Kep – Cambodia – Information


MAY 2015:


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GETTING THERE:

I was booked in for 2 weeks in Kampot. My plans for Cambodia included a couple of weeks in Kep before moving north to Sihanoukville (‘Snooky’).

As Kampot and Kep are only about 20km apart, I decided to rent a scooter from where I was staying (the Vibola Guesthouse) and take a day trip down to Kep to “suss it out’.

It was an easy ride down National Highway 3; that makes the road sound like a motorway… believe me, it is not. The traffic was very ‘light’ and not a worry at all.

I decided to do the long loop around Kep Sur Mer, so I passed the first turn off and took the second one (starting along the coast south of the National Park).

It took 20 minutes to get there on my scooter.


WHAT I FOUND:

Kep Sur Mer (Kep by the Sea) has no ‘centre’; Kep is just, effectively, a collection of holiday resorts built around poor beaches and unclear water.

There are just 2 focal points:

  • Kep Beach (where they ‘imported’ the sand from Sihanoukville)
  • The Crab Market

It was ‘Shoulder Season’ so prices were coming down and were ‘negotiable’.

I zig-zagged every street around Kep Beach and the Crab Market to see what sort of accommodation I could find.

The best ‘value for money’ deals that I could find were:

  • Dara Kep: These were about 2-3kms from Kep Beach but they did Bungalows with fan for US$200/m
  • Le Coco: Did Bungalows with fan, hot water en suite, cable TV, and wifi for US$15 (US$12 for more than 1 week) including free use of a bicycle
  • N4: Did a ‘terraced’ room with fan, hot water en suite, cable TV, and wifi for US$10; they had a pool but it was ‘mediocre’
  • Boathouse: Did Bungalows with fan, hot water en suite, balcony (with hammock), and wifi for US$10 (US$8 for more than 1 week) including free use of a bicycle; They also did a ‘penthouse’ suite with fan, hot water en suite, cable TV, balcony (with hammock), and wifi for US$18 (US$15 for more than 1 week) including free use of a bicycle
  • Bacoma: Did Bungalows with fan, hot water en suite, balcony (with hammock), and wifi for US$20 (US$17 for more than 1 week) including free use of a bicycle

CONCLUSION:

I drove around for a day and my general impression was that prices were 20-25% more expensive than Kampot.

For example to ‘going rate’ for a scooter in Kampot is US$5/day… in Kep it is US$7/day.

It really didn’t do that much for me.

You could either:

  • Go down to the Kep Beach cafes and shops and get ripped off; or
  • Go down to the Crab Market and get ripped off; or
  • Stay in your over-priced resort and get ripped off

OK, I use the term ‘ripped off’ harshly – compared to European prices you are still getting excellent value for money. But, this is Cambodia and paying US$8-10 for a meal in one of the boutique cafes at Kep Beach is out of proportion for Cambodia.

The remnants of French Colonialism remain… including many pieces of vacant land (some with derelict houses on them).

They sort of cry out ‘buy me and build a lovely home on me’, but I wouldn’t (not yet anyway).

I would suggest that only people who want a ‘very peaceful life’ or want to ‘get away from it all’ would find Kep of any interest. I’d go stir crazy there in about 2 weeks.


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