|- How to get to Kep|
|- History of Kep|
|- Cambodias Climate - Weather in Kep Chart|
|- Transportation (coming soon...)|
|- Money/ATM and Telecom & Postal service (Wi Fi)|
|- Health, Doctor, Pharmacie|
|How to get to Kep?|
|From Phnom Penh, Airport||Coming from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh you first take the recently completed Road No 3 (exellent condition) and after 60km, at Angtasom, your turn left on to Road 33a for another 80km (road ok, renovated at the moment, scheduled in 2015 to be completed).
There are several bus compagnies (Sorya, Hua Lin, Capitol) offering services to Kep and all of them leaving 3 times/day (7am, 9am, 1pm to Kep, 7.30am, 9am and 1pm to PP). The price for a ticket is $5 one way and the journey takes roughly 5h.
A private a/c taxi sets you back $40 - $50 and does the trip in 2.5h.
The Phnom Penh airport doesn't have any long distance connections, but plenty of regional ones (connecting BKK, SIN, KUL, SGN, RGN, etc) and it's western location, brings it closer to Kep - about 30min - compared to departing from the PP city center.
|From Sihanoukville, Airport||The biggest beach town of Cambodia also called Kompong Som lies a 130km west of Kep and does have a small airport (only flights from/to Siem Reap at the moment).
The minibus service takes about 3h and costs $7. A comfortable taxi is $35 and takes 2h.
The new road between Veal Renh and Kampot is in a very poor condition and it is therfore better to travel via PP airport!
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|From Phu Quoc (PQ), Vietnam||The beautiful ex-Cambodian, now Vietnames Island 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 talking since years about this) and therefore you need to travel via Ha Tien.
There are several boat companies serving the main land (2012 Passenger boat Schedule), either to Ha Tien or to the bigger city Rach Gia (80km south of Ha Tien). Travelling via Ha Tien is faster, since much closer to Cambodia.
From Ha Tien further you change to a minibus (1/day, dep. 12pm, $12) or a motorbike ($7), which brings you across the Cambodian border (visas on arrival, $20, 1 month) directly to your Kep Hotel.
The entire trip takes about 5h in total.
When travelling the other way round from Kep to PQ, please don't forget to optain 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) ->WAM Travel Agency for details.
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 Thailand (Koh Kong)||The Koh Kong border is very popular with tourists, coming from Koh Chang or Pattaya. It is possible to buy a bus ticket all the way to Kep, starting from Trat or even from Koh Chang.
The Cambodian border issues visa on arrival, 1 month for 1'200 Thai Baht (=$40)!!! If you arrive with your photograph ready, you might get it cheaper, insisting you know the visa is $20, but don't count on it. The 'extreme round up' has been like this for years!
Busses from Koh Kong drive normally directly to Sihanoukville, so you need to change to another bus 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 bad road.
A taxi Koh Kong to Kep is around $80.
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|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 Vietnames guttet them when they withdrew but also from the poor Kep residents in need of building material).
Since a few years Kep is experiencing a slow renaissance offering mainly bungalows and rooms in nearly 60 midrange and top-end 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) and has fantastic views of the mountains, sea and the beaches. Taking a boat for the day to the nearby Rabbit island is a popular experience as well as a walk around the extensive National Park with some wildlife and lovely viewpoints. Kep city is growing steadily, but is still a sleepy town, with not more than 5000 people living here.
Kep's Weather Chart - in Grad Celcius
Kep's Weather Chart - In Farenheit
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|Money and Telecom|
|At the moment Kep doesn't offer any basic financial services. There is no Bank, no ATM, no Western Union etc.
There are some money changers at the Kep City-, White Horse- and Damank Changeur Market (showcase with money inside)
The only way to get cash is either driving to the nearest town - Kampot (25km, 40min by Tuk Tuk, CanadiaBank (VISA/Master) or AcledaBank (Visa only)) or by paying a service charge at a hotel and get a Cash Advance on your VISA or Mastercard.
Quite a few hotels accept meanwhile Credit Cards to pay for the bulk of the holiday budget, sometimes also with a 'service charge'.
So plan ahead if you don't want to have unexpected costs.
Telecom and Post
You can buy your own Cambodian sim card for a few dollars so you can call/txt home. If your phone is locked then there are new Mobile Phones for less than $20!
For just a quick phone call there are the 'public phones' located at the market. You recognize them on the glas box with numbers on it (023 / 012 / 016 / 097 / 017 - prefix's of local mobile operators). The phone owner lends you her/his phone. The rate for local calls is around 500 Riel (12c) / min. Sometimes it is also possible to call international, but at a very expensive rate.
For calls back home, Skype is the way to go. WiFi is now in almost every hotel and a few of them have public computers 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 post office (Tel: 011 787 129) opposite of the pier (going to Rabbit Island). It provides basic services like selling stamps and you can also send parcels overseas (not cheap, but quite reliable). 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, Pharmacie|
|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 Hospital (not recommended if you want to get better :-( ) or then drive to Kampot.
In Kampot there are two places recommended for foreigners.
The newly opened Sonja Kill Hospital, on the road to Sihanoukville (10km from Kampot, 500m before the turn to Bokor Mountain, right side), is a big hospital with foreign (or foreign educated) Doctors and very qualified hospital staff (Donated and managed by Germans). They also have a wide range of quality medicine.
The second choice is in Kampot town, between the Kampot Market and river, called Bokor Clinic, with reasonable local Doctors, ultrasound machine, X-Rays and an Ambulance (should you need to be transportet do Phnom Penh - about $250 !). The Doctors there speak some English.
For a really serious medical treatment there is only Phnom Penh or then Thailand or Vietnam. In Phnom Penh there is the Thai operated Ratanak Hospital (expensive), in the Toul Kork commune with all modern equipment and qualified doctors, also with a Pharmacie. The SOS Clinic on Road 228 is American run and quite good, but also very expensive.
For pharmaceutical needs there are two tiny Pharmacies in Kep, one near the old Kep Market (Casino) and the other near the White Horse market. Both have little more than paracetamol, tons of antibiotics, desinfection stuff and band aids etc. No English spoken! Also please be careful with the kind of medicine you buy, since there are a lot of low quality, expired or fake medicines around in Cambodia.
A good Pharmacie is in Kampot, on the road going to PP, 20m before the Kampot Market, on the left side. Big selection of quality medicines (from France, Germany, etc) and they do speak English!
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