Kep City is a municipality in Cambodia with the status of a province. Kep is just a few kilometres from the border with Vietnam located and used to be Cambodia's most popular beach town but has fallen on hard times in recent years (especially due to the Khmer Rouge). Many of Kep's, mostly French villas are abandoned, but some of the town's former splendour is still apparent.
The see is lined with huge sidewalks and some large statues that now seem largely out of place. The king built a palace overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, but it was never furnished and now sits empty. A good, paved road connects the small town with the 15km far away Kampot. The slightly darker beaches than in Sihanoukville are mostly scattered with mangroves and black rocks, but Koh Thonsay (Rabbit Island) is just a short boat ride away.
Kep appears to be experiencing something of a renaissance, with several mid-range and luxury guesthouses and bungalows recently opened or still under construction. The seafood is cheap, plentiful and delicious - particularly the quite famous crabs. Kep is also home to an extensive national park covering some mountains with deep green jungle.
The French established Kep City during the colonial time in 1908. Today Kep is mainly popular to the domestic tourists, who choose Kep as their holiday destination. What's more, Kep offers great seafood and magnificent views of the mountains and the beaches.
Taking a boat to the nearby islands is also a breathtaking experience. Another itinerary, which must not be missed, is an excursion to the serene waterfalls of 'Tuk Chhou" situated about 10 km from Kampot. Kep City is located in the Southwest of Phnom Penh. The city is accessible by the National Road No 3 from Phnom Penh via Kampot province (173 km) or by the National Road No 2 from Phnom Penh via Takeo province.
Especially during the Sixties, during the time of Sang Kum Reas Ni Yum the city was developed as a beautiful seaside tourist resort for the rich and government. The story related to the name of Kep said that there was a king named Sa Kor Reach, who had a mighty spell. He put a sleeping spell on a commander at AngKor Thum, than stole the commander's white horse and fled together with his troop to the Southwestern seaside.
When he took a rest at the seaside, he was overhauled by the commander's troops, who chased him from behind. Suddenly, he got on the horseback; the horse reared, and made him fall down on the ground together with the saddle. Then, he got on the horseback again and fled away without picking up the saddle, because the commander's troops almost approached him. So that's why this area was called "Kep Seh" meaning" the saddle ', nowadays it's only called "Kep".
Phnom Sar Sear
Phnom Sar Sear is a fabulous natural and cultural resort situated at a distance of 14 km. from the provincial town of Kampot.
Phnom Sar Sear consists of three small mountains spread across a total land area of approximately 1.5 square kilometers. The mountain rises to a height of around 40 meters. Tourists can visit the mountain caves here. Among the caves, the cave of Phnom Ach Pro Chiev and particularly, the cave of Phnom Dam Rey Sar, are the most well known ones. Here, you will find a great architecture of Viel Sre inside.
On the mountaintop of Phnom Sar Sear, you will find a colorful stupa built in 1964 by the princess Rasmey Sou Phoan. The stupa is a holy worshipping place where it is believed the cremated ash of the Buddha are kept. On the mountaintop are sweeping views of rice fields, forests, local villages, islands and the vast sea. The mountain is also a worshipping place for people who come here to pray.
Veal Lumher is a lovely little site tucked away in Kep Village of Kep Commune. Veal Lumher refers to the Koh Puor or the Puor Island. It has become as one of the most favorite destinations for the tourists who are looking for spending a few days far away from the crowds of more 'touristy' places. Arriving here is easy and convenient. If you are traveling from the provincial town, a 0.5 km journey will take you to the Veal Lumher in Kep City. A maximum of 3 minutes' ride and you will find yourself at one of the most beautiful corners in the land of Cambodia.
The Teuk Chhou Zoo
The Teuk Chhou Zoo is a private zoo in Kep. It is located 2.5 km away from the provincial town. The zoo is located in Thmei Village in the Prey Thom Commune, and is home to a variety of animal and plant species.
The Teuk Chhou Zoo features different animals including tigers, elephants, monkeys of different species, snakes, deer, sun bears, otters and many more. This is a wonderful place to spend a fun filled afternoon with your family; children especially love the experience. The ticket for entry includes a small charge for those who want to drive their cars through the zoo. Entry also includes access to the national park. Once inside, visitors can even take a cool dip in the crystal clear waters of the Teuk Chhou River