To a little extent it was a bit surprising to me but this small town of Kep has quite a few attractions to offer. There are so many options to go for.. but.. BUT I hardly had any time in this magician’s-hat town!! However, whatever time was there, I tried utilising it as much as I could. To start with the river area of the town has restaurants lined up by the bay and there is a local market; selling local produce, Durian (the fruit you can smell from a faraway land!), dried shrimps of so many sizes and many more things which I didn’t know of! A walk by the river area at early evening right before the sunset is very comfortable and comforting too; followed by you may go for early dinner or some drinks at those restaurants.
What to see or do in Kep? Here is a list for you:
Kep National Park:
Kep national Park is very close the ferry pier connecting Rabbit island, this is the closest sightseeing of this town. Also, this place is quite close to the city Centre of Kep as well, hence no hassle to reach there, the park is open till 4pm, hence make your plan accordingly.
Bokor Mountain Hill:
Bokor Mountain is quite famous as a day excursion from Kep or Kampot (closer from here). One can also stay at Bokor, it’s a small hill town with pleasant weather and may be a bit of night life. It is quite popular for casino as well.
There are few other places like a River park, Kampongtrach Cave, Doung te, Tada and a Pepper plantation. Though I could visit none of the above for my excellent planning skill, the place I did go for was Rabbit Island and I couldn’t ask for more satisfaction or a place so serene.
Rabbit Island is a small, simple (this is very important to mention) and homely island about half an hour’s distance away by boat from mainland Kep, inhabited by a minimal number of people; this is a place with exigent unspoiled beauty. This island has a pure blissful angelic beauty in the gleaming water, ataraxy in the atmosphere and an ultimate heartfelt Traveller’s joy. Trust me I am not making up a thing here..
Boats or small ferries transport guests twice a day to-fro the island, once in the morning about 8 am in the morning, the other at 1 pm in the afternoon. The last ferry leaving the island for Kep is at 4 pm. These are small ferry boats, which can accommodate about 10-14 people at a time, the ride is quite smooth, nothing like Koh-Rong!
Once on the island, you are on your own to explore the place. It’s just water, beach, sand and food to enjoy, until you wish to stay here, which is also possible, there are few Khmer guest houses are available for stay and 1-2 night isn’t bad actually. Otherwise, locals do come for picnic purpose, bringing their own food, there are a number of wooden picnic shelters built by the beach with swings hanging from wooden ceilings, where each group or families can spend their time. For the rest, don’t worry at all, there’s still plenty of places left. Enjoy swimming in the cool calm water, you may carry your own food, otherwise there are few restaurants available to have freshly cooked warm food or chilled fresh fruit juice (I always mention fruit and juice while talking about beach), the price is little on a higher side but it’s really little, so it’s ok.
I will say, come here in the morning and spend a whole day enjoying in this island. I will reasonably and unreasonably, will recommend spending some good time here in this island. Every sight, everything about this place seems perfect, spotless and any beach-lovers domicile.
** The tour cost was about 10.00 USD per person. As the resort arranged it for me, it included the hotel pick up & drop along with the ferry tickets.
From my mistakes and a simultaneous learning, this is my honest suggestion to you, If you are coming to kep, come with some time, at least 3 nights in hand (that is the minimum I am saying), and do keep this Rabbit island in your to-do-list.
Know more on Kep here..