|- How to get to Kep|
|- History of Kep|
|- Cambodias Climate - Kep Weather Chart|
|- Transportation in Kep, motorbike rental, Tuk Tuk|
|- Money/ATM and Telecom & Postal service|
|- Health, Doctor, Pharmacie, Miscellaneous|
|How to get to Kep?|
|From/To Phnom Penh, Airport to Kep
From PP to Kep:
|From Sihanoukville, Airport to Kep
|The biggest beach town of Cambodia - Sihanoukville aka Kompong Som lies 130km north-west of Kep and does have a small airport with daily flights from/to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh with Cambodian Angkor Air.
A comfortable taxi is $35-40 and takes 2-3h.
The minivan service takes about 3h and costs $7-$9.
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|From/To Phu Quoc, Vietnam to Kep||The beautiful ex-Cambodian, now Vietnamese Island Phuo Quoc (PQ) (Cambodian name 'Koh Troll') lies directly in front of Kep. The tourist center is on the west-coast (sunset), with Dong Dong as the main town and Long Beach with most hotels.
At the moment there is no direct boat service between PQ and Kep (although the authorities have been promising to establish a link since years) and therefore you first take a ferry to Ha Tien or Rach Gia and from there a bus to Kep.
There are several companies which sell you a combi ticket (boat and minivan) for around $30. The trip takes about 5-6h.
When travelling the other way round, first please don't forget to get a Vietnamese visa, either in PP or in Sihanoukville, which can be obtained in Kep via taxi (24h, $75 1 month single entry, $110 1 month multiple entries, only visa prices). Several European countries don't need a visa anymore!
The 'Ha Tien Economic Zone Visa' which was valid for 2 weeks doesn't exist anymore!
There is plenty more information on the Visitphuquoc.info site.
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|From Koh Kong/Trat to Kep
|The Koh Kong/Trat (Thailand) border-crossing is very popular for tourists, coming from Koh Chang, Bangkok or Pattaya. It is possible to buy a bus ticket all the way to Kep, starting from either BKK, Trat, Koh Chang or Pattaya.
The Cambodian Immigration police issues tourist visas on arrival, one month for 1'200 Thai Baht (=$40, normal price is $30)!!! If you got your photograph ready, you might get it a little bit cheaper, insisting you know the official price is $30, but don't count on it. The best way to avoid this official scam is to do an electronic visa beforehand. The 'extreme round up' has been like this for years!
When travelling from Kep to Thailand (Koh Chang, Bangkok etc) the bus/minivan is leaving early morning and takes you to Bangkok in 15h, to Koh Chang 10h. A soft pillow and a big book is recommended! :-)
Thailand issues visas on arrival for most countries. When arriving overland you get a 2 weeks visa, when arriving by plane, you get a 4 week visa - money, money, money makes the world go round - specially in Thailand! :-)
Busses from Koh Kong drive normally directly to Sihanoukville, so when travelling to Kep you need to change to another van in Veal Renh (trun off to Kampot, Kep). Wait for the connection bus/minibus next to the elephant monument. Veal Renh to Kep is 70km on a good road.
A taxi Koh Kong to Kep is around $120 - $140.
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(all times and costs indicated are without guarantee and are for indication purposes only - updated September 2016)
|History of Kep|
The City Kep was established by the French in 1908 and was the In-Place for the rich Khmers and French, who built over 300 French style villas. (today these are ruins, mainly because the Vietnamese guttet them when they withdrew back to their homeland but also from the poor Kep residents in need of building material).
Since a few years Kep is experiencing a slow renaissance offering bungalows but also normal hotel-rooms in a range of over 100 guest houses and hotels, which are popular with domestic tourists (foreigners and Khmers) and a growing number of international tourists.
Kep serves some of the best Cambodian sea food (Crab with green pepper is probably the most popular dish) and offers a fantastic combination of a National Park, the ocean with its offshore islands and the Kep beach. Taking a boat for the day to the nearby Rabbit island is a popular experience as well as a walk around the beautiful Kep National Park with a diverse wildlife and lovely viewpoints (if you are lucky you see the amazing Hornbills).
Kep's Weather Chart - in Grad Celcius
Kep's Weather Chart - In Farenheit
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|Once arrived in Kep you need a transportation, since Kep is very spread out having 3 centres: the Crab Market, the beach and then the official center with Kep City.
Many guest houses offer bicyles (free or for rent) to explore Kep in a healthy way. Another possibility is renting your own motorbike for $7-$8/day, which is a fun way to get around and meet the locals. With the moto you can also do some fun excursions to the caves, Pepper Plantation etc. More on our page Activities.
If you prefer to have a driver, then there are plenty of Tuk Tuk's waiting to offer their services (you might have already met some of them at the bus stop near the beach). The Tuk Tuk is a very convinient way of travelling, it fits 4-5 persons, you are protected against the sun and the rain and have fresh air. A Tuk Tuk to Kampot and back is around $20, a trip from your guest house to the Crab market around $2-$3. A very good and experienced Tuk Tuk driver with excellent english skills is Mr Chen, Tel 017 577 382 or Mr Samnang, Tel 010 73 55 81.
There are still some motodubs (motorbike taxis) which is a good alternative if you are travelling alone. A very experienced motodub is Mr Wut who speaks very good english and french, Tel 012 548 273.
A private taxi gives you the comfort of air conditioning and protects you from the dust. The trip to Kampot and back sets up back $25. An experienced, english speaking driver with a Toyota Camry is Mr Putee, Tel 088 432 00 34 or Mr Bro, Tel 012 752 034. also from Kep, who speaks English and drives a comfortable Lexus (charges the same prices as a Camry Taxi).
|Money and Telecom|
|There are now several ATMs by ABA Bank, (at the Beach, Crab Market and Pier) and an ACLEDA Bank with ATM at the Damnak Changeur with Western Union. Further there is a Credit Mutuel Kampuchea (CMK) branch after Kep City which offers normal banking services.
There are some money changers at Kep City, the White Horse and at the Damank Changeur Markets (showcase with money inside). Better rates and more currencies than with the bank.
Telecom and Post
You can buy your own Cambodian sim card for less than 1 US$. If your phone is locked then there are new Mobile Phones for less than $20! There are about 7 different operators, with SMART and Metfone being the two biggest. SEATEL offers unlimited 4G internet for $5/month! Available at the phone shops in Kep City, White Horse and Damnak Changeur.
There used to be 'public phone lenders', but nowadays with so cheap mobile phones, they don't exist anymore. If you don't have a Cambodian Sim and like to make a call, almost everybody will borrow yoyu his/her phone for 1000-2000 Riel, depending on how long you call.
For calls back home, Skype is the way to go. WiFi is available in almost every hotel and few do have public computer with headsets, which is a good and cheap option to call internationally. Another place is the Inernet Cafe @ Don Bosco with a 2Mb connection.
If you want to send your postcards or a parcel then you want to visit the Kep Kep Post Office (Tel: 011 787 129) opposite of the pier (going to Rabbit Island). It provides basic services like selling stamps and you can send parcels overseas (not cheap, not very reliable :-O). They are open from Mo-Fr from 9am - 5pm, with a 2h lunch break (please be aware of the many public holidays, during which it is closed). As a resident of Kep you can get a P.O Box for your post.
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|Health, Doctor, Pharmacy and miscellaneous|
|Most of the western run Hotels provide a basic first aid kid for scratches or headaches.
If you have a more serious problem than a small motorbike accident and are in need of a Doctor you have the choice of going to visit the local doctor at the Kep Provincial Health Hospital or then drive to Kampot.
In Kampot there are two places recommended for foreigners.
The Sonja Kill Hospital (operated by HOPE International) located on the road to Sihanoukville, it is a big hospital with foreign (or foreign educated) doctors and qualified hospital staff. They do have and an Ambulance and you can buy your medicine at their pharmacy.
The second choice is in Kampot town, called Bokor Clinic, with reasonable local doctors, ultrasound machine, X-Rays and and also an Ambulance (should you need to be transportet do Phnom Penh - about $250 !).
For a serious medical treatment there is only Phnom Penh or then Thailand or Vietnam. In Phnom Penh there is the Thai operated, very expensive Rattanak Hospital, in the Toul Kork commune with all modern equipment and qualified doctors, also with a Pharmacy. The SOS Clinic is American run and quite good and expensive. The Naga Clinic comes recommended with the very qualified french Dr Garin as main doctor. The Calmette is a public hospital and only an option if you are not insured.
For pharmaceutical needs there is since Sep '14 a new Pharmacy at the Beach in Kep, next to the ATM (Pharmalink, Tel: 033 500 4777, email: email@example.com) with an educated Pharmasist (English, French and Khmer spoken). They do carry a wide spectrum of quality drugs, creams, etc. Opening hours are from 8am - 8pm.
A qualified Doctor in Kep is Dr Christian SIODMAK MD PhD, and can be consulted by appointment only. His phone number is 096 48 36 814 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Consultation fee is $25.
From 8pm to 8am, nightshift, emergencies are managed by Kep Referral Hospital 24h/24h (036 6545 777) or then the Sonja Kill Hospital in Kampot (012 820 838).
A good Pharmacie in Kampot is on the road to PP (NR 3), 20m before the Kampot Market, on the left side. Big selection of quality medicines (from France, Germany, etc) and they do speak English. Another bigger pharmacy is one the road to the new bridge on the right hand side.
We do also have a Computer/Phone Support (PC/Mac - IPhone/Smartphone) which can help you with any problems you might encounter during your stay in Kep. Created by a barang with Khmer prices!
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