Not only is one of the most relaxed towns you can find while traveling in Southeast Asia, Kampot is actually an interesting historical site with its colonial buildings and a thriving artistic hotspot full of Cambodian and expat rock bands and trendy cafés! It is the most attractive destination in South Cambodia.
The charm of Kampot’s old bridge
The pearl of South Cambodia
On a break from your relaxation by the river or sightseeing around Kampot’s surroundings (Bokor mountain and pepper farms highly recommended!), it’s always a good idea to walk around in the downtown for better appreciating its architecture and vibrant street life. You can read experiences about Kampot from our travellers themselves in the articles: Kampot Backpacker Report and Cambodia in 12 days – Kampot.
Some interesting buildings to spot are the Governor’s Residence, the Red Cross building and the Department of Mines building. Take some time to mindless wander around the old market area and riverside, where you will find fascinating examples of colonial buildings, some of them transformed into cool cafés and hotels where expats or locals interested in arts usually gather to talk and share ideas. Sitting down for a coffee or a drink is a great away to meet interesting people such as writers that are based in Kampot in order to use its inspiring and chilled environment for writing their books. Have a look in places like Epic Arts café, Auberge du Soleil restaurant and wine bar, La Java Bleue hotel, OM restaurant and organic shop, Baraca tapas bar, L’Epi d’Or bakery or 23 bar. In addition, hang out around Kama café and music association for meeting the coolest musicians in town or to get to know some interesting pop art prints made with Cambodian iconography (have a look on spacefourzero.com for some ideas on what we are talking about).
Kama music association, on a traditional Kampot street filled with colonial buildings.
Discover bands with cambodian or expat musicians (most of the time mixed) such as Cambodia Space Project, Bokor Mountain Magic Band and Kampot Playboys. They all try (and definitely succeed) to revival the khmer rock’n’roll music from the sixties, so if you are lucky enough to catch some live concert expect a lot of joyful dance and to have loads of fun among the crowd! The Kampot Traditional Music School Orphaned Disabled Children, near the Acleda bank on the main avenue, also stage occasional musical performances worth seeing, and stay tuned with the Kama facebook page to get to know more artistic events in Kampot!
Besides that, you can always roam around Kampot and spot different street art that decorates many of the city walls. Try for instance to find quotes from Leonard Cohen and Hunter S. Thompson, or stencils from the nobel-winner of this year, Bob Dylan.
A phrase from the music Anthem, from Leonard Cohen – a perfect homage for this recently passed-away genious in a random Kampot street.
How to get to Kampot
Hope we convince you to come and try this wonderful town full of colonial charm and trendy lifestyle, experience its cool cafés and thriving artistic community, or at least give you some reasons to wander around its lively streets. Have a look in Camboticket website for different routes on how to come from Phnom Penh or other cities in Cambodia to Kampot!