December 2015. The sleepy seaside retreat of Kep was the final stop for Wonderboy and I as our great Cambodia trip of 2015 came to a gentle close. It was just a thirty-minute drive from our room in the centre of Kampot, so we hailed a tuk tuk and went over on a day trip. We were dropped off right at the start of Kep Beach and its tiny stretch of golden sand.
December 2015. Kep put itself on the map back in the early 1900s when it developed as a resort town for rich French colonialists. Today you can still see many of those old townhouses in the road directly behind Kep Beach. Some of them are wonderfully dilapidated. The beach was actually famously dreary and grey but has been totally transformed with imported sand from Kampot. In fact, a new delivery is needed every few weeks to keep the beach in shape.
December 2015. It was the height of the off-season that day as Wonderboy and I strolled the beach and there were barely a handful of people around. It was easy to see why Kep attracts so many families and, how can I put it, a more cultured type of beach tourist.
December 2015. It took us barely ten minutes to cross the beach and reach the promenade at its eastern end. Here you can find Kep Beach’s sole attraction, if that’s even the right word. The statue is of Sela Cham P’dey, a fisherman’s wife gazing out to sea. The nude statue is also known as Kep Lady and these days her breasts are tastefully concealed by a shawl, which is often changed by dedicated locals.
December 2015. Kep Beach gets quite packed out on weekends and of course in the summer when, bearing in mind its size, I imagine the place would be no fun at all. In that sense I’m glad we got to see it breathe and reveal its charms.
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