15:21:16.7330000 | 3.15.2011

Kep is a seaside resort area in Cambodia and includes the small town of the same name which is the capital of Kep Province. This is Cambodia's top seaside destination until eclipsed in the 1960s by Sihanoukville  (and, soon after, decades of civil war), today's Kep is slowly being rediscovered by travellers.

Kep Beach: A single, kilometer long crescent of sand near the tip of the Kep peninsula. Dining platforms and seafood vendors line the road behind the beach. Busy on weekends but often deserted during the week. The road through Kep traces the coastline to the beach and then circles back on itself. Cars and vans must pay admission to drive the loop (2500R-5000R). Motorcycles and pedestrians are free. Be aware that the loop is an one way street and the police do occasionally enforce the law, levying fines against violators.

Kep Mountain: There is an easy trail going full circle around the hill above Kep in the National Park. It's a wonderful piece of jungle, in which it is quite probable to see some monkeys and other animals. The trail is about 8km long (a 2-3 hour walk) and has a lot of direction signs made by Christian from the Led Zep Cafe. If you don't want to walk, the path is big enough to ride a bicycle or a motorbike. There are even some small benches to enjoy the view and have a rest during the walk.

Kampot Pepper: An absolute must is to visit the Pepper plantation at Phnom Voir mountain, about 20min drive from Kep. This pepper used to be the number one pepper in the world and all the good french restaurants had it. It is having a revival at the moment with some local NGO (Farmlink) helping promote and plant it again.

Colonial Villas: There are around 100 or more old french villas, mostly destroyed by the Khmer Rouge army and some of them overgrown like Angkor Wat - quite a spooky feeling. Some of them have been restored, but most of them are in possession of rich military officials who are waiting to sell it at the highest price.

Caves: Around Kep there are 3 major caves, some with small shrines inside. The most impressive and biggest one is the one near Kompong Trach with beautiful limestone formations. You can also find a swimming cave nearby.

Crabs: No visit to Kep is complete without having a least one meal of the fresh crabs, apparently the best one in Cambodia.

Rabbit Island: Rabbit island is only a 20 minute boat trip (around 8-10USD return) away from Kep beach. Bungalows on Rabbit Island are quaint and cheap (from 5USD a night), and is generally pretty quiet. One of the nicest remote islands worth seeing in Cambodia. Now even with a massage shack directly on the beach.

Angkaul Beach: The Angkaul beach located 45min to the east near the Vietnamese border was once the swimming beach for the Cambodian Elite in the 1960ties. The trip there might be long, but it is worth every minute. The around 2km long beach is clean with white sand and totally deserted except some fishermen. Now there are 6 deck chairs and parasols and a small shop selling cold drinks for the few tourists going there. The water is shallow but clean. Truly a paradise beach and not worth to miss.

Photo is taken by Noble Sharing

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