By now Cambodia should need no introduction as a holiday destination, with multiple tourism destination awards under its belt, plus the Trip Advisor award for the Worlds friendliest country it has already established itself within the top tier of destinations in Asia. With most of the maddening crowds heading to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh it may be surprising then that the small French colonial town of Kampot nestled on the South coast of the country is fast becoming the countries next destination hotspot.
Kampot is gaining popularity as a tourist destination with several different types of travellers for the exact opposite reason that the larger cities are seeing an increase in tourism. Kampot when compared to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap is very chilled out and very in tune with its natural setting. There is not a bustling nightlife in the small town, nor is there a plethora of temples to visit, what Kampot offers very simply is peace, calm and serene tranquillity. Nestled next to its own tidal river the pace of life here is much slower, and the focus of its tourism marketing is its natural beauty and relaxing environment, which is exactly what people tend to crave after time in Phnom Penh or Kampot.
Still Kampot is one of the most popular Cambodian cities to visit, and in order to ensure that all its tourists are well cared for during their stay; the tourism department of Cambodia have put significant investment into improving the road infrastructure and adventure tour options in and around the town. Travellers are able to customize their stay based on the type of accommodation they prefer, and with lots of accommodation offered there is an option for every budget.
With the average cost of a hotel room in Cambodia being just $50 per day most accommodation can be considered budget friendly by Western standards. However, the busiest hostels and hotels tend to be the cheapest not because they cost less but often because they have more than just a room to offer. If you are considering Kampot we can suggest the following properties.
The Nataya Round House coral bay resort located in the Prek Ampil area, this hotel has 23 rooms that offer a fantastic view, a gigantic pool and amazing food at the onsite restaurant. This is just how a traditional colonial Khmer mansion of plantation would have been arranged, it is truly one of the most exclusive places to stay in the area although it can sometimes be a little devoid of life during the low season, which is excellent if you want peace and quiet. Room prices from $150 upwards
The Natural Bungalows Restaurant and Bar is located in the heart of the city centre in Kampot. The room sizes at this location range from deluxe rooms with a twin bed, deluxe rooms with double bed, VIP room and a triple room. With facilities on offer to its guests including massage facilities, access to the private beach, an onsite spa and endless gardens. Guests can enjoy 24 hours room service as well as free Wi Fi, again during the low season it can be a little devoid of life. Or alternatively check out The Two Moons hotel located opposite the Mad Monkey Hostel in Kampot.
Watching the Pennies
Though there are several hostels and budget hotels in the town but the one that stands out from the rest is the Mad Monkey hostel in Kampot. This upmarket stylish hostel is located on the riverside overlooking the Kampot River and features an excellent restaurant, a large pool and rooms with amazing views. The hostel is able to accommodate up-to 75 guests every night in the rooms ranging from dorm sized rooms, female dorm rooms, family rooms, double and triple rooms with shared and private bathrooms as well as budget double rooms. The Mad Monkey hostel group in Kampot has a large number of facilities to offer its guests including a TV room, the pool side bar or the jungle bar located on the roof top of the hostel, beer pong in the games room and the regular events taking place every night. The Mad Monkey is also always busy, so if you want to meet other people and have an upmarket stay experience on a backpacker budget then this would be our choice.
So if you are considering heading off to Cambodia for a vacation or even for a spell of jaunty backpacking make sure you place Kampot firmly on your itinerary.