Kampot is a city in southern Cambodia and the capital of Kampot Province. It is situated at the Praek Tuek Chhu river southeast of the Elephant Mountains and around 5 km from the Gulf of Thailand. Kampot was the capital of the Circonscription Résidentielle de Kampot under French rule and Cambodia’s most important sea port after the loss of the Mekong Delta and before the establishment of Sihanoukville. Its center is unlike most Cambodian provincial capitals composed of 19th-century French colonial architecture. The region and town are well known for the high quality pepper, which is being exported worldwide. It is also known for its Kampot fish sauce and durian.
Under 19th century French colonial administration Kampot became a regional administrative centre with the status of a state border district as a result of the delimitation of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Circonscription Résidentielle de Kampot contained the arrondissements of Kampot, Kompong-Som, Trang and Kong-Pisey.
In 1889 French colonial census reports a multi-ethnic community: Kampot town consisted of “Cambodian Kampot” on the Prek-Kampot River and “Chinese Kampot” on the right riverbank of the west branch of the Prek-Thom River. Nearby was also a Vietnamese village, called Tien-Thanh and another Vietnamese village on Traeuy Koh Island. A Malay also existed on Traeuy Koh Island. Additional villages of mixed ethnicity are listed.
Kampot is the base for trips up the Dâmrei and Bokor Mountains.
Tourists can also visit a pepper plantation. Guests can walk in the fields, take part in the pepper tasting, try meals with the different types of pepper and buy some souvenirs and gifts.