From the high Himalayan Mountains of Nepal we decided to go down in the warmer places in Asia, first stop is Cambodia. If you are also a person that wants to escape the crowd and the drunk young tourists that are occupying Sihanoukville, you should definitely go to the Kep and visit its surroundings.
1. Transportation to Kep from Phnom Penh
- There are local buses connecting PP and Kep everyday. You can purchase tickets from the Guest houses where you are staying or from the bus station located across the Central Market.
- Bus ticket price: 6$ – 10$
If you purchase the ticket from the Guest house it will probably be more expensive cause of the provision they take.
- There is an option to get to Kep by taxi if you are willing to spend more money and if you are okay with being squeezed in a car with seven or more local people. They will try to charge you 25$ or 30$ for the ride, but you should not pay more than 20$, if you have skills in bargaining try to lower the price even more.
- Minivan or Tourist bus is also an option and tickets can be purchased at the tourist offices around the city centre and the Hotel/Guest House receptions. The price for a minivan is no more than 15$ per person.
Note: For the taxi’s and the minivans make sure that you agree on the price with the driver upfront!
Note: We collected these transportation informations during the Water festival in Cambodia, so if its the same like for the Holidays in Europe, the prices should be little bit lower in the normal days … but we don’t think so.
2. Where to stay on a budget
When entering Kep, before reaching the Vishnu statue on the left hand side there are cheaper guesthouses and lodges. They are about 10 mins walk from Crab Market and a bit further out from the city centre so you will probably need a bike. These guesthouses are offering budget accommodation for as little as 5$/room/night or 10$/bungalow/night at the foot of the national park. For this price you won’t have an attached bathroom but for 2-3$ more you can have the comfort of hot shower and English toilet.
Just to mention a few places it is worth checking out: Treetop Lodge, Khmer Hands Guesthouse, Lida Guesthouse.
3. Where to eat on a budget
Cheap food can be found close to the beach almost all day around. You can buy fresh Papaya salad, fruits and noodles with egg and veggies at the food trailers/tuk tuk’s for about a 1$, fried meat dishes and grilled seafood can be more.
To try the typical local food check out the Kep market from 6am till 10am, the dishes are less than 1$.
If you don’t like your food to be prepared on the street and to eat with the locals on a traditional way you can always go to the restaurants and have the same meal for triple the price. The only exception is the Captain Chim’s restaurant at the pier that has wide range of food for reasonable price.
Note: Since you are in Kep you should try the fresh local sea food and the famous Crabs at the Crab Market, the prices start from 4$+.
4. What to do in Kep
- You can easily spend a whole day walking around the 8km trail of Kep National Park, discovering its narrow paths off the main trail and viewpoints. Start early to avoid the heat and have plenty of water and packed lunch with you.
- Watch the beautiful sunset from the pier at the Sailing Club
- Rent a motorbike and visit the Caves, Pepper Plantations, Angkoul Beach and the rural countryside around Kep
- Spend a quiet day on Rabbit Island (Koh Tunsay). You can go for a day trip (boat costs 7$ both ways) but we recommend you to stay at least one night there. You can get a bungalow for as little as 5$/night. They are basic with double bed and cold shower only, don’t expect luxury. There is no wifi or shop on the island, only a few restaurants and the electricity is on from 6pm-10pm daily. Switch off your mind and your mobile, have a nap in the hammock, swim with the shiny planktons and watch the stars from complete darkness during the night. The boat costs 10$ for both ways if you stay overnight and expect to wait at the pier for other people also wanting to get to the island.