Kampot is the capital of Kampot Province in Southern Cambodia. The city is a quiet riverside town just a few kilometers from the Gulf of Thailand. Kampot is well-known for its famous black pepper, which is widely available in Cambodia. The fresh climate and soil type of Kampot, as well as the experience of several generations of pepper farmers make this pepper unique and much sought-after by gourmets worldwide. The town is also famous for its Kampot fish sauce and durian.
Kampot is a quiet town, best known as the starting point for trips to Bokor Mountain and its riverside scene. Kampot is a great escape from the larger cities and towns in Cambodia. Located near the ocean, close to Vietnam, you can travel to SihanoukVille and Phnom Penh in few hours and to Vietnam in only an hour.
Kampot is the base for trips up the Dâmrei and Bokor Mountains. Stunning panoramic views over Cambodia and Vietnam can be enjoyed from the mountain tops. Waterfalls, boating and rafting on the river can be enjoyed in town, and popular attractions are the Kompong Trach caves with their ancient ruins and the durian and pepper farms. The little island of Koh Tonsay can be visited from Kampot by boat. Visitors can enjoy long stretches of golden sand and tasty local crab curry.
Kampot is an up and coming tourist destination and the city has recently undergone many changes. There are a number of charming hotels, guesthouses and resorts in the towns of Kampot and Kep, while home stays can be found in the rest of the province. The province is connected to the rest of the country and Vietnam by well-maintained partly unpaved road.
Kampot's main attraction is its relaxing riverside setting. While there is a sizeable town set back from the river, the majority of visitors will spend most of their time enjoying the river and the local countyside. Kampot's economy is based on Salt and Pepper production, fishing, fruit growing (particularly Durians) and light industry with domestic and foreign tourism being small but growing contributors. Most foreigner oriented tourist businesses are scattered along the riverside promenade or are within one or two blocks of it. The riverside's main reference points are the old bridge, a mongrel of various styles and temporary parts thrown together after its breaching in the Khmer Rouge days, and the French-built market building which has recently been restored. Back from the river, the town is centred on the bizarre durian roundabout. From where the buses drop passengers, walking down the wide boulevard leads towards the river and the French-built market.
Some attractions downtown, besides the riverfront, are the central market, small caves with Buddhist Shrines, and the football stadium. Towards the ocean on the East side is the port of Kampot and many Cham Muslim communities and schools. Across the river is Kampot's Wat or Buddhist Temple which is open to tourists. Past the Wat are Kampot's salt fields, and further out of town are Kampot's famous Black Pepper (red and green too!) and Durian farms. Along the riverfront, mostly north of downtown's bridges, are several guesthouses and restaurants, right on the river.
Across the River (West Side) the first big road to the right from either bridge, takes you to the Kampot Zoo (about 20 minute ride and $5 entrance fee), lions, tigers and bears (and maybe some monkeys), and the Kampot River rapids, Teuk Chhou, an informal park for eating, drinking, sleeping, and playing in the water. Take your own motorcycle or get a motorcycle taxi or Tuk Tuk for about $5-7 round trip.
Phnom Sasear is one of the caves about 10 kilometers outside of Kampot. The cave is small, and there is an ancient Buddhist shrine inside.
Canoeing, Kayaking, and guided river tours are possible on the river.