Hugging the Gulf of Thailand, Kampot Province lies along Cambodia’s border with Vietnam in the country’s far south. It’s home to the leisurely, riverside capital of Krong Kampot and a French colonial hill station, as well as a mist-draped national park encompassing the Dâmrei Mountains.
Things to do in Kampot
Whether you want to spot wildlife in the Cardamom Mountains or explore the (supposedly) haunted buildings of Bokor Hill Station, Kampot Province is well worth the journey from Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville.
Explore Krong Kampot. Overlooking the Preaek Tuek Chhu River, Krong Kampot serves as the provincial capital and is renowned for its colonial architecture dating from French rule. Delve into the city’s history at the Kampot Museum, which occupies the historic Governor’s Mansion, then visit the surrounding salt fields and pepper plantations.
Hike through Preah Monivong Bokor National Park. Sprawling across the west of Kampot Province is Preah Monivong Bokor National Park, which was established in 1993 and has been designated as an ASEAN Heritage Park. It centres around the 1,081-metre-high peak of Bokor Mountain and is home to picturesque waterfalls and a lush forest that provides habitat for playful gibbons, Indochinese tigers and leopards. Also within the park is a monument to Lok Yeah Mao, a mythic heroine in Cambodian Buddhism.
Visit Bokor Hill Station. Established in the 1920s, this cool-climate hill station is clustered with French colonial buildings where military personnel would retreat during the oppressive heat of the summer months. In 1972, the Khmer Rouge arrived and used Bokor Hill Station as one of their major strongholds. See the crumbling Bokor Palace Hotel and admire the Old Catholic Church, then wander between the European-styled Buddhist temples of Wat Sampov Pram.
Getting around Kampot
Kampot Province is around three hours’ drive from Phnom Penh and 2.5 hours from Phnom Penh International Airport. Sihanoukville is just over two hours away. Long-distance buses connect Kampot to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville while minibuses travel throughout the province. A guided tour is the most convenient way of exploring Preah Monivong Bokor National Park.