Category Archives: Kampot, Kep

Phnom Penh to Kep, Kampot, Overnight on Bokor Mountain, at the Beach and back to Phnom Penh

The plan for this weekend is the following: I ride with Maraile to Kep (Kaeb) today, spend the night there and continue to Kampot, where we meet Lydia in the morning. The ladies will find a taxi and then we go visit Bokor National Park (Preah Monivong National Park) and the hill station on Bokor Mountain (Phnum Bouk Kou). We want to spend the night in the ranger station on top of the mountain, in the abandoned resort town, maybe visit the waterfall the next day before riding down again. After a short visit at the beach close to the National Park, Maraile and Lydia will continue to Kep and Rabbit Island while I will return home to Phnom Penh.

I start with Maraile only in the afternoon, since we just want to make it to Kep today and spend the night there. Since the rides on national roads are not particularly interesting I report the whole trip in one post. In fact I have been to Kampot and Bokor many times, first in September 2003 with Toby and Katrin, for the New Year Party on the mountain in 2004 (I, II) including visits to Kampot’s caves and Toek Chhou (Tek Chou), on the way from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh, and most recently with my buddy Uwe (I, II, III)

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Kampot to Phnom Penh via Kep, Takeo and Phnom Chissor

The plan for today is to ride from Kampot to Phnom Penh via Kep, and to visit Phnom Chissor (Phnom Chissor, Phnom Chisor, Phnom Chi Sou) in Takeo Province on the way. It is raining heavily by the time we get up. Distance and road are not a big deal but the prospect of doing this trip in strong rain is unpleasant. It keeps raining while we have extensive breakfast.

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From Kep to Kampot, Bokor Mountain and National Park by Motorbike, including Waterfall, Abandoned Resort and Casino

The plan for today is to ride from Kep to Kampot, have breakfast there and visit a number of places in Bokor National Park, such as the waterfall and the abandoned French resort with the Casino. If there is still time we want to use it to explore other roads around the Phnom Popok and into the Elephant Mountains (Chuor Phnum Damrei).

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Phnom Penh to Kep by Motorbike via National Roads 3 and 31

My buddy Uwe has just arrived in Phnom Penh for a joint 4 weeks Southeast Asia trip. Our somewhat ambitious plan is to start with a three day motorbike trip to Kep and Kampot in Cambodia, while our visas for Laos, Burma, Vietnam and are being processed in Phnom Penh, and later to visit all these countries in that order.

I have been to Kampot and Kep (Kaeb) a number of times (Kampot and Kep – Ein Tag am Meer, Phnom Penh to Kampot, New Year at Bokor, Caves in Kampot, Sunset in Kep, Swimming at Toek Chhou, By Motorbike from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh via Kampot), but always went on National Road 3. According to the map, National Road 31, which departs from Road 3 about half way from Phnom Penh to Kampot and leads more directly to Kep, is under construction. Contrary to the map, a number of people told us that the road has long been finished and now makes for a comfortable ride.

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By Motorbike from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh via Kampot

Today is Thursday and I want to ride back to Phnom Penh in the morning. In fact I want to be in the office in the afternoon. Now that I came to Sihanoukville on national road 4 I want to return via Kampot, which is along national road 3. The guide books suggest that this road is covered with bomb craters which make for a bumpy and time-consuming ride. However, people in the guesthouse told me that the road is ok, so I give it a try. It is the first time that I ride on national road 3 between Sihanoukville and Kampot.

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Caves in Kampot, Sunset in Kep, Swimming at Toek Chhou

The following post describes a trip which took place already some month ago. More precisely, it was on the first and second of January, if I am not mistaken. It took place after I spend New Year on Bokor Mountain. It reports a tour that covers various caves in Kampot, the town of Kep and a visit to Toek Chhou, a place close to Kampot town which is popular with the locals for picnic.


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Kampot Second Day: New Year at Bokor

I get up by 7:30 and have breakfast at 8 am. I meet Gabriel, a 22 years old American guy and a couple from France. We spend the noon talking in the guesthouses restaurant on the roof again. And we enjoy the sight of the surrounding mountains. Later the French people leave and I hang out with Gabe for some time. Both of us want to go to Bokor Mountain to joint the party. Ye we are both not sure how we want to get there and how we can spend the night. Gabe manages to persuade me to take him on my bike. So we assume we won’t be able to sleep at night anyway. So we leave our sleeping bags and stuff in the guesthouse. And we reserve a room for the next day.

People and guide books alike suggest that the road up the mountain is difficult to ride. Most people go by truck. So I am not very comfortable with traveling with two persons on the bike. Moreover, it is usually much more fun to do the bumpy stretches alone.

It is already 1:30 pm when we go to the market. We buy some food and water and have lunch. We leave at about 2:30 pm to Bokor, which is just about 35 km from here. The first part is paved road and easy traveling. We cross the river and follow National Road 3 through the picturesque landscape, following the coastline on one and the mountain range on the other side of the road. Then we turn right and get onto a rough, unpaved road up the mountain. After we pay $5 each to enter Bokor National Park. The road is mostly unpaved and sandy, covered with small and medium sized stones which make it a bumpy ride. I cannot pay much attention to the environment. We pass mostly through dense forest, while climbing up the road with many turns. While we get higher we recognize the beautiful surroundings, the coastline with a number of mountainous islands and the wooded mountain range along the mainland. Many birds make the forest a noisy place. Generally, it seems the road was improved on its worst stretches, making it relatively easy to ride. There is significant traffic in both directions, mostly motos and trucks. I use the horn a lot in the turns. Sometimes we get stuck in the dust behind slowly traveling trucks, frequently with soldiers on its back.
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Kampot First Day: Phnom Penh to Kampot

Some weeks ago Dara and Vuth had told me there would be a massive yew year party at the casino on top of Bokor Mountain in Kampot province. They told me they would go and asked whether I would join. I agreed and reserved a bike at Phnom Penh Bike Shop for December 29. I just gave back the (pretty used up) Honda Baja yesterday to lucky! lucky! Today I find at the Phnom Penh Shop that only one bike is left, which is a Honda Degree. Those bikes are the most common, cheapest and in many cases oldest dirt bikes available in Phnom Penh. Yet at this point it is not likely that I get a better bike anywhere else and I take it.

Furthermore I learn that Dara, Vuth and the owner of this shop have left already to hit Kirirom National Park on the way to Bokor. I have been to Kampot but never saw Bokor before. And I do not mind having a special New Year party. After I get the bike I decide to leave the next day, to go the 150 km to Kampot. This gives me more time to spend in Kampot and I assume there are fewer crazy people on the road heading to this party. Kampot is a three hour trip from Phnom Penh, mostly on National Road 3. The plan is to go some time the next day the remaining way to the top of Bokor Mountain. The road up to the summit of the mountain is said to be difficult.
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Kampot and Kep – Ein Tag am Meer

I met Katrin a couple of times, who is consultant and works on indigenous land rights. Once I met her with Dietmar who is on a South East Asia backpack like tour. As it happens, Katrin has some passion for big motos and a friend who is into motos, too. Dietmar wants to travel to the south and see Sihanoukville. So we thought it would be a good idea to travel to Kep over the weekend, which is a small town at the ocean.

We start with a breakfast at the Foreign Correspondence Club (FCC), which is a place that is at the riverfront, sort of expensive frequented by foreigners who can afford it l to hang out here.

This one is taken from the balcony at the backside of the FCC to the east. On the opposite side of this square is the National Museum. The building to the left is most likely among what remains from the French. In the center is a place where people play soccer in the morning and evening.


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