a motorbike. Unlike tours, which are great and serve their purpose, you have the freedom of time. You can make as many stops as you want and stay as long as you want. Needless to say, we were excited about our trip to Bokor Mountain for the day. Unfortunately for us, it was short-lived. We were not allowed to proceed up the mountain due to Covid-19 restrictions. Even though we did not get to see the mountain, here is why you should look forward to it.
The French established Bokor as a hill station in 1925. Since then, it has been abandoned twice. The first time was during WWII and the second during the Khmer Rouge. In 1993, Bokor was officially established as a National Park. There have been many projects planned for the hill, but few have come to fruition.
On your beautiful and windy trek up the mountain, you can expect to see abandoned buildings such as the Black Palace, the former holiday residence of King Sihanouk, The Catholic Church, and other such buildings. If the mist of the mountain stays at bay, you will be rewarded with spectacular views and sunset if you are lucky. There is a great walking path in the forest, and the stunning Popokvil Waterallwaterfall (depending upon rainfall) close by. It is a photographers’ paradise up there. Of course, there is the casino, but that doesn’t make the cut for why you should go.
>> Or book a half-day tour of Bokor National Park
18. SPLASH AROUND AT THE RIVER PARK
Did you say, River Park? Yes, we did, and trust me when we say that we were as surprised as you. But when your backyard is the massive Preaek Tuek Chhu River, you can do that kind of thing.
The Riverpark has numerous slides, a launch water blob, ziplining, and other air-catching attractions. If you prefer a lazy river experience, grab a kayak or paddle bike and cruise around the glass-like waters of the Preaek Tuek Chhu.
Situated away from the city and equipped with plenty of food and beverage, it is easy to see how you can spend the day here. If you are only coming for the day, admission to the park is $7. We recommend that you arrange your day so you can see a beautiful river sunset. As an overnight guest of the hotel, the facilities are free to use.
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If you cannot tell, Kampot is all about its adventure sports and Climbodia takes it to a new level. They have guided tours for all levels to include beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Depending upon the tour you choose, you could be abseiling, caving, easy climbing, toprope climbing, lead climbing, and/or via Ferrata. The choice is yours.
Tours range from 2.5 hours to 4 hours and cost between $25 – $50 per person. Caving gear, climbing gear (climbing shoes not included), water, and your guides are all included in the price. The recommended attire is a t-shirt, shorts, and laced shoes.
Transportation is not included, but can be arranged from Climbodia’s office to the mountain, and back for $5 per person. The tuk-tuk leaves the office at 8:15 am to arrive at the mountain at 8:45 am for the start of the tour. As always, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and bug spray as an added precaution.
20. Kite Boarding Lessons
Want to see Kampot from a different angle altogether? Get your adventure on and take kiteboarding lessons from Cambodia Kiteboarding. Group lessons run about $35 per hour while private lessons slightly increase the price to $45 per hour. If you need transportation, they can pick you up in a speedboat for $7.50, which includes a return trip. Lastly, they administer a one-time, $10 fee, for insurance cost which protects them if you break anything.
21. JOG THE COUNTRYSIDE
I know this will not interest everybody, but if you are a runner, it sure is a beautiful place to lace up your running shoes and put on some miles. Between the beautiful and lush green countryside, the many cows that stare at you while you pass, and the endlessly warm Cambodian smiles and hellos, you will hardly notice you are running.
On my last run in the countryside, I didn’t even want to stop. To be clear, I have never said this about running before….ever. My only advice is to check with your hotel to ensure the roads you are traveling are safe for such activities. Wear sunscreen, bug spray, bring some water, and a charged phone with data. You are going to love it. And if you don’t run, a bike ride is a great alternative.
THINGS TO DO IN KAMPOT FOR THE FOODIE:
22. TRY FRESH PRESSED JUICE AT THE KAMPOT JUICE BOX
I know, I know, fresh-pressed juice does not sound like a treat, but we promise you it is. This small shop is located down the street from The Fishmarket. These freshly squeezed delicacies are only $1.50. When we say fresh, we mean fresh. When we ordered our carrot juice, the juice barista came around to their product display to pick out 3 more carrots for our drink. We shared it, and we consumed it faster than they could even make it. We wish we would have discovered it sooner as it would have definitely become a daily treat. On top of the juice, it is a great place to pick up some fresh produce.
23. STOP BY AROMA HOUSE AND MEET THE CHICKEN CHIEF OF MARKETING
Take one look at their TripAdvisor page, and the heaps of 5-star reviews will convince you that you need to dine at Aroma House at least once, if not many more times when in Kampot. The food is out of this world good, the drinks are equally incredible, and the hospitality is unparalleled. James, the owner, takes massive pride in your experience so don’t miss out.
24. PICK UP A BOOK AT BOOKISH BAZAAR AND READ IT AT CAFE ESPRESSO ROASTERY
Or get some work done. We are digital nomads so wherever we go so cafe’s become our office. This was the case for Cafe Espresso Roastery. It is by far the best espresso we have ever tasted and kept us laser-focused on our to-do list. But it is not just the espresso, it is everything there.
Their food, whether it be breakfast or lunch, is phenomenal. And their cocktails….? They too are amazing. You can’t go wrong here so whatever you do, find an excuse to visit there often.
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25. GO THE EXTRA MILE TO VISIT CIAO
The Italian Ex-Pat, Diego has built up his small restaurant/home over his many years in Cambodia and the food is to die for. He could easily have a bustling shop in town but his laid back demeanor and down-to-earth roots allow him all the freedom to have a successful business in the Kampot countryside. The 15 min Tuk-tuk ride out of town is entirely worth it. All the pasta and cheese are homemade and so fresh it’s crazy. We had the freshly-made ravioli stuffed with ricotta and pork with tomato and mozzarella and it was mind-blowing.
If you make the trek out here though, you have to try the pizza. He makes it in a homemade oven. It is by far the best pizza we have had in Cambodia and we are not alone in thinking that!
>> Here is the location of Ciao on Google Maps!
26. TRY CAMBODIA’S BEST CRAFT BEER SELECTION AT TWENTY THREE BISTRO
When we walked into Twenty Three Bistro, our eyes immediately locked on to the bottles of craft beer they had lining the bar. Come to find out, they are all brewed in Cambodia. We were in beer heaven! Time permitting, we would have stayed here all day and enjoyed every option. If the great craft beers weren’t enough, the food is exquisite. We highly recommend the Double Baked Cheese Soufflé.
27. GRAB BREAKFAST AT NOM TOM BAKERY
We were so excited when we discovered this cute and quaint little Belgium bakery on wheels. Even though it is technically mobile, Nom Tom Bakery parks in the same place every day, near the Fishmarket restaurant (you can even find it on Google maps). They are open Tuesday – Saturday, from 7:30 am – 1:00 pm, OR until they sell out of all of their delicious loaves of bread, pastries, sausage rolls, croissants, and more. If you want your pick of items, we highly recommend you get there at opening time.
28. CHECK OUT THE NIGHT MARKET
Kampot Night Market is open daily from mid-morning on, but it is definitely busier at dusk. There are plenty of delicious smelling food options as well as some clothing, electronics, and other shops. Alicia snagged some PJ pants and a dress she is in love with.
Oh yes, the amusement park. It is located in the center of the market and has a few rides for small children. You will find a similar setup, though on a much, much larger scale in Phnom Penh. Interesting to say the least.
29. enjoy THE FOOD STALLS NEAR THE OLD MARKET
Head south on Riverside Road until you come to Street 724 (two streets south of the Old French Bridge) and take a left. You will quickly see many food stalls lining either side of the street. There are so many delicious options, there is something for everyone. You can even grab a drink and sit in the plaza for some people watching.