For those traveling to Cambodia, skipping a trip to Kampot would be a big mistake. This charming coastal town is a breath of fresh air. Especially when you’re coming from the fast-paced capital city, Phnom Penh.
Kampot is one of the main reasons that we love Cambodia so much. It has a charming city centre, it’s full of culture and history, and visitors enjoy a slow-paced lifestyle that encourages you to stop and smell the roses.
Many a traveler has visited Kampot and extended their stay by days (sometimes weeks) because it’s just a great spot to enjoy. In fact, we’d bet that it becomes way more popular among tourists in the coming years.
If you’re planning a trip to Kampot (which we highly recommend), here are 11 fun things to do in Kampot, Cambodia.
11 Fun Things To Do In Kampot, Cambodia
1. Explore the Old Market
The Old Market is one of the best places to explore in Kampot’s city center. There are tons of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops to peruse. It’s definitely a touristy area, but tourists love it for a reason.
The architecture is really beautiful, because it’s a mixture of Chinese shophouses and 19th century French architecture. We spent an hour just walking around and taking pictures!
We were surprised to see a TON of great French restaurants and bakeries on Old Market Street. It’s a remnant from French occupation, but it’s still surprising to see so much French food in Cambodia.
2. Visit La Plantation, an organic pepper farm
La Plantation is an organic pepper farm that masterfully combines agriculture and tourism. We spent an entire day at La Plantation and it was the highlight of our trip to Kampot.
They have all sorts of activities that you can do, such as a free guided tour, pepper tasting, a cooking class, and a ride through secret lake pulled by water buffalo.
The facilities at La Plantation are great. They have a restaurant on site, clean bathrooms, and a gift shop. We paid for a package that included everything, including transportation to and from Kampot since the plantation is about an hour drive away.
3. Head to the Kampot Night Market
We’ll be the first to admit that the Kampot Night Market is definitely not the largest nor the most exciting night market. But it’s still definitely worth it to check it out.
They have a bunch of good food vendors with Khmer classics for very good prices. There’s also a bunch of clothing and gift vendors if you like shopping. They also have a small amusement park with rides for small children.
4. Stroll around the famous Durian Roundabout
We couldn’t help but laugh when we first saw the Durian Roundabout in Kampot. It’s such a random thing to have! Supposedly Kampot is famous for it’s durian, and that’s the reasoning behind this enormous Durian statue.
The good news is that it’s pretty much the center point of town. So you can head here and then wander around to see what’s nearby.
5. Take a Water Buffalo ride through Secret Lake
TheSecret Lake, or ‘Tomnop Tek Krolar’, is a man-made lake that varies in size, depending on what season it is.
One of the most unique things that we did during our time in Cambodia was take a water buffalo ride through the lake. It was an incredible experience!
We booked this one-of-a-kind experience through La Plantation, the nearby pepper plantation.
6. Take a Khmer Cooking Class
We’ve never taken a cooking class before, not even while we were still living in the U.S.! When we heard about how fun it is to learn Khmer cooking, we couldn’t resist signing up for a class.
The instructor was wonderful, and we made some truly delicious food. Beef Lok Lak, Green Curry, and Fish Amok were the 3 dishes that we learned to make.
We signed up for this cooking class through La Plantation, but we also saw a ton of signs for cooking classes in town. Just walk around in Kampot and you’ll be sure to see plenty of places offering cooking classes.
7. Take a boat cruise down the river
The Praek Tuek Chhu River runs directly through Kampot, making it a popular attraction for tourists. We saw tons of people getting picked up from their hotels for boat tours, which cruise along the river at sunset.
The boats are stocked with drinks, snacks and music. We’re not sure how much it costs since we didn’t end up doing this, but it did look like a blast!
8. Enjoy some fresh seafood at the Kep Crab Market
Just down the road from Kampot is Kep, a small coastal town that is famous for their seafood. We stopped by the Kep Crab Market and absolutely loved it. It’s a very local scene, and you can try fresh crabs for a fraction of the price that you’re used to.
Many people chose to bargain with the ladies at the back of the market for fresh crabs. Then, they pay to have the crabs cooked right in front of them. We opted for the easier option, buying a box of freshly fried crabs directly from a cook for $2.50. What a steal!
9. Embrace your inner foodie at Food Street
Food Street is a recent addition to Kampot’s food scene. It’s a pedestrian only walkway with booths set up along both sides, selling various foods and beverages.
There were hardly any people there when we visited, so we weren’t exactly sure about the quality of the food. Regardless, it’s a cool place to sit and eat and enjoy the sunset.
10. Explore Bokor National Park
Bokor National Park is the beautiful park situated very close to Kampot. The park has free admission and is famous for the Black Palace, a waterfall, and many other historic sights.
The best way to visit this park is by renting a motorbike and exploring for a day. We didn’t get around to this in Kampot but we regret it! Many people told us just how beautiful it is.
11. Stay at a riverside resort
You might be tempted to stay in the city center of Kampot, but this would be a mistake! There are several riverside resorts located just minutes from the city center. These are the best places to stay at, because you can relax on the river (and even go swimming!).
We stayed at Ramo Resort since it was a good deal, and ended up loving it. They have a restaurant with pretty good prices, so we enjoyed the views from the riverside restaurant for a couple nights.
Kampot is an incredible place to visit in Cambodia. The sights, the food, the people…everything is fantastic! It’s also very affordable and there are a lot of great hotels.
Since so many people end up extending their stay in Kampot, we recommend trying to be as flexible with your dates as possible. You may end up falling in love with the slow-pace of life in Kampot and wanting to stay longer.
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