You Haven’t Seen a Sleepier Town Than Kampot
Kampot is at the southmost tip of Cambodia, an hour from Vietnam’s Ha Tien border. It has increasingly gained popularity among expats due to its cheap accommodations, friendly locals, and gorgeous nature. It’s “hippy life” to T. You wake up and enjoy your $1.00 eggs, toast, and bacon at the rooftop of your $5.00 hostel overlooking the Preaek Tuek Chhu River. The days itinerary goes like this: wake up, eat, make new friends at the hostel, tan by the swimming pool, lay in a hammock, have a drink or two, (perhaps hike bokor mountain), take the motorcycle out, eat some prahok fried in banana leaves, have another drink, play pool, sleep). Next day, repeat.
The Tuk Tuk Lifestyle
Kampot runs only on Tuk Tuks, and you’ll be very familiar with them by the end of your trip. You’ve piled 5 friends you met that day inside on your way to breakfast at Sister II cafe. By that evening, you’ve hit your all time record and somehow piled in 7 people on that 7th beer at Jungle Bar. To get just about anywhere in the city, you’ll have to shell out a whopping $2.00.
Every Day Party at Karma Traders Kampot
Owned by a lovely, energetic Aussie, Steve Jolly, this hostel is newly updated with dorm rooms, as well as private rooms with double beds. Once you arrive, you’ll see a bunch of 20/30-something year olds sprawled around the property. The best thing about Karma Traders is when you decide (it’s going to happen) to take your afternoon nap under the hammocks, you 8/10 times will see a new little friend curled up besides you when you awake. I’m talking cats. Not humans. Well, i hope a new human doesn’t pop up next to you as you wake up.
Becoming Jane (or) Tarzan at Bokor Mountain
Bokor mountain is probably the only “touristy” thing I’d urge you to check out. We went with hostel owner Jolly who we found out is part cheetah part Tarzan. I swear he could live in the jungle for decades and be find. Bokor mountain national park is an hour away from the hostel, very accessible by motorcycle. No need to leave early or late in the day, as there’s nobody for miles!
Much Needed Dinner & View
Amongst all the dirt, dust, and grime that Kampot essentially is (in the best sense), you can find a well seasoned seabass at Kampot Fish Market. It has the best location in the city, perched along the Preaek Tuek Chhu River. Go during happy hour everyday 2-5 where you can get an Old Fashioned for $2.50.
Get Wet (Then Re-Apply Bug Spray)
Kayaking down the Green Cathedral tells the story of the Kampot culture. You pass fishermen who have lived there for generations seeing their sons and grandsons play along the same river bank. As you paddle further and further downstream, you’ll see old colonial homes that have that 19th-century French colonial architecture that the town is comprised of. You can rent kayaking equipment at Les Manguiers which doubles as a hotel.
What’s Next? Our Compass Says Vietnam