Kep - Waterfront

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’).

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Kep - National Park Kep - CountrysideAs 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 - Beach Approach Kep - Crab Market ApproachKep 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

Kep - Road Back From Beach Kep - WaterfrontIt 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:

Kep - Beach Cafes & Shops Kep - BeachI 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.

Kep - Crab Market 1 Kep - Crab Market 2The 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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