This was actually one of my favorite towns that I visited while in Cambodia. The town was almost completely accessible by foot, and the mountainous terrain was very different from the rest of Cambodia, which tends to be very flat. We ate at wonderful restaurants, enjoyed the architecture, and did some really fun activities – one of which I’m creating a whole blog post about! The Kampot River is a beautiful, curving animal that gets its water from the Gulf of Thailand.
Just hanging out along the riverside was one of my favorite memories of Cambodia. The Greenhouse has beautiful views of the Elephant Mountains. Here you can also swim, jump off the dock, and hang out in a tube! All alongside Kampot River in the main part of town is lit up with interesting neon lights at night for an unusual sight.
Where to Start
My friend and I actually went kayaking at two different places on the Kampot River. Partially our own fault, we didn’t have such a great experience at the first, so we’ll only discuss the second, Champa Lodge. There’s plenty of places where you can rent kayaks for a few hours, but the price will differ at each of them. For a low price, great quality kayaks, and a friendly vibe, we went to Champa Lodge. Afterwards, we had some great craft beers that felt well deserved. It was also very inexpensive to rent here (even by Cambodian standards.)
How to Get There
With a little effort (and probably a sore butt the next day) you can get to by bicycle, but it’s going to be a tough, very long, and potentially dangerous ride with all the potholes. For what you’ll pay each for a bicycle, my friend and I rented one motorbike for less right from our guesthouse, got there quickly, and still had time to ride around the rest of the day!
What to Bring
You can bring a backpack with you kayaking as long as you don’t plan to fall in. If you’re unsure about getting out, but still want to bring things with you, than I suggest a dry bag. A dry bag really isn’t a bag thing to have traveling with you anyway, especially if it’s during the rainy season.
You can also leave your things behind the bar while you go. However, don’t expect the dry compartment in the kayak to stay dry (you really never can with rental kayaks.)
If you’re going to bring a dry bag or backpack with you, just a few essentials will be good.
- Water, the loop we did took us about two hours to finish and most of it is in the sun. Trust me, you’ll want water.
- Sunglasses, make sure these aren’t your best or most expensive pair. If they fall in, chances are you’re not going to find them.
- Sunblock, no, seriously. I’ll admit, I’m not great with sunblock because I’m much more of a shade lounger, but it’s necessary when you’re on the water. The sun will reflect back at you and burn you much faster than just getting it overhead. Put a layer on before you leave, and it might be a good idea to bring a small bottle to reapply halfway through.
- A good memory of the map, there are certain points where you’ll think – oh shit, is that the right way? Don’t worry though, we didn’t really pay attention and got back without any wrong turns.
What You’ll See
The best part about this for me was all the fauna. At some points you’re really kayaking right between palm trees. There were places where we decided to veer off the main path to get some shade in thicker growing trees and we really just sat there enjoying the peace. Unfortunately, along with the beautiful sights, there will also be areas where you will see a lot of trash. You may also see a local family on their own boat paddling to a neighbor’s house. Whatever you see, this is a beautiful way to spend a few hours.