Have you ever dreamed of a tranquil coastal retreat? The Cambodian coast may be just for you! Lesser known than the coastlines of neighboring Thailand and Vietnam, it is a perfect place for a tranquil retreat.
The Cambodian coast is slowly developing thanks to foreign investments. These days, it is common to see foreigners managing hotels and restaurants on the coast.
There are still some problems that hinder the development of this beautiful coastline, mainly due to poor garbage management. But, there is no denying that the Cambodian coastline is a beautiful one.
Here are three places that you should absolutely check out on the Cambodian coast!
This quiet town is set on the banks of Prek Thom River and is the capital of Kampot Province. Kampot is best known as the starting point for day trips to the Bokor Mountain, which you can see towering above the town. The town has a lovely riverside that is full of activity during the whole day.
Kampot is an ideal escape from the chaotic buzz of the capital, Phnom Penh. You can also find lots of affordable accommodation and delicious cuisine on the riverside.
Here are some places that you should check out in Kampot!
This giant is located some 40 kilometers northwest of Kampot. The road up the mountain is safe for motorbikes and cars alike, and it is simply epic, as it is one of the best-preserved roads in Cambodia.
During the ride to the top of the mountain, you will witness picturesque vistas over Kampot and the seaside. As you go higher, you will feel the air getting colder as the clouds crack through the mountain. The fog will set up the vibe perfectly for an enjoyable ride.
On the way to the top, you will see many macaque monkeys, especially near Lorkyay Mao, a religious site with peculiar rock shapes and a large statue.
After this religious site, you will ride a bit further through the mist to the ruins of the old hill station. This station was built by the French in early 1920s and was abandoned just before Khmer Rouge devastated this area. This area, coupled with dense fog, feels like a true ghost town. The hill station is located 1,079 meters above sea level.
You can also find the Preah Bokor National Park there, that preserves endangered species such as tigers, elephants, and leopards.
Fish Island is a small island that is also the only place in Kampot where you can go to the beach. It is located right across the Prek Thom River, a short ride away from the downtown area.
The island is sparsely populated and is probably the quietest place in Kampot. It is connected with dirt roads that are better than the town roads.
At the end of the island, you can find the Coconut Mountain. Near this place, there are two beaches for you to choose from. One beach is rock, with mangrove trees populating the shore. The other one is a white sand beach that is just perfect for swimming.
Sihanoukville is the third most visited destination in Cambodia, attracting crowds during the dry season. It is a great kicking point for exploring the Cambodian islands. Also, it has a few nice beaches.
Before, Sihanoukville was a holiday destination for rich Cambodians. Now, it is full of visitors hailing from Phnom Penh during the weekends.
In recent times, lots of Chinese investments have come in Sihanoukville, completely transforming this city. Actually, the number of Chinese population outnumbers the local populace here! With that, a lot of casinos and hotels have been built, contaminating the city. Now, the city is dirty and crowded, and in need of better infrastructure.
Here are some places that you should check out in Sihanoukville!
This is probably the cleanest beach in Sihanoukville. It is located just to the south of the more crowded Ochheuteal Beach.
Otres Beach isn’t an undiscovered piece of white sand as it was before, but still, it is a very relaxing place and very lengthy.
For now, it is still free from Chinese construction work, so it may be a great time to visit it now!
Kep is a relaxing little town located 30 kilometers east of Kampot. It is situated on a small peninsula and provides wonderful views over the Bokor Mountain and Phu Quoc Island in the distance.
Kep is still in the early stages of tourism, mostly reserved for people from Phnom Penh coming over for weekend relaxation.
These days, foreign investments are slowly pouring in. You can see Westernized restaurants popping up by the coast. Regardless of that, the tranquil atmosphere remains untouched.
Kep is really relaxing and different from other towns in Cambodia. There is only one sand beach in the city center. One interesting thing is that this beach is completely made from sand imported from Kampot and Sihanoukville. There are other places where you can jump in the sea, but are shockingly dirty and full of garbage, especially near the mangrove forests.
Here are some places that you should check out in Kep!
You can smell the scent of seafood when near this market. It offers delicious seafood that isn’t expensive if you avoid the restaurants nearby.
On the Crab Market, you can try the local specialty, the blue crab. The crabs are caught and cooked right in front of your eyes. Expect to pay 5 to 10 USD per portion. The portions are huge, by the way!
Kep National Park
This place is located right in the middle of the Kep Peninsula, towering above the calm town. The entrance fee to the park is 1 USD, even though you can go there for free if there are no officials around.
Kep National Park is pretty clean compared to what you might see in the town. It offers great trekking trails, the main one being the 8-kilometer circuit around the mountain that you can cross with a motorbike. Also, there are inner trails that will test your trekking skills. Beware of macaques inhabiting this area!
The highlights of Kep National Park are the Little Buddha statue and the Sunset Rock. To get to the rock, you will need to hike some 15 minutes right after the entrance to the park. Sunset Rock offers an amazing view over the whole peninsula and is a great place to observe the sunset.
Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island)
To get to Rabbit Island, you need to take a 20-minute ferry ride from the town. It will cost you 7 USD for a day return trip or 10 USD if you wish to stay longer.
It is a very relaxing place as there are no roads, just dense jungle in the middle of the island. That makes for a unique atmosphere and a lovely retreat.
There are several gold sand beaches around the island. Recent reports say that the main beach is full of garbage these days. Regardless of that, Koh Tonsay is a lovely place to explore for a day trip!
Now that you know about some amazing places on the Cambodian coast, don’t you think that it is a high time to pack your bag and explore this beauty?