“There’s something about the sound of a train that’s very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful.”
I have always loved the train journey. The rhythm, the sound, the languor… It’s an ode to laziness. The train is the perfect place to travel outside and inside yourself.
I was feeling stuck in Phnom Penh for a while, therefore I decided to take a break out of the city.
I live in Phnom Penh and I like this energetic city, I like to ride my bicycle in the middle of the traffic jam, to be lost in the market, to drink a banana-coffee shake on riverside and watch people doing exercises, to share a drink with my friends after work. However, I also like the nature and it’s difficult in Phnom Penh to find a green place!
Kampot it’s, for me, the best place to have a break. This town is the perfect balance between the city and the wild. There are very nice places to stay along the river where you can chill the whole weekend with an amazing view on the mountain. You just need to have a good book, friends to play board game and share a good dinner with.
Last weekend was my first train trip to Kampot, but for surely not the last. That was a refreshing experience, something different, another way to travel.
The journey starts a few days ago, when I was purchasing my train ticket. I sometimes passed in front of the train station, but never entered inside the big hall. It’s a huge building in Art Deco style like the central market. It was built in 1932, and the train stopped circulating in 2002. They reopened last year the railroad for passengers, you can now enjoy a trip to Sihanoukville by train every weekend. The central hall is very big and… empty. I choose the train of Saturday morning, leaving at 7am. Rendez-vous with my friends at 6.45am. Outch!
The train was on time, and I discover than you can travel with your bicycle or your motorbike! Very convenient for a future trip.
There are 4 cars very comfy, our car was the second (they give you a seat number with the ticket), the seats are 2 long benches, you turn your back to the windows. There are aircon (don’t forget a scarf, the temperature is very low!), bathroom and you can buy coffee or instant noodle in the first car.
What I love in travelling by train is that you aren’t stuck in the same place. So after the train controller passed, I change my place to stay between 2 cars, close to the door to have a better view. After leaving the city, you can open the door (the train is slow, if you don’t do anything crazy there is no risk) and enjoy your trip!
The first 30 minutes, you cross Phnom Penh. There is a huge community who is leaving on the rail. I had the feeling to be inside the houses and shops. It’s like they open the railroad when the train is coming and continue their lives on the rails after. It’s another view of Phnom Penh with a lot of small lifetime’s pictures. After the city, you cross some nenuphar’s field with their beautiful pink flower. The only town you will cross is Takeo the first and only stop on the railroad to Kampot. There are 10-15 minutes of break, just time to buy some fruits, sweet rice and nenuphar’s seed.
During this journey, most of the landscape is made of rice’s field, buffalos, small farms and coconut trees. The road with this view is perfect to let you dream, imagine a different life, make crazy projects.
After four hours, we arrived in Kampot’s train station. The end of the journey. The small train station with its coconut trees is just the perfect end of this lovely trip.
I recommend to all train’s lovers and dreamer to try the train in Cambodia. That was for me a lovely time!
Giant Ibis is one of the more prominent and trusted operator in the Cambodian market. The company operates on a wide variety of routes and provides its travelers very comfortable, well maintained coaches with some hint of luxury amenities.
The company enjoys a good reputation for its safety standards, punctual operations and English speaking staff. While the fares they offer are higher than standard for comparable routes, they manage to regular patronage from travelers due to their upmarket image and their operation standards. It covers most of the popular tourist destinations within Cambodia and also covers routes from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap.
You can book return bus tickets from Giant Ibis including popular routes like Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh, Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh to Kampot among other routes.
For booking your next trip with Giant Ibis, please make your booking from our home page.Read more
Kampot is a capital town of Kampot province of Cambodia. It is a home to Bokor National Park. Other main things to explore are the verdant coasts east towards Vietnam, including Kep, and several superb cave-temples. The province’s economy has a great contribution of salt and pepper production, fishing, fruit growing (particularly Durians) and of course tourism. Kampong Trach is the district that borders Vietnam.
The city is famous for its relaxing riverside setting. Must see things Bokor Mountain, Kampot River and surrounding hills. The town’s architecture is pleasantly provincial, old and heritage as it still holds some of its colonial buildings. Its newly renovated market is also a visiting place.
Other attractions include Teuk Chhouu, a place for swimming, tubing and relaxing, and Phnom Chhnork, a ride to caves.
The province is also famous for its beaches, Kep beach, being the most popular beach in the area. Get yourself relaxed and eat some great seafood on the sea side. Second one is Doung Beach, comparatively small than beach in the Kep. Some other interesting things would be countryside tours that often include visits to the caves, a pepper plantation, Kep, Rabbit Island, Kampong Trach and a sunset cruise on the Kampong Bay River. And last but not the least, Kampong Trach. One can hire moto-dop and tuk-tuk or rent a motorcycle to roam within the city and to the surrounding areas.
Reaching Kampot is relatively easy by bus from Phnom Penh and it takes around 2 to 3 hours. Giant IBIS, Kampot Express and Kimseng Express have buses leaving to Kampot from Phnom Penh on regular intervals daily. Buses start from the respective bus stops of each bus operator in Phnom Penh and terminate in the central Kampot. To check all the bus schedules and fares across the bus operators and book your tickets, please visit the home page.Read more