You’ve seen the temples in Siem Reap, visited the historical sites in Phnom Penh, and now you’re looking for a relaxing few days to get away, right? Hopefully, you’ll have found yourself in Kampot, a riverside town a few hours from Phnom Penh and the perfect place to unwind and decompress during your travels. There are tons of things to do in Kampot, whether you want to kick back on the water or booze it up on a rooftop bar. Kampot might be small, but it’s got it all!
Go on a River Cruise
The best way to experience Kampot is through a river cruise. Check out the promenade from the water, duck under bridges as you cruise under them, and admire the luscious greenery that lines the shore. You’ll most likely be able to catch an epic sunset and then watch the colors fade to black before flickering fireflies light up the trees. There are numerous types of cruises you can partake in – dinner cruises for the hungry, booze cruises for the thirsty, sunset cruises for the romantics – there’s something for everybody!
Kayak or Stand-up Paddleboard Down the River
If you want to get to know the river a bit more personally, consider renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. There’s nothing better than navigating the river on your own, then jumping into the shimmering, golden water at sunset. Plus, you get a bit of a workout to burn off those beer calories from yesterday’s booze cruise.
Kick Back at a Cafe
Like many small towns, Kampot has got a plethora of awesome cafes you can check out. Whether you want a delicious brunch, a place to read, or a spot that doubles as an art gallery and employs disabled people, Kampot has many to choose from. Discover local art or taste that delicious pepper everyone’s been raving about. Kampot is the perfect place to catch up on those books you’ve left unread on your Kindle, work from your computer, or catch up with family and friends back home.
Eat or Drink at a River Restaurant
Walking down the promenade, you’ll see numerous floating restaurants on the river – the ideal vantage point to catch a sunset with a cocktail in hand. Some of these restaurants are boats that will cruise around the river, others are stationary so you can come and go as you please. Watch the fisherman boats cruise by and the old bridge light up at dusk. You have all the time in the world when you’re in Kampot.
Go on a Day Trip to Kep
Kep is a quaint little seaside town just 30-45 minutes from Kampot. Rent a motorbike and spend the day laying on the beach, going sailing or make your way to Rabbit Island if you’re really wanting to disconnect. If you’re into seafood, head to the crab market to eat fresh crab straight out of the ocean. They’ll cook it in front of you, using the famous Kampot pepper and sauce for the most authentic experience possible. If you’ve had enough of the water, there’s a jungle right behind you that you can hike or motorbike through. Kep National Park has some beautiful ocean views and you’re likely to encounter some monkeys during your trek.
Visit a Pepper Farm
If you want to spice up your trip, visit a pepper farm! (#dadjoke) Kampot is famous for their organic and locally cultivated pepper. Because of the climate and conditions, Kampot is the perfect place to grow pepper, which they’ve been doing since the 13th century. Here, you’ll discover how pepper is grown naturally and check out the different varieties. The little packs they sell also make superb gifts for your family and friends. For a free tour, check out Sothy’s Pepper Farm.
Explore the Countryside
Aside from the salt fields and pepper plantations, there’s a ton to explore in the countryside. Spend the day exploring temple caves and discovering the Secret Lake in Kampot. There’s a swimming cave you can take a dip in and some epic viewpoints that will make your Instagram friends insanely jealous. The countryside is a breath of fresh air – you’ll learn a bit about Cambodia’s history and a ton about the natural beauty this country has to offer. You can book a countryside tour with Mad Monkey, more details here.
Motorbike up Bokor Mountain
Whether you’re a noob or a veteran on a motorbike, Bokor Mountain is the perfect excuse to spend a few hours riding around. The winding road up Bokor Mountain offers the most pristine view of spectacular greenery and aerial views of Kampot. The roads are newly paved, making the ride smooth, yet exhilarating. Up on the mountain, you can explore an abandoned church and French colonial homes or take a short trek to a beautiful waterfall. You can also learn about the history of the new and old buildings that are currently being developed on top of the mountain, giving you a glimpse into the complex backstory of Cambodia. You can even book a Bokor Mountain tour with Mad Monkey – more details, here
If you’re looking to be a bit more active during your stay in Kampot, then climbing is the perfect activity. Experienced and non-experienced climbers alike can ascend to the top of a mountain for epic views of Kampot’s countryside, salt fields, Bokor mountain, and even the ocean. Then, you can descend down into a cave to check out the largest caving complex in Cambodia where you can walk through kilometers of winding corridors full of stalactites, shrines and various flora and fauna. To book a climbing tour, check out Climbodia.
More Information About the Top Things to do in Kampot
We know that a couple nights planned in Kampot can easily turn into a week or more. Thislaid-backk town can suck you in but we’ve got your back – check out these articles for more things to do in your future-favorite-city in Cambodia:
- The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Kampot, Cambodia by Wingyan Chan from The Culture Trip
- 6 Things to do in Kampot That You Can’t Miss by Jen Joslin from Adventure in You
- Things to do in Kampot from Move to Cambodia
- The Absolute Best Things to do in Kampot & Kep, Cambodia by Wanderlust Storytellers
- What to do in Kampot and Kep from The Whole World or Nothing
*Visit the Kampot Tours Travel Desk for all Mad Monkey Kampot tours.