It’s been a little over a year since I last wrote about Kep and Kampot, but I went back again over Christmas and I just had to share how beautiful it was all over again.
As always, a trip to the crabshacks in Kep should be mandatory – fresh crab with kampot pepper is out of this world. I always go for the steamed crab, as it’s a lot juicier. We usually head to Kimly, but it tends to get busy as it was voted the best place to eat in Kep by the Lonely Planet a few years ago. If it’s too packed, So Kheang a few doors down is marginally cheaper (and they often have better crab, too).
Knai Bang Chatt, the Sailing Club, also do nice cocktails – I prefer the cheap and cheerful food from the crab market, but in terms of ambience it can’t be beaten.
Kampot is supposed to have amazing coffee, but both times I’ve been have been way too close to Christmas, when the coffee shops are shut. The ribs at The Rusty Keyhole in Kampot are a must – quite simply the most delicious ribs I have ever had – a statement still true one year on! Their portions are huge, so keep that in mind when ordering – and if you ever brave the dino ribs, please let me know!
We’ve always stayed at the Villa Saat. It’s perfect for big groups, the pool is amazing, and the staff are very attentive and helpful. Not to mention the photogenic tiled floors – needless to say, Villa Saat was all over my Instagram feed.
The best part about Villa Saat is the fact that you can get local masseurs to come by to give you a massage. But one top tip – Khmer massages are very firm. Personally, I prefer firm massages (not so keen on the idea of paying someone to stroke me) – but I know it’s not to everyone’s taste.
What To Do
The highlight of my trip was spending the day out on a boat with Captain Eric on a tour of local fishing villages, islands and secluded beaches.
The Facebook page is in French, but Eric speaks great English, and is very knowledgable about the area. Drinks and lunch can be provided, as are snorkels – a lot of great coral and marine life. The water was so clear – it was absolutely stunning.