I didn’t plan to go to Kampot, Cambodia. Halfway through my trip, while sitting in a bar in Hoi An, Vietnam, with a friend and some random dude we met, I changed my mind. This guy had lived in Cambodia for ages and mentioned of the four places one should visit in Cambodia, Kampot was one of them. He mentioned it was a hippy mountain town in Cambodia, and I was immediately sold. I love hippy mountain towns. I loved Pai, Thailand, so why not Kampot?
I started looking up Kampot guesthouses and other places to stay in Kampot. Kampot riverside hotels, kampot riverside bungalows, some really crazy hostels in Kampot, Cambodia. There is one Kampot guesthouse that stood out though…because it was a treehouse.
…and a vegan-friendly one at that!
It’s pretty much my ongoing dream to live in a treehouse. So I was sold. Plus it’s quite pretty around Kampot, you can see the pictures of my guesthouse below. Here’s some pictures around town.
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A walk around Kampot downtown, a fake McDonalds, my two cat friends at @simple.things.kampot and DEVA and part of my scooter ride back to my jungle home in Cambodia. . . . . . . ___________________ #digitalnomadgirls #gltpride #cambodia #kampot #instatravel #queertraveler #queernomad #travellife #longtermtravel #dametraveler #girlslovetravel #queervegan #sheisnotlost #beautifulcambodia #vegantraveler #femalesolotraveler #traveltalk #girlaroundworld #wearetravelgirls #passionpassport #sheisnotlost #darlingescapes #traveltagged #travelblogger #pursueyourdreams #findingmyway #tropicalvibes #remotework #locationindependent
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Fun fact: Most of Cambodia uses US dollars, even though it’s not the official currency! However, they don’t use US coins, so they use the local currency, the riel, for anything under US$1. Dollarization started in the 1980s and continued to the early 90s when the UN provided humanitarian aid, refugees began sending money home, and inflation as high as 177% per year left people not so confident in the riel. 4000 riel equals one dollar, so instead of 50 cents change you’d get 2000 riel. It’s a weird mish-mash of a system that means Cambodia (in the cities) is a bit more expensive than Thailand or Vietnam, for example. I had no idea that Cambodia used the dollar until a few days before I arrived! . . . . . . __________________ #cambodia #cambodia🇰🇭 #cambodiatrip #beautifulcambodia #lgbttravelers #vegantraveller #siemreap #riel #money #currency #usd #dollars #travel #instatraveling #instatraveler #travelgram #funfacts #digitalnomadgirls #damettaveler #gltpride #girlslovetravel #gowander #southeastasia #digitalnomadwomen #femaledigitalnomads #queernomads #queertraveler
The only problem is it was 13km from town and I couldn’t ride a motorized scooter yet. Several months into my travel, however, and I was tired of having to live walking distance to everything, or paying a ton for taxis. It was time to face my fear, suck it up, and learn.
Get Over That Motorbike Fear
My fellow women, I’m talking to you here. While most of the male-identified people I met while traveling didn’t seem to have much fear around hopping on a scooter, I met so many women going to epic lengths to avoid some really interesting destinations because they were not friendly by foot and had no public transit.
I was scared too, but this is how the locals (and tourists) get around in these places, so it was time to learn. Is it dangerous? Not so much more than walking, I think! Half the time I was walking around Southeast Asia there were street dogs, no sidewalks, big intersections. Would I drive a scooter in a major city? Without a helmet? Shirtless, drunk and speeding down the curvy roads like I saw many a tourist guy do? No. Get a helmet that covers your entire head, drive slow like a grandma, and if an intersection overwhelms you just wait for a local to go and follow right behind them.
In Kampot, Cambodia no one checks your license. Same as when I was on Koh Phangan. I did a few hour course with a friend in Chiang Mai before I got to Kampot in preparation. Most places will have something like that if your search, or the person renting the bikes can walk you through it.
I was just getting my bearings on the motobike after my lesson in Chiang Mai and Kampot was a great place for that. Since I was staying out of the center the roads were small and not full. Kampot itself is pretty small with only one major intersection. I decided to ride up Bokor Mountain one day to practice, and of course it poured when I was already a bit up. So I did it soaked, but I consider it extra practice!
Okay, not let me tell you about the best place to stay in Kampot. This Kampot guesthouse was really amazing. Drumroll please….
Best Places to Stay in Kampot
Your search for places to stay in Kampot ends here. Daom Djah Spirit is a Kampot guesthouse run by a lovely French couple. It has a common area that is a massive treehouse with a bar and restaurant underneath. Searching for Kampot riverside bungalows? Kampot hostels? They got you covered. There are riverside bungalows, treehouses and one building with a dorm.
Their kampot hostel was only 4€ per night. The treehouse was 14€ per night and the riverside bungalows 13€ per night.
Quick warning: DO NOT BOOK Daom Djah Spirit on Agoda! Agoda has automatically pulled their info into it from booking.com but Daom Djah does not want to use Agoda and did not choose this. It’s listed as slightly cheaper there so I booked it and it resulted in me not getting the treehouse the first couple nights. Book on booking.com!
There are two cute dogs running around and chill lounge-y world music always playing in the background. Also, the wifi is good. I had just started picking up clients in my digital nomad journey and I’m pretty sure I blew their minds in my video calls with the jungle in the background. I’ll stop babbling and just show you:
To see a tour inside my treehouse and more videos and pics from Kampot check out my Instagram highlight labeled “Kampot” via my profile here.
Did you know that 5% of Cambodia is Muslim and a majority of them reside in and near Kampot? This had the unexpected benefit of the calls to prayer wafting in at me over the jungle, which was super peaceful. You can hear a bit in this post here (turn the sound way up!):
Here is the vegan food I got served at Daom Djah Spirit below. They have coconut milk so that can be swapped out for the non-vegan stuff in the granola and fruit. They were also very aware of what vegan meant so were able to slightly alter the main dishes. The food was pretty healthy veg-heavy stuff anyway so wasn’t very difficult. They also make their own kombucha and you can get smoothies, coconut milk for the coffee, etc.
Seriously, I think it was the best guesthouse I ever stayed at.
Looking for more of a party vibe or you want a fancier resort? Have a search of Booking.com, they have a great cancelation policy.
Kampot Vegan Food
…but what vegan food did I find in Kampot? More than I thought for a smaller town! Let’s start with my favorite place, shall we?
I didn’t discover this place until halfway through my stay, which was a shame! Their food was definitely the freshest and I loved their menu. Also the only place I found a western-style vegan breakfast.
I wouldn’t have expected to find good arabic food in a small Cambodian mountain town but there you go. Really, surprisingly good if you’re looking for a change of pace.
This was the main all-vegan place everyone raved about. I found it okay. Not bad, nice atmosphere, they have a yoga place and seems like they have a bit of a community around them. I like that they have tempeh, my veggie burger was good. It just wasn’t overly excited and I did not like the mango cheesecake. To be fair I was in Kampot for a week and there are not SO many vegan places there so it’s good for variety. I wish there was some kind of vegan cheese for the burgers.
They explain how to veganize things on the menu. You can basically get noodles and dumplings. They were good and cheap, but I felt they were missing a little “uummph!” There are sauces on the table to use and it’s still good for some variety.
Indian food place right down the road from Aroma House that also has vegan ice cream but they were mostly out when I went. Super affordable and friendly.
Pepe and the Viking
I only ended up here because I got to the bus station to get my bus out of Kampot and was informed it was 3 hours late. I had time to kill so wandered around and chilled at Pepe and the Viking in downtown Kampot who have one vegan item, this veggie burger, on the menu. It was surprisingly good and I tried the local Kampot cider, which ended up being a revelation as I thought I didn’t like cider but I loved this. Turns out I just don’t like SWEET cider.
Wonderland Ice Cream
One thing Kampot sorely missed in my opinion was vegan desserts. Not much vegan chocolate stuff to be found but these vegan ice pops from Wonderland were good and refreshing! Make sure to check which are vegan as they also have milk stuff.
Best Coffee in Kampot
Cafe Espresso Roastery
Possibly the only 3rd wave coffee place in Kampot and only one that has non-dairy milk as an option. No vegan food options but coffee is good. I worked from there a bit but the internet was not always super reliable.
Kampot Vegan Groceries
I didn’t have a kitchen, but if for some reason you’re in Kampot for longer I did stumble upon one place in town that had lots of good groceries. It’s across from the fake McDonalds, I’ll put a pic below.
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Traveling around Southeast Asia? Check out my other guides for the region: