The small, sleepy town of Kep was founded in the early 1900s during the French colonial period, and towards the ’60s, it was developed into a luxury beach resort town, welcoming laidback visitors to its warm seashores. Abandoned during the civil war years, and only opening up at the turn of the century, it is now being revived to its former glory. It is a town of fascinating contrasts, from the beautiful style of the restored Knai Bang Chatt resort to the eerily abandoned villas scattered about the town.
Travellers still visit the area for a relaxing stay along the coastline, and it is now probably best known for its fresh seafood and the faded grandeur of its French villas. The beaches here don’t compare to most in Southeast Asia, but the crab market, surrounding hills and remote islands are sure to keep travellers interested.
The town is best explored by tuk-tuk as you drive along the picturesque coastline, stopping at the markets, a fishing village and salt fields to see how locals make a living. A must-do during your stay is to walk through the bustling crab market as locals cook up their fresh catches, before sitting down to enjoy an array of delicious seafood at one of the many restaurants next door.
In all, Kep is primarily a place to relax and unwind and is a great base from which to explore the nearby rural countryside, complete with rice paddies, salt fields and water buffalo. We recommend ending your time in Cambodia with a relaxing few days here, and there are some lovely properties. Knai Bang Chatt sits right on the coastline and comprises several villas, providing peaceful, seaside accommodation.
Have a chat with our Cambodia experts to see how you can incorporate a relaxing, insightful stay in Kep as part of your next tailor-made holiday.
Classic Cambodia Holiday Ideas:
Temples, Nature and Islands
Veer off the beaten track in Cambodia and Thailand; Angkor to idyllic Koh Kood island via the Cardamom Mountains.
Cambodia Grand Journey
Three-week, in-depth adventure. Take in a range of experiences and off-the-beaten-track locations that many visitors miss.
Hidden Gems of Cambodia
The well-known sites combined with some lesser-explored parts of the countryside and time at the beach.
Cambodia & Vietnam via Mekong
Watch the scenery change as you travel from Cambodia to Vietnam along the Mekong River. Magical.