Travel Report: Kep Beach, Cambodia.
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. Our driver dropped us off right here at the start of Kep Beach and its tiny stretch of golden sand.
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 back in those days. But local authorities have totally transformed over the years with imported sand from Kampot. In fact, a new delivery is needed every few weeks just to keep the beach in shape!
It was the height of the off-season that day as Wonderboy and I strolled the beach. As a result, there was 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. Let’s face it, this is a million miles away from the party zones of southern Thailand.
It took us barely ten minutes to cross the beach and reach the promenade. Here you can find Kep Beach’s sole attraction, if that’s even the right word. Locals call the statue Sela Cham P’dey, a fisherman’s wife who forever gazed out to sea. She also goes by the name of Kep Lady. These days her breasts are tastefully concealed by a shawl. Actually, Kep’s locals diligently change her outfit every few weeks to keep her look fresh!
Kep Beach is busy as hell on weekends and of course in the summer. Consequently, many online articles suggest avoiding July and August altogether. In that sense I’m glad we got to see the place breathe and reveal its charms.
Want to delve further afield? I’ve published a whole bunch of articles from around Cambodia.
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