The small town of Kep is Cambodia’s prime seaside resort which is surrounded by a group of hills that lead to beautiful beaches.
Situated just 2 hours from cities of Sihanouk Ville and Phnom Penh, the town is a refreshing change from the bustling city atmosphere. Because of its hilly landscape and beaches, Kep is home to a number of grand villas, guesthouses and hotels. Whatever travel budget you have, you are sure to find an accommodation in Kep that will fit.
If you are looking for a lively party scene or a place filled with intensity and action, then Kep is not for you. The town offers peace and relaxation. It is a great spot to relieve stress and just enjoy the raw beauty of nature and especially the coast. If you intend to continue traveling to Vietnam, this seaside town is an excellent rest stop. Surrounded by mountains, it offers a number of trekking routes, including the ones the lead to the Kep National Park.
While in town, you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of the environment and taste very fresh seafood cuisine. Kep Beach, which is the main sandy stretch, houses several picnic platforms. It is normal for tourists to rent mats and occupy these platforms. Then vendors will just come over to offer seafood like crabs, prawns, fish and squid. Once you choose the type and quantity of seafood what you want, they will prepare it for you. But, if you are one of those who take pride in working for what you eat, then hire one of those long tail boats and a local guide to help you catch fish and crabs in various bays.
Because of Kep’s growing popularity among international tourists, there are already a number of tour companies operating in the area. Some of them organize boat trips, while others offer hiking and sightseeing excursions. If you want to go solo, consider renting a motorcycle to drive around the hills and town. Locals in Kep are known to be friendly and warm. Make sure to take the time to walk around town and interact with them and you will appreciate more the simplicity of life in this coastal time.
One of the most notable landmarks in town is the mansion of former King Sihanouk. Nestled on top of the hill, this picturesque property is worth checking out. Just watch out for the monkeys that dwell in the forest next to the mansion. Another nearby attraction worth exploring is the Tek Chou waterfalls. This spot has become a local favorite. During weekend, Cambodian families usually come here to enjoy a picnic. If you explore further outside town, you will come across the Phnom Sosi Caves, which makes a fascinating stop. Other attractions in the area that may tickle your fancy is the Kep Butterfly Farm and the Sunset Rock.
Almost everyone who comes to Kep, also visit the gorgeous Koh Tonsay, also known as Rabbit Island. The island is located about 20-30minutes off the coast. Its main attraction is a magnificent sandy beach, which beckons people to just laze around and leave all their troubles behind. Aside from swimming, snorkeling is also a popular activity on Koh Tonsay. But aside from these two, there is not much to do here. Lacking of tourist facilities, the island still offers basic huts so you can stay overnight.