On the coast of Cambodia near the Vietnamese border lies the town of Kep. We heard about this place from an Irish couple we met in Laos. They told us that Kep is a great place to relax and to get away from “touristy rubbish.” Relaxing sounds good, getting away from touristy stuff sounds good, I guess we’ll go to Kep. Ironically, Kep used to be a touristy place, it was actually a bustling resort town prior to the Khmer Rouge. Now it seems to be a bit of a resort ghost town. It’s a little eery walking along the crumbling seawall that was obviously a grand and manicured walkway once upon a time. The walkway is lined with magnificent trees, benches to take in the ocean view, and overlooked by french colonial mansions many of which are now reduced to their foundations. We could see the bullet holes in many of the shells of homes. There’s not much to the actual town of Kep, it’s a pretty sleepy
place. There is a beach, but nothing too special, this is probably not
the place to come and hangout on the beach all day. If you enjoy a
small town vibe, off the tourist checklist, this is the perfect place.
Our absolute favorite part of Kep is the crab market. The crab market
is a row of local restaurants on stilts over the water at the fishing
marina. This is the place to go for any meal. The food here is FRESH,
you can see all the products on the menu being caught from your table.
We had several meals here, the most memorable were the dinners at
sunset. Drinking cold Angkor Beers, eating fresh boiled crab with
melted butter and chili sauce on steamed rice, while watching the
sunset over the water is pretty much as good as it gets. Kep is now slowly rebuilding itself as a tourist destination with a handful of hotels, although fishing and crabbing seems to be the primary industry here. We stayed in a fantastic eco-resort, per the recommendation of our friends called the Veranda Natural Resort. The resort is tucked up in the mountainside overlooking Kep and the China Sea. Each room is a thatched bungalow with a hammock clad porch. A relaxing place with great food and amazing views all for a very reasonable price, we would recommend this place to anyone.
Kep is an amazing place. We have a feeling that this won’t be a secret for long.