Kampot, the third largest coastal province in Cambodia, shares a border with Vietnam to the east and extends into the Gulf of Siam to the south. Elegant colonial architecture, spectacular natural attractions, and bucolic charm make this province afavorite among locals, expatriates, and more recently, tourists.
Kampot's languid atmosphere and quaint, small-town feel are easy to fall in love with; many who stay in the province do so on the relaxed riverside, where visitors can swim in waters full of bioluminescent plankton or take a smooth kayak ride down the river.
Kampot is more than just a sleepy riverside town, however. The province offers plentiful historical and natural wonders to discover, and serves as a common gateway to Bokor National Park, the beaches of Kep, the beautiful rapids of Toek Chhou and other attractions in southwestern Cambodia.
KOMPOT TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Bokor Hill is located 42 km from the provincial town. It was erected by French colonists in 1922 during the reign of King Sisowath. Bokor was a resort location for affluent French colonists who needed a change of atmosphere.
The Bokor Hill is 1,075 meters high, and promises good weather and magnificent views. Big trees casting shadows over the water and rocks shaped as animal figures hold particular interest for tourists. The mountain overlooks Kampot Town, Kep Beach, Preah Sihanouk Province and blue sea water.
7 km away from the mountain, sits a swimming spot at Popork Vil Waterfall. Tourists can swim and bathe here for pleasure.
Teuk Chhou Rapids
Cross the main river in Kampot Town, turn right down a wide dirt road and after about seven kilometers youwill come to one of the most peaceful, pleasant little hideaways in the province. Although referred to as waterfalls by locals, Teuk Chhou is in fact a series on sparkling natural rapids with crystal clear water which is always cool and fresh. A line of food stalls satisfy picnic makers with everything from fruit to whole roast chicken and catfish, to banana and coconut roasted in banana leaves (a specialty of Kampot).
Teuk Chhou Wildlife Education Park
Several kilometers away from Kompot’s Teuk Chhou waterfall, there is a wildlife education park operated bya nonprofit organization. In fact, it is originally privately run, but because of detecting the problem of poor condition of taking care of animals, Footprints nonprofit organization takes over. The Park is medium level but has a large space, and the animals locate at different locations, so it allows visitors to drive in to visit. The park has many types of animals such as various monkeys, wild boar, ostrich, elephant, lion, tiger, cheetah, etc.
The reason you might have been offered so much of the spiky, strong-smelling fruit known as durian whileenjoying the Teuk Chheu rapids is because of the proximity of the plantations, which line either side of the road en route. Kampot durian is famous throughout Cambodia for its flavor and sweetness. It is deemed superior to Thai durian by Khmer connoisseurs (Prime Minister Hun Sen among them) and the price reflects this it can cost twice as much as its imported counterpart. Many foreigners do not enjoy the strong taste and smell of this strange fruit, with its creamy yellow flesh encased in brown spiked skin, but those who do will find the cheapest (and tastiest) durian in the Kingdom in Kampot.
Prek Tnout is an ecotourism site that is partially located within Bokor National Park. Prek Tnout featuresbiodiversity of regional and global significance including rare and endangered species. It is 30km west of Kampot Town along National Road 3 and 90km east of Preah Sihanouk province along National Road 4. The site is entirely run by local villagers themselves, and income from tourist activities directly benefits the community.
The town of Kampong Trach, Kampot is a small one but still offers enough attractions to the tourists. Here you would find various limestone caves and tubes ina nearby mountain. Once there was also a large cave in the center of the mountain whose roof had collapsed and thus a small enclosed jungle had been formed in the area. In the caves you would find various pagodas and caves which are excellent sightseeing attractions. Therefore, do not forget to bring a flashlight and always a pair of good walking shoes.
You would find various small mountain wells at the foot of the mountain in Kampong Trach, Kampot. These are worshipped by not only the local Cambodians but also the Chinese and the Vietnamese people. One of the wells is about 30 meters in diameter and contains different colored soil. The other smaller wells have stones which look like animal figures. The large well has a trench which leads to the Viel Sre Muoy Roy and Thma Dos wells of Kampot.
When you go sightseeing in Kampot, a must visit spot is Phnom K'Chnor. Phnom K'Chnor is a cave that contains ashrine dating from pre-Angkorian dynasty and other ruins.
There is no entrance fee for visiting the Phnom K'Chnor, Kampot. It is advisable that you do not visit the Phnom K'Chnor, Kampot during monsoon because the road is quite treacherous at this time.
Phnom Seda Orn
Among the chief tourist attractions in Kampot is PhnomSeda Orn.
One of the province's widely-known nature and wildlife preserves, Phnom Seda Orn is the ideal place for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Adorned in untamed flora and fauna, Phnom Seda Orn should feature first and foremost in any tourist's itinerary.
The Tekcchou Resort in Kampot is a popular picnicplace close to the town. The Tekcchou Resort in Kampot is set on the Prek Chha River and visitors come for the beautiful rapids. This resort in Kampot is famous among the local people; on weekends you will find the Tekcchou Resort in Kampot very crowded. People in the nearby regions enjoy spending their weekends here.
Caves near Kompot
The limestone caves near Kampot house exotic rock formations and Buddhist shrines. When you plan to visit these caves near Kampot, make sure that you arecarrying a torch and have put on proper trekking shoes.
The first caves that you would come across in this area are that of the caves of Phnom Chhnork. The first of these caves have pre-Angkorian ruins within the limestone caves. You would find various brick structures of 5th century AD amongst the stalagmites and stalactites that are formed within the cave. You would also find 4th century structures which are the evidences of the state of Funan. While you enter the cave you would find limestone formations in the shapes of elephants. The entrance of the second cave lies about 300 meters from the first cave and to reach there you have to climb various piles of rocks and go through small openings.
Caves near Kampot in Cambodia further include the cave at Phnom Sla Ta'aun Plain which is smaller in comparison to the other caves but still it is attractive to the climbers. The interesting things that you can find here are a small shrine as well as a huge rock that is balanced in a hole on the ceiling of the cave.