Places to Visit Away From Angkor Wat, Cambodia:

Away from the tourist trail, and the hustle and bustle of towns like Siem Reap and Battambang, the country offers the visitor a rare insight into Khmer life. Leave behind Angkor Wat and the Temples, Siem Reap and Battambang, and find places where the life is as slow and tranquil as it used to be in Cambodia just a decade or so ago.

One such town is Kep, Cambodia

One of Cambodia’s idyllic seaside havens, Kep is a sleepy little town overlooking the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Kep was originally a retreat for the French during their colonial rule and the area was then known as S.E. Asia’s Riviera. It was the Cambodian’s favouriteholiday resort as well, especially during the 50’s and 60’s, but as a symbol of capitalism, the Khmer Rouge destroyed the town during the civil war there in the 1970's. All the villas were gutted and burnt, the gardens dug up and the fields surrounding the town ruined for farming.

Recently however, the town has begun to come alive and restaurants and bars have sprung up to cater to Cambodians and the few tourists who find their way to the place. The buildings still standing have been restored to their former glory and now serve as hotels and guest houses, and Kep’s beauty and tranquility is once more on the way to being discovered.

Like the rest of Cambodia, the cuisine is superb in Kep (a hangover from the French occupation), and with the munificence of the seafood in the waters around the town, it is rapidly gaining a name for itself as a gourmet paradise. The fish is landed daily and restauranteurs and beachside vendors buy the fish direct from the fishermen and pop it straight into the pan or the oven.

What to do in Kep

1. The favourite trip is a day trip to the offshore island of KohTonsay to relax on its beaches. This is even better if there is time in the schedule to stay overnight. The island is quite undeveloped so the beachfront accommodation is basic - rather like Thailand was ten years ago.

2. Nearby is the historic and picturesque town of Kampot, famous for the caves that fill the limestone hills of the area. There is also a world famous aromatic Kampot pepper plantation.

3. Watching the stunning sunsets from the Sailing Club, or from the beach, curled up with a sundowner and a plate of shellfish, or on the veranda of one of the many guest houses on the hills surrounding the town.

The following website provides useful information for tourists in Siem Reap: airbnb siem reap cambodia

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