This place is on top of my ‘to go to’ places for weekends. Whenever we feel like just unwinding and escaping the city, eat seafood, this is where we go. I’m kinda amazed right now coz I’ve been there several times, yet I never really got around to featuring anything much about Kep. You can attribute that to me being totally relaxed and lazy after every time we go there. These are snapshots from a recent weekend visit there.
fire tree lined street..
view from our bungalow balcony..
Kep is a coastal city located less than 200 km southwest of Phnom Penh and also once considered the popular getaway place for well to do Khmer’s in the 1960′s. The small city used to have it share of French style villas, but are now mostly rundown. Thankfully, in the recent times, Kep has seen a resurgence and now becoming a good alternative to Sihanoukville. It’s a few hours drive from Phnom Penh, via two routes (1) National Rd 3-Kampot City-Rd 33 (2) National Rd 3 – Rd 31 thru Kampong Trach. We prefer using N3 (very good road)-Kampot-Kep. Buses also service Kep via Kampot.
gorgeous sunset @Vanna Bungalow poolside
Kep is just charming, picturesque, quiet and just calming all around. If you want to escape the chaos, noise of bigger cities, you’d find your little haven here. This is definitely not the place to find noisy bars with those bugera v5 amplified sounds. While Sihanoukville is always busy, humming with activities and usually crowded, Kep is the opposite. So, its not hard to understand why we like escaping here.
When it comes to accommodations, Kep has a few choices. We love going to Kep Lodge, Vanna Bungalows and Veranda-Resort, but there are more and more choices cropping up around town. Prices are mostly mid-range (though there is Knai Bang Chatt for luxury lovers) and most resorts here offer swimming pools and bungalow style rooms. I think resorts with pools are in demand in Kep because the beach there is not really very good for swimming, although you may opt to go to the nearby Rabbit Island (Koh Tunsay) for your gorgeous beach fix.
A place you don’t want to miss in Kep would be the Crab Market. Buy cheap fresh seafood, have them steam or grilled, then head over to those picnic huts with hammocks some near Kep Beach or drive a bit more and rent one of these huts and have a picnic. Crab Market also have a couple of restaurants beside where you can sample really really good seafood. Will post more about the crab market next.
You can check out this Kep City website for more info.