The twin towns of Kampot and Kep are both easily accessed from Phnom Penh (148kms) or Sihanoukville (105kms). Though just a short drive apart, the towns have different roads from the capital, with the NH3 to Kampot branching off just after Takeo when Route 31 heads south to Kep.
Route 33 runs along the coast between Kampot and Kep, the drive being around 45 minutes. All roads are in good condition, although hazardous after dark. Both towns are relatively small, meaning that they can be easily explored on foot, while river transport can be arranged from many places for exploring the tributaries around Kampot.
Bicycle and motorbike hire is available through nearly all guesthouses and hotels. It is easy to get lost in the surrounding countryside, however, so try to arrive back in town before it gets dark.
Transport to Bokor Hill is currently limited to guided tours or 4WD trips, so don’t attempt this on your own.
The Vietnamese border is just two hours away along a scenic road, although make sure you have your visa in advance if crossing at Ha Tien, where you can catch a ferry out to Phu Quoc Island – inaccessible from Cambodia.
Getting to and from Kampot to Phnom Penh
Both Hour Lean and Phnom Penh Sorya Transport and run two buses every day, at 08:30 and 12:00, to and from the capital. Several other companies run a run at various times, mostly mornings, from in front of the central market in Phnom Penh. The journey takes around four hours and tickets cost US$4-$5.
Buses go via Kep (US$2) as the road from there to Phnom Penh is better suited to heavy vehicles. Both have their offices located opposite the Total petrol station in Kampot. Minibuses, which can become unbelievably crowded depending on the driver, also depart from near the petrol station (US$3-$4).
Shared taxis mill around the same area or can be booked through your accommodation provider; seats cost US$4 (back) or US$6 (front), and expect to be crammed with at least four others. It is often a good idea to buy an extra ticket for the additional leg room.
Getting from Kampot to Sihanoukville
Phnom Penh Sorya has a daily bus between the two main coastal destinations every day at 08:30, 1½–2 hours, US$4, while G’day Mate in Sihanoukville runs a Western-orientated minibus with English movies and door-to-door service from US$7. Shared taxis and minibuses ply the road at regular intervals, with seats both costing around US$3. Driving from Sihanoukville to Kampot yourself is fairly simply on a 100cc rented Honda, US$10 per day.
Getting to and from Kampot to Kep
Kep is 26kms from Kampot along the coast, a journey of around 45 minutes. Jump on the daily bus to the capital (see above) or grab a moto (US$3), tuk-tuk (US$8) or taxi (US$35/$50 for the whole car). Under no circumstances should you attempt to walk this road, especially at night.
Getting around in Kampot and Kep
Kampot and Kep are both small, with everything within walking distance, although be aware that the electricity supply is notoriously fickle and street lighting more a source of local betting than illumination. A short moto ride around town should cost 2,000 riel, slightly more after dark. Most guesthouse rent bicycles for around US$1.50 per day, while motorbikes can be found from as little as US$4 a day.
Boats from Kampot and Kep
Check at your guesthouse for the latest information on hiring a boat in Kampot to explore the many waterways. Expect to pay anywhere from US$20-$50 for a long-tail, truck-engine powered vessel, with prices depending on the scale of the journey and number of passengers. You can also try your luck by wandering the riverfront and striking up a deal with the local boat man, although haggling will be required. Sunset cruises are popular.
In Kep, boats out to Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island) leave from the pier east of Kep Beach between 09:00 and 17:00. They normally leave when full, and cost US$20 return. You may have to wait if not in a group. Call Sophat for tickets or book at your accommodation.