Even though Kampot is a river town and some of the best things to do are outdoors, sometimes it’s just too hot — or too rainy — and it’s best to just stay inside. Luckily, whether the weather is drizzling or roasting, you can find plenty of indoor activities to do in Kampot. Here are a few of my favorites.
Things to do indoors in Kampot
Kampot Art Gallery
Offering an artistic respite from the heat, Kampot Art Gallery exhibits work by Cambodian artists from around the country. Entry is free and exhibits change monthly so it’s worth swinging by regularly to support the Kampot art scene. The upstairs gallery is a traditional white-walled, silent gallery, exhibiting surprisingly pricey works, while the middle floor is the “aquarium” with an installation exhibit of fish swimming in the sea. Downstairs, there are high quality art supplies for sale, including brushes and oil paints, as well as an assortment of souvenirs by Kampot artists.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 12 to 5:30 p.m.
Street 701, Kampot
T: +855 (0)96 347 4397
Some days you just want air conditioning, soothing music, and a little bit of pampering, and Mala Spa offers just that. Their one-hour body massages start at $7 and spa packages start at $21, and they offer not just massage but body scrubs, facials, and hand and foot treatments. By the end of your treatment (or more likely, treatments), you won’t even remember the grubby backpacker who walked in a few hours earlier. Mala Spa welcomes all people over the age of 16 for spa treatments and if you ask nicely, you may be able to get a new coat of nail polish for the younger ones.
Open daily, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Old Market, next to Captain Chim’s, Kampot
T: +855 (0)81 484 438
Bookworms, rejoice! Just around the corner from Old Market is Bookish Bazaar, two stories of books, books books. If you’ve been traveling with books you’ve already finished or are ready to pass on your travel guides as you get ready to leave the country, you can take advantage of their book trade-in policy and re-stock for your next bus trip. With titles in languages from around the globe, you’re sure to find something to curl up with. Be sure to check out their pop-up shop on the first for local treats.
Open Friday to Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
East Old Market, Kampot
Kampot Provincial Museum
Don’t let the cannons flanking the entrance put you off, the staff at the Kampot Provincial Museum are friendly and helpful. Entry is $2 per person, and inside you’ll see archaeological finds from around Kampot including artifacts from the Pre-Angkorian Era, pieces from modern artists, and details of the future plans for Kampot. Exhibits about the history of Kampot are interesting, and captioned in English, French, and Khmer.
Open daily, 8 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
Riverside Road, Kampot
Levels Entertainment Bar
Don’t let a little travel get in the way of your love of gaming, and head to Levels for your fill of board games and video games. Challenge your friends or foes to a few rounds on your favorite game while sinking a few cold ones. On Friday nights they have a live music event called ‘Open Mic Hero’ where you can get your five minutes of fame with a live musician, or bring an instrument to be your own back-up band.
Open Sunday to Friday, 12 to to 11 p.m.
89 Street 724, Kampot
T: +855 (0)97 787 2222
Epic Arts Cafe
This inclusive workspace and cafe has been serving up cool treats such as chocolate brownie shakes since 2006. Epic Arts’ mission is to empower all people with employment opportunities and artistic outlets, and many of their employees have disabilities. In fact, most servers at the cafe are deaf, so they have a multilingual paper ordering system that works surprisingly well. Food and drink is tasty and reasonably priced and include lots of vegetarian options. Upstairs, their shop features products from different social enterprises around Cambodia.
Open daily, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Street 724, Kampot
T: +855 (0)92 922 069