The Top 30 Things To Do in Kampot - Amber Kampot
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  • January 4, 2021

    The Top 30 Things To Do in Kampot

    Blog | TRAVEL, FOOD, KAMPOT, NATURE, WELLNESS
    Once remote but now on the rise, Kampot is swiftly becoming a huge new hotspot for tourists visiting Cambodia. And most tourists find Kampot enchanting and magnetic, with lots of them coming for a weekend but staying for a week. Sleepy, charming and alluringly rural, Kampot has an endearing energy which you just can’t find in any other part of Cambodia. So whether you’re spending a weekend in Kampot or a week in Kampot, we’ve brought you a big long list of all the best things to do. Some of them exciting, some of them relaxing, they’re all incredible ways to enjoy one of Southeast Asia’s most interesting destinations.

    Welcome to our Kampot travel guide. Planning a Kampot trip? Here are the top 30 things to do in Kampot…

     

    Tackle the lofty heights of Bokor National Park…

    Bokor National Park is, for most people, Kampot’s most famous sight. It’s one of the best things to do in Kampot, but it’s also one of Cambodia’s most bizarre attractions. Yes, it’s beautiful, with winding roads, misty mountains and some of the nation’s most vivid vistas, packed with dense jungles, big cats and gushing waterfalls. But beyond all that, it’s a haven for abandonment junkies, with now-desolate buildings dotted around the entire park. In Bokor’s sprawl, you’ll find colonial ruins, abandoned churches and stuff which would be more at home on the set of a horror movie. Most tourists tackle the park by renting a scooter and winding their way up and around its undulating roads and hairpin bends.

     

     

    … or Kep National Park…

    You won’t find any abandoned buildings here, but you’ll find lush green forests set back from the shores of Kep’s golden sands. Smaller and quieter than Bokor National Park, Kep National Park is leafy and serene, and it has some gentle but enjoyable hiking trails, with excellent panoramas of the area’s surrounding seas. Because Kep’s beach and park are both pretty small, you can easily explore both in the same day.

     

     

    … or Ream National Park!

    There’s more on this list than national parks, I promise. But the final and third park we’ve featured is Ream National Park, around 90km west of Kampot. If you’re looking for a Kampot day trip, it’s an excellent option. The verdant park is home to hundreds of unique plant and animal species, some of which are almost endangered – making this park one of the only places on the planet where you can find some of them. This ragtag cast of animal inhabitants includes deer, civets, dolphins, porcupines and anteaters.

     

     

    Do some market munching

    Southeast Asia is awash with tasty food markets. But thanks to the huge nearby fishing scene, Kampot has even more markets than most other cities in the region – and exploring them all is one of the best things to do around Kampot. The most famous of them all is nearby Kep Crab Market. It’s a great place to gawp at mega-fresh fish, with lots of early morning shopping opportunities for snapping up the catches of the day.

    Kep Crab Market is renowned throughout Cambodia for its world-famous blue crabs, and an almost inexplicable number of fishermen and locals gather to trade here every day. It’s a perfect place to gobble down some super-fresh seafood, with crabs, shrimp, squid, fish and more. If you’re looking for a bespoke experience in Kep Crab Market, we offer tours of the area, with expert insights on Kep’s history, heritage and food scene. We also offer lunch, so you can eat the region’s fresh crab exactly as it should be eaten. It’s an excellent idea for a Kampot day trip. But Kep Crab Market isn’t the only market on offer – there are plenty of food markets in the region, including the delectable sprawl of the city’s night market, one of the area’s best places for picking up delicious and cheap servings of local meals and morsels.

     

     

    Gobble down on the best 5-star cuisine in Cambodia

    Arvi, our restaurant, offers the best 5-star food in the entire country. We specialise in hyper-local produce, and our head chef is from the town. He’s spent lots of time in other parts of Cambodia honing his craft – and now he’s back in Kampot to juice up your taste buds.

    If you want fine dining in Kampot, no-one does it better than us. Not only is our food incredible, but so too is our atmosphere. Classy, elegant and monochrome, we’re the perfect venue for a romantic meal – or for when you’re seeking something a little luxurious and indulgent. With glassy facades, ambient lighting and incredible food, we offer the best 5-star dining in Cambodia.

     

     

    Eat local – and we mean really local…

    Kampot is world-renowned for producing some of Cambodia’s best gastronomical delights, including salt, pepper and durian. And you can taste and try palatable portions of all three throughout much of Kampot. And that’s also the case in Arvi, our restaurant, which is right in the heart of our Kampot resort. But we don’t just deal in some local produce; we deal in all of it. Very few Kampot restaurants are experimenting with local vanilla, roselle, ginger and turmeric. But we experiment with them all, serving up delectable dishes crafted with ingredients grown and harvested only a few kilometers from our restaurant. 

    If you like enjoying genuinely authentic local food, our restaurant is the best place in Kampot to get it.

     

     

    … and feast on some street food

    When you want something a little more rough and rugged than our restaurant, Kampot’s street food scene is incredible, with a huge amount of seafood and other local delicacies. Kampot is stuffed with day markets, night markets, street stalls and humble stores which all churn out cheap and delicious portions of excellent street food. When you want to munch on something both tasty and affordable, there’s nothing better than Kampot’s magnificent street food scene. And thanks to its geography, industry and proximity to the sea, Kampot’s street food is some of the most varied cuisine in the whole of Cambodia.

     

     

    Cycle aimlessly

    Kampot is best explored on an aimless meander. But the area and its outskirts are bigger than you probably think, so it’s best to tackle them both on the back of a bicycle.On a bicycle, it’s easy and enjoyable to drift beside the city’s river, travel to faraway markets, and explore hidden and untouched parts of Kampot’s outskirts. Cycling out of Kampot’s center brings you closer to rudimentary homes, rustic welcomes and endearing locals.

    If you stay with us, we offer complimentary bicycle rental, so you can two-wheel around the city and its surroundings completely free of charge.

     

     

    Explore Arcadia

    One of the coolest venues in the region, Arcadia is both a waterpark and an iconic and infamous backpacker’s hostel. Situated around 8km from Kampot’s center, the complex has a water slide, zipline, chill-out areas and lots of diving platforms. It’s also one of the most fun and fervent hangout spots around, with a young crowd drinking, partying, kayaking, playing pool, lying in hammocks and petting the hostel dogs. If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, it’s one of the best things to do around Kampot.

     

     

    Dine privately

    At our Kampot resort and restaurant, we offer a range of private dining experiences, including:

    • Private dining for couples and families
    • Private romantic pier dining experiences for couples
    • Private in-villa barbecues.

    For all of these experiences, we offer bespoke menus – and the sole special attention of one of our expert chefs. For romantic and intimate experiences, it’s Kampot’s best pick.

     

     

    Leave a coconut-shaped legacy

    Want the whole of Kampot to know you’ve been to Kampot? Plant your own family coconut tree with us and you’ll get exactly that. You get a coconut tree, a wooden plaque and a small patch of history which’ll stick around forever. Just don’t blame us if a monkey steals your coconuts.

     

     

    Explore art and history

    Want to learn about the history of Kampot’s pepper plantations? Check out the humble and charming confines of La Plantation Agritourism Center, where you can even catch a shuttle to a local pepper farm. Want to learn about Kampot’s history on a broader scale? Check out Kampot Provincial Museum instead. If you like art, Kampot Art Gallery is an endearing and interesting three-floored gallery packed with paintings and sculptures from the area’s emerging local artists. There’s lots of unique contemporary stuff on offer, including clothing, jewellery, recycled materials and lots of other unique and unusual exhibits. You can even sign up to a painting class!  Kampot Art Gallery is one of the top Kampot places for seeing just how trendy the city is quickly becoming.

     

     

    Fall in love with a sunset cruise

    If you’re staying with us, you can enjoy a mega-romantic sunset cruise as you glide along Kampot’s river on the diminutive deck of a small boat. Romantic and intimate, it’s a great way to explore the city’s enchanting waterways. As your vessel lazily meanders along Kampot’s laconic river, you can enjoy the onboard drinks and canapes – and the pink and purple hues of the sun’s shimmering descent. If you want to munch on something more substantial, you can book a specially-cooked candlelit dinner on one of these river cruises.

     

     

    Go river riding…

    You don’t necessarily need to explore Kampot’s river on a romantic jaunt – you can do so in many other exciting ways. Lots of our residents enjoy floating along on our riverboat sightseeing trips. Or for something a little more thrilling, we offer kayaking and paddleboarding experiences. All of them are fantastic ways to explore Kampot’s river.

     

     

    … or jet skiing… or wakeboarding!

    For the biggest adrenaline thrill that Kampot’s river has to offer, rent a jet ski or a wakeboard and speed along the water’s surface. Zooming along the city’s river is a great way to sightsee – and an excellent way to get some cheap thrills while you do it. Kampot is a great destination for affordable jet skiing and wakeboarding, so you can enjoy some splashing and speeding on even the barest of budgets.

     

     

    Sleepy, charming and alluringly rural, Kampot has an endearing energy which you just can’t find in any other part of Cambodia.

    Sneezing…

    If your nostrils can handle it, take a trip to Kampot’s famous pepper plantations. La Plantation Pepper Farm is the best of them all, where you can visit the working farms and taste flavorsome samples of red, white and black pepper. You can also learn all about Kampot pepper’s history, uses, and why it tastes the way it does – all of which is way more interesting and interactive than you’re probably imagining.

    For anyone in doubt, this isn’t some gimmicky tourist experience – Kampot pepper is considered by some to be the best pepper on the planet. There was a time when most European kitchens would insist upon using Kampot pepper. And in some places, that’s still the case. Think all pepper tastes the same? Think again. At these plantations, you can buy some of the region’s iconic pepper to take away – a much better souvenir than a pointless fridge magnet.

     

     

    … and seasoning

    When you’ve finished enjoying the scents and sights of Kampot’s pepper fields, you can also visit the region’s salt fields. While there are no official visits or tours available here, you can casually wander around the fields at your own pace. There are over 1000 hectares of salt fields in and around Kampot, and it’s a massive industry. But despite the industry’s size, the process is still very basic – if you visit, you’ll see farmers carrying buckets, piling salt, raking fields and draining sections of their farms. And they do the vast majority of it by hand. It’s an interesting insight into Cambodia’s agriculture – and how the salt industry has retained its rugged (though admittedly backbreaking) charm. These fields are some of the top Kampot places for seeing real local life at work.

     

     

    Bless you!

    The nearby Troy Koh Pagoda is a humble and wholesome temple which offers quiet welcomes and warm smiles. But with us, it offers way more. If you book a pagoda blessing with us, you can enjoy a unique spiritual experience including a traditional Buddhist blessing and an ancient fortune telling ritual. It’s your chance to get close to local religious practices – and it’s much more authentic and intimate than dropping into a random temple in Phnom Penh. If you’re looking for unusual ideas for your Kampot trip, this is excellent.

     

     

    Visit Kampot’s best spa

    You’re tired, you’re aching and you’ve just endured your tenth successive day of 12-hour sightseeing. So what do you need? You need a spa. And that’s exactly what we offer at our Kampot resort. 

    We have highly-trained spa and wellness staff, whose job it is to relax and refresh you. Our spa is managed by Samata, a highly-renowned wellness facility from Phnom Penh specialising in holistic therapy. At our spa, you get unique and innovative treatments which you’ll struggle to find in other parts of the country. We have a huge range of premium treatments along with a swimming pool, lounge area and 24-hour gym. And when you want even more relaxation and recuperation, each villa has its very own private pool.

     

     

    Turn up your nose

    Durian is famously smelly. Most westerners give it a sole sniff then spend the rest of their day wondering why anybody would ever want to eat the stuff. It’s famously banned from many public transport carriages in Southeast Asia, such is the odious power of its overwhelming stink. But despite its fragrant pong, durian is pretty tasty – and there’s no better way to taste it than fresh. Kampot is known for producing the best durian in Cambodia, making the city the best place to chow down on some of the famous fruit.

    To taste the stinky stuff at its best, take a trip to one of Kampot’s durian farms.

     

     

    Learn to cook

    Want to know how you can craft and recreate local Khmer delicacies when you’re back home? We offer the best cooking classes in Kampot, expertly hosted by one of our in-house chefs. Your chosen chef will work with you to cook local specialities from our menu – and teach you about the history and heritage of each dish.

    If you’d rather cook something a little less local, we also offer pizza-making classes. They’re not regional, but they’re definitely delicious – and it’s a fun activity for kids!

     

     

    Island hop – but privately…

    Southeast Asia is packed with private island experiences, with tourists from around the world swooping into Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in an attempt to laze around alone on secluded shores. But if you want real privacy, we offer an exclusive and idyllic full-day private island experience. 

    After a 20-minute speedboat ride to one of the most remote and secluded islands in the region, you fish for your own dinner, cook it on a private barbecue and enjoy the delights of absolute privacy. If you’re looking for unique ideas for your Kampot trip, this is an excellent choice.

     

     

    … or just enjoy a private beach

    But you don’t necessarily need to travel far to luxuriate. If you’re staying with us and you can’t bear to tear yourself away from our resort, we have our very own private beach. Just us, you and the rest of our guests. The small secluded shores of this beach can host only 20 people at any one time, making it incredibly secretive and serene. With small gazebos and beautiful views, it’s one of the most exclusive hideaways that Cambodia has to offer. 

    We even host corporate events on this private beach. If you’re looking for a venue which’ll wow your clients and secure that deal you’ve been sweating and crying over, you’ve found it.

     

     

    Discover a hidden lake

    Well, it’s not really hidden, but Brateak Krola Lake is locally known as ‘secret lake’. The heart-shaped pool is actually man-made, but it’s a perfect place for enjoying a spot of quiet relaxation.

    Peaceful and still, the lake’s deep-blue waters contrast beautifully with the verdant shores of its grassy banks. And very few people know about the place.

     

     

    Clamber through caves

    The area around Kampot is surrounded by cavernous limestone labyrinths, all perfect for some exciting exploration. Packed with low-hanging stalagmites and stalactites, winding staircases and ancient and alluring religious shrines, these caves offer an experience both stimulating and spiritual.

    The three best caves in Kampot are Phnom Sorsia, Phnom Chhnork and Phnom Chhngok.

     

     

    Drive around some durian

    Kampot is home to one of the world’s weirdest roundabouts. Ever thought about riding a scooter around a giant durian monument? Didn’t think so – but in Kampot, you can do it anyway.

     

     

    Rapid Relaxation

    River rapids are usually… well… rapid. And though Kampot has some alleged rapids of its own, they’re anything but fast. Instead, the Teuk Chhou rapids are languid lounge spots, especially during the dry season. You won’t find speedy rafts and careering thrillseekers – but you will find food stalls on dinghies and lazy locals lapping up the relaxing atmosphere. You’ll also find some of the area’s most beautiful views, the river rapids backdropped by the region’s low-lying misty mountains.

     

     

    Go French…

    Cambodia has a huge history of French colonization, and Kampot is full of colonial architecture and influence. It’s also a great place for filling your belly full of French sweets and treats – if you want croissants, pastries and charcuterie boards, head to trendy French hangouts such as l’Epi d’Or and La Comptoir. 

     

     

    … or Chinese… or Indian

    There’s also a huge Chinese heritage in Kampot, along with a huge Chinese population, making the Chinese food here very authentic and very delicious. Chow down on lots of it at Ecran Noodles, one of the most popular Chinese food spots in the region. If you’d rather gobble down on some Indian fayre, Kampot Curry House has a legendary reputation as one of the best eateries in the city.

     

     

    And when you’ve done it all, relax with us

    Our Kampot resort is the most relaxing resort in the whole of Cambodia. We offer comfort, class and elegance along with the warmest welcomes in the city. Our Kampot hotel has a private pool, our rooms are incomparably comfortable, and everything about us is luxurious.

    We’re Amber Kampot, and we offer 5-star food, 5-star stays and a 5-star experience in one of Southeast Asia’s most beguiling and humble destinations.When you stay with us, you get a bespoke experience every time. Our front desk team can help you to organize anything you like. Want to go on a tour? Or get recommendations on things you might enjoy? Or do anything we’ve listed in this article? We’ll help you to fall in love with it all. Even if you’ve been to Kampot before, we’ve got plenty of ideas to keep you busy, happy and smiling.

    We’ll do everything we can to make your Kampot trip the best trip of your life.

     

     

    See you soon!

    There they are – the top 30 things to do in Kampot. Whether you’re spending a week in Kampot or a weekend in Kampot, the city has plenty to keep you busy. But while there’s lots to do, the city still very much retains its languid charm. A hidden haven for tourists seeking the quiet life in Cambodia, Kampot is one of the most endearing destinations in Southeast Asia. If you’re planning a trip in the south of Cambodia, you absolutely need to visit Kampot. But the place won’t stay quiet and quaint for too much longer, so make sure you come to Kampot before everyone else does.

    Just don’t blame us if you want to stay forever.