kep.bookmark.com is designed to make it easy for you to navigate around the coastal city of Kep. There are a number of clear and up to date maps. Information and photographs about the sights and surroundings within Kep Province and beyond.

rabbit island kep cambodia

Kep on the coast, Cambodia. up to date maps of Kep, what to see / do in Kep Province. wine and dine Kep style. National Park, Crab Market, Pepper Plantations and much more all about Kep.

( to enlarge right click and select ' Open image in new tab '. On mobile press image for 1 second and select )

Kep is most certainly a given stress free zone, its attraction defined by its location that couldn’t be closer to the shore. An idyllic coastal location, backed by hills covered with lush jungle. Kep faces across the Kampot Bay towards the Bokor Mountain escarpment, and across the Kep Bay towards the border town of Ha Tien in Vietnam, with the sun setting on an ocean horizon in between. Ocean, fresh seafood, islands and national park are its clear attributes. Far less developed than the majority of the globe's coastal resorts, Kep is a throwback to a retro seaside retreat. Offering the perfect destination for a visitor to spend a peaceful, lazy and undisturbed vacation, while also providing opportunities for energetic activities if preferred.

Krong Kep ( Kep City ) stretches along 8km of the province coastline, and recedes less than 1km to the rise of the national park on the west side and less than 2km on the east side. It’s a drawn-out community with the main market at the east end, seafood vendors and beach vicinity at its somewhat central peninsula point, and the famous crab market restaurants at its west end.

Light traffic occupies the main road, at least until the weekend visitors arrive, but even then it’s not hectic. This makes Kep an excellent place to cycle or motorbike around. Walking is easy also with empty side streets, and long stretches of pavement / sidewalk along the main shore road. However, with 8km from one end to the other, peddle power or a rented scooter or use of tuk-tuks is necessary, or it’ll be often lengthy strolls.

From the west side to the east side there is 16km of Kep provincial coastline. The province of Kep which is encircled by Kampot province is the smallest in Cambodia, at just 336 km2 .

Kep was a Khmer fishing village and established in 1908 as a retreat for the French colonialists. For sixty years it thrived as a favourite coastal holiday resort for locals, the colonialists and international jet-set with its heydays in the 50s and 60s. In the centuries past it was a haven to pirates, as were the islands off both the Cambodian and Vietnam coast.

map kep west

Kep map, west side of town ( to enlarge right click and select ' Open image in new tab '. On mobile press image for 1 second and select )

map Kep East

Kep map, east side of town ( to enlarge right click and select ' Open image in new tab ' )

distance chart kep province 2020
Cambodia Distance Chart 2020
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kep accomodation LR
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Kep Beach Vicinity ( to enlarge right click and select ' Open image in new tab ' )

Kep National Park - hill trail

Christian Bebenath of the famed Led Zep Café was the driving force behind the internal trails that criss-cross the Kep Phnom hill within the 50 km2 National Park. He dedicated his time in Kep to exploring and creating and maintaining the trails. Even fixing in place traverse ropes for steep paths, overseeing benches placed at viewpoints, and situating the yellow painted information signs you will see as you trek around. Christian died in 2017, nowadays many of the viewpoint advantages are becoming overgrown, the maintaining is national park rangers responsibility.

Kep Map National Park

Kep National Park Trail, Kep ( to enlarge right click and select ' Open image in new tab ' )

National Park, kep cambodia

Twisted Tree, National Park

The 8km trail around the hill can be entered from the west or east side of town, it’s an easy-going flora and often fauna filled walk, 2.5 hours, with only a few simple slopes. There’s a good chance of encountering the resident inquisitive wild macaques. Also red squirrels, horn bills, lizards, butterflies and snakes / spiders can be occasionally spotted, especially on the internal trails. The main trail could be done in flip-flops, the more adventurous steeper internal trails would need footwear with grip. The main trail can also be done on mountain bike or motorbike.

Canopy lines the trail providing shade, but humidity rules the landscape, clearly taking water and mosquito repellent is sensible. Led Zep Café is located on the trails west side, a permission granted for all Christian's hard work, it’s the only café on the trail.


Rabbit Island - Koh Toonsai

Rabbit Island is 4.6km of the coast and a popular destination for visitors to Kep, either for a day on the beach or overnight

Scheduled boat tickets are $8 Return day trip or $10 open return, boats leave at 9am and 1pm, return is 4pm. Hiring a boat costs $25 return for 1 - 8 people, so sharing can cut the cost, and you can leave/return on your time. Boats leave from the Pier opposite the Post Office which is 2.5km from Kep Beach. There are plenty of boats, and the trip takes a leisurely 25 minutes.

The boat will anchor at the east dock, then it’s a 4 minute walk to the main beach where there are a number of thatched guesthouse restaurants selling cold drinks / beers / cocktails / fruit shakes and Khmer / western dishes.

On the main beach there are 7 guesthouses with a collective 60 bungalows for $8 -$20 a night depending on the level of comfort. Of course weekends attract more visitors. Usually electric is provided by generator between 6pm to 9pm only,

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Rabbit Island ( to enlarge right click and select ' Open image in new tab ' )

Rabbit Island Kep Cambodia

Rabbit Island, Kep

The water is warm and great for swimming, and if you want to snorkel around the rocky areas, there are many colourful tropical fish, visibility is usually about 6m.Tree covered hills run from one end to the other, there are several secluded beaches and an interesting trail that leads around the Island, along the way you’ll probably meet friendly fishermen and local residents harvesting seaweed.

The trail starts at the end of the main beach past the old boat Pier, the first half of the 6km trail is good, and easy to follow. After the third beach it becomes a little overgrown and you will find yourself crawling under a few branches and dodging

some thorny bushes, a trek for old clothes. The last stretch leading back to the main beach is over rocks, some jagged and dangerous, so good footwear and a steady balance are necessary, it may be easier if you choose, to swim around this last obstacle. The trek doesn’t involve any hill climbing and takes about 2 – 3 hours with a few breaks. Don’t expect to see any rabbits, this is more to do with the shape of the hill beneath the canopy.

As of now Rabbit Island is undeveloped, a truly relaxing gem of a getaway off Cambodia’s coast.

Rabbit Island kep cambodia seaweed harvesting

Seaweed Farming, Rabbit Island, Kep

Beyond Rabbit Island, a further 4km is Bayan Tree Island – Koh Po, so named for the many Banyan trees that once populated the island. This Island has a small fishing community and 1 guesthouse Seagulls House, tent $5 and room $10. Tel 0888034536 web.facebook.com/messages/t/tiger.brave.56 The owner Mr Cheng hosts fishing trips and return trips to the island. There are white sand beaches with very good swimming and snorkeling. Boats can also be chartered from the Kep pier for $35 return trip.

4km further south is Koh Ach Seh - Horse Island. This island is home to the independent organization

Marine Conservation Cambodia http://www.marineconservationcambodia.org

You can apply to volunteer with them on Koh Seh at this website.

Day visitors are welcome to the island, there is good swimming and snorkeling, no guesthouse or restaurant.

https://web.facebook.com/volunteer.marine.conservation.cambodia/

sunset over phu quoc from kep, cambodia

from Crab Market


Kep crab market restaurants , cambodia

crab market

Wine and Dine Kep Style

It is said that no visit to Kep is complete without having a fresh seafood meal. It should also be noted that the crab population is being lost to over-fishing and larger crabs are very rare, coral reefs/sea grass beds are suffering too. You’ll only see juvenile crabs at the crab market, hardly worth the trouble of eating. Ordering a sustainable fish or another seafood choice instead of crab will help the crab to crawl back to sustainability.

The Crab Market, menu prices vary from place to place, be aware that many have a two tier, duel pricing scheme. One price for Khmers and another for tourists, perhaps ask if they have a Khmer price before entering, they will mostly give you a discount rather than see you walk away.

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Crab Market Street, Kep ( to enlarge right click and select ' Open image in new tab ' )

Most seafood vendors have a signature dish. The local specialty of fresh fried peppercorns is served with most dishes. Fresh prawns, shrimp, squid, clams, octopus and several varieties of sea fish are on the menu. Barbequed, stir fried, sautéed, curried, steamed, or in a soup, all served with salad, steamed rice/fries, sauces and seasonal fruit.

Dining options are the Crab Market, vendors at Kep Beach and the Seafood stalls after the Blue Crab Statue. These places are open for orders until 9 pm, and most at the Crab Market have imported wines.

Kep bating the crab baskets - cambodia

Bating crab baskets at the Crab Market

Suggestions - Captain Chims Restaurant, located by the Rabbit Island Pier is a popular favourite with budget travellers. Lily’s Kitchen, home cooked Mediterranean cuisine, plus veg/vegan options, is nearby Chims. Fishing House restaurant and bar, wooden house on stilts, east foreshore. Ocean Hill, traditional Khmer, Kep west on left, 2.7km after Don Bosco. Italian Corner at the Beach. XIII Spanish Restaurant, Kep west. Kep Guesthouse, Nepalese cuisine, Kep east. Kep Coffee near the Pier, Deli’s Kep, coffee, bakery, deli items, Kep west. See maps for all.

Fine dining choices are Chankiri restaurant at Samanea Resort Hotel and The Strand at Knai Bang Chatt Hotel.

The majority of the resorts welcome diners to their hotel restaurants, collectively offering a wide variety of international cuisine.

The cheapest local Khmer restaurants can be found on the East side of Kep, from where the main road shops start, to a little after the ABA ATM.

sunset drinks at crab market, kep, cambodia

Sundowners at the Ceab Market

kep halfshine , cambodia

Pho Quoc left, Bokor Mountain right, from Crab Market

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Kep Province and Beyond ( to enlarge right click and select ' Open image in new tab ' )

Salt and Pepper

Cambodian pepper production is documented as far back as the 13th century. The climate and soil found in Kep Province provides an ideal combination for pepper plants, and many fruits.

There are numerous pepper plantations around the Kep area, and its distinct aromatic flavour has made it a world renowned product, much sought after by gourmet chefs. It is said that more than a million pepper poles were producing thousands of tons for export up until the mid 70s. Local farmers using traditional and modern techniques, have revived in recent years a sustainable harvest of this world famous pepper. Most plantations offer free tours.

The peppercorns go through several maturing stages whilst on the vine, but the best is surely the young green berries that grow in long bunches and are eaten fresh, great with any kind of stir-fry, season Sept – Feb. Harvesting is March / April, and the peppercorns are then dried in the sun. As luck would have it, sea salt production is also plentiful around Kep province. The salt flats are on the east side of Kep, so freshly seasoning your favourite dish is all too easy. Sothy’s Pepper plantation hold free tours, head east to Damnak and turn right at road 33 junction, turn left ust after the school at the signboards. Continue straight, over the railway lines and up the road, the plantation is on the left, 10km from kep.

Near the so-called secret lake – Lake Krola, beyond the province border is La Plantation who hold free tours, and also have a daily cooking class. 20km from Kep west.


Caves and CavernsPhnom means hill

There are a number of caves surrounding Kep. Phnom Sorsir has several caves to explore, the path winds its way up the hill to a stupa atop, stunning views of the Bokor mountain escarpment. This complex is also known as White Elephant Cave, a reference to the shape of a limestone formation at the base of the main cave. It’s located 1.5km on the right, west of the White Horse Statue, signposted Wat archway.

Phnom Ch’nork has Pre-Angkorian ruins set within a limestone cave, brick structures that date back to the 6th century ancient state of Funan. It’s located 8km on the right, west of the White Horse Statue.

To the N/East at Kompong Trach, is Wat KiriSela. The Phnom is a large circular cavern, now open to the sky, the roof having collapsed over a million years ago. This is known as a limestone karst, caused by water erosion. Access is through a tunnel at the side of the limestone formation. This cave is next to Wat Kiriseila in Kampong Trach, 27 km from Kep.

On the left 3km before KT is Phnom Salei, 326 steps take you to the top, and a spectacular view of the countryside.

Good footwear and a flashlight are a must when exploring all of the caves, and be aware of broken stairways and slippy rocks.


Angkaul Beach

There are several ways to get to Angkaul.

Head east to Damnak, same direction as pepper plantations, and turn right at road 33 junction. After 6km, turn right at salt workers junction, then after 8km turn right at the Wat archway. After passing the Wat, turn right down the dirt track to the beach.

Angkaul Beach , kep province, cambodia

Far more interesting is the scenic coastal route, passing seashore fishing communities. From the Fishing House Restaurant, Kep east, there is a wide coastal dirt road that leads almost all the way to Angkaul Beach, 9km. About 1.5km before Angkaul the road ends abruptly, as yet unfinished. Just double back to the dirt track leading through the rice paddies, and head towards the hill, where Wat Angkaul is located. This wide dirt road can also be reached beyond the salt field tracks to the east of Kep. You’ll see many workers on the salt fields, so if wondering which of the numerous tracks to take, ask ch’nay sa’mot Angkaul? this means Angkaul Beach.

road to Angkaul Beach , kep province, cambodia

As you leave Kep along this wide coastal road, there is a long sweep of mangroves. Beyond these you’ll arrive at the first fishing village. There is a pier stretching out with a flotilla of anchored fishing boats. It was lunch time and in the building at the foreshore of the pier there were a group of fishermen, they were very welcoming and insisted I share in a plateful of steamed prawns, fresh as. Further ahead you’ll reach salt fields and another fishing community, beyond this point is where the wide road abruptly ends, as mentioned above.

from road to Angkaul Beach , kep province, cambodia

Angkaul Village is a small fishing community with Angkaul Wat on the hill. The Beach is a long narrow expanse of sand backed by coconut trees. Set amongst these trees are thatched gazebos selling drinks and coconuts. Note that the 750m of beach is engulfed when it’s high tide, hiding any evidence of a beach. This area is at present undeveloped, less traveled by tourists, commercialization, apartments, satellite town is the future probability. There is a small concrete military look-out post on a hillock, behind which is a picturesque natural harbour with many orange and green fishing boats. *Picturesque with the exception of the ignored plastic waste washed up on the shore, as in photo. During the weekdays it’s an especially peaceful place to visit, and hardly less so at weekends. On the track to the beach there are a couple of small Khmer shack restaurants and a basic local store. You may feel the whole of this sandy strip is yours, a bonus that makes the journey all the more worthwhile, and a disappointment if the ocean has swallowed it.

track beyond angkaul, kep provinve, cambodia

From the T- junction to the beach you can turn right, this is a 3km scenic country track that joins back to Road 1332. From Road 1332 turn right to return to Kep, or to reach the Pepper plantations. If it’s before midday, having enough time, you could travel 18km to the Sarus Cranes Bird Sanctuary via Road 33 off to the left after 4.3km. Then turn right at the Wat on the left. These are the world’s tallest flying birds, some almost 2m in height, and can be seen between late December and April. There is a $10 entrance fee, a café and homestay accommodation. www.mekongcrane.com

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kep crab market cambodia

from Crab Market

crab market , kep cambodia

from Crab Market

Bokor mountain right . Pho Quoc left kep cambodia

from Crab Market

Kep coast fishing boats cambodia

from Crab Market


More Kep related articles to be added soon.


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