I get asked a lot what my favorite country is and Cambodia is always in my top 3. I  love the warm, welcoming people, the history and the ancient ruins scattered deep in the jungles.  

On my third visit to the country I wanted to explore more of the small towns in Cambodia that were off the beaten path and thats how I found myself in Kep and Kampot, Cambodia.  

If you’re jammed on time and only have a couple days, here’s how to make the most out of your time

*I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling and coffee ☕️.  I thank you in advance.

2 Days In kep & kampot, cambodia

A view of Kep Cambodia

Average Daily Budget

Budget – $15

  • Dorm bed
  • Street food

 Mid Range – $40-50

  • Average for a couple
  • Double bed w A/C and a pool
  • Occasional happy hour on the riverside

 Luxury – $70 and Up 

  • Staying in the swankiest hotels
  • Eating all the crab you want in Kep
  • Private tour guides
  • Private transportation

How to Get to Kampot

Located in Southern Cambodia, is the sleepy, coastal town of Kampot.  Kampot, Cambodia is 2 hours by bus from Sihanoukville and 4-5 hours by bus from Phnom Penh.  Buses are direct and frequent.  From Kampot, Kep is a 45 minute moped ride.

Where to Stay

I stayed at the Kool Kampot when I explored this part of the world.  It was perfect walking distance to town and to enjoy sunset on the river.  It was also very budget friendly.  For a bigger list of places to stay

DAY 1: Explore Bokor National Park & Kampot

Rent a moped or hire a tuk tuk for the day and explore Bokor National Park.  I personally always like to rent a moped because it gives you more flexibility and freedom.  Bokor National Park is about an hour away on motorbike and the road up the mountain is paved and a lot smoother than the road to Kep.  The park is filled with pleasant hiking trails, waterfalls, and if you’re lucky you may be able to get a glimpse of some wildlife.

Next head up Bokor Mountain where you will get incredible, panoramic views all the way to the coastline. The summit of the mountain is home to the French Bokor hill station and you’ll find many abandoned French colonial buildings.

Kampot itself is a cute, charming, riverside town with French influence architecture, so be sure to make it back in time for sunset.  Have drinks on one of the many riverside boats and watch the sun set over the Praek Tuek Chhu river.  We had drinks at the Rusty Keyhole, I had a nice big, glass of wine complete in a Bordeaux glass for only $3 USD.

Once you’ve watched the sun sink down over the river, walk into town and have dinner at one of the many restaurants scattered down the side streets.  There are plenty to choose from depending on what you’re craving from Italian to Mexican to classic Khmer cuisine.

Day 2: Explore Kep

Today you’re driving from Kampot to Kep.  Kep is about 30-45 minutes from Kampot via motorbike.  The road to Kep is the complete opposite of the drive to Bokor National Park.  It is very dusty and filled with pot holes. The ride itself is a wild, adventure.

#JessATravelTip if you rent a moped make sure you bring a scarf to cover your face or wear a helmet with a face mask because it is very dusty and it will get in your eyes, ears, and mouth.

Kep is a small seaside fishing village and the main attraction of Kep is the fresh crab market.  They don’t just sell crab but an array of seafood like stingrays, prawns, squid, and fresh fish like snapper and tuna.

Wandering through Kep’s crab market is a great way to spend the morning.  You can have lunch at one of the wooden shack restaurants that line the beach or if you’re on a tighter budget you can pick your seafood, they will make it to your liking and you can enjoy it right there in the crab market.

Check out Kep beach and journey down the coast and take in the beauty.  We found this cool pier as we were zipping around.  If you’re feeling up for it, jump on the ferry and journey to Rabbit Island.

Other Things to do

Kampot Pepper Plantation – Kampot, Cambodia is famous for its peppercorns that come in red, black and white but grow green.  Kampot pepper is really zesty and has been elected by chefs and foodies as one of the best peppers in the world.

Salt Fields of Kep and Kampot – You can watch the locals harvesting the salt fields where water is let in from the ocean to the fields.  The fields are then blocked from the ocean, and the water is allowed to evaporate, leaving salt crystals.  This process is repeated many times and is only harvesting from December to April.

Survival Tips

  • USD is the currency used in Cambodia
  • ATMS are widely available in Kampot
  • You legally need an international drivers license to rent a moped but its not enforced
  • English is widely spoken
  • Bring a scarf or sarong to wrap around your nose, eyes, and mouth if you’re on a moped as its dusty and you’ll be doing yourself a favor!

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