Top 10 Things to do in Kampot
Needing a dose of nature in your Cambodia itinerary? Make sure to visit Kampot! This guide shares the top 10 things to do in Kampot.
While often bypassed by travellers, Kampot is an oasis you shouldn’t be skipping during your travels in Cambodia. Nestled between mountains, rivers, jungles, and beaches, it’s one of the best places to unwind and reconnect with nature. This sleepy riverside town is the perfect place to spend a couple of days exploring as you pass between Phnom Penh and the islands.
Planning a Trip to Kampot
Kampot is the place for nature lovers to visit in Cambodia; a peaceful riverside town surrounded by jungles and mountains. Here is some essential information for planning your trip to Kampot.
How to get to Kampot
The best way to get to Kampot is via bus from Phnom Penh. We booked our bus to Kampot via our hostel in Phnom Penh, but you can also book it online with Baolau*, a search engine that compares all travel options.
You can also get to Kampot from the southern ferry hub of Sihanoukville, but note that buses are not operating this route currently (summer 2022) so you will have to take a private car. Your accommodation should be able to help you set this up for about $45 per car.
Where to stay in Kampot
Kampot is one of the cheaper places to find accommodation in Cambodia, however, many of the accommodation options* don’t have air conditioning so it’s something to look out for when booking. Check out these spots:
➡️ Karma Traders* is a great hostel for backpackers, with a rooftop bar, pool, AC and social vibe.
➡️ For budget-friendly private rooms with AC, I recommend KampongBay Makeng II Guesthouse*.
➡️ For a unique stay, check out Eden Ecovillage* just outside Kampot town (no AC).
How to get around Kampot
To truly explore Kampot you will need to get some wheels, as most of the top things to do are outside of the city.
Motorbike rentals in Kampot start from $5 a day. Most hotels/hostels offer rentals but if yours doesn’t, check out these motorbike rental shops in Kampot:
T-DA Motorbikes Rental
Tree Travel Tours Motorcycle and Bicycle Rentals
If you don’t know how to motorbike, then you can either rent a bicycle or hail cheap tuk-tuk rides using Pass App. For things that are further outside Kampot city, I suggest hiring a tuk-tuk driver for the day; Mr Lim comes highly recommended!
Top Things to do in Kampot
Kampot is a great place to visit if you love nature, with there are lots of outdoor adventures to get involved in! These are the top things to do in Kampot.
1️⃣ Go to a waterpark
Kampot is a great place to release your inner child and have fun at one of the many waterparks that line the riverside. We chose to spend a day at Arcadia and had great fun trying all their water activities and hanging out with other backpackers. This riverside hostel has a dizzyingly fast waterslide, blob, and other floating water activities to try out. It’s a 10-minute drive outside the center of town so you will need a ride to get there.
Arcadia 📍 Tuek Chhu Road, Krong Kampot
Another great-looking water park is Dong Prek Park, where you can zipline, take on the 50m rainbow slide or navigate the floating water course.
2️⃣ Drive through Bokor National Park
Jump on a motorbike and venture into the mountains of Bokor National Park. Winding jungle roads, monkeys, and beautiful viewpoints; what more do you need?
The national park includes some abandoned buildings, remnants from the French colonial town built in the 1920s. Make sure to venture up the path behind the abandoned church for one of the best ocean vistas the park has to offer.
💰 $0.50 entrance
✍️ Read more about Bokor National Park
3️⃣ Day trip to Kep beach
A day trip to the nearby beach town of Kep is a great way to cool off from the heat and see more of the countryside. If you’re up for an adventure, skip the highway and take the backroads to immerse yourself in the dusty, jungles of Kampot.
Kep is also home to the iconic crab market, a must during your day trip! Buy crab, fresh from the ocean, and have it cooked for lunch! Most of the market vendors use the local Kampot pepper in their sauce, a perfect pairing for fresh crab.
4️⃣ Go rock climbing with Climbodia
For the active traveler, join a rock climbing tour with Kampot-based Climbodia! Most of the Climbodia tours are a combination of rock climbing, caving, and sightseeing, with some adding in abseiling and lead climbing! A truly unique way to experience the countryside of Kampot.
💰 $30+ per person
Check out the Climbodia tours and book here.
5️⃣ Tour one of Kampot’s famous pepper farms
If you’re a foodie, make sure you visit one of the pepper plantations that Kampot is world-renowned for. We chose to join the free tour and tasting at La Plantation where you see how the pepper is created from seed to shelf.
The plantation is beautiful and it was great to hear about the social and sustainable agriculture that they are fostering in Cambodia. At the end of the tour, we gathered in the traditional restaurant to sample some of the pepper.
La Plantation 📍 Bosjheng village, Cambodia
💰 While free, you are encouraged to buy something from the shop or restaurant (we bought some drinks).
6️⃣ Swing in hammocks at the Secret Lake
Hanging out at the Secret Lake was one of the highlights of our time in Kampot. Though admittedly not as secret as it once might have been, the lake offers complete tranquillity and you’ll likely be the only visitors hanging out at the lake.
Located in the countryside outside of the city, you have to drive along dusty dirt tracks and through local villages, surrounded by farms, to find it. Once you turn the bend, you’ll spot a local restaurant with hammocks right by the water’s edge, perfect to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The menu is all in Khmer, which makes for a fun game of guessing based on pictures.
📍 You can find the local restaurant pinned on the map at the bottom of the post.
7️⃣ Stay in a river bungalow
To truly experience the charm of Kampot, I highly recommend staying in one of the cute riverside bungalows. Wake up waterside,
We spent a blissful night in the riverfront bungalows at Eden Ecovillage*. It’s a little outside of town, but that’s what makes it special. With nothing but dirt tracks around, soak up the peace, dine at their amazing restaurant, swim in the river, and make use of the free kayaks. It’s the perfect place to unwind during your travels.
✍️ Full Review: Checking into Eden Ecovillage in Kampot
The other option we considered for a riverside stay was Retro Kampot Guesthouse*, which was highly recommended to us by other travelers.
8️⃣ Take a sunset boat cruise
Cruising down the river, eating BBQ cooked fresh on the boat, and watching the sun disappear behind the mountains; tell a more wholesome evening. We booked the river cruise through Arcadia, and seriously their BBQ feast was some of the best food I’ve eaten during my travels in SE Asia.
Joining one of the sunset cruises is also a great way to meet people if you’re traveling solo as they are social group tours, not necessarily a party vibe but could be if you wanted.
9️⃣ Kayak down the Praek Tuek Chhu River
One of the best ways to experience river life is to get out in a kayak. While the entire river offers peace and tranquility, the area known as the Green Cathedral is one of the best places to kayak. The Green Cathedral is a narrow meander north of town, that loops through the dense overhanging jungle before reconnecting with the main river.
Where to rent kayaks for the Green Cathedral
If you’re staying riverside, your resort might offer free kayaks. If you need to rent one, I recommend renting kayaks from Retro Kampot Guesthouse* which is on the Green Cathedral loop. Alternatively, Champa Lodge* and Meraki Kampot* also offer rentals to non-guests and are located right by the entrance to the loop.
🔟 Explore Kampot town
Of course, no trip to Kampot is complete without exploring the town. The center of the town is marked by an iconic durian roundabout, a feature that perplexes foreigners. However regionally Kampot has been known for its durian, a unique fruit that some love, some hate. Try some at the market during your visit!
Kampot is home to many colonial-era buildings, with grand facades and elegant architecture. The beautifully restored Hotel Old Cinema is a great example of the old architecture that lingers in Kampot. They have a bar where you can feel transported back in time while enjoying a cocktail.
Map of Things to do in Kampot
This map shares the locations for everything mentioned in this guide, including the best things to do, recommended accommodation, and places to rent motorbikes/tuk-tuks from. You can save the map to your GoogleDrive for later by clicking the star next to the map title.
Kampot is a welcomed break from the chaos of Phnom Penh, and these top things to do in Kampot ensure you get to experience the best of the sleepy river town!
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Planning a Trip to Cambodia
For more information on planning a trip to Kampot and other destinations in Cambodia, be sure to check out my Complete Cambodia Travel Guide which includes everything you need to know for travelling around the country.
✍️ A Travel Guide to Kampot
✍️ Checking into Eden Ecovillage in Kampot
✍️ A Day Trip from Kampot to Kep