Love Cambodia’s underrated charms but want to explore non-city areas? Kampot might be the answer. Raw and beautiful, this is the untouched beauty of the South Coast. The best part: There’s now a train service which gives you easy direct access.
Boutique retreat hotel Knai Bang Chatt in Kep has partnered with Royal Cambodian Railways to launch a ‘Royal Train Experience’ to bring you from Phnom Penh to the idyllic area (in fact, it is reportedly the first ever service to be had in the last 14 years).
Here, we give you a breakdown on what to expect from Kampot and the new train ride experience:
What to see:
Here’s the best opportunity to be one of the first few to catch a glimpse of the Cambodians’ way of life as the train passes through the capital city’s growing developments. Picture leaving the train station to immerse yourself in the naturalistic surrounds as it moves towards Kampot. We recommend 1) going on a digital detox (forget Instagram and upload your pictures later) and 2) looking out to feast your eyes on the vast rice fields and tall sugar palm trees. After all, Kampot is known for its iconic salt fields and pepper plantations.
What to experience:
While the train carries you to the rural destination, check out sightings of precious wildlife and seriously scenic limestone mountains. Then, it’ll bring you to a brief stop at a local village where you can stretch your legs (good call for a five to six-hour ride) and do what we’re best known for: shopping for local snacks from street vendors.
How to enjoy the retreat:
Upon reaching Kampot, you will be privately transferred to Knai Bang Chatt, the chic-est boutique hotel where you’ll be staying at for the next two days. A brief background: It was said to be the holiday spot (who can say no so a coastal retreat?) for the wealthy in the 1960s. Which explains why the resort boasts the perfect balance of privacy, serenity, and exclusivity. If you’re not keen of finding things-to-do around the stay, hole up in the hotel to indulge in traditional Khmer treatments, yoga and meditation, which are all available at the spa. By request only.
What to expect from Kampot:
The charming town sits along the Praek Tuek Chhu river. An hour away from Kep, Kampot makes a lovely, laid-back town for digital nomads who are looking for a home away from home. Explore the area and bask in the rustic surrounds, with unique architectures featuring a mix of Chinese shophouses with hints of French colonial elements.
How much it costs:
Approximately $400/pax. The package includes a two-night stay at the hotel, one-way train ticket from Phnom Penh to Kampot, transfers from any location in Phnom Penh to the train station and from Kampot train station to the hotel, picnic lunch on the train and a welcome beverage in Kampot. Book it here
Ready to embark on your adventure?
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