Kep and Kampot

A sunset view of the beach in Kep, Cambodia.

Expats looking for a simple, relaxed lifestyle head to Kep and Kampot.

Quiet Kampot and Kep are slowly gaining traction with foreign expats, because of their beautiful scenery, available land, and gradually improving infrastructure. There aren’t a lot of job opportunities here, although a number of Christian NGOs call Kampot home. For those who find Phnom Penh too loud and busy, Kep and Kampot each offer a simpler, more relaxed lifestyle.

Kep was once Cambodia’s top seaside resort, but much of it was destroyed during the Khmer Rouge period. You can still see burned-out mansions dotting the town. Kep is only now becoming a popular tourist attraction, and most of the expats who live here are running guesthouses or otherwise working in the tourism industry. Kep is known for having the best seafood in the country.

Kampot is just a few kilometers from the Gulf of Thailand, but it’s still a sleepy riverside town; many of the hotels and guesthouses are situated on the Kampot River. It’s an up-and-coming tourist destination, and expats are also quickly discovering its charms. Its small-town feel and cheap housing make the town ripe for an influx of foreigners.

Interview with an Expat

Why did you decide to live in Kampot?

We moved to Kampot from Sihanoukville in 2008, when things there started to get a little more developed. It allowed us to live in the countryside, as well as being quite close to a town.

What is the best thing about living in Kampot?

The natural beauty of the town and surrounding country.

What is the worst thing about living in Kampot?

In terms of restaurants catering to expat tastes, Sihanoukville has more choices.

Simon Oliver, blogger

This is an excerpt from Move to Cambodia: A guide to living and working in the Kingdom of Wonder. To learn more about 100+ topics that pertain to Cambodia expats, please consider buying the book.