If you’re visiting Kampot and are itching to see Kep, or are sick of eating crab in Kep and are ready to see sleepy Kampot, never fear, there are several options to go back and forth between Kep and Kampot. The trip is only 25km (15 miles) and takes between thirty minutes to an hour depending on which type of transport you choose. None of these requires advance reservation and all can be booked while in Kampot or Kep.
Currently the trip between Kampot and Kep takes about 35 to 45 minutes by tuk tuk through the Cambodian countryside and several Cham Muslim villages. The road is now fully sealed, so it’s a much more comfortable journey than it was a year ago. When the road was being redone the journey cost between $12 and $15 due to the added wear and tear on vehicles—it was between $8 and $10 before that. These days, negotiations usually start at $15, but most drivers will be happy with $10 or $12 for two people. If you are looking to do a day trip, return trips are usually about the same (because most tuk tuk drivers turn around and go back after dropping you off, anyway). They will be happy to wait for you for a few hours for a couple of extra bucks.
You can catch a tuk tuk at any of the bus stations in Kampot or just on the road. In Kep, your guesthouse can call one for you or you can pick one up at the Crab Market.
A moto can be had for between $3 and $6 one-way. If you’re happy to drive yourself, you can rent a moto in Kampot or Kep for between $4 and $7 per day.
Taxis provide a smoother if less authentic journey between Kep and Kampot. As with most taxis in Cambodia, expect an older model Toyota Camry that seats four passengers (but not if you have as many large suitcases). The cost to take a taxi between Kep and Kampot is $20, and your guesthouse or any local travel agent can book one for you. The will start the negotiation at $30 or $25, but the going rate is still $20. The trip takes about thirty minutes.
For a more scenic way to get from Kampot to Kep, the Crab Shuttle is a daily boat (weather permitting). The trip takes about two hours and costs $9.50 one-way and $13.50 return. The Crab Shuttle is more than just transport; you can buy drinks on the boat and enjoy the scenic cruise. The boat times mean you can spend the day in Kep and head back to Kampot for dinner.
The boat leaves at 9:30 a.m. from Kampot to Kep and arrives at the Rabbit Island Pier at around 11:30 a.m. The trip back from Kep to Kampot is at 3:30 p.m. In this direction, they go a bit slower in order to catch the gorgeous sunset on the river. The boat arrives in Kampot around 6 p.m.
The Crab Shuttle
T: 088 829 6644
Several companies are running mini-buses between Kampot and Kep, and all can be booked at any guesthouse, hotel or local travel agency. The schedules change often—sometimes on a daily basis–so although the times listed below are current as of writing, they change often so it’s best to check before you go.
Vibol Transport runs small buses twice a day between Kampot and Kep for $3 per person. The trip takes 45 minutes and they offer free WiFi (which doesn’t usually work). The times have been changing on a regular basis, but there is always a morning bus and an afternoon bus. Currently, the times are 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. from Kampot to Kep and 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. from Kep to Kampot, but it’s best to check with a travel agent as the Vibol staff seemed unsure themselves as to when their buses were leaving.
Vibol VIP Transport
T: 078 505 002; 070 954 502
Kampot Tours and Travel is a Kampot and Vietnam-based travel agency that has a mini-bus service that runs between Kampot and Kep. The cost is $3 and they run twice daily from Kampot to Kep. The current times are 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. They run once daily from Kep to Kampot at 2:30 p.m. (Although as usual it’s best to check the times to make sure they haven’t changed). The trip takes 45 minutes and they offer free pickup.
Kampot Tours and Travel
One block off the riverside, near Kronat Park, Kampot
T: 092 125 556; 097 982 8756
Champa Mekong Tours runs mini-buses between Kep and Kampot as well. Buses cost $5 per person and leave Kampot for Kep at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and Kep to Kampot at 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Published times are often different, so check to make sure.
Champa Mekong Tours
Ek Reach Street (also called Old Market Street. Next to the park, one block in from the riverside), Kampot
T: 023 696 8000
Hour Lian Lion is a new service that runs daily buses between Kep and Kampot that cost just $2. You can buy tickets from any agent in either Kep or Kampot (some will charge $3). Check the schedule, but at the time of writing we were told buses leave at 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Hour Lian Lion Transport
T:097 484 8485; 089 782 008