Southeast Asia's Cambodia is a popular destination for all kinds of travelers: from independent backpackers who roam far off the beaten track to explore the stunning sugar-palm dotted hinterland to luxury tourists who stay in style and see Cambodia's main draw card of Angkor Wat between massages and exquisite French meals.
The ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat is Cambodia's national treasure. The nearby city of Siem Reap is home to an array of other ruins, such as Beng Mealea, Bantaey Srei, and the holy mountain Phnom Kulen.
Consider as well a break on the lazy white-sand beaches of Sihanoukville, a stay at a stylish resort in resurging coastal Kep, or a tour to the atmospheric, mist-shrouded Bokor Hill Station for a taste of Cambodia's 1960s heyday.
Kampot sits on the east bank of the Kampot River and enjoys spectacular views across to Bokor and the Elephant Mountains, which make up the sizeable Bokor National Park. The town was once a trading centre and until the establishment of a deep sea port at Sihanoukville in the 1950s, Kampot was Cambodia's primary port. A smattering of small fishing boats can still be seen unloading every morning a short walk south of the main town on the dirt road parallel to the river.
Kampot is best known for its pepper, which is truly excellent. Pepper plantations as well as a few low-key sites can be visited from town, which also forms an ideal base for trips up to jungle-clad Bokor (when possible), a highlight of any visit to the Cambodian coast. Atop Bokor are a church and a casino, remnants from Cambodia's French colonial period.
Plenty of villas and old shop front trading houses, especially along the river road, make it a pleasant area to wander. Along with its relaxed ambience comes a host of friendly locals and an excellent selection of places to stay, from cheap backpacker-orientated guesthouses through to some fine and midrange hotels.
Kampot also boasts plenty of decent places to enjoy Cambodian and Western food and just hang out.
Be sure to visit some of the links at the bottom of the page for more information. Visas, travel, the bank, social customs, history and more about Kampot are listed.