Kep, a beautiful city in southern Cambodia, is a perfect destination for a relaxation trip. This place used to be a popular resort destination for the wealthy during the colonial era. Here, you can sunbathe in one of its beautiful beaches, visit the crab market, Rabbit Island, and many more. So, to make your trip interesting here are a few things you have to know.
You can reach Kep within just forty minutes tuk-tuk ride from Kampot. The city not only has gorgeous beaches, but there is also a jungle where you can enjoy nature by hiking and trekking. Also, the city offers some of the freshest seafood you will ever eat.
Kep is quite a small town; you can access the whole town on foot, or you can also hire a bike. At present, there is plenty of guesthouses and resorts to enjoy your holiday. Most of the people make Kep a day trip. If this isn’t you and want to spend a night or two at this gorgeous town, then there is a wealth of options. Some of the best accommodation is clustered on a hill off of Kampot Road. Even though the hotels are far from the town center, you will get excellent views. For budget travelers, you can find a great lodge and guesthouses around the beach. Kep Lodge is the best one for budget travelers. This lodge is just one kilometer from the beach, the room is excellent and offers great views of the National Park. If you want a mid-range hotel, then The Beach House is also a great option. From here, you will get a beautiful view of the beach and also features excellent swimming people.
If you prefer the best one you can find in Kep, then you should head to Knai Bang Chatt. This resort features everything you will need on your escapade. Some of the things you will get here are saltwater horizon pool, hammocks, massage saloon, an open-air restaurant, a library, spa, yoga sessions, etc.
Kep has warm temperatures all year round and is also accessible all year round. However, the ideal time to visit Kep is between October to April as you will get maximum sunshine without any worries of rainfall. However, if you prefer to visit the National Park, it is best to visit during the rainy season as during the wet season, you will get to see many stunning waterfalls. Also, during the wet season, there will be minimal crowd, and you will also get a huge bargain in accommodation.
Although Kep is a small and laidback town, here is a good variety of restaurants you can choose from. Regarding food, Kep is renowned for its fresh seafood, especially crab. There is a market called the crab market, which is a heaven for seafood lovers. Here, you will find a wide variety of seafood caught just moments before. Many of the restaurants offer the same type of foods, and the price will also be similar. Some of the restaurants that stand out than others are Kim Ly which is probably the most popular one; then, there is Holy Crab, which is popular among expats. There is also La Baraka. They serve not only seafood but also classic French dishes and wood-fired pizzas. Here, you can also enjoy a variety of cocktails while enjoying the sunset view from the deck upstairs.
Besides the crab market, there are several great places along the Kep beach where you can enjoy delicious meals. One of the best ones here is Breezes, where you will get a delicious meal at a reasonable price. The location of this restaurant is also perfect; you can stay on the beach after having food in the restaurant.
Source: Rough Guides
Kep has some of the best beaches of Cambodia. It is a famous weekend spot among locals and expats, which means you won’t get much peaceful time. If you want some serene atmosphere, it is better to head to Koh Tonsay (known as Rabbit Island). Here, you will get to have some secluded space and enjoy your quiet time. The island is not much developed, so the beaches are very beautiful and see very few visitors. From Kep, you can reach Koh Tonsay in just about half an hour and costs around 10USD for a round trip. If you want to stay on the island, you can also stay in the bungalows on the island.
Source: The Travelling Light
If you want to get active rather than just lazing on the beach, you should go for a hike around Kep National Park. The trail is only eight kilometers; you can complete it in just around three hours. Also, the trail is not strenuous, so it is best for enjoying nature by a pleasant walk. But, if you like some challenge, then there are few smaller, steeper trails that lead to the forest that you can take. Some of the sights you shouldn’t miss in the trek are Little Buddha and the Stone Horse, Sunset Rock, and waterfalls. Keep in mind that you will see the waterfall only in the rainy season.
Source: Passion Indochina Travel
Crab Market of Kep is the seafood lovers’ paradise. This market is set right above the water, so here you will be eating freshly caught crabs (literally minutes ago). They will fetch the crabs from the ocean, and you can just sit there and order any number you like. After capturing, they make it in half right in front of you, then cook them in a pan with delicious spices. Here, you will not get crab-crackers, so you will just be eating through the pile of crab. What better way to enjoy the delicious crab than to have it with the ocean right in front of you? If the crab isn’t your thing, other types of seafood are also available here.
Source: Failed Architecture
One less famous aspect of Kep is its collection of abandoned mansions from the 1960s. Kep was formerly a seaside resort town, and wealthy Khmer people had built many gorgeous art deco houses overlooking the sea. During the war and the genocide of the 70s, many of these houses were abandoned. Today, you can find many of these houses in the jungles, and scattered throughout the town. Hop on a bike and head out to explore these houses. Here, you will see some of the most stunning house designs, although they are crumbling.
On your trip to Kep or Kampot, don’t forget to visit a pepper plantation. Here, you will find one of the best pepper in the world. You will also see how the pepper is produced.