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Kampot travel guide

Kampot Introduction

| 09 Oct 2010
Last updated 09 Oct 2010

Sleepy Kampot, with its rows of decaying colonial era shophouses, is one of Cambodia's most pleasant towns.

While there isn't a whole lot to do here apart from enjoying its relaxed vibe, exploring the old shophouses and imbibing happy hour refreshments along the riverfront,  it's a good spot for recharging. It's also the base for exploring nearby Mount Bokor, its abandoned hillstation, a nearby cave temple and some classic rural countryside. Some travellers also visit Kep from Kampot though we reckon Kep deserves a night or two in its own right.

Kampot was a major port during French colonial times. The shophouses that line the riverfront and a number of grander colonial buildings, including a ramshackle prison that's still in use, attest to its erstwhile importance. A small amount of trading and fishing continues from here but Kampot's main game these days is its pepper which is a major export.

It was in a mountain camp outside Kampot town that three Western backpackers, Australian David Wilson, Briton Mark Slater and Frenchman Jean-Michel Braque were held and then murdered by the Khmer Rouge in 1994. The entire area was a Khmer Rouge stronghold that was not subdued until the late 1990s.