Kep (Cambodia)

6.5 hours night bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (the capital of Cambodia), 3 hours wait at the bus station and another 3.5 hours in a bus to Kep. I felt worse than jet-lagged and needed more than a day of sleep to recover from this adventure. The ride was safe, the night bus comfortable enough to get a few hours of sleep, but all together it was exhausting and we lost our weekend to traveling.

Kep itself is not at all what we imagined. Friends recommended the place and there are lots of good commentary on the internet. However, what we found wasn’t exactly the same of what we’ve seen before on the web. There’s black oil slush covering the sea, the water dirty and it’s impossible to see the ground even on shallow parts. There are only small bays of beaches, everywhere else it’s just a wall, without access to the water. The roads are highways with 2–3 lanes in each direction, and only a few Tuk Tuks driving here and there. It’s like they built this massive highway infrastructure for a metropolis that never raised. It feels very empty. The only “action” is happening at and near the Crab Market. On a Sunday afternoon it’s packed with people feasting on cooked, fried, roasted, grilled or otherwise prepared fish and seafood.

We stayed at Villa Kep Resort, which offers nice bungalows a bit off the beaten path. Once the initial shock passed and we accepted that there‘s nothing to see or do in Kep, we set up base at the resort and focused on our work and relaxation. The resort is all green with lots of trees in their very own vegetable garden and no other sounds than of the jungle around, which really puts your mind at ease. Breakfast was great and there‘s decent wifi. They also host a BBQ twice every month. The owners of Villa Kep Resort are lovely and very helpful.

Costs & Expenses

  • Night Bus (Giant Ibis) from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: ~$15/pp

  • Bus (Giant Ibis) from Phnom Penh to Kep: ~$10/pp

  • Acommodation: $35/night with breakfast

  • Meals: ~$5 per person

  • Attractions (Bufferfly Farm, etc.): $1

  • Tuk Tuk: $3 from hotel to crab market