If you’ve spent any length of time backpacking, chances are you’ve experienced that burned out backpacker feeling. You’ve torn through the guidebook, made a serious dent in your ‘must-see’ list, and are now yearning to just recline and do nothing for a while. After two months travelling on the road, Kampot, Cambodia was where we crashed.

The Highlights of Kampot

We could rattle through the tourist hotspots in Kampot, but in truth we didn’t see them all ourselves. The biggest draws to the area are the famous pepper plantations and nearby Bokor National Park, which we imagine are terrific.

The calm and welcoming cafes interested us more however, along with the peaceful boat tours on offer, and the possibility of a comfortable of hotel room. We did see the Durian landmark in the centre of town of course – that is impossible to miss.

A Remedy for the Burned Out Backpacker

Kampot is only small, and often described as a sleepy little town in guidebooks. While this is still true, it seems to us that this little town must have grown in character in recent years. There are about a dozen really nice cafes and restaurants now, run by expatriate westerners who call Cambodia home. Our two favourites were Cafe Espresso Roastery and Ellie’s, both of which serve incredibly tasty breakfasts. They honestly wouldn’t look out of place in the coolest parts of London.

A Relaxing Evening on the River

We paid $5 each for a sunset boat tour and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Cans of Angkor in hand, we set sail under a cloudy sky. At first we feared we might have picked the wrong evening for it, but soon enough the clouds parted some and we could watch the sun go down. It was so calm and peaceful out on the water! Sailing home, we pulled in to look at fireflies, a magical thing that we’ve never seen before! Definitely a sight to see, it felt unreal. We’ll never know whether it was actually fireflies or fairy lights, but either way it was great.

Durian Roundabout

Cafe Espresso Roastery


Raksmey Kampuchea

  • Durian Roundabout
  • Cafe Espresso Roastery
  • Ellie's
  • Raksmey Kampuchea

Making Time For Rest

Our time in Kampot taught us that it’s okay to slow down and rest. We had perhaps felt the pressure to spend every day of our travels seeing temples or going on a tour, when actually, after a busy month in Vietnam, allowing ourselves some ‘time off’ was essential. Our guesthouse was called Raksmey Kampuchea and it was the perfect place to unwind. We felt very welcome there, the shower was good and hot, the bed was comfortable, and the WiFi worked almost all of the time!

A break in our hectic schedule also gave us time to plan the end of our trip. We were able to fill in the gaps in our itinerary a bit, and book flights to Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan! We loved the laid back atmosphere in Kampot, a perfect retreat for the burned out backpacker! We’d highly recommend taking a few days to head down there and hang out.

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