advertisement

The Sri Lankan Bamboo Light Café (River Rd. near the bridge; tel. 012/681-530; main courses $2.50-$4; daily 7am-10pm) offers cheap and quality eats, and curries that are red or yellow, mild or fiery, prepared to your tastes. The mutton dishes are especially good, as are the special Sri Lankan Kottu roti dishes (pancakes cut up and mixed with potato and curry). The very clean interior has cool, indirect lighting in bamboo stanchions. The balcony area out front is where you're most likely to run into the groovy dudes you saw out on the road in the day. There are also great breakfasts of bacon and eggs, as well as good sandwiches, and Western meals are served all day. With an Internet cafe upstairs, this is a good place to beat the heat.

The Bokor Mountain Lodge and the Rikitikitavi represent higher-end dining in Kampot. The Bokor Mountain Lodge is patchy and very expensive, albeit with a wonderful view. The Rikitikitavi offers an eclectic menu with cuisine from around the world, including French, Indonesian, Italian, and Mexican dishes. The signature dish is the Trencherman, an enormous breakfast costing $12. It includes a half-pound steak, 10 slices of bacon, 5 sausages, 3 eggs, a baguette, mushrooms, hash browns, and tomatoes. Nobody has ever actually yet finished one, according to the management. There are also more modest options. The chicken yogurt wraps are very popular with Kampot's expats, and the Indonesian chicken is another signature dish, with the sauce made from real peanuts rather than peanut butter. Jasmine (River Rd.; tel. 012/927-313; main courses $5; daily 10am-10pm) is a stylish riverfront cafe with a mildly Italian slant. They serve a mixture of Khmer and Western dishes and there is also a good selection of interesting photo books to glance through. The Rusty Keyhole (River Rd.; tel. 012/679-607; main courses $2.50-$4.50; daily 4pm-midnight) is a popular Western-run cafe and restaurant serving good-value Western and Asian food at a very reasonable price. The daily seafood specials come recommended. For tasty crab done a dozen different ways, we highly recommend the open-air Ta Eou (tel. 012/820-832), an affordable local joint jutting out on the river, right next to the New Bridge.

After dinner and a brief walk around town, you'll find that there are a number of little bars. They are easy to find, since they are the only things with lights ablaze on the otherwise dark streets. The Honey Bar (just back from the river on the left side of the road that goes to the central roundabout) stays open late, as does Bonkors (a pun on the slang word for crazy and the nearby mountain) on the riverfront. The bar at Blissful Guesthouse is popular with backpackers and gets busy in high season. In general, Kampot is an early-to-bed kind of place.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.