I started a new job, I resigned, I took one-month break, I went on a trip and now I’m starting another new job next month.

This has been my 2024 cycle. How’s yours? I hope it’s been better than mine. But no need for sympathy; I’m doing awesome. To show you how great I’m doing, let me take you on a virtual trip to Kampot with me through this blog post.

Wondering what’s new in Kampot this 2024? Keep on reading!

Getting to Kep

This trip was all about getting away and doing nothing, but relaxing. We didn’t pack our itinerary with activities, but aiming to unwind and enjoy a slower pace instead.

We left Phnom Penh at 9:30am, heading towards Kep.

The road condition from Phnom Penh to Kep during our trip weren’t the best, but they were manageable. It’s crazy how the speed limit was set to 30km/h on smooth, paved sections, yet jumped to 80km/h where the road was bumpy and riddled with potholes. You really played with our feelings, huh?

The journey took us 3 hours, and we arrived just in time for lunch.

1. Kimly Restaurant

Once in Kep, make sure to try the seafood. It’s almost the same price as beef, pork and other ordinary dishes, if not cheaper.

Kep boasts a variety of restaurants, but Kimly Restaurant was our pick this time.

Keep in mind that dining at restaurants here can be pricier than usual. For those who want to enjoy seafood without breaking the bank, the nearby Crab Market is a great alternative.

We ordered fried milky crab, steamed shrimps, steamed rice and drinks. This lunch cost us $21.25.

The place was packed during our visit, so we were pleasantly surprised to receive our food within 20mn. Their milky fried crab was decent, but the shrimp really stood out—it was incredibly fresh and sweet!

To top it off, they gave us free pineapple after we finished our meal.

2. The Wave – Kep West Restaurant

We didn’t want to head to Kampot right after lunch, so we decided to relax for an hour at the most charming restaurant in Kep, The Wave – Kep West Restaurant.

Kep West is the restaurant at Knai Bang Chatt Resort. It’s usually bustling with visitors on weekends because of its stunning view and Instagram-worthy photo spots.

Fortunately, it wasn’t too crowded during our visit, making our little photo session much easier.

We ordered an iced cappuccino and a strawberry shake, which totaled $10. While the cappuccino wasn’t the best, the strawberry shake was amazing.

If you come here by car, make sure to have the cashier stamp “PAID” on your parking ticket so you don’t have to pay for parking. Some visitors come just for photos without eating, so the restaurant has implemented this policy to ensure parking is reserved for paying customers.

3. Kep Caesalpinia

After leaving Kep West, we stopped briefly to take photos of the Caesalpinia before heading to Kampot.

Kep roadsides are adorned with caesalpinia trees. The best time to see them in full blooms is in May. By June, they are still around but usually start to wilt.

Getting to Kampot

The drive from Kep to Kampot takes only about 30 minutes.

1. Sokchea Kampot Hotel

We arrived at our hotel at around 4pm. We spent 2 nights at Sokchea Kampot Hotel.

We booked our room on Agoda for only $30 per night. The room is spacious and very clean.

2. Phe Nesat

My boyfriend and I were meeting friends who were also in Kampot for a getaway. While searching for dinner options in Kampot, Phe Nesat appeared as the most interesting choice, so we decided to give it a try.

We ordered 4 dishes, some beers, and other soft drinks. Initially, the food came out quite quickly.

Among everything we ordered, the fried popcorn was the best. Unfortunately, the other dishes were far from decent, with 2 of them arriving cold.

Since the majority of the dishes didn’t meet our taste buds, we decided to order fried meatballs, thinking no one would fuck that up. However, we ended up waiting for 1h30mn, following up with their waiters 3 times but our food never arrived.

The service was ridiculously terrible. The waiters seemed to have selective hearing and seeing, often turning away when we waved at them or pretending not to hear when we called. They weren’t even busy; they just acted like they were.

If you’re planning a trip to Kampot, avoid Phe Nesat at all costs.

3. Monkey Republic Kampot Cafe, Bar & Kitchen

Deeply disappointed with Phe Nesat, we decided to continue to our trusted spot, Monkey Republic.

In the back of our minds, we were confident that both food and service at Monkey Republic would never let us down. We ordered a beef burger, chicken wings, fries, beers, and cocktails.

While the cocktails were a bit light, the food was tasty.

If you’re a craft beer lover, you’ll enjoy it here. They have an extensive selection for you to choose from.

Day 2

This trip was truly about recharging. We woke up at 9am and didn’t start our day until 10am.

1. Lotus Cafe

We’ve always wanted to try Cafe Espresso Roastery every time we visit Kampot, but luck hasn’t been on our side. There was never a parking spot available, and same went with this time—there was a road construction nearby that blocked the parking. Once again, we missed our chance. So we decided to head to our go-to cafe, Lotus Cafe.

We drove past a lotus pond on our way to Lotus Cafe, so we made a quick stop for photo.

We chilled at Lotus Cafe until lunch time.

2. Bay Bi E Mai

If you’re in Kampot, Bay Bi E Mai is a must-try. It’s grilled pork rice served with shredded pork skin (bi) and a small bowl of hot soup, all for just $2.

She sells from early morning until 1pm, but it often sells out before 1pm, especially on weekends.

3. Koh Smao Beach

As I mentioned earlier, we didn’t leave our hotel until 10am. We haven’t done anything much yet this morning, so we decided against going back to sleep. Haha

Without a specific destination in mind, we opted to drive around and take in the sights. Our aimless wandering led us to Koh Smao Beach.

The beach was peaceful though marred by a fair amount of litter.

While exploring, we came across a newly opened cafe called Espresso Lab right along the beach. Its name really suggested a specialty in coffee, and that intrigued us to go in.

They were having a 1 free 1 promotion, so we ordered 1 iced latte with 50% sweetness and another with 20%. Sadly, it was disappointing.

The drinks were overly sweet, tasting more like sugar than coffee. The 50% sweetness tasted like 150%, while the 20% was closer to 70%.

On the bright side, the cafe had attractive spots for photos. The indoor area is spacious and clean, and they also have outdoor seating on the beach.

4. Private Boat Trip with RiverTree Villa

I kinda had a sugar rush after the overly sweet drink, so we decided to return to the hotel for a nap before our private sunset boat trip with RiverTree Villa.

While looking for something new to experience in Kampot, we stumbled upon a captivating video on Visit Kampot showcasing​ the private boat trip offered by RiverTree. We were impressed by what we saw, so we decided to go for it.

I booked for the boat trip with RiverTree a week in advance, and they responded promptly that day. However, when I sent them a message as a reminder one day before the trip, they went dead silent. After waiting for a few hours, I sent another message, and they finally replied after 30 minutes.

We left our hotel at 4:10pm and arrived at RiverTree by 4:25pm.

Upon arrival, we informed the receptionist about our booking for the boat trip. She asked us to wait in the lobby and then disappeared.

We waited for 30 minutes and there was no one at the lobby. We didn’t know if they were preparing the boat and refreshments for us or what had happened— they were just gone. It was frustrating, so I sent them a message via Telegram, and finally, someone came to escort us to the resort dock.

My initial frustration began to fade once we boarded the boat. We were served snacks and cocktails, and the resort staff accompanying us were lovely.

The trip lasted an hour. I had seen in their promotional video that the boat would cruise to the new Seahorse Statue and back. I thought that’s perfect because I’d get to capture the seahorse photo from another angle.

However, contrary to what was shown in the video, the boat only went as far as the new bridge before returning to the hotel.

That was quite upsetting, but the beautiful scenery along the way helped ease the frustration.

The boat trip cost us $20 per person. They only depart when there are at least 2 passengers. Snacks and cocktails are included in this price.

5. Dinner in Kampot

We planned to meet our friends again after dinner. Without overthinking where to eat, we decided to go to the place that was at the top of our minds, and that was Ecran Noodles.

Finding parking for Ecran Noodles used to be challenging. Fortunately, the government had created an artificial beach along the riverfront. We could park our car there free of charge then just cross the street to enjoy a delicious noodle soup.

After dinner, we headed Koh Smao Beach to meet our friends. Yes, for the second time today. Haha

The beach was windy and relaxing, but unfortunately, it was plagued by noise pollution at night. People brought their own speakers for music, karaoke, and the restaurants in the area also played their own music. So after an hour, we decided to move on to the next bar in town.

6. Neavea – The Cruise Kampot

The Cruise Kampot was the last stop on our second day, and this place will forever be etched in my memory. Not because it’s the best place for a drink, but for a different reason entirely.

I’ve never mentioned this before, I don’t drink beers. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just can’t stand the smell. The only alcohol I can tolerate is cocktails and Korean soju.

While my boyfriend and friends were enjoying their beers at the beach earlier, I stuck to water. So once we got to The Cruise, I finished my drinks quicker than usual and ended up having 4 glasses of Passion Margarita. I didn’t feel drunk, just a bit tipsy.

When we asked the bartender for the bill, he offered each of us a free shot. And that shot, my friends, was the most memorable.

I got back to the hotel feeling uneasy and started throwing up soon after. This was the first time I had ever thrown up from drinking. I cleaned up my mess and went straight to bed, hoping I’d feel better the next day.

Day 3

The next day came and it got worse. We went for a late breakfast at around 10:30am. I thought some broth might make me feel better, so I tried to eat even though I wasn’t hungry.

We had planned to go sightseeing in another area that morning. But halfway there, I started feeling even worse, so I asked my boyfriend to find me a plastic bag and turn the car around.

He asked where I wanted to go, so I suggested heading to the resort we were checking into that day. The resort that we were heading to couldn’t be reached by car. We had to take the boat, and my boyfriend thought I’d throw up again on the boat, so he took me to Starbucks Fish Market to sit until I felt better.

1. Starbucks Fish Market

The architecture at Starbucks Fish Market is fantastic, but I wasn’t in the right state to take photos. My face was pale, and I was super dizzy. I tried to rest my head on the table while my boyfriend ordered drinks and brought me water.

Time seemed to stand still when you’re hungover. After about 15 minutes, I threw up for the second time after last night. And that really sobered me up.

I knew I’d puke again so I had the plastic bag ready. I didn’t mess up Starbucks, but it was embarrassing to do so in a public space where everyone was enjoying their coffee and the view.

Here’s how I looked after I made a mess of myself. Haha

And here are the photos I took at Starbucks Fish Market after I felt better. 🤣

You can also spot the Seahorse Statue from Starbucks. But it wasn’t this close, I used my zoom lens to zoom in.

These are the views on Starbucks’s rooftop.

2. Kampot Riverside

After sobering up, we headed to the riverside to buy some snacks to bring to the resort we were going to.

We found a great photo spot two blocks from Starbucks, so we stopped briefly for some photos.

There was a fruit stall next to a mart, so I got myself my all-time favorite drink, watermelon juice to hydrate myself.

We also spotted a desserts vendor along the riverside. I got really hungry after all the vomiting, so I got myself a box of nom plae ay.

3. Peam Snea Resort

Checking into Peam Snea Resort was what we were looking forward to the most. Once we had everything we needed from the town, we headed straight there.

As I mentioned earlier, the resort isn’t accessible by car. We have to park on the other side then take a 5-minute boat trip from their private dock to the resort.

It felt like we were in a different world the moment we set foot on Peam Snea Resort. I knew the resort was beautiful, but I didn’t expect it to be this stunning.

The photos really don’t do Peam Snea any justice.

Look, just look at their lobby. It’s beautiful!

And this is their resort restaurant.

We were welcomed with drinks, briefed about the facilities and amenities, and then escorted to our room.

We booked a King Room with Lake View on Agoda for only $58 per night. This price also included free breakfast for us both the next day.

The room is simple, yet very attractive.

We especially loved the bathroom. Its bright color and natural lighting made for some great selfies. Haha

The only downside to staying at Peam Snea was the noise from Daung Te, but it stopped after 5 or 6pm, so we had no trouble sleeping at night.

My boyfriend and I regretted booking only one night here. We’ve found our favorite place and will definitely come back again.

Peam Snea Resort is very large, and they provide guests with bicycles to explore the resort free of charge.

There is a pool bar here, but it was close during our stay.

Look how big their swimming pool is.

After a swim, we went back to our room, took a shower, then headed to the resort restaurant for dinner.

We ordered seafood papaya salad, Thai beef laab, steamed rice, a cold coconut, a bottle of beer, and desserts. The total was $34.14.

Both dishes were exceptional. We didn’t expect it to be this good. We loved it!

There wasn’t much to do at Peam Snea, so we just went back to our room after dinner. But we really enjoyed our stay here. The resort is peaceful, the food is delicious, and the hospitality is out of this world.

Day 4

Here comes the last morning of our trip.

Breakfast is served from 7-10am. There was a variety of food for breakfast, but of course free stuff wasn’t as good as the dinner we paid for. 😂

We booked for a massage in town at 11am, so we left Peam Snea right after breakfast.

1. Golden Hands Massage

A good trip has to end with a full-body massage. My friend had been to Golden Hands Massage before and recommended it, so we asked him to book a 1-hour session for all of us.

My boyfriend and I opted for oil massage, which was only $12 per hour. Like other massage places, they started with a foot cleaning before taking us to the massage room.

The masseuses had incredible hand pressure, but they lack technique. It was a 3/5 experience.

2. Getting Some Durians Home

Every Cambodian knows that Kampot is known for its best durian, even our provincial landmark is a giant durian. 😂

Kampot durian season usually starts from late April or early May to July. It’s durian season this month, so we decided to bring some home.

Durian is known as the king of fruits, and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some say it smells like poop, but if you can, try the dry, ripe kind. It’s the best!

2. Phum Chas

Phum Chas, or Old Village in English, was our last stop of this Kampot trip. Since it was on our way back to Phnom Penh, we decided to stop here for lunch.

The decor was reminiscent of an old house evoking memories from 20 years ago.

We ordered roasted chicken and crab sour soup, and both dishes were excellent.