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Kep

Kep

Area: 336 km2 
Population: 41,798

Kep also romanized as Kaeb, formally known as Kep Province. it is one of the newest Cambodian provinces and also both the smallest and least populous province of Cambodia. The provincial capital is Kep District and the province contains the Kep National Park.
Kep climate and best time to visit
November to January are the coolest months here, in terms of the weather. If you visit between February and April, it will be hot, dry and dusty. Between May to October, the weather is humid, wet and rainy. Therefore, you can plan a trip around Christmas and New Year's, and visit the beautiful coastal town during its cool winter months.
Kep Overview

Kep City is a municipality in Cambodia with the status of a province, just a few kilometres from the border with Vietnam located and is a very popular, relatively undeveloped, beach town. Many of Kep's mostly French colonial villas are long abandoned, but some of the town's former splendour is still apparent.

Kep’s coastline is the Gulf of Thailand and is lined with long sidewalks; on the weekend is very popular with picnicking locals. A good, paved road connects the small town with the Kampot, some 15 Km away. Koh Thonsay (Rabbit Island) is just a short boat ride away (approx. 30 minutes).

At the local market by the sea, the seafood is cheap, plentiful and delicious - particularly for crab, although overfishing is present in the size of the crabs on offer.

Kep is also home to an extensive national park with a few mountains and deep green jungle.


Kep History
Under French rule Kep belonged to the Circonscription Résidentielle de Kampot, developing into Cambodia's most prestigious beach town. Established as such in 1908 and named Kep-Sur-Mer it was a thriving resort town for the French and Cambodian elite until the early 1970s.
Constructed between 1953 and 1970 - after French occupation, Kep's modernist villas are unique. Architects Vann Molyvann and Lu Ban Hap who embodied Cambodia's golden age of architectural modernism, blended elements of the modern movement (Bauhaus, Richard Neutra and Le Corbusier ) with traditional Khmer architecture, promoted by King Sihanouk - known as New Khmer Architecture.
A major misconception about Kep is that during the Khmer Roughe years, much of Kep's French colonial era mansions and villas were destroyed. In fact, local residents, being in need of money and food, stripped down the villas so that they could exchange all these valuable parts in Vietnam for rice and cash. Many of Kep's villas are abandoned, but some of the town's former splendor is still apparent.
The ocean is lined with wide sidewalks and large statues. Prince Norodom Sihanouk not only kept his own villa, but his own island as well. Ile des Ambassadeurs was a favorite spot for Sihanouk to entertain a regular stream of guests.
A paved road connects the town with Kampot. Kep's coastline consists mostly of Mangrove marshes and black rock rather than the white sands of Sihanoukville, although a beach nourishment with the white sand of Sihanoukville has made the beach wider and cleaner.
There are now more than 60 guesthouses, resorts and hotels in Kep. It is currently one of the fastest developing touristic areas in Cambodia with a focus on mid-range to high-end businesses.

Kep Transportation

Kep is best reached from Kampot, being only a 1-hour drive from the riverside town. Kep is about a 3.5-hour drive, southeast of Phnom Penh. It is also well served from both Kampot and Phnom Penh with a choice of bus, minivan or taxi services available; it just depends on your budget. Kep is best explored by motorbike or tuk tuk. Motorbikes can be hired in Kampot.


Things to do and see in Kep

Kep beach is basically a single, kilometer-long crescent of sand near the tip of the Kep peninsula. Dining platforms and seafood vendors line the road behind the beach. The beach area is busy with locals on weekends but often deserted during the week.

There is a very popular seafood market where you can buy fresh prawns, fish and crab, then have it cooked by one of the many kitchens for a small fee. Great with a cold beer.

There are also several cafes, bars and small restaurants lining the road by the sea, a very pleasant place to pass a few hours.

The road through Kep traces the coastline to the beach and then circles back on itself. Be aware that the loop one-way and the police do occasionally enforce the law, levying fines against violators.

Kep is the departure place for Rabbit and the other small islands just off the coast. You will find ticket agents and boats at the pier, just a little further along the coast.


Kep Travel Tips

Kep is not a place for nightlife or shopping. Other than a few Khmer beer gardens, your hotel is likely to offer the best place to relax in the evening. Shopping is also limited to a few souvenir shops and a small market.


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