Kampot

Kampot is another quiet town by the riverside around two hours from Sihanoukville. It is best known for being the starting point to the Bokor National Park up in the Bokor Mountain.

Tourists who go to Kampot usually take the tours to Bokor. The Bokor Hill Station—the “eeriest place in the world,” according to a travel author—has a number of rundown buildings at 1,000m above sea level. There is a hotel, casino, and a church. These were built by the French in the 1920s for foreign guests who want to get out of the heat of the tropical Cambodian plains.

Bokor is frequented by people who like jungle trekking. There are occasional animals that could be seen during the trek, like wild elephants and monkeys.

Access to the Bokor National Park had been closed in 2008 pending construction of a new road and a casino resort on top, but since early this year, visitors have been allowed to trek in selected parts of the mountain. One could even sleep at the mountain top guesthouse, with rates starting at $5. Rooms are basic though, and services are limited. It could get cold at night, so warm clothing should be brought.

In the main town of Kampot itself, there are a number of attractions like a few small caves with Buddhist shrines inside, a central market, a Buddhist temple, salt fields, pepper plantations, and durian farms. As the town lies beside the Kampong Bay River, one can also go canoeing, kayaking, and even have a guided tour around the river.

Getting around Kampot is the same as in Sihanoukville; there are moto-taxis, bicycles for rent, and tuktuks everywhere.

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