Travel Report: Cruising The Kampot River, Cambodia.

Sunset cruise The Kampot River Cambodia

December 2015. A sunset cruise down the magical Praek Tuek Chhu River is quite possibly the most popular thing to do in the Cambodian city of Kampot. The river’s name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue for us foreigners, so you’ll find it referred to as simply The Kampot River, a beautiful stretch of water that runs along the foot of The Elephant Mountains. Having conquered the spectral sights of Bokor National Park and dispatched about as much coffee and cake as we could handle at the wondrous Kampot Pie & Ice Cream Palace, Wonderboy and I were finally ready to hang out on the river.

Sunset cruise The Kampot River Cambodia
Sunset cruise down The Kampot River.

December 2015. Wander down to Kampot’s picturesque promenade and you’ll find a glut of boat operators who certainly aren’t shy in letting you know about their services. With the passing of the years and some uncharacteristically poor note taking I can’t remember which operator we went with in the end. In any case most companies do the same route, the differences usually come with the quality of the boat, the friendliness of the staff and maybe a complimentary beer.

Sunset cruise The Kampot River Cambodia
Sunset cruise down The Kampot River.

December 2015. Be sure to pick one of the longer cruises as the further north you go the more gorgeous the views become, with a more dramatic sunset to boot.

Sunset cruise The Kampot River Cambodia
Sunset cruise down The Kampot River.
Kampot River sunset cruise Cambodia
Sunset cruise down The Kampot River.

December 2015. A lot of the Kampot River tours are also referred to as Firefly Cruises as, if you’re luck happens to be in, the captain will be sure to pull up right alongside a batch of trees packed with the little glowing bugs. We did get to see some that night though they were impossible to photograph for an amateur like me. Should have taken a video.

Sunset cruise The Kampot River Cambodia
Sunset cruise down The Kampot River.

December 2015. I’ve done a fair few river cruises over the years but The Kampot River stands out as a particularly idyllic setting. The colors really are amazing, as this photo hopefully attests. No, I did not use a filter! If you’re looking to do a cruise yourself some of the more reputable guys include Captain Chim’s and Naga House. These are the cheap basic cruises for around $5, maybe even with a complimentary beer thrown in. If you want something truly special, get in touch with The Boatman, a Belgian dude called Bart who does three-hour trips where you’ll get out to some remote parts of the river. Expect to pay somewhere between $40-70.

Like this? Take a look at more of my travel reports from Kampot.

Want to delve further afield? I’ve published a whole bunch of articles from around Cambodia.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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