The resort town of Kep in Cambodia was once South East Asia’s premier beach destination from the early 1900’s up till the 1960’s. Originally named La Perle de la Côte d’Agathe it was also home to the Cambodian King’s resort residence. Kep is also located next to the coastal town of Kampot – where the world famous pepper originates.
Its interesting to see the ebb and flow of human development. What was once possibly the region’s foremost beach resort destination has not only been eclipsed by places like Penang, Hua Hin, Ko Samui and Phuket but has also totally disappeared from main stream travel itineraries.
The Kep – Phu Quoc – Kampot Connection
Perhaps what’s even more interesting is how Kep is located just 30 km from the closest point on Phu Quoc island in Vietnam. With the Vietnamese central government intent to directly administer and develop Phu Quoc into an international tourism destination how will that impact Kep over the long term? The Phu Quoc international airport is scheduled to open at the end of 2012 while there are plans for an submarine power cable to service the island.
Can Kep potentially move up the resort development curve faster on the back of it’s past history? Can Kep take advantage of the global culinary branding of Kampot pepper which its sister town is so well known for?
Washington Post: Cambodia’s up and coming seaside towns
Villa Romonea: A Restored Kep Villa